Message by Nelson Mandela to the fund-raising event of the African National Congress (ANC) Overberg Region

30 0ctober 2003

We wish to extend our greetings and support to this fund-raising occasion of the ANC’s Overberg Region.

We are envious of you being able to sit down to what I know will be a sumptuous dinner in the beautiful surroundings of Arabella. I keep on being reminded by such events from which I am excluded that pensioners without office, power or influence are soon forgotten.

We do hope, however, that the occasion will not only be an enjoyable one for all of you but that it will also be very profitable in terms of funds raised for the organisation.

I do not know who you will have present at the event, but one bit of advice I can give you is not to be shy about asking for substantial donations from those present. I have learnt that if you are too reticent the people you are asking from think that you do not take them seriously. So, please do not insult your donor guests through your reticence.

Seriously, though: as the elections approach we must make sure as an organisation that we are equipped to bring the best to our people who as voters are the real engines of our democracy. We need to bring to them clear messages about the state of our politics and our plans for the continued and accelerated building of a better life for all.

We need to engage in voter education to have enlightened and informed voters making choices about the future of our democracy. We have to ensure that we encourage and assist voters to register and participate in the elections.

All of these require that we have the resources - material and human - to fulfil those tasks. Fundraising is going to be very important to equip us for those tasks of democracy.

I have informed the President and the Secretary General of the ANC that I will be playing my part in fund-raising for the organisation. But we need the concerted efforts of all to make fund-raising a nationally successful campaign. We need a great measure of self-reliance and innovativeness on the part of regions, sub-regions and even branches.

It is for that reason that I am so happy to hear of this and other efforts on the part of regions. So, even though you have denied an old pensioner a free dinner by excluding me from your invitation list, I wish you well on this and future ventures.

And at the end of it all, may the African National Congress come out victorious in the elections, taking its place also in the Western Cape as the government that shall build a better life for all of our people.

I thank you

Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation