JUNE 16TH UPRISING MUST NOT BE FORGOTTEN
It has become an annual ritual. Every year on the 16th of June, we look back to the 1976 generation of brave students who changed the cause of history. This is important as we continue with our battle against forgetting.
Some of us have this past weekend visited the various shrines of our liberation struggle including the Hector Pieterson Memorial Site in Orlando West and the graves of struggle heroes such as Tsietsi Mashinini and Kgotso Seatlholo. AZAPO, the custodian of the Black Consciousness philosophy which inspired the youth to defy the odds and braved the might of the apartheid State machinery with their bare hands, held various gatherings throughout the country to ensure that the legacy of the June 76 generation is not forgotten.
For the record, the contribution of the June 1976 generation to our liberation struggle cannot be over-emphasised. The Soweto uprisings were the culmination of political work and mass mobilisation of Black people and Black youth in particular, by BC organisations such as the South African Student Movement (SASM), the South African Student Organisation (SASO) and Black People’s Convention (BPC).
These BC organisations filled a political vacuum that had been created by the banning of the African National Congress and the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania following the Sharpeville massacre in 1960. Following the Soweto student uprisings, which soon affected the rest of the country, tens of thousands of young people left the country. In exile, many of these BC adherents joined the ANC and the PAC as there was no organised BC formation outside the country at the time. Others remained outside the two organisations and later formed their own organisation, the Black Consciousness Movement of Azania (BCMA). Some of the key leaders of the BCMA include AZAPO Honorary President Mosibudi Mangena, current AZAPO President Strike Thokoane and Skaap Motsau, who was Secretary for Defence and in charge of the military wing, the Azanian National Liberation Army (AZANLA).
Fast forward to today. The youth of today have different struggles. On paper, the country is free. There is democracy and people are free to choose their leaders. However, the primary objectives of the liberation struggle – the return of the land from the descendants
of the European settlers to the Black majority and the transfer of the ownership of the economy and wealth – remain unresolved.
The majority of young people do not have jobs. Many of them are struggling with social issues such as HIV and AIDS, drug abuse and are trapped in violent crime.
Our schools are increasingly becoming crime scenes as learners carry lethal weapons to school and use them on their fellow learners and even on their teachers. There is now a misguided debate on whether teachers should not carry arms when they go to schools.
The anarchy that has engulfed our schools is testimony that our country requires a dose of Black Consciousness. Some may ask, how can BC solve the crisis in our country? Over the centuries of apartheid and colonial rule, Black people have been made to feel inferior. They began to believe and act as inferior beings. They internalised self-hatred and attached very little value to Black life.
At its core, BC says to Black people that they are not inferior to anybody and that they should believe in themselves. They should love themselves and hence the call “Black is beautiful”. They should believe that they alone are responsible for any improvement in their lives hence the call “Black man, you are on your own”.
When Black people have been baptized with BC, not only will they love themselves and value their lives but they will also love other Black people and also value their lives. Black people will become each other’s keeper. They will revive the spirit of Ubuntu among themselves and extend the bond of unity among Black people.
When our children observe the unity that we share among ourselves as Black people, they are unlikely to arm themselves with knives and guns when they go to school. They are unlikely to attack each other in schools.
The BC philosophy will empower Black people to want to be independent. Black people would be inspired to work towards their economic freedom by establishing their own companies, creating employment for other Black people and contributing to poverty reduction. Poverty is the biggest contributor to the lowering of the dignity of Black people. And as the economic status of many Black people improves, more and more Black people would break out of the life of crime and other social ills.
The knives and guns in schools are only symptoms of a bigger social ill. BC is the cure for these ills because it infuses Black people with hope and the confidence that they should not only survive but should create conditions to thrive and enjoy high quality life.
POWERED BE THY NAME, HASTINGS NDLOVU
As we remember the Martyrs of the June 16 Uprisings, we dare not forget Hastings Ndlovu.
The world was made to see and feel Black Pain through the lenses of the legendary Black journalist Sam Nzima, which captured the bullet-wounded and dying young Hector Pieterson.
There were no such cameras to document the murdering on the blindside of the struggle. Cameras may have missed the pain and dying of Hastings, our memories captured the moment. That moment is registered in the book of the Azanian Revolution.
Hastings is registered in history as the young boy who took the first bullet of the Black Power era Uprisings.
Their death is not different from the death of other Black people. Being shot at first, or dying first should not be a distinguishing factor among our struggle martyrs. Everyone who was murdered, died.
The death of Hastings and Hector is no different from the perpetual disappearance of Mbuyisa Makhubu who carried the dying body of the young Hector.
As we remember them, we also remember their leaders in Tsietsi Mashinini and Khotso Seatlholo.
PRESIDENTIAL HAND IN THE COOKIE JAR
AZAPO raised eyebrows when it surfaced that President Ramaphosa’s campaign to become the President of his organisation was funded to the tune of R500 000 by a dubious company involved in corruption at the high level of State Capture.
The notorious company is Bosasa, about which its former executive Agrizzi exposed a lot of corruption that also implicated the ruling party and its leaders. Agrizzi revealed to the State Capture Commission chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Zondo that the corrupt company bankrolled the political activities of the ruling party to the tune of millions of rand. The public heard evidence of how that company “captured” the ruling party and bribed its leaders to facilitate the looting of public resources.
It came as a big surprise to the public – not AZAPO – that the “Thuma Mina” man was sending himself to receive money from a dubious company that had already captured a great number of his comrades. It raises curiosity as to what did the corrupt Bosasa expect to gain; or what was it promised by Thuma Mina.
Ramaphosa has reportedly replied to the letter of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and requested to cross-examine a number of witnesses that Mkhwebane interviewed as part of her investigation against him. The witnesses include Mmusi Maimane and Floyd Shivambu who lodged the complaint against Ramaphosa.
Media reports say that Mkhwebane’s preliminary report found Thuma Mina guilty of “inadvertently and deliberately misleading” parliament about the Bosasa dirty money. The word “misleading” is a polite way of saying Ramaphosa lied to the people.
We are told that the Ramaphosa’s CR17 desperate campaign raised about R200 million! If the ruling party’s leader can receive so much money from the capitalists for a supposedly private campaign, how much more are the capitalists giving the ruling party when it campaigns to cling on to power “until Jesus returns”?
The Bosasa dirty money was exposed in Parliament on the 18 November 2018 when Ramaphosa was shown a signed affidavit by Bosasa former auditor Peet Venter. The affidavit claimed that Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson gave instructions that the dirty money be paid to the Andile Ramaphosa Foundation on October 2017. That would mean that the dirty money would travel on a detour road to the CR17 campaign. That sounds like corruption and money laundering.
Having heard that it was said the dirty money was paid via his son’s businesses, Ramaphosa stood up and reassuringly urged the nation to relax because the donation money went to his son; and that he had rigorously questioned his son over the cleanness of the dirty money and was assured by his son that all was well. He boastingly added that he did that because he would have taken his son to the police if there was foul play in the transactions. In the afternoon of the same day, Ramaphosa’s son contradicted him and said he knew nothing about the dirty money. That obviously meant that either the father or the son was lying. They could not both be right.
What Ramaphosa did not know, or pretended not to know, when he was answering in Parliament was that those who concluded that the proof of payment implicated his son were mistaken.
A few days afterwards, the media’s digging discovered that the owner of the bank on the proof of payment was a Sandton law firm Eldelstein Farber Grobler. The dirty money was actually sent to the CR17 campaign via this law firm. Once the media directed its enquiries to this law firm, Ramaphosa sent a letter to the Public Protector purporting to correct the mistake he made in Parliament.
If the contents of the preliminary report are anything to go by, then Thuma Mina is in serious trouble because the Public Protector is not impressed by his conduct; nor was the public. He owes the people an honest answer as to how could he be so sure that he had spoken to his son who confirmed that he (the son) was the recipient of the dirty money. The man claimed in Parliament that he spoke “at close range” with his son about this matter and received incontrovertible assurances that the son was the beneficiary of the Bosasa R500 000.
Presumably, the father knows his son, and can therefore not be mistaken as to the identity of his son. He owes the nation an explanation and something more, because if he lied to Parliament, the Constitution must be thrown at him. This nation deserves a morally upright leader. And it does not look like there is one to be found in the ruling party. The way things go, it is like Zuma was replaced with another Zuma. As they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
To show that Ramaphosa is in a tight corner, he requested for an extension for the submission of his response to the Public Protector’s preliminary report. He has now been given until 21 June to comply, after which the report may be made final.
The nation is waiting.
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To print and read the pdf version, please click here ⇒ AZAPO Voice Volume 2 Issue Number 22
ONE AZANIA ! ONE NATION !