Welcome to the Mpumalanga Provincial Government

Remarks by Premier Mabuza on the occasion of the farewell function of Dr Bam, Mbombela stadium,

18 October 2011

Programme Director
Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker
Honourable Members of the Executive Council
Honourable Members of Parliament and the Legislature
Dr Brigalia Bam and distinguished Commissioners of IEC
The CEO of IEC and all officials of the IEC
Amakhosi endabuko akhona phakathi kwethu
Representatives from business, labour, civil organisation and media
Representatives from different political parties
Distinguished guests
Ladies and gentlemen

When the northern waves of imperialism and colonialism hit our shores many centuries ago, seeds of wars, dispossessions, slavery and all other ills that one can think of, got planted in our motherland.

As we all know, the consequences were devastating, especially for those who were on the receiving end of all these injustices.

Our leaders waged bitter struggles against these phenomena over many decades. Those struggles assumed different forms as the years evolved.

It was only in the wake of the 20th century when their vision became more concrete and focused relating to the kind of future society they envisage creating. All in all, they envisioned a society that is united, democratic, non-sexist, non-racial and prosperous. The Freedom Charter captures the ideals of the envisaged society more accurately.

In 1994, we saw the political landscape of the country changing fundamentally.

We saw the dream of our founding political leaders started to happen in practical terms.

Indeed, we saw the bitter struggles of our freedom fighters beginning to pay dividends.

For the first time in history, South Africa saw the emergence of a democratic rule. We adopted the Constitution as the supreme law of the country.

It is through this Constitution that, among other things, we established the Chapter nine institutions, of which, the Independent Electoral Commission is one of such institutions.

Obviously, for this IEC to become complete and functional, it required men and women who would breathe life into it – men and women who shared the same vision as those of our forebearers.

When the country made a clarion call, our Dr Brigalia Bam and some of the Commissioners present here today, never hesitated but heeded to the call.

Uthe ubab’ uMadiba lapho ebuza ukuthi kazi ngothuma bani ukuzohola lenqola ka-IEC isiyise ekanana, lapho kuzoba khona ukuthula noxolo kuwonke umuntu, u-Dokotela Bam nethimba lakhe lathi siyizinceku zakho, thuma thina baba, angeze sakudumaza.

Indeed, Dr Bam and her team lived up to the expectations of not only South Africans but people in the African continent and the world as a whole.

On behalf of the Mpumalanga government and its people, I wish to take this opportunity to extend our gratitude to you Dr Bam for captaining the IEC ship so successfully during your terms in office. 

All of us know that the IEC sailed through turbulent waters, particularly in the early days of our democracy. Our political system was littered with extreme divisions, mistrust, hatred, suspicion and bitterness – tendencies and thinking informed by our historical background. The country was engulfed by conflict, especially in the Gauteng and KZN provinces

In the midst of all these challenges, Dr Bam and her committed team managed to steer the ship away from all these icebergs that came in the way of the IEC. You ensured that the rule of law find its way in our new democracy.

Difficult as it is, you and your team managed to put together a well-oiled electoral machinery that left the world flabbergasted.

You managed to build a formidable and reputable institution that enjoys the support of all South Africans and the people of the world who subscribe to the tenets of democracy. 

You contributed immensely towards schooling and educating our masses and political parties about democracy and the respect of Human Rights. And you did so without fear, favour or prejudice.

Today we have a credible voters roll and efficient electoral system that is governed by a powerful but user-friendly Act of parliament.

We are proud as a nation that all our elections were ran smooth all these years and results were not only published on time but also passed the test of being declared free and fair.

You showed the world that we can do this on our own despite the fact that we are a new kid on the block as far as democratic rule is concerned.

You provided leadership in the management of elections of our national, provincial and local legislative bodies. The awards that your institution received over the years bear testimony to this effect.

Once more, on behalf of the Mpumalanga government, I wish to thank you for leading the IEC with distinction. We are all proud of you and your leadership qualities. We wish you good luck and success in your new life.

We hope that you won’t cease to contribute towards the betterment of your country which you served so well in the different portfolios that you occupied over the past years.

You definitely made South Africa proud throughout the entire globe. Your contribution will never go unnoticed. Your work will find space in our history books. Believe me, you left an indelible mark in the politics of this country.

Unwele olude!

I thank You


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