Revolutionary Speaking – President’s Weekly Column – Volume 1 Issue 10

Vol 1: Issue 10
9 December 2022
In AZAPO and the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) as a whole, “One Azania! One Nation!” is more than a slogan.  This slogan gives pointers about our political and ideological line. Before you chant the slogan, AZAPO makes it a point that you are introduced to the politics embodied by the slogan. The formulation and structure of this slogan became so popular and evasive that even other political persuasions and civil society organisations started to develop slogans modelled on our slogan’s configuration.
First, the slogan carries the humanism of the Black Consciousness (BC) philosophy in that it asserts our informed and principled belief that there is only one human race. Any theory or practice about a multiplicity of human races is a farce to commit some political and economic fraud. It is a farce to steal the countries of other nations and enslave other human beings.  To the extent that this farce about many human races has been postulated and practiced for many centuries, AZAPO knows that the farce has become a reality that has socio-economic implications on the way the lives of the peoples of the world are arranged.  That is why we conclude that the existence of many human races is a biological farce, while it is also a political reality with grave consequences on the victims. Our principle of anti-racism is based on this understanding.
Second, the slogan recognises the historical fact that our country has transcended the limitations of popular formations like clans and tribes. That growth is the function of the development of the means to create wealth, or the productive forces. The form of our country has gone beyond the limitation of a city-state into a pseudo nation-state. During the era of white settler-colonialism, South Africa did not have a nation because apartheid and racism peddled and implemented the farcical theory of “four racial groups’, which the Freedom Charter tragically embraced wholeheartedly.  The apartheid “four racial groups” were “Whites”, “Indians”, “Coloureds” and “Natives”. 
The BCM contemptuously rejected this apartheid notion and embarked on a revolutionary humanist campaign to build One Nation in One Azania.  This One Nation was not to be postponed until we freed the land and attained our liberation.  The building of this new nation was taking root right inside the belly of the beast we sought to slaughter and kill from within. The so-called “Natives”, “Coloureds” and “Indians” were theorised and practically united into one majority group by virtue of their common landlessness, political oppression, economic exploitation and being socially discriminated against by a minority group of settlers that described themselves “white”.  The three united sections were referred to as Black, which denoted and cemented the Black Solidarity of a common nationality fighting towards liberating both the people and the country. This common resolve was based on a revolutionary Black Nationalism upon whose foundations one common culture, which was inspired by socialist values, would develop during the time of fighting and together making contributions and sacrifices. In the Azanian context, the BCM made it clear that “Black” was the colour of our politics, rather than our skin.  It was further explained that our exclusion of whites from the BCM was not anti-white, because there was sufficient room for whites to engage in the revolution to liberate the country from their own standpoint.  It was believed that it would not make political sense to combine in the same political organisation people with inferiority and superiority complexes.  In that regard, the exclusion of whites from the BC organisations was based on strategy, rather than principle.
Third, the slogan carries the seeds of an egalitarian society.  Sometimes called equalitarianism, egalitarianism is based on the principle of one human race in which all people are equal with equal opportunities.  Because white people robbed Black people of their land and systematically dehumanised them over hundreds of years, it goes without saying that the development of Black people will of necessity require the strategies of radical redress and redistribution.  No moral lecturing or persuasion of the white ruling class is prerequisite before the development of Black people can be aggressively implemented. The underdevelopment of Black people was so overdrawn that their development cannot be procrastinated.  It must be implemented even if the Rand falls. Nothing worse than landlessness, slavery and death can Black people suffer.
Fast-forward to 1994 and the advent of democracy, the political gains of AZAPO were dangerously reversed.  The ruling party has forced Black people to degenerate into the clannism of the medieval ages.  There is now talk about “X-Factor” and “100% Zulu” terms, which reveals that the ruling party politicians push politics in a manner that seeks to benefit their narrow “clans”. They accepted the compromise of “Balkanising” the country into the apartheid Bantustans in the form of nine Provinces.  Slavishly mimicking the federal USA and Germany, the Constitution of South Africa entrenches a quasi-federalism. In no time, there were language groups or “Bantustan” wars in democratic South Africa.  This happened in the mines and the townships, some of which remain arranged as Zulu, Xhosa and Sotho sections. This spilled over to the fighting and displacement of Afrikans from other Afrikan countries.  Recently, we witnessed a nasty fight between the sections of the disintegrated Black Community in Phoenix and KwaMashu.  This happened because the apartheid spatial development dinosaur, among other things, is still preserved and perpetuated right inside the democratic dispensation.
As if that was not enough, another section of the now disintegrated Black community is drinking from the poisoned well of whiteness and claiming that “South Africa” belongs to them alone to the exclusion of their fellow Black people.  Of course, this misdirected and anti-Black call is made by only a small group of people in the so-called “Coloured’ section of the Black community.  They forget that the country “South Africa’ was founded only in 1910, whereas Afrikans have lived in boundaryless Afrika for thousands and thousands of years. Unlike the settlers, Afrikans did not arrive in Afrika.  They are Afrika, and Afrika is them.  At some stage in history, the life was so pastoral and nomadic in Afrika that no one group could even claim a patch of land as its own.  Even the position about Azania being the Land of Black people still requires explaining through historicity and myth.  Mind you, myths are not lies.
There you have it. 28 years into democracy, there is yet to be a nation in South Africa.  That is why you still hear about projects with regards to “nation-building”, “social cohesion” and ‘diversity”.  AZAPO has to step up its campaign to rebuild and restore the disintegrated One Azania! One Nation! campaign.  The driving force of that campaign is Black Solidarity under a revolutionary Black Nationalism.  Apartheid spatial development must be deliberately undermined, while the redress and the redistribution of the wealth must be accelerated to ensure that Black people do not live like baboons and monkeys.  Otherwise, the white supremacists will continue to find justification to refer to Blacks as such.  Take note that our slogan sometimes graduates from Nation to People because there will come a time when the goal shall be “One Azania! One People!”.