It should not be this revolting partisanship with which he is obsessed. Our forebears have condemned foreign control of South Africa and the economic system South Africa has chosen.
Robert Sobukwe said white supremacy, colonialism, imperialism and capitalism must be destroyed. As early as 1949 Sobukwe advocated nation-building.
It was not only South Africans who called for an end to South Africa’s control by foreigners and foreign ideologies but also people outside South Africa.
If Ramaphosa can go to the annals of one of the ANC’s allies, the SACP, he will find a letter Leon Trotsky wrote to South African communists in April 1933 in which he called for the overthrow of British imperialism.
He wrote, “no social upheaval (in the first instance, an agrarian revolution) is thinkable with the retention of British imperialism in the South African dominion”.
“The overthrow of British imperialism in South Africa is just as indispensable for the triumph of socialism in South Africa as it is for Great Britain itself.
“The struggle for the expulsion of British imperialism, its tools and agents, thus enters as an indispensable part of the programme of the South African proletarian party.”
Conditions have changed and at the time he wrote with the ANC in mind because there was no PAC and no Black Consciousness Movement at the time. But the essence of his message is that no progress can been achieved under British domination. South Africa is still in the clutches of British control and the ANC is doing little or nothing to extricate South Africa out of British and American control.
The people of South Africa outside formal political parties are poorly organised. They need to be organised. About eight years ago I wrote in a youth web magazine and disagree with ANC leaders on the National Democratic Revolution.
I wrote that the ANC secretary-general explained to the court his or the ANC’s version of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) and the court accepted it during the Dubul‘ibhunu court case.
The NDR, according to a Russian-trained doctor from Botswana, the late Dr Kenneth Koma, is a revolution which is not only national, in the sense that it embraces the whole nation, but it is also national in the sense that it poses demands which go far beyond state sovereignty and the provisions of liberal democracy.
It recognises that in the peripheral regions of the capitalist world, the nations are still in their formative stages.
The NDR must include people in all the groups and communities which are never included in the term “people”.
They are not well organised both politically and socially. They are consequently never represented in the conventional arrangements of involving people participating in the decision-making process in liberal democracies.
There are also various interest groups which are not able to form themselves into articulate organisations and are therefore usually left out of the consultative process in all liberal democracies.
The NDR must accommodate the aspirations of all groups.
It should also include a struggle for genuine democracy and not simply a situation where a ruling party rigs elections, control election funding and the electoral authority (for example the IEC) and uses state organs to fight party political factional battles and undermine opposition parties.
The NDR changes both the regime and the individuals who participate in the revolution.
It changes society and creates a new individual as well as an egalitarian society. It cannot be carried out under the leadership of a single dominant political organisation like the ANC.
It can only be carried out by an alliance between mass democratic organisations and a socialist party.
The SACP is ideologically bankrupt and incapable of discharging leadership to the NDR.
When it is considered that the NDR as a revolution should change both the society and the individuals, to create a new man who is committed to the welfare of his fellow-men - an individual who is selfless, only an alliance of democratic organisations and a socialist party can carry out a NDR.
We must ask if the Malemas, Jacob Zumas, Tokyo Sexwales, Zwelinzima Vavis, Blade Nzimandes and the rest are selfless. Objective experience shows that the ANC and its alliance partners stand against all the objectives of a NDR.
Had the lawyers representing the groups that took Malema to court knew something about the NDR they could have exposed Mantashe as a dilettante.
When US presidents, (I am not sure about the current one), speak about the “founding” fathers of that country and their predecessors they speak about all of them irrespective of political affiliation.
Ramaphosa is hardly two months in office and, like his predecessors, he is revealing a revolting and unhealthy partisanship that gives me the creeps.
He is the president of South Africa but he is acquitting himself poorly because of partisanship.
I listened to his maiden speech in Parliament. I also listened to him addressing the House of Traditional Leaders on February 27, which was the 40th anniversary of the death of PAC founding president and we know that the apartheid government killed Sobukwe.
Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) leader Onkgopotse Tiro was killed on February 1, 1974 by the apartheid government’s Z-squad.
Murder cases of those who belonged to the ANC and SACP are pursued with enthusiasm and those from the PAC and BCM are approached lackadaisically.
The Tiro family might ask what yardstick the ANC government uses to investigate apartheid crimes and bring those responsible to book.
Ramaphosa was inaugurated in the month in which these historical events took place and he cut his political teeth in the BCM whose formation was inspired by the philosophy of Sobukwe.
However, Ramaphosa failed to mention these two historical figures and acknowledge the contributions they made in our struggle for liberation.
Ramaphosa may be the president of the ruling party but he is the president of all the people of South Africa. Let us build a new Africa where sectional tendencies, such as partisanship, factionalism, sectarianism, regionalism, racism and ethnicity are not transported to the new Africa.
* Ditshego is a fellow at the Pan Africanist Research Institute.
** The views expressed here are nt necessarily those of Independent Media.
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