It is now official that AZAPO has lost its Parliamentary seat, which it had held for fifteen years. In these fifteen years AZAPO strove to contribute to improving the quality of life of our people. As a result of these efforts, AZAPO’s first parliamentarian Cde Mosibudi Mangena was called to serve as Deputy Minister of Education and as the country’s inaugural Minister of Science and technology, portfolios he led with distinction. While the loss of the parliamentary seat denies AZAPO another avenue for pursuing its historical mission, it certainly will not deter us from what Steve Biko called a “Quest for True Humanity”
We ran our 2014 campaign under the theme, “Fulfilling the Promise of the Liberation Struggle” to indicate that the promise of the liberation struggle is still an elusive dream for the vast majority of our people. The liberation struggle promised liberty, equality and wellbeing; but today South Africa ranks as the most unequal society in the world. More than 1 in every 4 South Africans, old enough to work, does not have a job. More than 4 in every 10 South Africans are hardest hit by poverty, surviving on R350 or less a month. The country is faced with a housing backlog of over 2 million, which means at a minimum 8 million South Africans are without decent housing. Research conducted by a team from Stellenbosch University found that “the [South African] education system generally produces outcomes that reinforce current patterns of poverty and privilege instead of challenging them.” They concluded that “the legacy of apartheid appears to have endured”. These are some of the incongruencies between the promise and the reality that AZAPO has highlighted and wanted to help resolve.
To our members and supporters disappointment must be overcome by our commitment to the noble ideals of our great movement and the great love we have for our people and country.
To those of our supports who feel weighed down by the outcome of the elections , please rest if you must, but never ever give up or give in! We are made of sterner stuff and we have faced and overcome more dire circumstances. If doubt or despair sets in remember we are the movement that gave this country greats such as Steve Biko, Mthuli kaShezi, Mapetla Mohapi, Abu Bakar Asvat, Muntu Myeza amongst others.
While there will be time enough to debate and analyse what went wrong, for now we would like to thank all those who campaigned and voted for our Party. Your efforts and sacrifices are greatly appreciated.
End of Statement
Issued by Cde Jake Dikobo, President of the Azanian People’s Organisation
For more information please contact:
Cde Kganare Lefoka