AZAPO Voice Volume 2 Issue Number 27


There was a bizarre news report published in The Star on July 23 under the headline: Johann Rupert ‘trying to distort history on Biko’.

In the report, controversial Afrikaner billionaire Johann Rupert claims that he had established a relationship with Bantu Biko, the founding father of Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa.

The newspaper article, quoting from a book titled, The Stellenbosch Mafia: Inside the Billionaires’ Club, states that Rupert allegedly met Biko in 1970, while he was in Stellenbosch during a South African Students’ Organisation (Saso) conference. “Biko was in Stellenbosch to attend a conference of the Saso. I wanted to meet him and talk about his convictions and beliefs. We met one day and we continued talking until very late”.

“I told him that if I were a black man I would also be a Pan Africanist. I would also be a member of the PAC, not the ANC. We agreed that there could be no peace in the country unless there was a deal between white nationalists and black nationalists,” Rupert is quoted as saying in the book.

Then the newspaper report further states that Rupert’s utterances have angered the PAC, which through its president Narius Moloto has accused Rupert of trying to distort and rewrite history in his favour. Wow!

This report is extremely bizarre for many reasons. Firstly, SASO never held a conference in Stellenbosch. Professor Ranwedzi Harry Nengwekhulu was shocked when he heard the claim that a SASO conference was held in Stellenbosch. Nengwekhulu, who worked very closely with Biko at the time, is adamant that if there was such a conference, he would have known because he would have actively participated in its organising.

Another peculiar assertion in the report is the claim that Biko was a member of the PAC. As AZAPO, we can excuse Rupert of failing to distinguish between AZAPO and the PAC. But for Rupert to make the statement that “if I were black, I would also be PAC” means that Biko would have told him that he was a member of the PAC. That is plain nonsense. Biko was not just a member of the BCM aligned SASO, he was its leader. The only logical inference that can be drawn is that no such interaction happened.

It is also bizarre that Moloto, speaking on behalf of the PAC, creates an impression that Biko was a PAC member. Why? Everybody who has a basic understanding of our liberation history would know that Biko is as AZAPO just as Robert Sobukwe is PAC. Why try to “distort history in your favour” Comrade Moloto?

Another bizarre element in the newspaper story is the failure of the reporter to contact AZAPO on the matter. Surely when it comes to Biko, AZAPO is the authentic voice because AZAPO is the custodian of Biko’s legacy. Since his brutal murder in police detention by apartheid security police on September 12, 1977, AZAPO has ensured that every September 12, commemorations are held to honour Biko.

Many AZAPO members have been murdered, defending the ideas of Biko. Biko cannot be separated from AZAPO.

But why would Rupert claim that he had a relationship with Biko? We can only speculate. Biko has impeccable revolutionary credentials. He was the best that the Azanian revolution has produced. He is an icon of Black pride. He is the ultimate voice of the Black revolution in this country. He is the undisputed champion of mental freedom for Black people. Biko is a symbol of Black power.

And what about Rupert? He is the symbol of ill-gotten white wealth acquired through land dispossession, colonialism and apartheid. He is the symbol of white power. He is a symbol of white wealth. He is the ultimate exhibit of the success of settler-colonialism for the Afrikaners.

Given his profile, what does he need to do to shed off the offensive whiteness and gain political acceptance in the eyes of the majority in neo-colonial South Africa? He must fashion himself as part of those who fought against apartheid. And what better proof that you fought against apartheid than to fake a relationship with Biko, our revolutionary icon.

If Rupert has indeed gone through the Damascus experience and has seen the light and wants history to remember him as one of those few Afrikaners who were on the side of the oppressed, he must do more than claim a relationship with Biko. Rupert is extremely rich and powerful. He can use his wealth and power to lead the process of atonement of white people for their apartheid sins. This process has to be much more than just an admission that apartheid was wrong and that it was a crime against humanity. The process must be accompanied by real action. One such action would be to support the repossession of the land from whites to Black people. In Rupert’s case, he would have to give a sizable portion of his family wealth to the State to promote wealth redistribution. After all, the struggle was not just for the right to vote but for land and wealth repossession.

If Rupert can do these things, maybe we might be convinced that Biko has influenced him from the grave.


Under its policy of policing and bullying the world, the US is out to ensure that the countries it considers as its enemies do not possess nuclear weapons.

The US is doing this unilateral policing with a bias that is guided by its interest. It claims to work on the basis of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which is simply known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT.

The NPT was negotiated between 1965 and 1968 by the Eighteen Nation Committee on Disarmament in Geneva, Switzerland.

The main elements of the NPT were to ensure that there was no further proliferation of nuclear weapons, while attempts would be made to persuade the nuclear countries towards disarmament. Meanwhile, the right to peaceful use of nuclear technology would be protected and encouraged. 

The imposing power of Iran in the Middle East was troubling the US, which had a duty to protect its Zionist isolated ally Israel. US President Barack Obama opted for persuasion rather than hostility against Iran. In 2015 the US led the western powers to clinch a Nuclear Deal with Iran. The countries were the US, UK, Russia, France, Germany, China and the EU.

Five of these nations are declared Nuclear Countries. They are the US, UK, Russia, France and China. These are countries that weaponised their nuclear before the conclusion of the NPT.

The US was the first country to develop nuclear weapons during World War II. It tested them in 1945. The US did this out of fear that Nazi Germany would develop them first. With the nuclear weapons in its hands, the US tightened its security and its threat to destroy any country that threatened its interests.

In the era of the Cold War, that put Russia in a disadvantaged position. Threatened by the urge that the US had over it, Russia moved with speed and tested its own nuclear weapons 4 years after the US in 1949. Threatened by Russia’s security advantage, the UK and France tested their nuclear weapons in 1952 and 1960, respectively. China followed suit in 1964.

These are the countries that the US mobilised to contain Iran’s appetite for the weaponisation of its nuclear technology. As we pointed out earlier on, the US did this to protect its ally Israel. It also did so because it could not tolerate the increase of nuclear powers that are hostile to it. That would undermine its bullying position in world politics. 

The Nuclear Deal had a commitment that sanctions would be lifted if Iran complied with the terms of the deal. The withdrawal of Iran’s oil from the world market was not only hitting Iran, it also caused scarcity and drove the oil prices higher. 

Enter Donald Trump who was bent on undoing every Obama gain. Trump wasted no time in pulling out of the Nuclear Deal, thereby violating the terms of the deal. Yet the US pulled out and blamed Iran, while it re-imposed sanctions on Iran. It was also clear that the US was under the influence of Israel whose President Benjamin Netanyahu held the view that the Nuclear Deal “would not block Iran’s path to the bomb; it would pave it”.

Other countries with nuclear weapons are India, Pakistan and North Korea. These countries have declared their nuclear status through the open testing of their nuclear weapons. Israel is another country that has nuclear weapons. The difference with Israel is that it has kept its nuclear status under cover. That has placed it in a position where it is able to avoid any punitive attention, while it benefits from the security of possession.

Nobody pays attention to the irony of a nuclear power like Israel demanding that its neighbour Iran be destroyed through sanctions for possessing a capability to develop nuclear weapons. 

The EU countries were clear that they would not be bullied by the US. They stood a lot to lose by pulling out of the Nuclear Deal. Countries like Germany were already big trading partners with Iran. The arbitrary sanctions were not helping these countries. And so, they devised a facility through which Iran could trade with them by bypassing the dollar.

Faced with this frustration, the US escalated war talk against Iran and provoked it by flying a technologically sophisticated drone in the Iran skies. Iran shot it down with the technological capability and precision that shocked the US and the world. It was then that they realised that they had all along underestimated Iran. It was more powerful than they thought.  They had mistakenly thought that Iran would not have the capabilities to bring that drone down.

The analysis of that Iran threat forced the US to abort its retaliation mission against Iran. At the beginning of this month, the US puppet UK seized an Iran oil tanker Grace 1 in the Strait of Gibraltar under the accusation that it was ferrying 2.1 million barrels of crude oil to Syria in violation of European sanctions. 

Iran flexed its muscles by seizing a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. This is an important oil shipping route. Iran’s advantage is that it enjoys geographical proximity to the route.

It is becoming increasingly clear to the US that Iran has an ace up its sleeve. On the other hand, the world powers seem to have no appetite for a third World War that Trump is busy provoking.

The nuclear countries, which have not signed the NPT, believe that the manoeuvres by the NPT nuclear powers to strip other countries of nuclear capabilities is designed to denude others of security to weaken them to toe the bullying line by the US. 

This is what countries like North Korea are resisting. In its Nuclear Summit with the US, North Korea indicated that it was prepared to denuclearise only if the US would do the same. That is how the negotiations deadlocked.

The countries of the world should strengthen their resolve to diminish the unipolar world under the bullying of the US. Multilateralism is the world system that must be promoted. That is why the development of China and Russia to world power status that is threatening to surpass the US might in the march of time is welcome.

In line with multilateralism that hold as sacrosanct the sovereignty and self-determination of nations, the world governance system of the United Nations needs to be transformed.


Convicted white supremacist Penny Sparrow has died of colon cancer. In 2016 Sparrow was found guilty of “hate speech” by the Equality Court after referring to Black beachgoers as “illiterate monkeys”. 

She was ordered to pay R150 000 to the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation. The Foundation correctly rejected what it called “racist money”.

The ANC-led government has reduced white racism to “hate speech” that is punishable by a court order to pay a few shillings. The logic here is that racists do not become racists until they make “hate speech” outbursts.

This is nothing but another ploy to let white racists and land thieves off the hook.

AZAPO does not believe institutionalised racism can be eradicated through litigation. Racism is a function of power. 

White people still enjoy economic power, which ensures that they monopolise the wealth to the exclusion of the majority of Black people.

On the other hand, Black people are subjected to landlessness, abject poverty and an association with shacks. Whites who refer to Black people as monkeys are genuine. And nothing is going to change their genuine attitude if the conditions of Black people remain the same even under a democratic dispensation.

White racists will be clever enough not to make any outbursts, in which cases they would avoid court cases. With a zero conviction rate by the Equality Court, statisticians and the politicians will be boasting about how racism has been successfully eradicated. How stupid!

White racism is a power-based system that is connected with the landlessness of Black people. It will take the reconquest of the land and the radical redistribution of the wealth to restore Black people’s dignity and uproot white racism.

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