AZAPO REGISTERS FOR THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY AND ALL 9 PROVINCES
It might sound trite, but given the high number of fly-by-night parties claiming that they would participate in the National and Provincial Elections in May this year, it is appropriate to state that the Azanian People’s Organisation (AZAPO) has registered to contest elections – both in the National Assembly and in all the 9 Provincial Legislatures.
And with Elections only 6 weeks away, AZAPO is constantly being asked by the media and political commentators; “What is it that you will do differently this time to change your fortunes for the better?” Some of these self-appointed experts on AZAPO even venture to suggest “perhaps it is time for AZAPO to change its message so that the party can attract more voters.”
This past weekend, AZAPO held its Central Committee meeting in Johannesburg. The Central Committee focused on Elections. The leadership of AZAPO spent a lot of time on the type of message that should be taken to the voters in the run-up to Elections. The Central Committee members were unanimous in their position that there is no need for AZAPO to change its message because it remains relevant and true.
Just to illustrate the sentiments of the leadership, if you are a crusader for the gospel of Jesus Christ and you keep preaching to people to repent and follow Jesus, would you change the message because people are not receptive to the preaching? Of course, not. You might use other tactics to ensure that the message is well received but the content of the message will remain.
AZAPO has the same challenge. We have been consistent in saying that there is no alternative to the truth. AZAPO speaks the truth. AZAPO is the truth. And the truth is that the 1994 April Elections ushered in democracy, but failed to deliver economic freedom and particularly land. The struggle in occupied Azania has always been about land. 25 years after the dawn of democracy, most of the land remains in the hands and ownership of the minority white tribe.
For a long time, AZAPO has been alone in this space of calling for the return of the land to the dispossessed Black majority. Fortunately, virtually all political parties worth their salt have now embraced the call that land should be returned to Black people. We know that for many of these political parties, this is just a political gimmick to attract voters. We can single out the ruling party for its dismal performance on land reform. If the ruling party was sincere about returning land to Black people, it would have done that during the past 25 years of its rule.
We also know that the ruling party derives its position on land from the Freedom Charter – that infamous document which sold out Afrikans on the Land Question. Whereas the Afrikan liberation struggles throughout the Continent were about the reconquest of the land and the natural wealth, the Freedom Charter betrayed this position by stating that the land shall belong to all who work it. It is for this reason that the ruling party cannot be trusted with delivering land to Black people. After all, the party had 25 years to do that and failed dismally.
If you have been agitating for something, and suddenly your rival sees the light and embraces your position, you do not change your position just to be different. That is why the Central Committee was adamant that the message of the return of the land to Black people as the main primary issue of this Election campaign should remain.
Whether you are talking about the building of houses for the millions of homeless people, you need land. Whether you talk about supporting emerging farmers so that you ensure the country’s food security and sovereignty, you need land for agriculture. Whether you talk about building more schools so that you can offer our children quality education in properly built schools and not under trees, you need land. Whether you talk about creating employment, you need firms that would have been built on land. Land is the most valuable economic asset. It was the primary source of conflict between the European settlers and the indigenous Afrikans. It still remains the primary source of conflict between the descendants of the European settlers and those of the indigenous Afrikans. There can be no real freedom without land.
While virtually all strands of the liberation movement and their off-shoots would talk about delivering land to the people, AZAPO offers something different. AZAPO offers the country Black Consciousness (BC).
Many of our problems, especially in failing to render basic services, stem from the fact that our people lack BC. When you have been baptised in BC, you respect yourself and other Black people. You love yourself and also love other Black people. If you are a conscious Black public servant in Home Affairs, you will be patriotic to give the best service to the people. If you are a conscious Black teacher, you will give the best quality education to our children and there would be no need for Black parents to smuggle their children into schools where teachers are white and resent Black kids. If you are a conscious Black nurse or medical doctor, the treatment you give to patients in public hospitals and clinics would be so good that there would be no need for Black people to pay huge amounts of money to white owned private hospitals.
There is no magic for the solutions to our country’s problems. The first step is to get a Conscious Black government into power. AZAPO will not change its message. We can only hope that our people will change their voting patterns and vote AZAPO – the only hope for Black people and the only real force for real change.
CORRUPTION ERODES DEMOCRACY AND DEVELOPMENT
South Africa is presently at a standstill because there are a handful of commissions of enquiry into corruption. The prominent ones are the Zondo, PIC and SARS Commissions. The PIC (Public Investment Corporation) Commission is investigating about R43 billion that has been looted through corruption.
The PIC is a State institution that manages over R2 trillion worth of assets on behalf of the public sector employees. It also invests on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund and four other State-run insurance institutions, which include the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and the Compensation Fund. These State resources have been compromised and looted. These are hard-earned monies of the people.
We have in the past heard, through yet another Commission, of the corruption that took place in the Arms Deal. The nation thought the State Capture by the Gupta family and the politicians of the ruling party was massive. It has since dawned upon the nation that such corruption was a picnic compared to the Steinhoff International corruption of which the PIC was the second largest investor. The Gupta and the VBS corruption scandals were soon dwarfed by the Bosasa grand corruption, which mainly involves the ANC and its leaders. Gavin Watson, the owner of Bosasa, is himself a veteran leader of the ruling party.
What has not been made clear to the citizens, is that all these commissions are investigating corruption by the ruling party and its leaders against the State. Instead of committing resources to grow the economy and develop Black people who have been oppressed and marginalised for hundreds of years, the ruling politicians steal those State resources. As a result, the economy is being run to the ground; and the chronic poverty of Black people is being worsened as we are told that about 60% of the population is poor.
Transparency International Secretariat published its 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) in January 2019. The 2018 CPI measured public sector corruption in 180 countries. Each country was given a score from zero (highly corrupt) to 100 ((very clean). More than two thirds of countries scored below 50.
Of interest to us are the conclusions drawn by Transparency International from this study. Managing Director Patricia Moreira makes a connection between corruption and democracy:
“With many democratic institutions under threat across the globe – often by leaders with authoritarian or populist tendencies – we need to do more to strengthen checks and balances and protect citizen’ rights. Corruption chips away at democracy to produce a vicious cycle, where corruption undermines democratic institutions and, in turn, weak institutions are less able to control corruption”.
South Africa scored 43 points out of 100. This tells you that Moreira could be talking about South where she explains how democracy is undermined by corruption that weakens and destroys institutions, while those institutions end up being unable to fight corruption. In South Africa we have witnessed the destruction of the crime-busting Scorpions and the disempowerment of the National Prosecution Authority (NPA). We have also seen the weakening of many important State institutions through cadre deployment by the ruling party.
If the people did not know who is responsible for their miseries in this country, they now know. That knowledge is complete without knowing who can rescue them from that misery. There is nobody else, but AZAPO that can rescue them from their misery. However, AZAPO needs their votes to be in a position to change Azania for the better.
PARTY ELECTION LISTS GIVE VOTERS A MIDDLE FINGER
Yesterday was the deadline for political parties to submit their Lists and pay the Election registration fee. Apart from the Election Manifesto, political parties communicate their seriousness about addressing the plight of the voters by the quality of the candidates in their Lists.
The ruling party has once again clearly communicated its intention to the voters through its List. Prominent in that List are names like Bathabile Dlamini, Malusi Gigaba, Nomvula Mokonyane, Mosebenzi Zwane, Pule Mabe, Zizi Kodwa and many others whose names have question marks. Jacob Zuma and Yengeni have declined nomination onto the List even though the ruling party had shown confidence in their leadership and general conduct.
Who are these candidates that the voters are asked to put their future in their hands? Apart from coming from Nkandla like Jacob Zuma, Bathabile Dlamini is a scandals-ridden leader of the ANC. While she was a Member of Parliament, in 2006 she was charged and found guilty for defrauding the taxpayers through what was known as the Travelgate. She misused travel vouchers to the tune of R245 000 in fraudulent travel claims. In recent years, she was associated with the SASA scandal which led to a series of undermining and blackmailing the Constitutional Court to validate an unconstitutional contract between SASA and a white foreign company Cashpay Masters Services (CPS). The court ruled that she lied under oath, and was slapped with an order to personally pay 20% of her legal costs. She also had to appear before SCOPA for an irregular R1 billion spending by SASA.
Like Dlamini, Malusi Gigaba is a disgraced politician who was found by the Public Protector to have violated the Constitution and the Executive Ethics Code by lying under oath. The Public Protector went further and asked for appropriate action to be taken by President Ramaphosa who promised the South African citizens to bring about a “New Dawn” by removing corrupt elements from governance institutions. Gigaba made it public that he was going nowhere, and dared “Thuma Mina” to act against him. Indeed, Thuma Mina developed cold feet and did not move even a finger towards disciplining Gigaba. It is only when he was advised by his dubious friends to resign to save his pension that Gigaba stepped down.
Mosebenzi Zwane and Nomvula Mokonyane have been fingered at the Zondo Commission as having been implicated in the Gupta and Bosasa corruption scandals. Yet the ruling party thinks these individuals of questionable characters are the best to protect the resources of the State and address the plight of the poor and the development of the voters.
Kodwa and Mabe are still facing alleged scandals of Rape and sexual harassment. The ruling party was found wanting in dealing with the case of sexual harassment because it does not have a policy on this crime against women. Yet the ruling party thought the women of South Africa are safe in the presence of the two men.
Less said about Jacob Zuma who is facing about 783 counts, the better. He is the one who destroyed State institutions and violated the Constitution under the direction and protection of the ANC. Yet the ruling party thought the future of the voters and State resources are in safe hands under this man.
Where is Thuma Mina and his “New Dawn” in all this? Ramaphosa has recently lied in Parliament in relation to the R500 000 donated to him by the corrupt Bosasa to win the ANC’s election as its president. It has now been revealed at the Zondo Commission that this Bosasa is the one that has been corruptly bankrolling the election campaigns of the ruling party for years in return for tenders. Why would this “dirty” company fund the rise of “Mr Clean” to the throne? To stop its dirty business? No ways.
Unlike the people who think the ANC has no regard for the voters and the development of this country, AZAPO takes the view that the ruling party is honest to its mission of corruption and running the country to the ground.
To print and read the pdf version, please click here ⇒ AZAPO Voice Volume 2 Issue Number 11
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ONE AZANIA ! ONE NATION !