Farewell message by the MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism and Leader of government business, Mr JL Mahlangu to the outgoing speaker of Mpumalanga Provincial legislature, Mr Jackson Mthembu, Mpumalanga Legislation Chamber, Nelspruit
30 Oct 2009
Outgoing Speaker, Mr Jackson Mthembu
Deputy Speaker, Ms Violet Siwela
Chief Whip of the Majority Party, Mr Siphosezwe Masango
Colleagues in the executive council
Honourable members of the legislature
Members of the media
Comrades and friends
Ladies and gentlemen
In the words of United States President Barack Obama, and I quote: “If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress”.
Indeed we continue to be on the right track, and willing to keep walking as the ruling African National Congress. Walking side by side with Comrade Mthembu, as dedicated cadres of the African National Congress in our journey towards “a better life for all”, we continued to make significant strides in improving the lives of our people.
We can pride ourselves that despite the challenges we continue to face, the lives of our people are better than yesterday, and we are quite certain that they will even be better than today, come tomorrow. This is a commitment that we will see to the grave, and nobody or anything will derail us from fulfilling that.
It is however unfortunate, that our gathering here this morning, is to bid farewell to you Comrade Mthembu, as the member of this house, and also as the speaker of the legislature. Despite your short stint, we surely will miss you from within our ranks, but we take solace from the fact that your outstanding capabilities will be used at a national level for the benefit of our people. As a province, we are humbled and honoured by the confidence shown in us by the national leadership of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), by appointing “us” to become the movement’s nationwide voice.
I say “us” because Comrade Mthembu as a child of this province will be representing the province while doing duty for the ANC. As a result, appointing one of our own to this strategic and challenging positions, symbolise confidence in the capability of the ANC in the province; that of being able to nurture and produce dedicated cadres of note, such as Comrade Jackson.
My experience of working with the outgoing speaker, paints a picture of a person who was, and continues to be dedicated towards the noble course of our movement; that of ensuring that we continue to unshackle the poor from the bondages of poverty. It paints a picture of a selfless cadre who is at all times prepared to sacrifice his family’s time, to push the agenda of his political home. Though bidding one’s comrade and compatriot farewell is not a nice experience, we take solace from the fact that he is leaving the province to represent us at a national level
We appreciate and cherish the fact that we have been chosen, through the appointment of Comrade Mthembu, to become the national voice of our caring movement, the African National Congress. As one of the inaugural members of this house, Comrade Mthembu made significant contributions towards shaping our legislature and government back in 1994. We will forever cherish his contribution, and believe that his departure from the provincial political landscape is not a loss but a gain to the province. He remains a loyal and committed member of our movement and I believe he will continue to devote this energy towards supporting our course of bettering the lives of the people of this province.
As I close, American Poet and Linguist, Henry Longfellow once said, and I quote:
“Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody”.
On behalf of the Premier, Mr David Mabuza and the people of Mpumalanga, I congratulate you on your appointment as the national Spokesperson of the African National Congress. We surely will miss your valuable contribution in the provincial administration and in this august house. Working together we can do more to continue to realise the commitments we made in the Freedom Charter. We are the only hope for our people, especially those who cannot fend for themselves, and as President Jacob Zuma warns, “we dare not fail them”.
So long Comrade Jackson, so long!
Remember that the struggle for a better life for all continues.
Issued by: Department of Economic Development, Mpumalanga Provincial Government
30 October 2009
Source: Department of Economic Development, Mpumalanga Provincial Government (http://www.mpumalanga.gov.za/dedet/index.asp)
Issued by: Mpumalanga Economic Development, Environment and Tourism
30 Oct 2009
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