Delivering his speech during the late Ahmed Kathrada’s memorial service, Zweli Mkhize was heckled by ANC youth league members. While Mkhize believes that the heckling incident does not affect him personally but it is clear that the “ANC leadership has a huge task to embark on political education to teach our youth tolerance of different views and respect for the memory of those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.”
“At a personal level such heckling does not affect me. I have been through worse situations and understand this in politics. For some people it’s their way to express themselves,” he said in a statement.
He nevertheless described the service as a “beautiful representation of the non-racial and non-sexist credentials of the ANC from the youth to senior citizens many of whom have known struggle credentials”.
“On behalf of the ANC we wish to apologise to those who were invited, for the embarrassment and inconvenience caused. The behaviour remains unacceptable now as it has always been when it happened to other leaders in the organisation as it erodes the respect for the ANC.”
He said it was a challenge the party’s leadership had to address.
“There is need for leadership to dismantle factions which are tearing the organisation apart and urgently work to rebuild unity and deal with differences which play out in the open. We call on all comrades to avoid using such solemn occasions to exacerbate tensions and embarrass the ANC.