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AZAPO Voice Volume 1 Issue Number 31

AV31


AZAPO SALUTES BC STALWART CDE MOKODITOA

In the early hours of this morning, an Azanian Revolutionary of note and BC Stalwart Advocate Madibeng Chris Mokoditoa took his final rest at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg.  He would be turning 80 on 3 November 2018.

He was one of the founding members of the Black Consciousness Movement, and served as the General Secretary of the University Christian Movement, which was formed in 1967.  That was one organisation that was instrumental in the ultimate formation of the South African Students Organisation (SASO), a pioneer organisation of the BCM.  He belonged to the BC forerunners who put white liberals in their place, and in the process liberated black thought and initiative by restoring their organic relationship with the Black Condition.  He was part of that brave and heroic regiment of young Black people who defeated the grip of fear instilled by the brutality of the white power structure against Black people.

As a student at the University of Fort Hare with Cdes like Hlaku Kenny Rachidi and Barney Pityana, he was in the original lot that grappled with the initial conceptualisation and framework of the Black Consciousness philosophy.  It is that wealth of political activism that pointed at him as the one qualified to be the inaugural Vice President of the Black People’s Convention (BPC) under the Presidency of Mme Motlalepula Winnie Kgware.

He held a LLB and Master of Laws degree.  Because his professional legal work placed him in the forefront of fighting for the rights of Black people, it naturally followed that he would be one of those earmarked for a banning order alongside Steve Biko in 1973.  His banning order was one of the longest as a result of being continually renewed to the extent that he could not actively participate in activities to form AZAPO even though he was there.  Once the opportunity availed itself, he served as the Head of AZAPO Legal Secretariat for a long time.  He represented AZAPO in its legal matters, and the AZANLA cadres in their court appearances.  Cde Mokoditoa also represented communities in Mpumalanga in their Land Claims matters.

In 2005 he served as the Chairperson of the Special Pensions Appeal Board.

Three former AZAPO Presidents expressed shock at the departure of Cde Mokoditoa.

Prof Saths Cooper, his former colleague in the inaugural BPC National Executive Committee, said Cde Mokoditoa was “a quiet inspiration, principled, steadfast in his beliefs; he was the backbone of BPC when the regime decimated the BC leadership in SASO and BPC”.  Cooper noted that “this has been a year of sad losses, which is a stark jolt to our mortality”.   He said Azanians “are indebted to his numerous contributions”.

Said Dr Mosibudi Mangena, another of Cde Mokoditoa’s inaugural BPC leadership: Mokoditoa “has been a rock in the struggle for freedom since his student days – steady, solid, dependable and unshakeable.  We served together in the first BPC executive led by Motlalepula Kgware as our President and Mokoditoa as her Deputy. We served together many more years in AZAPO.

One more BC Stalwart and former SASO President Cde Pandelani Nefolovhodwe said, “I will miss Cde Mokoditoa dearly, he was my Comrade-in-Arms, my revolutionary role model and friend.  As a lawyer he defended many BC Cadres, His dedication and commitment to the freedom of Black People was never in doubt”.

AZAPO conveys its heartfelt condolences to the Mokoditoa family and relatives.

Cde Mokoditoa will be laid to rest on Friday, 5th October 2018 at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 568 Sehlabo Street, Molapo, Soweto.


MBEKI EXPOSES ANC’S HYPOCRISY

Former President Thabo Mbeki is generally believed to be straightforward at the risk of jeopardising his popularity.  In that sense, he is not a populist that plays to the gallery.  Put differently, he is not a classical politician who can easily read the mood of his audience and tell them what he believes they want to hear.

In a leaked 30-page “pamphlet, Mbeki warns his organisation against pushing PR or tactical posturing to the “level of principle”.  He stresses the point that “land expropriation without compensation” is foreign to the ANC; and that it is nothing more than “a tactical and operational matter and should not be raised to the level of principle and strategic importance, as has happened”.  Mbeki is revealing that the radical-sounding rhetoric was supposed to have been adopted as nothing more than some tactical posturing to fool the public and the voters into believing that the ANC was serious in resolving the Land Question.

It is probably because of this emotionless approach to politics that led to Mbeki attacking his party, the ANC, on its current position on land.  Mbeki has blasted the ruling party for “framing” the land debate on race.  He further accused the party of deviating from its core-values adding that the ANC was no longer a representative of the people.

A few months ago, former ANC National Chairperson Mosioua Terror Lekota made a similar accusation, challenging the ANC to state what it meant by the phrase “our people”.  Lekota was arguing that the ANC could not justify its new position of “expropriating land without compensation” and giving it to the landless Black people.

It was easy to dismiss Lekota.  After all, he is now dismissed as an ANC renegade that cannot claim to be the best champion of the views of the party that he has deserted to form his own party, the Congress of the People (COPE).

But Mbeki’s DNA is ANC.  Even when the party gave him all the legitimate reasons to jump ship when the Zuma-led NEC unceremoniously recalled him as the President of the Republic, Mbeki remained within the ANC.  It is obvious that Mbeki is concerned about his party moving away from its core-values of multi-racialism; and from its position that the land “belongs to all who live in it, black and white”.  The ANC position does not make a distinction between the Blacks who were robbed of their land and the white land robbers.

It is understandable that the ANC would suddenly use radical language, talking about Land robbery that was committed by whites.  This is not the official ANC position.  These are gimmicks designed to counter the EFF’s equally populist position on Land.

The “expropriation of land without compensation” may be a fashionable political statement, but it cannot be reconciled with the Freedom Charter.  When the Afrikanists, led by Mangaliso Sobukwe, left the ANC to form the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania in 1959, their main issue was the ANC’s adoption of the Freedom Charter that failed to make a distinction between the Afrikans as the land owners and the descendants of Europeans as the land invaders.  For the PAC and AZAPO, the objective of the struggle has always been about the Repossession of the Land that was lost through colonial conquest.

Mbeki is sincere in calling on his party to return to its core-values.  But he is failing to appreciate that the ANC has an election to fight next year.  Our people have been without land for far too long, even after they attained the right to vote.  What the ANC may not be frank about is that the sudden radical but empty talk is all about getting votes.  The ANC has been ruling for about a Quarter of a Century or 25 years.  And it enjoyed more than two-thirds majority in parliament in some terms.  If it had wanted to change the Constitution, it would have done that by now.

We can only hope that our people can see through these election gimmicks and accept that not much will change in the quality of their lives in the next Quarter of a Century.  The voters will have to take responsibility that it is they that give the ANC the mandate to play with their lives.


GLOBALISATION OF RACISM AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE

A video that has gone viral in the social media, depicting a small group of Chinese men beating up an African man to a pulp because he was dating a Chinese woman is yet another proof that Black people are victims of racism throughout the globe.  According to reports, the man, who was brutally assaulted, died of his injuries. His sin was dating a Chinese woman, according to the reports circulating in the social media.

The racist attack on the Black man should be condemned without any qualifications.  It was a savage act carried out by senseless brutes.  We can only hope that the racists will be brought to book to ensure that justice is done.  But as Black people we should use this act of cowardice and worst act of inhumanity to mankind to remind ourselves that racism is a global phenomenon.  That man was attacked because of his skin.  Had he been white, those racists would not have had difficulty in his dating of a Chinese woman.

The Black man could have been a billionaire, but his economic status would not have saved him.  He was convicted by the racists of being black.  Across the globe, being black is associated with poverty and second class status.  In many countries, Black people are predominantly found in the poorer and lower classes of society.

If this situation is to change, Black people must first realise that our collective dignity as Black people is indivisible.  We must establish and strengthen black solidarity across the globe so that the majority of us are economically empowered.  The reliance on other people for our welfare makes us to be vulnerable to the white supremacists of this world.  If we were to change the negative stereotype of being a hopeless people ready and willing to be exploited, by becoming masters of our own destiny, it would be harder for racists to target and victimise Black people.


THE XHOLOBENI COMMUNITY RESISTS THE RAPING OF OUR LAND

In the history of Afrikan slavery there is always the disturbing narration that some fellow Africans collaborated with either the Arabs or the Europeans to hunt down Afrikans for selling in the slave markets.  In the context of his time, Malcom X described the phenomenon with the distinction between the Field Nigger and the House Nigger.

Within the context of the anti-colonial or liberation struggles in Azania, elements who chose to fall on the side of the enemy against liberatory efforts of their own people were simply known as informants, sellouts or mpimpi.  These are the elements who, according to Steve Biko, lost their Blackness and had degenerated into being “non-whites”.

While the colonialists forcefully took the Afrikan mineral resources at gunpoint, they no longer need to be so backward and impolite in the neo-colonial dispensation in Azania.  “Non-whites” are in abundance to “legally” deliver our mines to the imperialists companies that go under nice terms like “multinational companies”.  That is how the Black workers were slaughtered under the instruction or simply by a supposedly democratic government voted for by the same Black workers who became unfortunate ingredients for the 2016 Marikana Massacre.  The ANC-led government committed the massacre to curry the affection and favour of LonMin – a London mining company.

In the Eastern Cape Wild Coast Region, or Xholobeni in Mbizana, the Black community is standing up for its rights in defence of its minerals and environment from being stolen and injured by a foreign Australian mining company called Transworld Energy and Mineral Resources (TEM).  The local people formed themselves into the Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC) in 2007 to resist the auctioning of the wealth, environment and dignity to foreigners by the government led by the ANC.  The Xholobeni area is said to be rich with the reserves amounting to 348.7 million tonnes of ore grading 5% Titanium.

The foreign mining company is proposing a short-term strip mining, which is not the long-term deep mining.  The Australian company and the ANC-led government are capitalising on the local high rate of unemployment and abject poverty.  The Department of Local Government says that 71.5% of the economically active population (15 – 65 years of age) are jobless; and that 88% of households in the region live below the minimum poverty level.  It is this poverty, according to the local community, that is being used to allegedly bribe Nkosi Lunga Baleni with material possession like a 4×4 vehicle paid for by the mining company.

The local resistance of the locals led to the Australian company threatening to pull out after the violence by the state and faceless forces failed to destroy the community backbone.  Local leaders like Sikhosiphi Bazooka Radebe were assassinated in 2016 by faceless mercenaries who hijacked a car and drove to Radebe’s place where they shot him 8 times.  The community lawyer Richard Spoor challenged the NPA to “unblock” the investigation into the case.  The lawyers cited an Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) report, which showed that the investigation was “sabotaged from inside the SAPS”.

In 2016 Minerals Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane imposed a moratorium on the Xholobeni mining.  Incumbent Minister Gwede Mantashe has on 23 September 2018 tried his charm to get the local community to succumb to allowing the white foreigners to “lay their sponges flat to suck the wealth of Africa my Beginning, Africa my Ending”.  He has also failed.

AZAPO urges the Amadiba community to be even stronger in their resistance to fight the auctioning of their land and wealth by the ANC-led government to foreign bidders.


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