“We want our dignity back, we want our land. We cannot live in these farms owned by Canadians in our homeland. It means we have borrowed life from a Canadian” – Msuzi We Ndlizioyo.
The winds of revolution are once again blowing over the African continent. From Burkina Faso to South Africa, Congo to Mali, from Burundi to Zimbabwe, we have seen a new radicalisation of the workers and the youth and the rise of mass movements that have challenged corrupt capitalist regimes in one country after another.
As part of this revolutionary re-awakening, many radical anti-capitalist imperialist figures are being rediscovered, like Mametlwe Sebei (WASP), Irvin Jim (Numsa) , Julius Malema (EFF), and, indeed, the entire #Feesmustfall movement leadership. We have seen the likes of Andile Mxitama who is one of the greatest Black Consciousness Movement theoreticians emerging from the underneath with movements such as Land First Black First. Some of these revolutionaries emerge from PAC, BCM and some would emerge from the convulsive decades of ANC led liberation movement.
The ANC led revolutionary movement’s legacy as an anti-apartheid movement and as emerged after 1994 carrying the hopes of the millions of black people should be recovered and the revolutionary edge of this movement thought sharpened to arm the new South African revolutionary vision – LAND LAND LAND!!!
In between 2011 and 2013, i have lived in one of the farming areas in Sekhukhune region called Marble Hall near Groblersdal. It is an Afrikaaner dominated small and traditional town. In this town the remnants of Afrikaaner cultures could still be noticed there and there. The shops there are mainly owned by Afrikaaner families who still own the land around and the farms at the outskirts of the town. If you see a black person walking on the street in this town it is either a maid, a shop keeper or a farm worker to a white man.
Inside the farms nearby there are black families that are still living under servitude conditions. Besides there are one or two schools, hostel like shelters and mobile clinics in these farms the families there are unmanageable and fragmented; alcohol and drug abuse and STD’s related illnesses are the command of their lives day-by-day. Death as a result of health illnesses is common and not worrying to some white farm owners. Violence within these families and between families as a result of alcohol and drug abuses is as well the way of life in these dwellings.
The children in these farms attend school until grade 10 and then drop out to work in the farms. This is simply because their parents comes from Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola and elsewhere, and do not have proper documentations to enable their children to further their careers in universities or colleges, either do they have knowledge of such. Their parents do not have banking accounts nor have ID documents to support their children in accessing further opportunities outside the farming life.
At one incidence where one of the girls living in this farm was punished for buying clothes at a shop in town that is not preferred by the farm owner, I was lucky enough to have been briefed about it. I have learned as well that, in fact, they are not allowed to go shopping outside the farms for the food. Even at month end they are dictated to by liquor only at the selected bottle stores preferred by the farm owners – at the white owned shops in town. The only mode of transport to town is the bus owned by one of the Afrikaaner tycoons in town – their buddy Alfred.
At these farms it is common for a 15 years old girl to fall pregnant and then go live with a stay-in lover in a make shift house at the nearby farm. After the girl picks a boyfriend who happen to be somewhat 30 years older a shabby wedding can be arranged in a week and so.
It is also a tradition that new arrivals that come to work at these farms must practice a ritual which says older men must pick nice women first before anyone else. Remember, in these farms there are arrivals of hundreds of “illegal” or what the system calls “Aliens” refugees who winged out of their countries for economic or political reasons. They make their final journeys at these farms where they are employed at the cheap rate. Vulnerable and exhausted the young women would settle for anything that could relieve them of their sufferings; abuse and exploitation of these young women by older men who are already working at these farms is communal.
All these continue to put more and more of our people at risk of circles of HIV/AIDS infections and health ills and deaths. The SA borders are opened only for these bad things to happen on a daily basis to our people by our people. Black people cross the borders looking for better lives in SA, only to be subjected to the life of a slave under the what so-called democratic government. This is a horrible government for any black man crossing the borders into SA. The ANC policies on local government, since it came in to power, reflect two horrible factors:
- Majority of black people who are at the lowest levels should be given the left-overs of the few upper rich class, which are whites. Should this arise at a crisis point for the whites the majority of black people’s needs should be compromised to preserve the domination of the white minority. Often to avoid pissing off the masters in Europe who have economic policy pacts with the ANC.
- Use all methods available to stay in power and never pass the laws that demand the total expropriation of the land, nationalization of the commanding heights of economy and retain minority rights not to make the masters mad: As this might tricker the US intelligence (CIA), British intelligence (Mi16) and Israel terrorist wing (ISIL) to call for regime change using their most effective tools in SA – corporate media.
History is not beautiful, and let us look into it briefly.
In Agriculture, during the colonial period, British companies set up plantations in the best agricultural areas in South Africa and other parts of the region. These plantations concentrated on cash crops such as sugar and tobacco, to sell in the region and for export to Europe and later the U.S. These plantations thrived on cheap African labor, as well as imported Indian contract workers.
In the post-World War II period, these plantations became multinational agribusinesses, with mainly British but also U.S. capital. They not only expanded and mechanized the plantation system, but also developed associated processing industries. They continued to sell their products in South Africa, the rest of the region and abroad.
The wages of the non-white agricultural laborers were even much lower than those of the mining and manufacturing workers. Also, the mechanization of agriculture led to increasing unemployment, pushing many of these workers back into the already overcrowded labor reserves. The system as well was used to dehumanize African black labourers in the farms, pushing them to go look for employment in the mining and manufacturing which was very overcrowded. The struggle to free African labourers and the return of their land which was heavily taken by the whiteman for agricultural was propelled forward somewhere in the 1950s.
This was championed by the formation of Pan-Africanist Congress. The PAC’s ideological roots were laid in Africanist views of Anton Lembede. The PAC born from ANC through the 1950s finally parted company when Potlako Leballo, Robert Sobukwe and others formed the PAC on April 6-7, 1959.
Sobukwe assumed the major leadership role until his death in 1978. He was greatly influenced by George Padmore, the West Indian former communist, who had been expelled from the international communist movement. His writings and speeches reflected the Pan-Africanist views current at the time calling for a united Africa made up of free and independent states, of which South Africa would be one.
We need to build a mass movement that gives support to the revolutionary movement of the Azanian people.
The PAC was the first to put forward the name Azania for a free and independent Black republic in South Africa. The name was further popularized by the Black Consciousness groups during the 1970s. There is no evidence that this name was ever used historically to refer to any specific area. It was rather derived from Bantu languages, Arabic and the history of East Africa and the migration south of its people.
In the spirit of the PAC, particularly on land question, as Azanians and our international alliances we should mobilise the entire society; “The PAC made it clear that, contrary to the views expressed in attacks from the ANC and SACP, it was not chauvinist. It rejected multi-racialism, considering this a concession to European bigotry and a safeguarding of white privileges.”
The PAC held that the struggle in South Africa was for the repossession of African land from the foreign settlers. Anyone who expressed loyalty to Africa and was prepared to accept the democratic rule of the African majority was welcomed to be a part of the independent African state.
The Pan-Africanists insisted that white supremacy had to be destroyed if apartheid was to end. To them, part of this process included destroying the idea that Blacks could not lead themselves and that it was alright to have white leadership as long as it was “left” or liberal. While standing on this principle, they recruited Indians and some white militants to join their ranks.
Seeing the sufferings of the people in the farms, on their land, by the whiteman and his systems it is time for the Africans to rebuild the spirit of PAC, take their land and then determine if they change the name. The people of South Africa will ultimately determine what they will call their country. Until that time, we uphold the name Azania because of its implication of self-determination and national liberation.
No whiteman, in our showers or in our government, would determine what have to be done to the people in Marble Hall living in those farms under the system architecture by the whiteman himself. It is only the government of the Africans by the Africans that can liberate those people that I have witnessed in Marble Hall and elsewhere in South Africa.
This democracy has been built on the injustices of the black race. The ANC and its masters in Europe entered into a pact that forced injustices on the black race. The land belonged to the Africans in Africa, not other race. What has been build on injustice is unjust.