The ANC Gauteng will host the centenary flame for eleven days from the 21st October until November 2012. The ANC will celebrate the life and legacy of the ANC President O. R Tambo. As we celebrate President O.R Tambo’s contribution to the struggle of the ANC in difficult times in the history of the ANC we have created a partnership with the HIP alliance and the City of Reggio Emilia in Italy.

During the Apartheid years, the City of Reggio Emilia provided support to the African National Congress. This historical relationship was initiated in 1977 by President Oliver Tambo and the City of Reggio Emilia, represented by Guiseppe Soncini. The relationship was continued by the Deputy President of the ANC Kgalema Motlanthe after 1994. Last week he visited Reggio Emilia and opened the exhibition, which celebrated and commemorated the relationship between the ANC and Reggio.

In cementing the relations, the ANC and HIP alliance is hosting a soccer tournament in Alexandra Stadium on the 21st October 2012. The soccer tournament will be played out between the ANC Centenary Aces, coached by Jomo Sono and captained by Kgalema "Wizzard" Motlanthe and the Reggio Emilia Legends, coached by the Italian Ambassador to SA and captained by Giussepe Dossena, a member of the famous 1982 Italian World Cup winning squad. Dossena accumulated 39 caps for Italy and played for esteemed clubs such as Torino, Udinese and Sampdoria.

In both teams the politicians and soccer legends that will play on the day include Kgalema "Wizard" Motlanthe, Fikile Mbalula, Paul Mashatile, Parks Tau, David Makhura, Danny Jordan, Mandla Nkomfe, Lindiwe Zulu, Dali Tambo, Teenage Dladla, Mark Fish, Phil Masinga, Martin Cohen, City Late Neo Lichaba, Patrick Molala, Roger de Sa, Mike Mangena, Alfred Phiri, Shakes Khungoane, Doctor Khumalo, Cyprian Maimane, Computer Lamola, Happy Cow Nkomo, Sergio La Verghetta, Edi Xavier, Dario Armini, Gianni Mariano, Paolo Scalla, Dario Dosio, Dino Rech, Eric Tinkler, Vilma Morano, Natacia Osher, Bongiwe Radebe, Qedani Dorothy Mahlangu, Piero Morano, Mark Fish, Phil Masinga, Lenin Shope, David Nyathi, Gianni Ravazzotti, Jose Nascimento, Maurizio di Giovianpaolo, Grant Morgan Alberto Bollo and others.

The event will be preceded by schools soccer finals and ANC centenary flame. The event is crucial in integrating the strong cultural sporting heritage of South Africans and Italians. It will further characterize diversity and strong elements of non racialism and continued sportsmanship and comradeship. This captures the relationship between the ANC and Reggio. This soccer match also provides an opportunity to honour many of our soccer legends, almost all of whom played under difficult conditions imposed by Apartheid.

As part of celebrating the relationship the ANC and HIP Alliance will also hosting a Reggio Emilia exhibition. The exhibition which was opened this month in Reggio Emilia by the Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will now take place in South Africa at the Gauteng Legislature, where it will be on display from its opening on 23rd October until the 26 October 2012. The ANC National Chairperson Cde Baleka Mbete and Provincial Secretary Cde David Makhura will be officiating the opening of the exhibition. On the side of Reggio, the Mayor of the City Graziano Delrio will be officiating. He will be accompanied by the 87 year old widow of Soncini, Bruna and his son Ivan, both of whom will be paying an emotional visit to South Africa. The exhibition will capture this extraordinary relationship and bring to light "lost" items such as the Isitwalandwe medals minted by Reggio at the request of the ANC, Madiba’s first book printed in Europe, the Italian edition of Sechaba and others.

The ANC in collaboration with the South African Council of Churches (SACC) have organized a Religious Rally on the 25th October 2012, 09h00-14h00 in Jhb, City Hall. This will culminate in prayer session and communion at Khotso House. The religious rally serve to intensify the mobilization amongst religious communities to ensure the entire South African society is behind the programme of fundamental social and economic transformation. The religious sector played a central role in the struggle for emancipation and freedom. The ANC centenary flame must touch all communities to highlight commitment of the ANC in showing a more determined action to strengthen its role as the voice of the people.

The flame, whose fire symbolizes the undying hopes of our people continues to burn in Gauteng on the fuel of our own selfless contributions, which rest upon our acceptance of the values and conduct of our forebearers: courage, generosity, honesty, self sacrifice, humility, truthfulness, integrity and temperance.

Once again, as part of the centenary celebrations, there will be an ANC Presidential Memorial Lecture by President Jacob Zuma on the Life and Contribution of President O. R Tambo. The Memorial Lecture will take place on 26th October 2012, University of Pretoria. The lecture is vital to ensure the ANC President tells the history and life of President O.R Tambo as a great leader of the movement who served his tenure in difficult times of the ANC in exile. The lecture will most importantly portray President O.R Tambo as a man who executed his task in the movement with dexterity and passion in the tradition of selfless service displayed by the ANC towards the people.

The flame will rotate in all the five regions of Gauteng to celebrate the month of President O.R Tambo. The other important centenary flame events include visit to the late Cde Ruth First and Cde Joe Slovo families on the 21st October 2012, O.R Tambo Memorial Lecture in JHB on the 20st October 2012, the main speaker is Cde Joel Netshitenzhe at Witkoppen Primary School on William Nicol and O.R Tambo wreath laying Ceremony at Ekurhuleni, 27 October 2012, Tamboville Cemetery, Watville.

The events will be celebrated with dignity and pride befitting the history of the ANC. It will further serve as an expression of our aspirations to bring hope and progress while improving the lives of the people. It will help us to enrich our collective understanding of forging ahead with transformation of the country.

For more information contact Dumisa Ntuli at 0715260598 or 011 227 9303, email to