- The current political debate in South Africa today is that of the land expropriation and the national question. It is both in Parliament and out among the general population of South Africa. What prompts the writing of this article is the abuse and attack by Thabo Mbeki, the former ANC and President of South Africa on the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (South Africa).
- The second objective to present the Africanist argument in exposing Thabo Mbeki as an impostor Africanist, who is wooing the innocent into believing that his is for Africanism and Pan Africanism. We insist that Thabo is the enemy of Pan Africanism and Africanism as he is a vociferous defender of the African National Congress and Congress Alliance Kliptown Freedom Charter of 1955.
- It is in this regard that the National Executive Committee took a resolution to challenge Mbeki’s invectives and aspersions on PAC national question and land restoration to the African people.
AFRICANIST ARGUMENT ON THABO MBEKI’S INNUENDOS
- After twenty- four years of democracy in South Africa, there is a general trend of the masses accepting the fact that the crux of the political problem in South Africa is the land question. This is at the centre of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania political programme since its inception. The current debate of the land expropriation without compensation favours the PAC land issue. The small and fledgling Economic Freedom Front party introduced the matter in parliament to gain popularity aiming at increasing its seat and influence in the coming elections of 2019. Vote catching business, as EFF also believes in the ANC Freedom Charter, which declares that South Africa belongs to all who live in it. A highly nonsensical concept (Freedom Charter) in the liberation struggle in the whole of Africa. Its content being that of civil rights and not of liberation struggle of freeing the Africans from settler colonialism.
- In his argument, Mbeki, insists that on Land expropriation without compensation, the ANC is deviating and shifting to the PAC position! He is hysterical that his own comrades in the ANC cannot even articulate the land question but want people to follow this new trend adopted in their recent elective congress. Infighting within the ANC is no issue with regard to the PAC, but the erudite Mbeki, starts slashing and vilifying the PAC on its original principles it adopted since its birth in 1959! Thus inviting our ire to respond handsomely.
- Firstly, Mbeki poaches PAC concept of non-racialism without acknowledging it as PAC, because ANC argument has always been that of multi-racialism and denouncing non-racialism as non -English word at that time. This is intellectual dishonesty of which honourable Mbeki must apologise.
- In contrasting the ANC objectives of their 1958 so-called Constitution, Mbeki claims it emphasised fighting for the interests of the African majority in South Africa based on Freedom Charter, a Charter that rejected both the land and the national question in liberation of South Africa. And this the Africanists, that is, the PAC rejected in toto. He claims that his organisation in its historical mission was fighting against, all forms of racism and colonialism, implying that PAC was not. For in all the PAC basic principles, Sobukwe and his colleagues stated without any equivocation, that ours is a national liberation struggle to free the Africans from European colonialism and settler colonialism. The historical mission of the PAC was and still is the total liberation of our people, from all forms of oppression including deprivation of the land and the resources. On the land, the Africanists insist for the land restoration to its rightful owners. And this declaration was loud and clear to all, but honourable Mbeki decided to ignore and continue to justify his sell-out document of Freedom Charter. In his last days, 2017 in office President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe condemned Nelson Mandela for forgetting about the struggle of the African people and serving his own selfish interests. That provoked the out- of- sort, the then Secretary General of the ANC Gwede Mantashe condemning Mugabe as senile. Mugabe was right in condemning Mandela, but was oblivious that Mandela was merely adhering to the reformist Freedom Charter, that made ANC to betray the African people in South Africa.
- It its attempt to survive the current trend, the ANC, at its Congress, adopted the resolution to expropriate the land without compensation to give effect to the land reform and land redistribution. And this infuriated Thabo Mbeki as he considers it a deviation from their Charter. But even when one looks at this reform, that ANC does not go far enough to resolve the land problem for the landless African people. This reforms approach is guided by fear of, not threatening the foreign investment, or so-called damage of the agricultural production and fear of food security. The African is not at the centre of the land restitution here but foreigner is still a priority. The President of the ANC, Cyril Ramaphosa did not only stop there, but went out of his way to appease the Boerderbond, the think-tank of the European right wing political entity, not to fear anything, as the whole ANC exercise will not threaten their property in any way! Mbeki cried foul, as this inclination smells of PAC posture on the land. He is complaining that in its 106 years of existence ANC never took such a position, he regards this a betrayal especially in his understanding of Freedom Charter! But what Mbeki is not conscious of is that, there is no ANC deviation at all, as this development continue to consolidate the monopoly of the Europeans over the land at the expense of the Africans. Watch the space!
- In all its manoeuvres, the ANC always place trappings, obstacles when coming to the land restoration to the Africans. For instance, in the very December ANC congress that Mbeki lambast, the very organisation places so many impossible conditions before the land can be given to the people, it says ‘the land be restored to the people without placing undue financial burden to the state! It must not threaten foreign investment and capital, it must not threaten minorities and must not cause anarchy in the country!’ Thus, their understanding of resolving the land and poverty of the African people, I must be minority interest first!
- In arguing that there is a deviation towards the PAC, Mbeki, reminded his own organisation, that the PAC denounced the Freedom Charter in 1955, with everything else derived from that Charter! Honourable Mbeki is correct, the Charter was a betrayal to the freedom of the African people giving ascendance and control of the struggle of the Africans to the whites. He is bitter that this ANC move, is to return the land to the formerly dispossessed from the formerly colonial European groupings. He made reference to factional fighting within the ANC in 1969, where the Group of Eight led by Makiwane suggested that the PAC was correct on both the Land and the National question. They tried to woo this group by promising that the whites will be excluded in the decision making body, of the ANC the National Executive Committee, but this group was adamant that the ANC was selling the interests of the African people to the whites. But unfortunately ANC expelled that progressive force.
- In his cynics, Thabo Mbeki, insists that the coward ANC leadership in its shifting of position should have as well, told the white settlers to submit to the formerly indigenous people, and he consider that as so-called PAC position, deliberately distorting PAC political line, by quoting out of context Azanian People’s Liberation Army (APLA), the PAC military wing, slogan, of “one settler one bullet”, and called it dramatic expression! That slogan was a war- cry of the foot-soldiers of APLA, meaning ‘to war against the European settlers’ and that was rectified by the then, Central Committee of the PAC in Dar es Salaam, to be confined to the soldiers. It was not meant to drive the so-called white men to the sea as was propagated by the ANC.
- Influenced by the whites who hijacked, the ANC and force it to adopt the Freedom Charter, Professor Jack Simons, ridiculed PAC composite Policy statement of Africa for Africans, Africans for Humanity, and Humanity for God, by, saying that according to PAC, there is no room for Europeans in Africa. That Prof, deliberately, ignore, Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, pronouncements, that there is only one race and that is the Human race, the only liberation movement in South Africa to have declared that, that early in its formation. Yet the learned Prof in his naughtiness, chargrined that PAC wanted to make Europeans the servants of the Africans after independence! Simons even insinuated that PAC was against the Coloured people, which PAC considered as Africans. The silliness of the whites who infiltrated ANC in the mid-fifties was unprecedented. Theirs was to cause the biggest gap between the PAC and the ANC, and unfortunately the likes of Thabo Mbeki, were to be the victims of Stockholm syndrome, mimicking and loving the former oppressors but disliking your own ilk. It is not a surprise of Mbeki dim view of Africanism in South Africa, he spent his whole adult and exile life in London, consuming European liberalism in its entirety. Or was it whiskey consumption?
- Mbeki quoting Duma Nokwe, the then Assistant Secretary General of the ANC, who history condemned as having denounced historic Sharpeville 21st March of the PAC, but joined the campaign when realising that it was a huge success, Nokwe again, denounced the Programme of the ANC Youth league that revived the moribund ANC then, as mere package of set of activities without philosophical and ideological input! That Programme was that of the Africanists within the ANC to revive and redirect ANC to fulfil its historic mission, but ANC deviated and adopted the foreign and hand-drafted document by a Jewish refugee called Beata Lipman who smuggled the so-called Freedom Charter draft to the Congress of the People of the ANC in 1955, without the knowledge of the then ANC President Chief Albert Luthuli! See his book, Let My People Go.
- Using the obsolete liberal source material, Mbeki, referred to the Liberal Party journal, that spearheaded the colonial and big business ideology, quoting the then Secretary General of the PAC, Potlako Leballo, where the latter actually condemned the Freedom Charter as foreign ideology that was not based on African nationalism. In so doing, Mbeki was trying to ridicule a historical fact, as ANC regarded the African nationalism as narrow and chauvinistic, projecting only the aspirations of the African people and side-lining the European settlers, as he claimed. And that he considered as reactionary and unacceptable in the ANC. That so-called chauvinism is condemned in their so-called Strategy and Tactics document o 1969, where they expelled the last Africanists in their midst. Theirs was to destroy the then existing social and economic relationships not destroying colonialism, because they regarded South Africa then as independent country, therefore theirs was only to correct the historical injustice and introduce the so-called new internationalist approach not African nationalism! That civil rights approach, was exposed to the world by one of their biggest supporters of the ANC, the Mozambican government where the Mozambican General Sebastian Mabote of the Mozambican Army, on the 10th March 1984, speaking on behalf of President Samora Machel, saying unlike the Zimbabwean freedom fighters who were fighting for self-determination, independence and liberty, the ANC in South Africa was fighting for civil rights
- In the current debate, instead Mbeki criticising his own organisation for trying to vindicate PAC thrust to land restoration to the rightful owners- the Africans, he instead attempts to reintroduce the historically discredited Freedom Charter and accuse his own Party deviating towards the PAC! He asked, as to whom does the contemporary ANC represent with this radical departure from so-called historic mission of the ANC of Freedom Charter. He sees in the land expropriation without compensation, PAC programme of land restoration to its rightful owners. And in this he sees ANC supporting the PAC, thus changing its terms of character and form, and in that way no longer representing the people of South Africa!
- All in all, Mbeki is subtly fighting to preserve the privileges of the white minority in South Africa at the expense of the indigenous African majority, which is a pity. In his failures as the President of South Africa and after, he and his ANC are fighting tooth and nail to preserve their deals with the white minorities agreed upon during the era of the Talks about Talks pre 1994. They are doing this cognisance of the fact that the majority Africans had realised that at the crux of their problems is the land dispossession and is a popular view which can cause defeat for them in the coming elections, thus they are forced to speak the language of everybody- the land question of the PAC. What is sending a chilling message to the ANC, is that all including the EFF are speaking the PAC language, that the motive force in the national democratic revolution are the oppressed and exploited the blacks in South Africa. There is a general panic in the ANC and Mbeki is conscious about that, and feels that they must remain with their time-tested sell-out approach of Freedom Charter to survive. But will they really survive the rise of the African nationalism in the Africans?
- Africanists both in South Africa and in diaspora be warned of Thabo Mbeki masquerading as an Africanist whilst he is not. And anybody fighting the PAC at any level will not be left unchallenged, for the interests of the indigenous African people in South Africa to us as PAC, are sacred and will be defended without any fear or favour.
Daniel Mohato Mofokeng
Major General (rtd)
Former Chief Political Commissar of APLA
Now Secretary for PAC Veterans and Stalwarts Affairs