ANC to sing anthem, not Nkosi
The ANC will in future sing the National Anthem and not the old version of Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika at its meetings.
Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile, who is also in the party’s social transformation committee, said at the party’s national conference in Mangaung this week “the decision was that the ANC itself should sing the National Anthem of the country at its meeting to lead society by example”.
The ANC also said the National Anthem should be sung in all schools to promote social cohesion and patriotism.
At some of its national gatherings in recent years, like its 2005 and 2010 national general councils (NGC), the party opted to sing Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika, which does not include the Afrikaans and English additions from the old national anthem.
The singing of Nkosi at its 2005 NGC caused some controversy because the programme said the National Anthem would be sung.
Then secretary-general Kgalema Motlanthe explained: “There is that kind of blind spot sometimes.”
He said Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica had been the party’s anthem for many years.
“Sometimes when one says the national anthem, those who are not quite vigilant can be forgiven for making a mistake.”
There was no confusion, Motlanthe added.
“The national anthem is the national anthem, and Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica is Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica.”
At some ANC gatherings party leaders sometimes even reproach delegates who sang the National Anthem, saying they should not forget Nkosi.
On Sunday as the party opened its conference, delegates were led in singing the National Anthem.