It is time the PAC and Azapo spoke with one voice

There was a relationship between Azapo and the PAC during the era of negotiations in this country, but it disappeared, says the writer. Pictures: Damaris Helwig and Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

There was a relationship between Azapo and the PAC during the era of negotiations in this country, but it disappeared, says the writer. Pictures: Damaris Helwig and Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Mar 31, 2022


By Thembile Ndabeni

There was a relationship between Azapo and the PAC during the era of negotiations in this country, but it disappeared. It is now high time that the former liberation movements closed the gap between them and spoke the same language.

Both should know that the first step toward solving a problem is identifying it. Azapo’s hard stance towards white people continues, while the PAC in Langa, Cape Town, was/is “friends” with the DA. Like an athlete whose baton fell, the two must pick up the baton and chase.

They must not allow themselves to be distracted from focusing on fundamental issues affecting black people. Government corruption is rife, but there is also a private sector involved, predominantly owned by white people.

People of colour are deliberately made poor, especially Africans so that the black government can be blamed. Corruption is like robbing people’s money from a silver collection. There are two sides to this.

The one side is that it is wrong, but worse is that money is collected (tax) for the plight of the poor. The other side is, why do black people have to rely on silver collection in their country and continent?

Yet on the other side, the white minority owns the land and the economy. The housing challenge cannot be fundamentally resolved because land is owned by white people. As a result of the “willing seller, willing buyer” policy, white people who own land charge exorbitant prices. That rips off the government when it wants to buy land for houses for the poor.

After that they join in the tune, “nothing has been done after 28 years of democracy”. That is sabotaging the black government to create the impression that black people cannot govern.

This is for the continuation of the dependency syndrome, the master-servant arrangement so that black people remain poor and are beggars forever.

Therefore, the two pan-Africanism/Black Consciousness parties should concentrate more on the two issues that matter the most to them: winning power and taking the land and wealth back to its rightful owners – black people.

Black farmers do not have land for grazing. They squat on the land of white farmers who bully them and take their livestock. Borrowing from Karl Marx, the indigenous people of this country and the continent are alienated from their land by people of foreign descent.

As a result, they are affected in many ways; they are left poverty-stricken, traumatised and without their dignity. This has resulted in the creation of cheap labour. The worst was the breakdown of families because of the migrant labour system.

Black people are still racially discriminated against 28 years after democracy under the ANC. The K-word is occasionally still being used. A white farmer laughed in a meeting with the minister of police when a black farmer reported him for calling him the K-word.

He laughed because nothing was going to happen to him since the ANC is not in power, but running office on their behalf. How can the indigenous people, whether black or coloured, be in the pocket of a non-African group, be it white monopoly capital or Indian, Gupta monopoly capital?

The answer is what Robert Sobukwe said in 1959, that a portion of the black leadership is captured. The very core of the sovereignty of the country, the national anthem and the Constitution, is enough evidence. Azapo and the PAC must return to the original national anthem, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika, composed by Enoch Sontonga and sung in parts of Africa.

They must do away with the things that symbolise and remind black people of colonialism and apartheid. They must return the balkanised part of the Northern Cape into unitary South Africa. Afrikaner racists created an independent Afrikaner state, Orania.

That was the beginning, not the end. The Western Cape is on the cards, as stated by racists who do not want to accept rule by non-white people. As people who do not want peaceful co-existence, they speak about “swart gevaar” to instil fear in white and coloured people and other people, to fear and hate black people.

They must change the Constitution to reflect the outlook and aspirations of the majority and the indigenous people of the country. Naming entails symbolism, sentimentalism and memories.

Some memories cut deep; therefore, how can you name historic events in a liberal and general way? March 21 cannot be Human Rights Day to accommodate everyone. The Phoenix massacre is one perfect example. Just calling the holiday “reconciliation” does not add up at all.

How do you reconcile people without the offenders having shown remorse, or given an apology, at the least? It is conciliation first and then reconciliation afterwards. Therefore, naming the holiday Reconciliation Day is a distortion of facts and falsifying history.

The most affected are those who were oppressed and whose people died, especially the families. This is the time after 1994 for Black Consciousness and pan-Africanism to unite to rise to the occasion and stand for black people. They must return the dignity of black people. Borrowing from the song by Letta Mbulu, it is Not Yet Uhuru.

Racists are trampling and spitting on black people. Azapo and the PAC must seize the moment. To borrow from Oliver Tambo, “if you lose this moment, history will never forgive us”.

Sympathy goes to the late honourable Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who out of love for the country sacrificed, risked his life and coined the phrase “Rainbow Nation” to accommodate everyone. Instead of appreciating the sacrifice, he made during the apartheid repression and during democracy, racists spat in his face and on his grave.

After achieving the project of Azania, the PAC must continue the broader project of uniting Africa, from “Cape to Cairo”, from “Morocco to Madagascar”. That would be part of freeing the entire Africa, of which Azania is a part, from imperialism and the return of partitioned Orania and destroying the planned independent state of the Western Cape.

Azapo’s activism in the international diaspora movements is long overdue. Both need to work with the EFF for the national plight of black people in the country and abroad.

Should the three fail to join forces and play a leading role against racism nationally and internationally, racists will torment black people forever. Holding a joint rally to commemorate Sharpeville/Langa Massacre Day was the start of the implementation of the Declaration of Co-operation.

Ndabeni is a former history tutor at UWC and a former educator at Bulumko Senior Secondary in Khayelitsha.

Cape Times