THE ZONDO COMMISSION IS DESIGNED TO CALM DOWN THE NATION
The commission probing State Capture chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo will succeed to blunt the anger of the public over the looting of the State by certain politically connected individuals.
Following public revelations that State entities were raided in an elaborate kleptocracy that cost the State billions of Rands, the general public wanted those who stole from the public purse to be arrested and face justice. As it has become almost like tradition in this country, the powers that be opted to appoint a commission of inquiry, rather than briefing the law enforcement agencies to pursue justice.
The commission will run for two years. This is the most effective way of calming down society, or blunting the anger of the people. It is not possible to be angry for two years. After two years, we would have moved on to another crisis and the matter of State Capture would no longer be making headlines.
We have been here before. Following persistent reports of alleged corruption in the multi-billion Rands arms deal, a commission of inquiry was appointed. The Seriti Commission sat for a very long period and at the end found that there was no evidence of corruption. This is despite the fact that at least two people were convicted on criminal offences related to the arms deal.
We have to see the appointment of the commission as a tactic to create an impression that the new administration is serious about fighting corruption. There are serious allegations of fraud and corruption that are in the public arena with regard to State Capture. If the government was sincere about this matter as it would have the public believe, it should instruct the law enforcement agencies to do their work. If the law enforcement agencies could do their work effectively, without fear or favour, they should be able to identify those who committed criminal acts and arrest them.
If that were to be done, the government would be sending a clear message that corruption would not be tolerated. This would create a culture of accountability and serve as a deterrent to others who have ideas of stealing from the public purse. But for now, the government is failing to walk the anti-corruption talk.
The Zondo Commission will be another forum for calming the nerves of the population which is tired of corruption.
AFRIKAN KINGS AND QUEENS ARE NOT CHIEFS
From the time of its founding 50 years ago, the Black Consciousness Movement anchored its political approach and strategy on the originality of the Afrikan way of life. The solutions to Afrikan problems were to be sought from within the Afrikan way of life. In the waging of the Azanian Revolution for Land Reconquest and Total Liberation, the BC philosophy stressed the political values of Self-Reliance, Self-Definition, Self-Initiative, Self-Assertiveness and Self-Determination. That is how the leadership of white liberals was kicked out of the Black organisations during the heydays of the BCM in the 1960s and 1970s. The political statement “Black man you are on your own” was a rallying call by the BCM to all Black people and their organisations to realise that “we are our own liberators”.
The Founding Father of the BCM, Steve Biko, warned Black people about how the white racists sought to distort their history and disable Afrikan culture:
In all aspects of the black-white relationship, now and in the past, we see a constant tendency by whites to depict blacks as of an inferior status. Our culture, our history and indeed all aspects of the black man’s life have been battered nearly out of shape in the great collision between the indigenous values and the Anglo-Boer culture.
Recently, the IFP wrote to President Ramaphosa protesting against his referring to iNkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi as a “Chief”. This organisation insisted that its leader was not a “Chief”, but a “Prince”. They were right in their echoing of what AZAPO and the BCM have always made clear in the past number of decades.
The Eastern Cape Traditional Leaders weighed in and rejected the title “Chief” as “improper, insulting and degrading”. To his credit, Nkosi Phathekile Holomisa is on record as having consistently rejected the racist label.
The concept of “Chiefs” is as foreign as it was colonialist and racist. It was imposed by the British colonialists during the 18th and 19th centuries on every land they colonised. They did this to protect the British Traditional Authority and distinguish it as superior over all those of their “subjects”. The titles “King” and “Queen” were preserved for the exclusive address to the British Traditional Leaders. All the Monarchs of the colonised lands and nations were to be referred to as “Chiefs”, while their Kings and Queens were to be reduced to “Paramount Chiefs”.
The British colonialists did not end there. They disqualified rightful Afrikan Kings and Queens they regarded as revolutionary and replaced them with obedient and corrupt “Chiefs”. As a result, Black people have been plunged in a mess that has caused instability, social strife and suffering.
Not surprisingly, the ruling party so love this colonial and racist insult that they proudly call one another “Chief”. While obedient “colonial subjects” may be forgiven for calling one another as “Chief”, but Ramaphosa should have known that the Traditional Leadership Governance Framework Act 2003 did away with the racist address of “Chief” and replaced it with Inkosi, Nkosi or Morena.
It is in the same vein that the BCM rejected colonial labels like “Bantu” and “Coloured” and collectively defined the Azanian struggling masses as nothing else but Black people.
SOUTH AFRICA GOVERNMENT SHAKEN BY A TWEET
Just a Tweet from a lazy couch potato threw South Africa into a mayhem. The government was anxious and having expensive hastily arranged consultations to discuss and develop strategy over this Tweet. Since when was a country so scared of a Tweet as if it was just missed by a nuclear weapon?
This particular Tweet was from the madman Donald Trump. He had been watching his favourite conservative American Fox News when his favourite white supremacist TV host Tucker Carlson accused South Africa of, among other things, changing its constitution to “seize white land”.
Without checking the facts, or relying on intelligence briefings, Trump took to Tweeter and Tweeted that he had “asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers” taking place in South Africa.
The Freedom Front Plus has jumped up and down with joy thanking Trump for the Tweet. That was to be expected. Buddies of the same flop Tweet together.
The government was busy trying to engage the American Embassy for clarity on the Trump Tweet. The ANC-led government is finding itself having to duck and dive away from their imperialist masters’ Tweet blows for something they know nothing about. As a matter of fact, the ruling party does not stand for the Repossession of the Land because its Freedom Charter makes it clear that “South Africa belongs to all who live in it”. It does not believe even in the strategy of Expropriation of Land Without Expropriation.
The ruling party was caught wrong-footed by its Parliamentary opponents who used the Land Reform to blackmail it out of electoral advantage. The ruling party opted for the easy way out by out-singing and out-dancing its opponents on the land expropriation tune even though it did not believe in the lyrics of the song. The audience was beginning to like them for their electoral singing and dancing skills. Now Trump wants them to account for the lyrics they did not mean nor understand.
To start with, there is no “white land” in Azania. This is the Land of Black people. White people stole the land from Black people. They robbed our Land at gun point from our forebears. For the umpteenth time, AZAPO reiterates its principle that Azanians will not buy back our Land from those who stole it. We will not buy stolen property. The only way to deal with land dispossession is Land Repossession.
AZAPO calls upon the frivolous politicians to stop using the Land Question for electioneering. The Land is a serious matter. As the great Azanian poet Ingoapele Madingoane once put it; “Afrika my beginning, Afrika my ending”. Azania or Afrika is our only home as Black people. We have no dual citizenship.
PATRIOTISM IS A POWERFUL TOOL
Vietnamese anti-imperialist and revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh was once asked to comment on how his small country, without any really sophisticated firepower, managed to resist and repel the invasion and aggression of the strongest army in the world – the United States. His answer was simple. “Do not smile when I tell you this. Our greatest weapon is nationalism. To have nationhood, which is a sign of maturity, is greater than any weapon in the world”.
Many of our country’s problems can be traced to the reality that we as a people lack nationalism, or patriotism. Many of us are not patriotic. We do not have that consuming love for our country and its people.
Some analysts have argued that the reason many Black people are not patriotic is because they do not have a sense of ownership of the country. After all, the land is still occupied and owned by a minority white tribe. Commercial farms are owned, almost exclusively, by members of this minority white tribe. Many of the affluent areas such as George, Stellenbosch, Camps Bay and Knysna are largely dominated by the minority white tribe. In Cape Town and in Pretoria, Black people still have to make do with symbols of apartheid and white supremacy in the form of statues of the leaders and architects of apartheid. State buildings still largely represent the past of racial oppression of Black people. Little wonder that Black people do not feel connected to South Africa. They still perceive the country as the “white man’s country”.
This lack of ownership and dearth of patriotism explains why many of our people find it so easy to destroy state property. When a train is running late, train commuters get so agitated that they burn it. When there is a protest over lack of service, public facilities such as libraries, schools and roads get destroyed. The problem goes deeper. Many of our people who are in the civil service have no sense of duty to serve the people and the country. Everybody complains about poor service in the public sector but nobody is prepared to confront the elephant in the room – we lack patriotism.
To print and read the pdf version, please click here ⇒ AZAPO Voice Volume 1 Issue Number 26
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