QUEST TO DESTROY THE COLONIAL ARCHITECTURE OF THE ECONOMY
With national and provincial elections around the corner, various political parties have intensified their campaigns to attract voters. The emphasis may differ, but most parties are making similar promises to the voters. These include creation of jobs, fighting crime and corruption and better service delivery. The issue of land has also been thrown into the mix, but the dominant message regarding land is that people actually want houses and not necessarily land.
While addressing these issues would be a step in the right direction, AZAPO is of the view that virtually all these promises can only be effectively fulfilled if the colonial architecture of the economy is first destroyed. If we keep the current economic architecture as is, few years down the line our people will still be complaining, accusing politicians of betraying them and failing to honour the promises made during the election period.
This is fundamental. African-American revolutionary leader Malcolm X once said: “A cat can give birth in an oven. But those kittens are not biscuits.” This talks to the DNA issues. There is something more fundamental that determines the outcome or product than just the environment where the product would have been conceived and delivered.
Equally, Black people can assume the reigns of a colonial government but unless they deliberately temper its DNA, the programs of that Black-led government could still advance colonialism. The most potent weapon of colonialism, to paraphrase Bantu Biko, is the mind of the colonised. Under naked or traditional colonialism, the coloniser applied brutal force to subjugate the colonised to advance the interests of the colonial powers. But that is backward. Modern colonialism converts the colonised to be an active agent and defender of colonialism.
To simplify this matter, let us look at the land question. Colonialists came into our country, dispossessed the indigenous people of their land, removed them from the land and forced them to work on the mines. And later when we attained political freedom, and when our people demanded land, it is a section of the colonised, the “civilised” who have a better understanding of the economy who quickly pleaded against land repossession, saying “but Afrikans have neither skill nor capital” to exploit the land. The descendants of the European coloniser do not have to utter a word. It would be our own people who make impassioned pleas to allow the commercial farmers, read white, to continue to work the land so that thousands of jobs of farm labourers can be protected. Wow?
Many politicians, who are active agents of colonialism and imperialism, continue to structure the economy in such a manner that it would please the so-called foreign investor. If we discover any precious mineral, the first step is to go across the globe to find an investor who would essentially take all the wealth to Europe, America or Australia. With a weaker Rand, it would be cheaper to the investor with Pounds, Dollars or Euros to invest in anything from a mine to buying land and even property. When our currency is weak, we are told that we are an attractive destination for investment!
Millions of our people drive cars. Many of us are proud to drive German sedans. None of us ask the obvious question – why is it that there is no single South African-made car despite the fact that we are a huge market as part of the Afrikan continent? Why are we happy to assemble German cars and even Japanese cars in the country? It is not as if our country does not have the necessary technology to manufacture cars. The problem is that our political aristocrats are champions of colonialism and imperialism.
Imagine the number of jobs that the country could create if we were to make our own car. Many of the products that we use are imported. Many popular television brands, cell-phone brands and even types of food we daily consume are imported. As we import more, we reduce our ability as a country to create jobs and reduce poverty.
A couple of years ago, we invented the Joule, a battery-operated electric car which had the capacity to change our geo-political position on the continent and the world. But we simply abandoned this. Other countries have embraced the same technology and we will be importing electric cars from them in the not so distant future.
With all humility, the panacea for the colonial mentality is Black Consciousness (BC). At its most basic, BC calls on Black people to accept the reality that their destiny is in their hands. BC teaches us to rely on ourselves. It teaches us to cut the umbilical cord of colonialism. In fact, liberation means being free of the colonial master and the ability to shape one’s own destiny.
Just as an orange tree can never produce apples, an economy designed to serve the interests of colonialism can never serve the interests of the indigenous majority. We will keep on fighting one another for failing to grow the economy or failing to create jobs, because, we have not destroyed the colonial architecture of the economy.
It may seem daunting, but AZAPO calls on our people to support this custodian of BC in our fight for true liberation by destroying the colonial architecture of the economy. Once we embrace that objective, it would be logical to champion decolonised education.
SERVICE AND SACRIFICE IN THE EASTER TRADITION
This coming weekend is known as the Easter in the Christian community. It is characterised by the celebration of the belief that Jesus Christ was crucified on a Friday, and resurrected on Easter Sunday, three days later.
Of importance for AZAPO for the purposes of the liberation struggle are the themes of service and sacrifice this Easter.
We are told that Jesus was in the service of the people by way of preaching the good news as early as the age of 12. Revolutionaries should therefore know that you are never too young to be in the service of the people in terms of conscientising and mobilising the masses. You don’t need 60 or 90 years’ experience of landlessness and poverty before you could be of service to educate the masses about the need to arise and fight for their liberation.
It is said that Jesus entered the temple and found people using it not for praying, but for gambling and selling doves. The temple had lost its purpose because the people were using it for what it was not meant for. We are told that Jesus acted promptly. He beat them up, overturned the tables and drove the culprits out of the temple. He could have chosen to begin some process of a commission of enquiry to give the wrongdoers a long opportunity to confess their sins of which he knew. In the service of ridding the temple of all corruption, he did not only beat the culprits up, he also overturned the tables to ensure that he destroyed the tools of the corrupt. He went further and drove them out of the temple to rid the holy place of all ungodly elements.
This is a lesson for South Africa in dealing with corruption. Corruption is treason. And so, you cannot treat it with kids’ gloves if you are serious about saving the country and nation from State Capture. The police and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) should move swiftly and throw the book at the culprits about whom there is sufficient evidence for them to face the law. Just like the gamblers who sought to turn the temple into a “robbers’ den” lost their money and change after Jesus overturned the tables, the law enforcement agencies should move with speed and reclaim every cent stolen for the public coffers and confiscate every property that was obtained through corrupt means.
The “crazy bald heads” must indeed be “chased out of town”.
Instead of the greed that has destroyed the soul of this country like cancer, the politicians need to learn something from Jesus. The value of sharing. Jesus did not need to be told. Out of compassion, he was able to observe that the multitudes of the people he was preaching to were hungry. He knew that you couldn’t enjoy the attention of hungry or starving people for too long. He was able to find 2 pieces of fish and 5 loaves of bread from within the multitudes and broke the fish and bread into many smaller pieces to feed everyone.
Why is the value of sharing so difficult to the elite politicians? Why does the few of them want to eat the 2 pieces of fish and 5 loaves of bread alone? Don’t they realise that upon sharing smaller fish and bread can satisfy the whole nation?
The Black Consciousness Movement put the value of sharing into practice decades ago when we were not even in power. In fact, the BCM was operating in the belly of the beast; right inside the bosom of the white settler-colonial regime. We took our 2 pieces of fish and 5 loaves of bread and shared them with the poor through building and serving the Zanempilo Hospital in Ezinyoka Village near Qonce (King Williams Town). The community was receiving primary healthcare free of charge. After the BC organisations were banned on 19 October 1977, AZAPO reinstated the concept through the Community Health Awareness Programme (CHAP), which was led by its legendary Secretary for Health Dr Abubaker Hurley Asvat.
If the BCM was able to practice the value of sharing without any State power and resources, you can imagine what it could do as and when it acquired State power.
We have briefly talked about the theme of service in the Easter tradition. Let us now talk about sacrifice.
The crucifixion of Jesus represents the ultimate sacrifice. The painful story of Jesus nailed alive on the cross has been narrated throughout the generations.
Revolutionaries need to bring that sacrifice closer to home in Azania. Steve Biko did his bit of sacrifice for his people. He was nailed on his own cross at the notorious Sanlam building where he was tortured by the white racist police until he was brain-dead. Even when he was in that state of health, the racist doctors and police deemed Biko fit to be driven from Port Elizabeth to Pretoria overnight in the back of a van naked without any doctor present. He was certified dead on 12 September 1977.
Many more sons and daughters of the soil have sacrificed their lives for the liberation of our country Azania. We remember Onkgopotse Tiro, Mthuli ka Shezi, Mapetla Mohapi, Abubaker Asvat, Sonwabo Paper Ngxale, Kutumela Makompo, Thami Mcerwa, Mzwandile Mcoseli, Muntu ka Myeza, and many more.
From the Easter tradition we take the themes of service and sacrifice to remind the Azanian masses and revolutionaries that more service and sacrifice is still required for land reconquest, attainment of total liberation and socialism.
Service and sacrifice should not just be preached about. It should be practised to take the struggle to higher heights. For that to happen, we need to resurrect in the Azanian masses the fearlessness and selflessness we once saw in the June 16 Uprisings.
RELEASE ABATHEMBU KING BUYELEKHAYA DALINDYEBO NOW!
AZAPO welcomes the gesture by President Ramaphosa of considering pardoning abaThembu King Dalindyebo.
The King was found to be on the wrong side of the law after he administered justice as a judicial officer of his people’s indigenous court. Due to the inferior status accorded indigenous institutions and Customary Law, the King did not enjoy the judicial immunity afforded other judicial officers under the more recognised and respected Roman-Dutch Law tradition prevalent in South Africa.
Magistrates and judges do not suffer the humiliation of being charged for imposing a legally defective judgement. There are instances in the South African legal system where the accused were sentenced to death for a crime they did not commit. Some prisoners have been released after new evidence surfaced that they did not commit the crime.
In the case of a death penalty, nothing could be corrected as the person would have been executed. Former IPID boss Robert McBride is lucky that he benefited from the political dynamics of his time before he could be executed.
Judicial officers enjoy judicial immunity for their decisions and judgements. The court system caters for a process of appealing the judgements of the junior courts at the senior courts.
AZAPO is a Black Consciousness organisation that wages a liberation struggle that is anti-colonialism and anti-racism.
The undermining and destruction of the indigenous leadership institutions was part of the colonial attack against the humanity of Black people. Afrikan Kings and Queens were reduced to Chiefs because colonialism recognised only the British monarchs as Kings and Queens. Revolutionary traditional leaders were dethroned by colonialism, while reactionary members of Afrikan royalty were appointed as “Chiefs” and imposed on the people in a manner that disrupted the royal lineage and caused civil strife.
AZAPO views the jailing of King Dalindyebo as a subtle continuation of the colonial onslaught against the Afrikan indigenous institutions.
It is in that light that AZAPO campaigned for the release of King Dalindyebo. Apart from the marches, AZAPO also wrote a letter to President Ramaphosa requesting him to invoke his Presidential prerogative and pardon the King. AZAPO was clear that a parole would fall short because it would leave the King with a criminal record that would exclude him from returning to his throne.
While AZAPO welcomes Ramaphosa’s positive gesture, we are worried that it took this long to consider releasing the King and therefore frustrate the objectives of colonialism in Azania.
To print and read the pdf version, please click here ⇒ AZAPO Voice Volume 2 Issue Number 16
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ONE AZANIA ! ONE NATION !