The National Executive Council of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC), at the Party’s Strategic Planning Session held at its headquarters in Johannesburg, on the weekend of 30-31 January 2016 approved the party’s new Strategic Plan. The plan will be used to guide the execution of policy and programs of action related to the heightened visibility and relevance of the PAC in addressing the plight of the masses.
In attendance at the planning meeting were the top 6 officers of the Party, all provincial leadership representatives and some of the executive national leaders of the Pan African Students Movement of Azania (PASMA).
The key priority areas of the PAC FOR 2016 were identified, amongst others, as:
It was unanimously agreed that 2016 should see more energized and coordinated efforts in every province for the release of the remaining APLA prisoners still languishing in jail. Through various activities, which will start, in earnest, as from the first week of February the PAC will exert unrelenting pressure on the government to release its forces.
Further, President of the PAC, Luthando Mbinda, called upon all APLA political prisoners, of sound physical health and mind, to go on a hunger strike as from the10th to the 12th of February. All PAC members, of sound physical health and mind were also called upon to fast as from the 10th to the 12th of February. The hunger strike and fast are designed to exert pressure on the government to take decisive action to free the APLA cadres, unconditionally.
Over and above the stated actions, more mass action will be witnessed till the release of the APLA members has been realised. All other entities, organisations or individuals that are wiling and able to support the PAC in this cause are welcome to consult with the PAC and thus give more impetus to this effort that has spanned more than a decade now.
President Mbinda further observed that 21 years after so-called democracy some APLA members still remain imprisoned. Some of these prisoners of conscience have not been given parole (even on medical grounds) or officially pardoned (contrast that with the likes of one of apartheid’s most notorious criminals Eugene De Kock “Prime Evil”, who despite being a beneficiary of apartheid and lethal assasin of African people was, last year, granted amnesty, there being no mention of the conditions like those offered to Kenny Motsamai. Prime Evil had only served 19 years of a 212 year sentence) whereas Motsamai is now on year number 27.
The rise in public awareness and desire to have the APLA members released was greeted with much appreciation. The President highly commended all efforts by individuals and organisations, that do not necessarily fall under the Party structures, for their resolve and desire to see the APLA cadres released. However President Mbinda called upon all entities involved in any effort to do with the release of APLA cadres to work hand in hand with and under the different provincial leadership structures of the PAC. This, he said, will ensure proper coordination, smooth running and accountability to the Party and its membership and will also ensure that there is consistency of messaging around the campaign.
Further, the President called upon any and every entity, including Party members, working on the release of APLA cadres, to refrain from talking to or in any manner engaging the media without a proper mandate from the PAC. No PAC or APLA emblems or regalia may be used in such endeavors without consultation with and endorsement of the provincial Party leadership.
Fees Must Fall
In reiterating the party’s commitment to assisting the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (PASMA) students arrested during the Fees Must Fall Campaign and concluding all pending legal matters related to the said PASMA students, President Mbinda reminded the students of the continued PAC call and drive for free quality education till tertiary level. Quoting Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, he reminded the students of what education means to the PAC “…the identification of ourselves with the masses. Education to us means service to Africa”.
2016 Local Government Elections
A resolution was taken that the PAC would contest in the forthcoming Local Government Elections and that all provincial structures must begin to prepare themselves and execute programs designed at ensuring a successful election campaign.
Given the reality of the expense of legal services, it was agreed that from henceforth, the PAC will insource in as far as acquiring of legal services. The PAC Legal Desk, under the leadership of Attorney Xolani Ngculu, will take responsibility for dealing with any and all legal matters related to the PAC and all it’s other relevant structures. This was viewed as a way by which the Party could limit its financial exposure where legal services are concerned. In the event that there was a need to outsource, the same would be determined on a case by case basis.
President Mbinda has noted, with appreciation, the voluntary work done by other qualified legal practitioners who have made an input in supporting the PAC, regardless of not being active members of the Party. In appreciating the efforts of these legal practitioners, the President also called upon them to work hand in hand with the Party’s Legal Desk to ensure a smooth running of all legal issues related to the Party and it’s members, including, but not exclusively related to the release of APLA soldiers from jail. Such, the President, emphasized will ensure that there is proper accountability to the Party and it’s membership.
After congratulating the members of the NEC President Mbinda, whilst encouraging the leadership present to give fully of themselves said “the Strategic Plan will function as a road map for 2016 and will focus the party’s efforts on excellence and in meeting the needs of the people of South Africa, more particularly the exploited, the landless and the generality of the suffering masses”.
After a highly energized, spirited, thorough consultative, interactive, well attended and represented two day session, the NEC identified the driving Party motto for 2016 as: