Remarks by Ambassador Malefane on the occasion of the confirmation of an Honors Doctorate Degree on Mr Ace Magashule, Premier of the Free State Province, 29 September 2017, Istanbul, Turkey.
The Chairman of BAU
Members of the Faculty
The Premier and his entourage
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great privilege for me to be with you and address you on this historic and memorable occasion. Dear Premier and friends let me start by sharing with you the story of fish.’ There are two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older one swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning Boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on a bit, and eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water” In recent times we have become like the young fish, we have become so busy that we take things for granted and at times even fail to acknowledge the good that others do in bringing joy, happiness, compassion and change in our lives and the lives of ordinary people and the most vulnerable. I wish to take this opportunity to thank the Chairman of the Board of this unique institution of higher learning, the Principal, members of the University Senate, senior members of various faculties and Turkey as a whole in doing the opposite of what that fish did by organizing this event. Premier, this event seeks to acknowledge and appreciate on behalf of humanity your commitment to the struggles of our people and ensuring the liberation for our country and unshackling our people from the chains of bondage and oppression.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We are gathered here to witness the honoring of one of the gentle giants of South African political history and a humble servant of our people. The gentleman receiving this accolade today cannot be more deserving as indicated by his track record, particularly in the field of educational advancement of groups of people with limited means. Mr Elias Sekgobelo Magashule, is a leader of a significant Province located right in the belly of our beautiful country, the Province of the Free State. He is the chairperson of our beloved Movement in his Province, a catalyst for sustainable development and a unifier of our people. For as long as I have known him, he has progressively struggled for the emancipation of our people in his various capacities, true to the famous words of Frederick Douglas “without struggle there is no progress”.
He is a leader and a cadre of the oldest Liberation Movement of African soil, the African National Congress. He is an individual with proven loyalty, whose physical and moral courage has developed in step with his ideological development in such a way that he is capable to face any debate and was even prepared to give his life for the good of our people’s struggles. He is known for reasoning dialectically and this we see by some of the decisions he took to advance the development of young people through Education, and we have also seen him developing the masses of our people in South Africa from his position of leadership.
As I conclude friends, I wish to congratulate you Premier and urge you to continue leading our people to the path of righteousness. Continue to be the beacon of hope and a shining light in the lives of the youth. Let our dedication and commitment be always inspired by the wise words of Jimmy Reid the English veteran trade unionist who gave the following warning,”Reject the insidious pressures in society that would blunt your critical faculties to all that is happening around you, that would caution silence in the face of injustice lest you jeopardize your chances of promotion and self-advancement. This is how it starts, and before you know where you are, you’re fully paid-up member of the rat pack. The price is too high. It entails the loss of dignity and human spirit.”
Mr Magashule, I now bow off podium to take my seat and in few minutes I will be bowing to you as Doctor Magashule.