Lehlohonolo Kennedy Mahlatsi
The reports that the Democratic Alliance (DA) has written to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over the theft of foreign currency at President Cyril Ramaphosa's farm in Limpopo, borders on undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country.
It has a propensity of reversing the hard-won struggles against colonialism in Africa and the world over.
Adopted 67 years ago on June 26, 1955, the Freedom Charter declares that there shall be peace and friendship. Our people’s vision embodied in the Freedom Charter of a fully independent South African state (independent, that is, of imperialism and colonialism) with respect to the rights and sovereignty of nations, which aims to maintain world peace.
Similarly, our constitution provides that the Republic of South Africa is one, sovereign, democratic state founded on the following principles and values, inter alia: human dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms.
Outstanding revolutionaries like George Padmore, W.E.B. DuBois, Frantz Fanon, Marcus Garvey and many others in the history of Pan Africanism, called for the dignity, respect and emancipation of the peoples of Africa.
The principle of territorial integrity is emphasised by the African Union (AU) because it protects the borders of African states, and forms an essential part of their sovereignty. A consequence of this emphasis is the rejection of any interpretation of self-determination that would violate territorial integrity. It is in this context that the right of self-determination should be interpreted in line with the principle of territorial integrity.
Under the United Nation’s (UN’s) decolonisation agenda, the right to self-determination could be exercised by dependent peoples and territories within existing colonial boundaries. In this setting, this right became a legitimate basis for statehood because it proclaimed the right of every people to establish a state within which they conduct their political affairs, free from outside interference. The exercise of self-determination reinforced the state-centred system of international law.
The DA would like to fool the people of South Africa that the only way to solve their problems is to resort to the imperialist forces and their agenda.
Africa needs African solutions to resolve its challenges and it does not need white supremacists and their colonial tendencies. The recent visit by DA leader John Steenhuizen to Ukraine and his pledging of support to the country, clearly demonstrates that the DA is pursuing the American imperialist agenda. It is an open secret that the United States (backed by Nato) is in a long proxy war with Russia, with Ukraine as the battlefield. This was also confirmed by Leon Panetta, the former US secretary of defence and CIA director under Barack Obama and White House chief of staff under Bill Clinton, when he acknowledged as such recently.
A call by the DA makes it necessary to have a close look at the FBI and its dirty tricks.
The FBI was created in 1908 as an outfit to disrupt and destroy movements for the liberation of oppressed people and for socialism. While the FBI has a history of putting infiltrators and informants inside both Left and Right movements, the agency most often assisted the Right against the Left. In one of the most horrific government actions in US history, the FBI worked with the Chicago Police Department to assassinate Black Panther heroes like its Chairperson Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, on December 4, 1969. There are many other examples of how the FBI has targeted and attacked revolutionary activists.
FBI is embroiled in a lawsuit for abrogating its responsibilities in the case of Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and dozens of other women who say they were sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar. They are seeking more than $1 billion from the FBI for failing to stop the sports doctor when the agency first received allegations against him.
The FBI was never established by a law and that is why it became a law unto itself. US lawmakers refused to approve an FBI bureau over a century ago when it was first proposed by Teddy Roosevelt. So he ignored Congress, and went ahead and set it up by presidential fiat. The origins of the FBI have been obscured both because of its dubious legality and because of its original political purpose – to help a post-Gilded Age president battle the all-powerful American capitalists.
Covert operations like the FBI’s infamous Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO) identified, infiltrated, defamed, and often murdered Black leaders they deemed capable of leading an organised rebellion against the US government. The FBI’s surveillance of Martin Luther King Jr passed through various distinguishable phases like: the attempt to forge a connection between Martin Luther and communism, efforts to discredit King as a social-movement leader, and the desire to prefigure what actions the civil rights movement would take next.
Fifty-six years after the assassination of Malcolm X, new details from a former New York Police Department officer’s deathbed confession has further implicated the NYPD and FBI in the killing. Raymond Wood, the former NYPD officer, requested the letter be publicised only after his death due to fears of retaliation. He wrote that: “I participated in actions that in hindsight were deplorable and detrimental to the advancement of my own Black people. My actions on behalf of the New York City Police Department were done under duress and fear,” the letter stated.
By misinforming US successive presidents and attorneys general, their ostensible superiors, FBI officials secured external authorisation to employ recognisably illegal investigative techniques. FBI surveillance during the Cold War years constituted an abuse of power.
Although studies show that white supremacy is and continues to be the greatest domestic threat, a disproportionate amount of resources continues to be poured into creating and “foiling” nonsensical fantasy plots.
The violence of hite supremacy, of a lone shooter writing a manifesto and murdering Black people, is obvious. The FBI concocting a dangerous bogeyman to target a deeply marginalised and disenfranchised community of colour is cut from the same white supremacist cloth.
Ten months before being fired as director of the FBI by Donald Trump, James Comey said: “I’ve got nothing against white people – especially tall, awkward, male white people – but that is a crisis for reasons that you get, and that I’ve worked very hard to make sure the entire FBI understands.”
A recent study casts doubt on the reliability of a technique the FBI Laboratory has used for decades to identify criminals, by purporting to match their blue jeans with those photographed in surveillance images, potentially undermining evidence used to win numerous convictions.
The FBI has a long history of disrupting progressive movements, using all possible underhanded and illegal tactics in their arsenal.
Despite its attempts at rehabilitating its image, this institution continues to be an incredibly repressive force, protecting the interests of the United States government against all those who seek a better, more just world.
Dr Lehlohonolo Kennedy Mahlatsi, SACP Free State PEC Member, writes in a personal capacity.