South Africa : National Convention Culminates in Declaration

The South African National Convention presented a declaration at the end of the watershed Convention today.

Mbhazima Shilowa, National Convention convener-in-chief said, "Due to the focused efficiency and tremendous discipline of the delegates, volunteers and support teams, a party declaration was drafted and presented today. We are proud of the determination shown by delegates and provincial representatives, their contributions made clear their single-mindedness in defending our Constitution and our hard-earned democracy."

According to Shilowa, the declaration represents the collective will of the more than 6000 delegates.

It is a statement which is unmistakable in its focus on taking individual responsibility for and actively participating in shaping democracy and defending the constitution.

Furthermore, Shilowa said the declaration was expedited by the enthusiasm with which the Convention was embraced as a platform that has rekindled hope.

The declaration will be the framework that will guide policy formation of the new party. The declaration takes into account not only the legacy of apartheid but seeks to reintroduce the values of South Africa's 15-year achievement of freedom, democracy and tolerance of political diversity.

Shilowa says, "The call was clear and resonated with all the provincial delegates: a new party would be the best vehicle to defend democracy, which they felt had been eroded by abuse of power by the incumbent ANC.

"The party would also create a new home for the politically desolate."

Shilowa called on delegates to return to their regions to mobilise people not only for the launch of the party on December 16, but to form structures in preparation for victory in the 2009 general elections.

He continues, "Democracy is not just the right to vote, it includes the right to participate in the economy and the right to live without fear and poverty."

The consultative platform adopted at the National Convention is set to become the party modus.

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