From Winter to Spring
A New Year’s Message by Professor Itumeleng Mosala, President of AZAPO
Sons and Daughters of AZANIA – South Africa: old, young, workers, employed and unemployed, students, black, white, permanent citizens, temporary residents, all of you for whom this country is now home; having lived through 2015 and survived the ravages of an unprecedented year since 1994, you now know how fragile what we have politically, economically, culturally and socially is.
It may have taken 21 years to get to this, but all the developments and events of 2015 have demonstrated unequivocally how only a few eruptions can expose the fundamental brittleness that characterizes the weak foundations that the Kempton political and economic betrayal represents.
In the years since 1994 and culminating in 2015 South Africa has lived through a long autumn that was followed by a relentless political, social, cultural, spiritual and economic winter that started with the merciless and brutal murder of the Marikana miners by the South African Police in 2012 and reached a climax in 2015 with the relentless struggle of our university students as they uprooted the foundations of the colonial past that continues to be part of how our society is designed and governed.
In 2015 itself we have seen matters reach a head – from the dysfunctional character of our bourgeois parliament, through the increasing weakening of the public service and lamentable political performance, to the chronic crisis of the educational system and the inherent disruptiveness of the tertiary system, to the near collapse of the economic system in a matter of days.
Despite the epic failures of leadership, governance and the disdainful treatment received by our people at the hands of the ruling elite, 2015 represented the beginnings of a movement by our people to take back their power. It is imperative, therefore, fellow AZANIANS, that we need to seize 2016 and make our country that which the revolution, we participated in since the first colonialist set foot on our continent, had intended it to be. In the words of Steve Biko we must refashion South Africa into an “egalitarian, just, democratic society and imbue it with a more human face”.
The neoliberal, hypocritical, ideologically toxic and self-serving theories and policies that underpin the measures and processes of governance of our country at present can not, will not and are not intended to deliver the true liberation that Steve Biko’s vision intended.
In 2016 the people of South Africa will have an opportunity to exercise their power through the Local Government Elections. AZAPO calls on all sectors of our society not to fall into the trap of the past 21 years. No more lies, no more deceptions, no more empty promises, no more prolongation of the suffering and poverty of the majority of our people, especially the black people of South Africa.
Students, Workers, unemployed citizens of our country, professionals of all colours and types, this is your country; the economy of this country is your economy; the educational system belongs to you; your sons and daughters are the beneficiaries of all that we do today; claim your country back; take power for the first time since the sham settlement of 1994; let us stop the bleeding, indeed the hemorrhaging of all that we are supposed to have been enjoying and developing for posterity. Make the transition now. Take control of 2016 and your lives in it.
The AZANIAN PEOPLE’S ORGANISATION (AZAPO) wishes you a good and fruitful 2016 and promises to be by your side and with you as you claim back what is rightfully yours, above all the repossession of your inalienable right to own and possess Land; to control your economic destiny; to live in equitable and cohesive social relations and possessing the power to enjoy and defend your freedom by all means necessary.
Happy and prosperous New Year.