Last month it was that time of the year when South Africa and the world catch the fever of the Mandela Day Sabbath; I say Sabbath because this Mandela Day has become a quasi-religious event blindly followed by people who are not prepared to question what the hype about the day is all about or where it actually emanates from.

We are stuck with a cult figure more powerful than the Dalai Lama and Pope combined, yet we cannot actually point out what deed of his earned him this sainthood among people, even a messianic status of some sort.

Mandela enjoys unquestioned Christhood as a saviour of black people when in fact he is the Dalai Lama/Pope of the Imperialist West’s neo-colonialism project, the direct opposite of what he is celebrated for.


Because the media was cunningly used to sell what, alongside the HIV/AIDS story, is the biggest propaganda manipulation to mislead the masses in human history – the lie that Mandela liberated black people when all he did was deliver them on a silver platter to Imperialist West for another round of unremitting, ruthless molestation under the exploitative project of neo-colonialism. He simply sold the people out.

There’s classic old saying in English that a picture says a 1 000 words; and that this statement is gospel truth is indisputable, because Brett Murray’s “The Spear” painting would not have hit home like it did, neither would Zapiro’s cartooning give Zuma headaches like it does.

I have five pictures – a metaphorical representation of 5 000 words, as touted by the above-mentioned saying – out of which I will squeeze out my interpretation of the “1 000 words” each picture offers me.

Now that our people have spent their 67 minutes in honour of Mandela’s legacy, I urge them to spend another 67 minutes of any day that suits them reading this article (and “reading” the five pictures for themselves of course) and digesting the views shared within it, and verifying them through research of their own; after which they can decide whether indeed Mandela’s legacy is one worth honouring by us Africans, or is it really a legacy marred with beguiling deceit.


To fully understand the African struggle against Western imperialism, and why Nelson Mandela really has been a regressive factor to that struggle; one must understand the very labyrinth of it; its cunning approach.

Then only we can begin to see that democracy in South Africa is non-existent; instead we have a placebo in place that is even more brutal than right out enslavement because all we live on are future broken promises and more promises that will never be delivered, thus we put our guard down and allow criminals to exploit us in the name of the Rainbow Nation myth and its unequal equality, and Madiba magic deception.

Imperialism facilitated by the West on Africa over the last 350 years has been dynamic and metamorphosing in its approach. First it was right out, brutal enslavement of blacks for trade like cattle in slave-trade routes, predominantly the trans-Atlantic route.

When the system of slavery had used up its energy, new devices to take over the baton had been designed already.

Slavery was abolished and in no time replaced with colonialism – a better tool of gain that meant that there was no longer a need to transport slaves across seas to work in the West, but it was now a matter of enslaving them in their own backyards by means of cheap labour exploitation.

This cheap labour was forced onto Africans; they were used to dig out their own resources for the gain of colonial masters, while they themselves benefitted nothing but hardships of being second-tier citizens, who lived under perpetual abuse in the hands of white supremacy.

But like slavery before it, colonialism was bound to get to a point where it was no longer the most viable tool of gain for imperialists; and like colonialism replaced slavery, colonialism needed to be replaced in order to continue the merciless looting of Africa’s resources.

Neo-colonialism was the new plan, it would continue where its predecessor left off; but what made it and still makes it more nefarious than both slavery and colonialism was that it used the very leaders of the so-called liberation movements as agents in its plans.

The West negotiated – CODESA style – with the post-colonialism leaders of African countries to keep its power in place and retain all that had been stolen during colonialism in their position, while the leaders would be let in on some personal gain schemes to keep them happy.

If leaders of some movements resisted, the former colonisers financed coups for opposition movements and rebel groups who had bought into their idea to come into power; and once in power, the movement leaders would be brought into the spoils, made compradors of imperialism, and in no time they forgot the masses still toiling in sickening poverty and started to feast on their small share of the pie of exploitation thrown to them by the imperialist forces.

Another way would be civil wars, which opened up mass looting opportunities at even lower costs for the West.

This is what has made Western imperialism so successful, its ability to mutate time and again when conditions required a new approach. Neo-colonialism’s success depended on how it would be implemented; it had to be in such a way that was not met with immediate resistance.

To solidify neo-colonialism and be able to sell it to Africa, the West needed an ambassador for its project, someone who would be used by the West to say look at this leader, he complied with our deal and his country is happy, so follow his example; and no better person than Mandela was suited for this.

He was already an international media personality after having been used as a rallying point for international media attention against apartheid by the ANC for many years; so all that had to be done was to turn all the media focus on Mandela as a freedom fighter who singlehandedly saved South Africa and give him endless credit and perks like the Nobel Prize, and messianic status.

All he had to do was to buy into this deal and sign on the dotted line.


The legendary Malcolm X warns that the media is so powerful that it has the power to make the innocent look guilty and the guilty look innocent; he terms it the most powerful tool in the world.

Biko teaches us that why we remain in bondage is precisely because of the mind control that the oppressors are able to keep us, the oppressed, in check.

Through the media they tell us how and what to think, so the focal area of our thoughts will not be a revolution, thus allowing them to continue freely with their exploitation.

The media has been at the epicentre of every imperialist venture propagated by the West. It was at the centre of the propaganda of the “war against terror” farce, only this was a way to establish a way to steal the vast oil reserves of Middle Eastern countries, Afghanistan and Iraq in particular.

They created a storyline which the world bought into, and one by one they raided these poor countries and seized what they wanted.

The truth is Al-Qaeda is a creation of the CIA; it never existed in Islamic countries prior to the fabrication. Oh and Osama bin Laden, or should I say Tim Osman, was a CIA agent.

On the same wave of propaganda, Muammar Gaddafi was targeted and killed after 40 years of resistance; and similar propaganda, of nuclear weapons, is being used to target Iran.

Similarly, the drug war in Central and South America is another farce that imperialism uses to infiltrate those countries, oust revolutionary leaders and put their own, controlled, puppet regimes in power so exploitation can carry on.

Why do you think that during the Chavez reign in Venezuela, Spain went into financial crisis and needed a bailout from the Eurozone?

Simple, Chavez severed exploitation of his country’s oil resources; that’s why he, like many South American revolutionaries, died of “cancer”.

I need to reassure you that there isn’t really a war on drugs; organisations like the CIA specifically have made and still make trillions from drug money and finance drug operations coming from South America and the Golden Triangle that ultimately also make it into the US and the rest of the world.

Here in Africa we have the financed civil wars, where rebels are employed by the West to destabilise countries’ governance, making them ungovernable and thus creating an environment for free looting to flourish.

A classic example of this currently is the DRC; an extremely blessed and rich country in terms of mineral resources, be it diamonds, copper, manganese, zinc, you name them.

Here, the West employs Rwanda and Uganda to support the rebel war by financing the M23 through these countries and then continue the looting escapade of the beautiful Congo. Of course they will deploy the so-called peace keeping missions; but trust me when I tell you that keeping peace is never the objective of the UN.

The United Nations is run and controlled by imperialists, America and its allies, and only decisions taken by them matter; if you resist, they veto you at the Security Council – their own kangaroo court.

If they want resources from your country and you do not play ball like Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein and the likes; they finance civil unrest and then NATO is on your doorstep.

No one pertinently sums up the sham that mainstream media really is, than American author Mark Twain (1835 – 1910) is his quote: “If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you read the newspaper, you are misinformed.”

Don’t believe them brethren, they are in on it; they are selling you what the powers that be want you to know, not what you should know!


At many points in history, there are people who had invested in them the power to change the course of history by virtue of their decisions; but because of those decisions that they took, we are only left to wonder how different would things be had they opted to do things differently.

Where would Burkina Faso be today had Blaise Compaore not collaborated with the West and murdered Thomas Sankara? Where would the Congo be had Mobutu not plotted with Belgium, the US and Britain to overthrow Patrice Lumumba and hand him over for execution? Where would Guinea be had Inocêncio Kani not collaborated with the Portuguese to assassinate Amilcar Cabral?

Yes my question is, where would South Africa be, had Mandela opted for the honourable route as a true representative of the people would have done, and not signed a deal with the devil for his own personal gain, pulling a Judas Iscariot on us?

In (my) first picture, Nelson Mandela is pictured with Margaret Thatcher; at one point the most powerful woman in world politics. She was powerful simply because she was at the forefront of British imperialism as Prime Minister, and she did serve with distinction to her masters.

In 1987 Margaret Thatcher uttered these words: “The ANC is a typical terrorist organisation; anyone who thinks that the ANC is going to run the government in South Africa is living in cloud cuckoo-land.”

If you don’t understand the involvement of Britain in South Africa, you would think that she was being defamatory; but Margaret Thatcher knew exactly what she was talking about, she understood what was going to happen.

The ANC doesn’t govern South Africa; they are the faces of imperialism in what is still a British-American controlled economy to this day.

The ANC’s job is to keep the wrath of the people manageable, so that their bosses can continue the exploitation of resources.

Like many organisations who claim to fight for freedom forget about the people, the masses once some chunk of meat is thrown at them from the master’s table, the ANC went down a similar route, once let in on some part of the wealth; they became “yes sir no sir” boys of the imperialists.

All it took was them being told they would benefit on things like BEE and get co-opted to businesses they did not even know how to run by themselves and all the blood spilt over 350 years in defence of our land was forgotten.

I always hear people talking about “economic freedom”; saying that Mandela and his generation attained political freedom and it is thus up to the current generation of youth to fight for economic freedom.

Brethren, you must understand that imperialism knows how to invent lies that sound very good, because there is no such thing as political freedom existing as a stand-alone from economic power.

Freedom is a holistic entity, it is achieved as is and not in compartments; you are either free or you are not, and there’s nothing in between.

A prisoner in solitary confinement, eating crumbs and sleeping on the floor with no blanket, and a prisoner who has a nutritious menu, a good mattress, and even time for television and gym are both prisoners; yes the one might have better conditions to live under, but they are both prisoners nonetheless.

Similarly, an oppressed individual who is called a kaffir openly, gets kicked in the ribs lawfully and is forced to carry an identification book at all times, and an oppressed individual who can vote, walk around as they please at night without identifying themselves are both still oppressed.

Baron Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812), who is the founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty, aptly put it: “Give me control of a nation’s money supply and I care not who makes their laws.”

He knew the very same concept that I am now sharing with you, that whoever controls the means of production in a country, de facto the money supply, is the one with the real power; the politicians can sell all the lip they want to, it is in the economy where power rests.

Using this knowledge, generation after generation of Rothschild came and carried forward what they had started, and they are arguably the wealthiest family on earth today. Their net worth? Incalculable.

Let’s just say that they loan governments money at crazy interest rates among other things!!! Now real freedom is when means of production dwells with the people, not a select few like Rothschild, Oppenheimer, Ackerman, Rupert; it is when all people benefit from the wealth and money supply of the country, not those who align themselves to be beneficiaries at the expense of the people like Mandela, Ramaphosa, Zuma and the likes.

As the status quo is in South Africa, people will have to rise and struggle for freedom, or it will remain a distant dream while the molestation of imperialism on our people relentlessly continues.


We see (another) picture of the “heroic” Mr Mandela seated in a chariot with the Queen of England.

Queen Elizabeth to me represents the British throne, which has been at the forefront of the most atrocious genocides known to mankind; they have annihilated whole tribes of people altogether in their conquest to rule world.

Whenever I see her picture, I hear cries of the Lakota and other American Indian tribes that today do not exist precisely because of the British; I am reminded of how as recent as 1975, any white man in Australia could obtain a hunting licence to hunt and kill Aborigines like game, all because of the British philosophy that people who are not of European descent are not human.

To the British, any race that is not white is akin to mere animals, no more than a troop of baboons; it is for this reason that they felt nothing at all oppressing one third of the world’s population at one point, just for their personal gain.

Seeing Queen Elizabeth’s picture reminds me of the countless crimes against humanity – spanning over centuries – that Britain committed globe throughout, but never accounted for; in her eyes I see countless slaves tied down like oxen and driven by the whip from main land Africa to the West Coast bordering the Atlantic, to be piled up in ships like lifeless cargo.

I hear the cries of all the lynched slaves in American plantations, and the wails of widows bemoaning lost husbands to these brutal executions whenever her name is mentioned; I see her mouth and hands covered with blood of the countless black babies who were fed to alligators by slave-masters of the extension of her empire in America.

However, we see the beloved hero not ashamed to align himself with the face of all this ruthlessness, he is a beloved son of Britain that they erected a Statue of him in Parliament square.

He is put up there with the best servicemen of the Empire, and his name carried next to the likes of Cecil John Rhodes.

Ever heard of the Mandela-Rhodes Scholarship? Well this is a scholarship designed to take African students that show high potential and equip them for roles in neo-colonialism that is pioneered by South Africa; the same way that the Rhodes scholarship did for British Colonialism since 1902.

For those who don’t know, Cecil John Rhodes was a ruthless Englishmen who had not an iota of feeling for blacks. Leading the British conquest of South Africa’s minerals, having founded De Beers (De Beers was financed into existence by Nathan Meyer Rothschild – great-grandson of the founder of the dynasty who I mentioned above), and also leading British rule to our neighbour Zimbabwe and Zambia north of it (The two countries, known as Southern and Northern Rhodesia respectively in past times, were named after him), many a black man suffered at the hand of this man.

The first Chimurenga of the Zimbabwean people in the 1890s was an uprising against atrocities inflicted by Rhodes’ British South Africa Company, and it ended with executions of the likes of Mbuya Nehanda.

In his meditations in 1893 his states: “Nine-tenths of them (blacks) will have to spend their lives in manual labour, the sooner that is brought to them, the better.” He further says: “We must find new lands from which we can easily obtain raw materials and at the same time exploit the cheap slave labour that is available from the natives of the colonies. The colonies would also provide a dumping ground for the surplus goods produced in our factories.” As you can see that he was a white supremacist of distinction, he lived for the British Empire and to propagate its ruthless imperialism; in his last will testament he writes: “I contend that we are the first race in the world, and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race … If there be a God, I think that what he would like me to do is paint as much of the map of Africa British Red as possible…”

Aimed at following the hermeneutics of this mantra of imperialistic gain, the Rhodes Trust and Rhodes scholarship were founded by Nathan Meyer Rothschild (see that name?) when Rhodes died.


Now is the question not popping up at the back of your head why Nelson Mandela wants to associate himself with all I mention above? Why he is a tool in shielding and glorifying a murderous heritage of the British Empire with all the falsehood that permeates controlled media?

Why they put him on the notes of their privately owned South African Reserve Bank? You do the math.

Another picture shows our beloved hero in the company of FW De Klerk. Now if the whole process of creating the rainbow nation farce was a movie, De Klerk would have won an Oscar for best supporting actor; we all know who best lead actor goes to … oh but wait, they won the Nobel for it, excuse my feint memory!

FW De Klerk is a representation of Afrikaner supremacy, a microcosm of white supremacy that manifested itself as Apartheid in South Africa.

A strategist of the system, he was a key component in the facilitation of the new South Africa into existence; he was clear about his job even so, stating that he was not going to negotiate himself out of power.

Black people need to understand that a revolution is non-negotiable, and there is no bargain that goes about it; whenever leaders go into negotiations with the oppressive forces and what results is a win-win situation, know that your leaders sold you out for their own gain.

What came out of CODESA was that ANC became an extension of the National Party; it was a change of faces of the status quo but no change to the status quo itself.

After 11 years of excellent service by the ANC to the system of capitalism that unforgivingly blood-sucks blacks on a daily basis, proving their worth of being able to crack the whip on blacks just as well as the Malan, Vorster, Botha and De Klerk governments; the National Party officially co-opted ANC to itself with a merger that took place in August 2005.

It was merely officialising the marriage that had already taken place at CODESA; in which a transition of government faces took place – black ones replaced white ones in a rent-a-black project – while policies kept the power locked with the imperialists.

We need to be frank about things like Chikane’s book intended to be; there really is not any significant difference between a black man in 2013 and a black man in 1983. This is because ’94 changed nothing; blacks are still the wretched of the earth they were before 1994.

Eighty percent of the land is still white-owned and 100 years after the treacherous Land Act of 1913 the ANC is adamant that they will not budge on their policies that allow the land to remain in the hands of a white minority that constitutes a meagre 13 percent of the population, how dare blacks think they can take land back from white masters and rhinos?

White people worked hard for the land isn’t it? We are told that they bought the land; I guess the 100-year war of the Xhosas lasting from the 1700s to the 1800s and the battle of Isandlwana in 1879, all attempting resistance against British seizure of land from the natives were fair economic transactions huh?

Whenever blacks voice out their concerns they are told that they can’t use the land, that they are not skilled as white people to run mines therefore it is a good thing that our wealth is taking by imperialists for their personal gain.

Last year August Lonmin (London Minerals), sitting on the third biggest platinum mine in the world, collaborated with the ANC to mimic their own Sharpeville by mowing down with bullets black workers who stood up and demanded better wages after they realised NUM was another neo-colonialist demagoguery project whose objective was not to stand up for them, but to help the exploiters continue so they could benefit from kickbacks (well now it is public that COSATU and affiliated union bosses screw their workers – pun intended).

I mean NUM bosses are trustees in the investment companies – NUMPROP and MIC – that sleep with mining houses in the form of business relations and tenders; how then is it expected that they represent the interests of the employees when they themselves benefit directly from the exploitation of the employees?

It’s like sending a jackal to represent sheep against a wolf; only one result is possible there – a sell-out.

It is no secret that the vestiges of apartheid and colonial economic patterns, ownership and control remain intact.

For instance: Leibbrandt, M et al (2010) state that trends in South African income distribution and poverty since the fall of apartheid show that in terms of racial distribution of per capita income, African and coloured income levels in 2008 were still only 13 percent and 22 percent respectively of white per capita income, compared to 10.9 percent and 19.3 percent in 1993.

The income gap for Indians has narrowed, with Indian per capita income in 2008 standing at 60 percent of those of whites as against 42 percent in 1993.

In 1995, median per capita expenditure among Africans was R333 a month compared to whites at R3 443 a month. In 2008, median expenditure per capita for Africans was R454 a month compared to whites at R5 668 a month.

We are stuck with a blatantly skewed system that feeds itself at our loss; while Zuma earns more than Obama in terms of citizen ratio, the black male has an average salary of R2 400 that falls far short of the R19 000 of the white male.

Yet FW De Klerk (was pictured) lifting Nelson Mandela’s hand in a triumphant fashion; a sign of Nelson Mandela having won the battle.

The question however is: on whose side was he fighting?

He claims to have fought against black domination, but nowhere have I seen blacks dominating on any level in South Africa at any point since that dreadful Autumn day in 1652, so as to what he was fighting against I am not sure.


I am sorry that the ANC did not tell you the truth my people; they spoke about reconstruction and development, yet the piece they forgot to mention was that this RDP programme was aimed only at their mansions in high-class white suburbs, and the scraps you would get were degrading matchbox houses akin to dog kernels and open toilets that intend to further humiliate your undignified existence.

They also did not tell you that should you cry for clean drinking water you would be met with parabellum boot soles and live rounds of ammunition a la Andries Tatane; you probably thought that Vlakplas ended with Eugene de Kock, little did you know that ANC had a bigger “Kock” to screw you with.

Well here we are, and this is where Mandela’s heroics have landed us.

Patrice Lumumba, in his last letter to his wife before being martyred, teaches us that history that will absolve African heroes like him is not that which will be taught in Brussels, London, Paris, Washington nor the United Nations, but in African countries which have been freed from the claws of imperialism.

The fact that Mandela’s legacy is celebrated in London and all other imperialist strongholds as I showed above indicates clearly that he is a puppet of imperialism and is used for imperialist agenda advancement.

It cannot be that the system that murdered Lumumba for his ideas before he even implemented them in the Congo; that murdered Thomas Sankara after he had set the pattern for other African states to follow in a mere four years of power (unlike two decades of lies we have received here), rejecting the world bank and IMF and drastically transforming Burkina Faso, can equally turn and cherish Mandela as they do if he was indeed a genuine revolutionary.

Your kids learn about the French revolution, Nazi Germany, American Revolution, but never do they learn about the Chimurenga or the Battle of Adwa or the knowledge harboured in Timbuktu.

The same system teaches them about Louis XVI, Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill, but fails to mention Kwame Nkrumah, Amilcar Cabral, Marcus Garvey, Frantz Fanon or Malcolm X.

They rather your children read books by Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and George Orwell; but none by Chinua Achebe, Tsitsi Dangarembga or Ngugi wa Thiong’o.

This very same system holds Mandela in high esteem; he is the archetypal black man according to them.

Ask Robert Mugabe, when you are doing what the system requires of you, you are a hero; you become a monkey when you start to address the real needs of the black man, like land dispossession.

Before 2000, Robert Mugabe had accolades from institutions all over the world and one by one they were revoked after the land reform programme; simply because he was (not) their puppet, Blair had been told to keep his England and stay away from Zimbabwe and how it addresses its affairs.

Whenever they tell you about “a long walk to freedom”, tell them that the only long walk that has taken place and is still taking place is that of thousands of black children in rural areas and white-owned farms, who walk countless kilometres on end to and from school on a daily basis – in blistering cold during the winter and scorching heat and unforgiving rains in summer – only to learn under a tree at the mercy of these weather conditions, and expected to miraculously produce results when not even textbooks are delivered to them.

We will always have the most progressive constitution in the world for as long it is anti-black, but Sobukwe taught us long ago that it is impossible to implement something that is unjust in a just fashion; thus the wrath of the people will always at some point get to enough levels to inspire reform.

When Africa rewrites the narrative of history that Lumumba speaks about in his final words as he stared death in the eye without a quiver, let it rewrite a narrative that will truthfully present the legacy of Mandela as that which was at the centre of perpetuating a brutal system of relentless exploitation on our beloved continent.

In Azania there must be no Mandela Bridge, mall, university, street or even squatter camp; the deception of Madiba magic must be buried with South Africa.

The only monument left to bear his name should be the Nelson Mandela theatre, as it shall be a constant reminder of the multi-award winning theatrics of the man; which deceived our people to a Rainbow Nation of freedom that still continues to enslave them, where equality is unequal, where justice is discriminatory.

However, history must not forget him; his story must be a constant reminder for future generations, of what not to do.

That we have to overthrow this tyranny and oppression in our strife for true egalitarianism is not in doubt; it is just a matter of when.

Slavoj Zizek asserts that regicide (the killing of a king) is not justified by showing that a king transgressed the people, because the very existence of a king is an offence against the people.

Similarly, a society that purports classism and stratification, creating a polarised control of resources by a few as we know imperialism and capitalism to do is de facto offensive to the people; and revolution against it is always justified. – MyNews24

By Yamkela Fortune Spengane
The writer is a Black Consciousness and Pan-Africanism scholar and proponent. This article was published in The Southern Times newspaper at on 02 September 2013.

The late Nelson Mandela

The late Nelson Mandela

After my imprisonment for anti-apartheid activities, I spent some years at the United Nations in New York and at the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva as an accredited Representative of the victims of apartheid and colonialism in South Africa. One of my many duties was to call for the release of all political prisoners in this country and expose the barbarism of apartheid colonialism. Some of these prisoners were Mangaliso Sobukwe, Nelson Mandela, Zephania Mothopeng, Walter Sisulu, Nyati Pokela, Govan Mbeki and Jafta Masemola.

When I spoke in Parliament on the 90th birthday of President Nelson Mandela, I said, “It is an extra-ordinary birthday of a man who has lived his life for others, sometimes at the expense of his own people, in the quest to harmonise humanity.” I received the news of the departure of President Nelson Mandela from this planet on 5th December 2013. On that day, I was commemorating the birthday of Prof Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe, the founding President of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) of Azania, for whom the apartheid colonialist regime had a special law called “Sobukwe Clause.” This law enabled this regime to imprison him on Robben Island without even a mock court trial.

Some of the things I admired about President Mandela were humour, tolerance and perseverance in struggle. I believe diligence as well. He was a hard-working person. My disappointment is that I think the peopled with whom, he negotiated freedom in South Africa did not respond as they should have done. They wanted to eat their cake and still have it. They took the magnanimity of the colonially land robbed Africans of Azania (South Africa) for political imbecility.

Through the Native Land Act 1913, the British colonial government allocated the then five million Africans only 7% of their land and gave its European colonial settlers numbering 387,349 souls 93% of the African country. This law is now disguised as “abolished” in Section 25(7) of the “New South Africa” constitution. Even though, the Native Trust Land Act 1936 added a mere 6% of land to make it 13%.

The freedom fighters of this country, especially those who belonged to the military wings of the Pan Africanist Congress (the Azanian Peoples Liberation Army) and to the African National Congress (Umkhonto Wesizwe) were imprisoned after being paraded before the “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” (TRC) with the perpetrators of apartheid. As we speak, many freedom fighters such as Kenny Motsamai are still in jail. This is despite the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid through which the United Nations declared apartheid a crime against humanity. This has now passed as “miracle” and “rainbow nation.”

The consequences of wrong political response to the statesmanship of President Mandela by the representatives of the apartheid colonialist regime are that in South Africa today, there are “two nations.” One is extremely rich and white settler minority. Another one is extremely poor and 79.2% African majority. Mandela’s greatest contribution is that he tried his best to secure a prosperous and happy future for everyone in South Africa, but greed on the part of the forces of apartheid backed by the West, simply did not use the golden opportunity that President Mandela gave them. They did not respond to the South African political situation on equally magnanimous terms and in the spirit of justice. The victims of apartheid gave far more to “reconciliation” than the perpetrators of colonialism and apartheid.

The passing on of Nelson Mandela is a serious challenge to this country to rise to the occasion and ensure that there is equitable redistribution of land and its resources according to population number. The Marikana Massacre of African workers has already sent a signal that something urgent must be done to intensify the economic and social emancipation of the African majority in Azania for the good of everyone. The African people cannot live like slaves in their own country perpetually. The poverty, the filthy inhuman shacks in which millions live must go. Azania (South Africa) is four times the size of Britain and Northern Ireland combined and richer in natural resources. Indeed, liberation without repossession of land and its resources by the dispossessed is a gigantic colonial fraud.

The effects of the 1884-1885 Berlin Conference must be banished from the shores of Africa. Perhaps, now that the greedy ones missed the “Mandela magic,” the hope for genuine freedom, will lie in the words of James Russell when he said, “Truth is forever on the scaffold. Wrong forever on the throne, yet that scaffold sways the future and behind the dim unknown stands God within the shadow of keeping watch above His people.”

Farewell Madiba! You have done your share. You have shown the light. Let all the people of the world who cherish human freedom regardless of race, nationality and class walk in this light from Africa. Greet Sobukwe, Sisulu, Lembede and all African heroes for Africa’s total liberation. Remember Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Marcus Garvey and Malcom X.

By Dr. Motsoko Pheko
The writer is a former Member of the South African Parliament as well as former President of the PAC. He is also a historian, political scientist, lawyer, theologian and author of several books.

Professor Horace Campbell

Professor Horace Campbell

When any scholar visits this country and speaks about Pan Africanism on a national radio or television and associates it with Nelson Mandela and the ANC but factors out Robert Sobukwe and the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), one wonders if s/he should take the scholary input by such a scholar, on the history of this country’s struggle for liberation, seriously. This also raises the question of who sponsored such scholar’s visit to this country and who were his/her hosts. The conduct of such scholars is consistent with the official ANC government’s intention to expunge the name of Sobukwe from the annals of this country’s history and from the collective consciousness of the African people.

One such scholar is Professor Horace Campbell who was a guest on Tsepiso Makwetla’s SAfm radio show on 27 August 2013. He was introduced as Professor of African American Studies and Political Science at Syracuse University whose recent book is Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya. He is also author of the books Rasta and Resistance: From Marcus Garvey to Walter Rodney; Reclaiming Zimbabwe: The Exhaustion of the Patriarchal Model of Liberation; Pan Africanism, Pan Africanists and African Liberation in the 21st Century; and Barack Obama and 21st Century Politics.

Mandela and the ANC of 1957 cannot and should not be associated with Pan Africanism. Mandela was one of the ANC leaders who abandoned a Pan Africanist programme and adopted a charter of dubious origin which has now been revealed to have been written by a white Communist Party member, Rusty Bernstein. Mandela was one of those who physically chucked out Pan Africanists at the 1958 ANC conference and even punched one of the Pan Africanist leaders, Zeph Mothopeng. Perhaps Prof Campbell is oblivious of the fact that in his book Long Walk to Freedom published in 1994, Mandela describes one of the greatest Pan Africanists and freedom fighters Marcus Garvey as an ‘extremist’ and this year the ANC wanted to bestow one of this country’s national orders to the killer of yet another great Pan Africanist, Walter Rodney. He also describes his former colleague from the Congress Youth League Anton Lembede as a ‘racialist’. Associating the ANC and Mandela with Pan Africanism is the stuff of dilettantes. In religious lexicon it is blasphemous.

In an apparent manoeuvre to avoid displaying his ignorance on Sobukwe and the PAC or trying to evade discussing Sobukwe, Professor Campbell said Pan Africanism cannot be associated with a leader or leaders but he kept on associating some leaders with it. We cannot help associating Pan Africanism with Edward Wilmot Blyden. This writer proposes to quote from a discourse on the legacy of Blyden to dispute Professor Campbell’s assertion and to demonstrate that Pan Africanism can be associated with some leaders and that Mandela is not one of them. The discourse states in its introduction that, “Blyden’s ideas and speeches urging a return to Africa and the re-creation of an African Nation were to seed African consciousness movements all over the world. There is an unbroken line of black leaders that inherited his ideas, directly or indirectly. W.E.B. Du Bois and Marcus Garvey exploded them into the twentieth century, continuing to champion the theme of a return to Africa. Their political ideas in turn became a source for the leaders of African independence movements of the fifties and sixties- Nkrumah, Nyerere, Sekou Toure and Blyden’s own grandson, Edward W. Blyden III whose Sierra Leone Independence Movement (SLIM) played a key role in winning Sierra Leone’s independence from Great Britain.”

Professor Campbell mentioned the first President of Ghana and one of the foremost Pan Africanist, Kwame Nkrumah more than once during the interview and also conveyed the impression that Mandela was in Nkrumah’s league or that they saw eye to eye. Yet in 1961 during Mandela’s tour of Africa, Nkrumah refused to meet Mandela. Nkrumah recognized Sobukwe and the PAC. Almost all the leaders of countries Mandela visited in 1961to ask for support asked him about Sobukwe. One of those leaders told Mandela that he should wait until Sobukwe was released from jail.

During that radio interview Campbell rightly condemned the West but he is a victim of Western propaganda. He is ignorant of South African history and some aspects of African history. He condemned the leadership of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and referred to what happened in Zimbabwe recently as a “travesty”. I wonder what he would refer to what happened in South Africa in April 1994 and what does he think of the beneficiaries of that gigantic fraud and daylight robbery. The beneficiaries of that April 1994 colossal fraud have turned this country into an egregious cesspool of corruption which exposed the head of the electoral commission a day before he was on radio as corrupt.

What has happened In Zimbabwe might have been a travesty but Zimbabweans have a sovereign state. They enjoy self-determination and decide their destiny. Zimbabwe is not a neo-colonial state that follows neo-liberal policies of the Washington Consensus. It is not a banana republic. President Mugabe does not pander to western bigotry and arrogance. If he describes the Zimbabwean elections as a travesty, what does Professor Campbell think is happening every four years in the US? Are the US voting machines not a charade? A computer science expert Rebecca Mercuri was quoted in the American Free article as having said that the voting equipment vendors and certifying authorities are allowed to keep the machines and the computer code that runs the machines secret. In many cases, company officials operate the machines on Election Day. In Chicago, Election Systems and Software (ES&S) programmed the “control cards” that ran the Precinct Ballot Counter machines at their company offices during the 2000 presidential election. Mercuri went on to say that “Democracy is down the tubes” if the trend to insecure electronic voting systems is not stopped. “The most vulnerable of these systems are the fully electronic touch-screen [Votronic] or Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) devices because of their lack of an independent, voter-verified audit trail,”. This sounds more like a travesty than what has happened in Zimbabwe.

Professor Campbell and the like minded academics who canonize Mandela should give themselves time to learn about the Pan Africanist Congress and its leaders and include them in their discourse on Pan Africanism. In South Africa Pan Africanism is associated with Robert Sobukwe and the PAC. We would not like to accuse Prof Campbell of intellectual dishonesty on South African matters and colluding with those who have a hidden agenda of expunging Sobukwe’s name from history books and from the collective consciousness of African people.

By Sam Ditshego
The writer is a Senior Researcher at the Pan Africanist Research Institute (PARI).

Robert Sobukwe

Robert Sobukwe

Programme Director, The Sobukwe Family, Honourable people of Graaff-Reinet, PAC leaders and members and all friends gathered here today.

It is an honour for me to speak to you on this 35th Sobukwe Day. Enemies of truth may kill the messenger, but they cannot kill the message. They can bury a visionary, but they cannot bury his vision. They can delay the genuine liberation of the African people, but they cannot destroy it.

It is thirty five years now since Prof. Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe departed from this planet. But his vision for genuine liberation of our country has refused to go away. Its triumph may be delayed, but it cannot be decimated. This is the Pan African vision which he shared with Pan Africanist giants such as Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Marcus Garvey, WEB Du Bois, Sekou Toure and many reliable leaders of Africa.

Prof. Ivan Sertima, a Pan Africanist scholar in the Diaspora was correct when he said, “When a star dies, it does not vanish from the firmament. Its light keeps streaming across the fields of time and space so that centuries later we may be touched by a vision of the fire and brilliance of its former life. The lives of truly great men are just like that.” Mangaliso Sobukwe is that kind of star.

Land is the core and primary contradiction over which the liberation struggle was waged in this country – AZANIA – colonially called South Africa. No leader has arisen in this country as the unquestionable embodiment of the genuine struggle of the African people for repossession of our land and usurped national sovereignty as Sobukwe. In spite of the suppression of his political philosophy and his role in the liberation struggle of Azania; both foe and friend, acknowledge his unique and principled leadership.

Sobukwe was a man with great intellectual revolutionary vigour and great organising ability. He had exceptionally disarming humility towards everybody, friend and foe alike. Unashamed of the humble beginnings from which he came, he declared, “I am the son of Sobukwe born in Graaf-Reinet that land of goats….” In touch with his roots he proclaimed a message to the masses that spoke of cultural dignity and identity of the African people. He preached a loyalty higher than that of the tribe through African Nationalism. In 1959 he declared, “We honour Ghana as the first independent state in modern Africa which under the courageous Pan Africanist leadership of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the Convention Peoples’ Party, has actively interested itself in the liberation of the whole continent from colonial domination….”

He added, “We, who are Pan African in outlook, do not subscribe to the South African exceptionalism and are committed to Pan Africanism and a Union of African States which we would like to see as a unitary state, centrally controlled organic whole….”

Johannes B. Vorster who was the leader of the apartheid colonialist regime put in place a law called the “Sobukwe Clause.” He said he was going to imprison Sobukwe eternally “this side of the grave.” He warned that colonial South Africa would pay a big price if Sobukwe were released. Sobukwe was banished to Kimberly where he was under house arrest until he died there. His colleagues, Zephania Mothopeng and Kholekile Nyobo said Sobukwe told them that the regime had poisoned him while on Robben Island Prison.

Members of the apartheid colonial parliament justified the imprisonment and the house arrest of Sobukwe for his political ideas saying, “Sobukwe is a leader, a man who had the entire country in turmoil within a short space of time.”

A member of the South African Parliament said, “The powers that are seeking our downfall are gathering their forces to destroy us, and at this time they are assiduously looking for a star to give lustre to their nefarious schemes…Sobukwe would if given the opportunity, not hesitate to make and regain what he has lost during his time of detention.”

Another regime’s MP after visiting Sobukwe in Robben Island Prison said, “I asked Sobukwe, have you considered changing your ideology? He replied, ‘Not until the day of the resurrection.”

After the Sharpeville Uprising which was led by Sobukwe; Lewis Nkosi, a highly respected journalist described Sobukwe as, “…a tall, distinguished African prisoner, a university lecturer and political leader who at the age of 36 has a rare distinction of having scared the South African government out of its wits….Sobukwe helped to orchestrate a crisis that panicked the South African regime and nearly brought about the kind of political situation which too often makes the transfer of power overnight.”

A.P. Mda who was the President of the 1912 ANC Youth League after the death of Antony Muziwakhe Lembede and was now a prominent lawyer said, “I found that Sobukwe believed that a leader must have total commitment to the struggle of the African people for national emancipation, no matter what hardships maybe or what the obstacles maybe.”

When the University of Ahmadu Bello in Nigeria conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws on Sobukwe, the Dean of this University chanted, “Honourable Chancellor, I present to you this courageous African revolutionary, this strong believer in the principles of Pan Africanism, this great fighter for the liberation and unity of all African peoples, this symbol of the struggle against apartheid and colonialism; for the posthumous conferment of the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws….”

He knew how land dispossession of the African people happened in this country. He recognised all African kings who fought this struggle long before 1912. These are heroes such as “Uphaqa njelanga, Inyathi yasenhlakanhlakeni, Unokuzila ukudla kwamagwala. Amagwala adlu bubende.” That is King Cetshwayo – the architect of the Battle of Isandlwana – where African spears triumphed over the guns of a well-armed British army.

In this today’s Eastern Cape, King Hintsa fell in the Sixth War of national resistance against British colonialism in 1834. The colonial soldiers were commanded by Harry Smith. He still has a town named after him and another called Ladysmith, named after his wife. It is after this battle that reports have persisted that King Hintsa’s head was cut off and taken to England. King Hintsa is praised as “Unjongantshiyini Bathi uqumbile. Inkunzi abayikhuzu kuhlaba ingekahlabi. Uzigodlwana zemaze ndala zingalale ndleleni yazini kunyembelekile….”

In July 1959, Sobukwe whose nickname is “Defier of the Undefiable” paid tribute to African kings who were the first freedom fighters in this country against colonialism and imperialism. Among other things he said:

“Sons and Daughters of Afrika, we are going down the corridor of time renewing our acquaintance with the heroes of Africa’s past – those men and women who nourished the tree of African freedom and independence with their blood, those great Sons and Daughters of Afrika who died in order that we may be free in the land of our birth. We meet here today, to rededicate ourselves to the cause of Afrika, to establish contact beyond the grave, with the great African heroes and assure them that their struggle was not in vain. We are met here Sons and Daughters of the beloved land to drink from the fountain of African achievement, to remember the men and women who begot us, to remind ourselves of where we come from and restate our goals. We are here to draw inspiration from the heroes of Thababosiu, Isandlwana, Sandile’s Kop and numerous other battlefields where our forefathers fell before the bullets of the foreign invader….”

Ma-Afrika, a liberation struggle that is based on a colonial history and mysterious fraudulent documents, such as the Freedom Cheater; is like asking a jackal to look after your sheep or a hawk to look after your chickens.

A generation that is ignorant of its past has no past and no future. A generation that does not know its past does not know even its present. It therefore, cannot understand its present and plan its future intelligently and wisely. The past has determined how the present must be handled.

That is why a Chinese proverb advises, “If you want to know your past, look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future, look into your present actions.”

Have you ever heard about the “Union of South Africa Act 1909?” Sobukwe said, “that fossilised relic of the white man’s exclusive privileges and prejudices must be scrapped.” This is the colonial law that created South Africa. It is the law that brought together the four British colonies of Cape, Natal, Transvaal and Orange Free State to fight what the colonialists called “Native danger.” It is a law that was meant to make this country a “Whiteman’s country.” It was an Act of the British Parliament.

From the beginning, the foundation upon which South Africa was established was not only colonial and racist; it was meant to protect European interests and enslave Africans especially, economically. Section 1 of the Act reads: “This Act may be cited as the South Africa Act 1909.”

Section 44 (c) stated that “The qualifications of a Member of the House of Assembly must…be…a British subject of European descent.”

In 1909, there were five million Africans in Azania (South Africa) and 349,837 colonial settlers. In their exclusive Parliament they were already talking about “their determination to make this a white man’s country.” The Hansards of 1910 and 1911 are full of this evidence. In 1913 the British colonial government allocated its settlers 93% of this country and only 7% to the then five million Africans. That was through the Native Land Act 1913.

On 20th July 1914 African leaders such as John Dube, Sol Plaatje, W.B. Rubusana and two others went to Britain. They handed a petition to King George V, demanding that the land must be distributed according to population numbers.

During this time a London Daily News paper reported the meeting between African leaders and King George. It said:

“In carving out estates for themselves in Africa the white races have shown little regard for the claims of the black man. They have expropriated his LAND and have taken away his economic freedom and have left him in a worse case than they found him…the blacks as compared to the whites are in proportion of four to one, but are in legal occupation of only one-fiteenth of the LAND.”

Land dispossession of the African people through the Native Land Act 1913 is this year one hundred years old. Why? Because in 1955 some leaders in this country with whom Sobukwe and his colleagues worked with abandoned the liberation struggle of the African people as pursued by the African Kings and the leaders of the 1912 South African Native National Congress.

These Freedom Cheater leaders declared that this African country no longer belonged to the African people, but to the coloniser and the colonised. They ignored the partitioning of Africa by Europeans at their Berlin Conference on 26 February 1885. They ignored that this African country was taken from the African people at gun point. The Freedom Cheaters literally endorsed the allocation of 13% to Africans in this country and 87% to the colonisers.

This reduced the anti-colonial struggle to a mere apartheid civil rights movement of fighting about sharing toilets and buses, instead of equitably sharing land and its resources – mineral wealth and fertile land, according to population numbers. This betrayal of the land question in South Africa is today entrenched in Section 25(7) of the so-called “New South Africa.”

This has today, created a “two nations” syndrome where one is extremely rich and white minority and another is extremely poor and 8O% African indigenous majority. The Marikana Massacre of 16 August 2012 is a signal of deepening dissatisfaction of this glaring economic inequality.

Asazi ke ukuba iyozalankmoni ngoba iinkosi izininzi azisathethe ngomhhlaba wokhokho. Nazo sezigcwele kula Freedom Cheater.

Sobukwe, however vowed that “We must speak the truth before we die.” The Saviour of the world, Jesus Christ Himself has said, “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall liberate you.”

Lies are clever but they will not liberate this nation from poverty and from the chains of land dispossession of Native Land Act 1913 which is now 100 years old despite CODESA “Negotiations” and the acclaimed “Truth And Reconciliation Commission” – TRC.

Shango Lashu! Izwe Lethu! Tiko ra hina! Lefatshe la rona!

By Dr. Motsoko Pheko
This article is an address by the writer on the occassion of the 35th Sobukwe Day held on 2 March 2013 at Graffreinet, Eastern Cape.

Marcus Garvey

Marcus Garvey was born on the 17 August 1887 in St Ann’ Bay, Jamaica and passed away on the 10th June 1940. He was a publisher, journalist, entrepreneur and orator who was a staunch proponent of African Nationalism and Pan Africanism movements, to which end, he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and the African Communities League (UNIA-ACL) in 1914. He believed that such a name would embrace the purpose of all black humanity. The motto of UNIA-ACL was ‘One God! One Aim! One Destiny!’

He founded the Black Star Line, part of the Back-to-Africa movement, which prompted the return of the African Diaspora to their ancestral lands.

As a young man he was apprenticed to his godfather who operated a printery. He went to Kingston in 1906 to continue work as a professional printer and it was not long before he was elected Vice President of the Kingston Typographical Union. His uncompromising position on the rights of workers attracted attention and in 1910 he was elected Assistant Secretary of the National Club, Jamaica’s first nationalist political organization.

The Club published a newspaper, Our Own. It provided Garvey with his first experience in newspaper publishing and campaigning for a political candidate. He soon published a paper of his own, The Watchman. The paper was short-lived but he saw, with great clarity, how crucial and effective the media was to influencing his people and gaining power to alter their condition. The Negro World was a publication of UNIA and those with retentive memories will remember that Sowetan’s forerunner was called The Bantu World which goes to show Garvey’s influence in South Africa’s political landscape.

Garvey went to the US in 1916 and toured thirty-eight states on a lecture tour. He eventually decided to lay down roots in Harlem and began to build a mass organization that embraced Africans all over the world. He developed a coherent and cohesive ideology around “Africa for the Africans: Those at Home and Abroad”. It became an organizing instrument for attracting millions. There had never been a mass movement more capable of unifying dispersed Africans.

The US government sent Garvey to jail on trumped-up charges. He was sentenced to five years but served less than three. His sentence was commuted by then US President Coolidge and he was deported from the US on 2 December 1927.

Garvey was influenced by leaders such as Pan Africanist pioneers Dr Edward Wilmot Blyden who authored the book Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race, J.E. Casely-Hayford, Duse Mohammed Ali and Booker T. Washington among others. He also in turn influenced many leaders like Nmandi Azikiwe, Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, Robert Sobukwe and others. He hosted the first Secretary of the ANC Sol Tshekisho Plaatje in the early 1920’s. The colours of the flag of the ANC were copied from the Garveyite movement and were adopted in the 1920’s. However, the ANC excluded the red colour.

Garvey emphasised self-reliance and racial pride. We who lived in Botswana during the time of its first President, Sir Seretse Khama remember vividly how he emphasized on key development principles one of which was self-reliance.

On the other, in his book Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela describes Garvey as an extremist because he preached the gospel of racial pride. He also labels the Black Consciousness Movement and Pan Africanist Congress of Azania as immature for the same reason because he failed to grasp the dehumanising treatment of chattel slavery to which people of African descent were subjected. He also sold us out by secretly negotiating with representatives of the Apartheid government and their imperialist sponsors for a bad economic deal for the African people. Yet we are expected to celebrate his birthday every July. That’s asking for too much. It is the birthday of Marcus Garvey that must be celebrated every year on the 17 August.

By Sam Ditshego

Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe was the first to be reconciliatory. (Source: Graaff-Reinet Publicity Association)

Nelson Mandela cannot be more important than the entire continent of Africa and its people at home and in the Diaspora. It is absurdity to try and elevate Mandela over and above the entire Africa and its people. He cannot be more important than the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) of 1912 and its founders.

The SANNC became the African National Congress in the 1920’s and its founding members were, among others, Sol Thekisho Plaatje and Pixley Seme. The former was invited by Marcus Garvey and UNIA to the US in the early 1920’s and the latter studied in the US . Mandela cannot be more important than the African Diaspora and its leaders like Frederick Douglass, Toussaint L’Ouverture, Martin Robison Delany, Edward Wilmot Blyden and Marcus Garvey to name but five.

Delany was called “the father of Black Nationalism”. It is Delany who coined the phrase ” Africa for the Africans”. He was born on May 12, 1812. He subsequently worked with Frederick Douglass on his weekly newspaper, the North Star. He was the first black students at Harvard Medical School .

Blyden was born on 3 August 1832 and inspired Garvey among other Diasporan leaders who came after him. Garvey was born on 17 August 1887. An African-American historian Runoko Rashidi wrote that among the most acclaimed of the early pioneer advocates of the rights of African people were Delany and Blyden. They were intellectuals and activists whose lives personified Kwame Nkrumah’s maxim of “Thought without practice is empty, action without thought is blind”.

Douglass said HE always thanked God for making him a man but Delany went further to say HE always thanks him (God) for making him a Black man. Dr Blyden often remarked that “I would rather be a member of this race (the Black race) than a Greek in the time of Alexander, a Roman in the Augustan period, or Anglo-Saxon in the nineteenth century. Garvey said of Blyden that if “You do not knw anything of your ancestry it will do you well to read the works of Blyden, one of our historians and chroniclers, who has done so much to retrieve the lost prestige of the race”.

Garvey was the founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL). Garvey’s movement inspired many Africans in Africa and the Diaspora. The colours of the ANC were influenced by the Garveyite movement.

After his correspondence with Booker T. Washington, Garvey went to the US in 1916 and continued his Pan Africanist work until trumped up charges were brought against him. By 1920, UNIA claimed to have had about 4 million members. So Garvey was a good organiser. These leaders surely did more than Mandela and preceded him. But why has he been elevated to a position higher than his continent and people?

There is talk that he is the personification of reconciliation. But if you read “How Can Man Die Better” by Benjamin Pogrund you will learn that the first person to be reconciliatory was the PAC founding President Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe. The amazing reconciliatory approach of Sobukwe was noted by people like former Truth and Reconciliation Commission deputy Chairperson Alex Borraine who went to visit Sobukwe in hospital in Cape Town in the 1970’s. So what is so important about Mandela?

Why can’t we make the birthdays of Douglouss, Delany, Blyden, Garvey, Nkrumah and Sobukwe public holidays or 25 May, the founding day of the Organisation of African Unity, a public holiday instead of the birthday of this one man who even entered into questionable agreements with his former jailers? Are we suckers? Suppressing information about these other leaders is a ploy to suppress their role as liberators of our minds like Frantz Fanon and Cheikh Anta Diop.

By Sam Ditshego

Zephaniah “The Lion of Azania” Mothopeng

There is this crazy thing about the celebration of Nelson Mandela’s birthday and the exaggeration of his role in the South Africa’s struggle for liberation. There is also overemphasis on the issue of the 67 years he put in the struggle.Some of his fellow comrades, like Govan Mbeki and Walter Sisulu, who were incarcerated with him on Robben Island, put in more years than Mandela in serving humanity. Anton Lembede, Ashby Peter Mda, Zeph Mothopeng and Oliver Tambo were involved in the struggle for liberation long before Mandela. Now what is so significant about Mandela’s 67 years in the struggle? The Western media, UN and Mandela foundations and charities set up after his retirement in 1999, are in the forefront of promoting this Mandela Day. The Western media sets the agenda for us and also decides for us who our important heroes are – the hierarchisation of struggle heroes.

According to the Western media, UN and the Mandela foundations and charities we should all forget the imperialist brokered sellout deals Mandela clinched in secret with representatives of Apartheid regime. They also want us to be in a permanent state of amnesia concerning the accusation against Mandela by his former lawyer, Ismail Ayob, that Mandela did not pay tax from the proceeds of his books sold abroad. The South African Revenue Services did nothing about these tax defaults to this day. Ayob also suggested that there are other trusts for individual Mandela children. Ayob was a trustee of the Mandela trusts. When there was a fallout between Mandela and Ayob after it emerged that Ayob had allegedly cashed in on the Mandela name, the much vaunted reconciler was said to have told a number of friends that, “I want Ayob imprisoned”.

Herbert Chitepo

Herbert Chitepo

One of the South African Broadcasting Corporation radio stations quoted a Movement for Democratic Change spokesman go along with the Mandela Day celebrations. Does the MDC suggest that Mandela is more important than, for example, the founder of the Organisation of African Union in 1963, Kwame Nkrumah, and other African and Diasporan leaders such as Patrice Lumumba, Amilcar Cabral and Marcus Garvey to deserve an international day set aside in his honour? Charity begins at home and the MDC must first honour Herbert Chitepo and should demand that their government prosecute the killers of the man who led ZANU before Robert Mugabe and the first barrister in Southern Africa, Herbert Chitepo. Chitepo was killed in Zambia on 18 March 1975 by a parcel bomb which exploded underneath the driver’s seat of his car.

Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah

The people of Botswana also have their heroes like Kgalemang Tumediso Motsete, born 24 September 1899, and the first commoner to acquire university education which he used for the upliftment of his people. His pioneering political work as leader of the Bechuanaland/Botswana People’s Party is overshadowed by his work as an outstanding composer. He wrote Botswana’s national anthem and appears on that country’s twenty Pula note. When Mandela was born, Motsete was already involved in working towards the improvement of people’s lives. In 1932 Motsete went to teach at Tigerkloof in Vryburg where the first two Presidents of Botswana Sir Seretse Khama and Dr Ketumile Masire went to school. Is it therefore not silly for people of Botswana to revere Mandela more than Motsepe as if to suggest that the people of Botswana were waiting all these years to revere Mandela?

There is also the first President of Botswana, Sir Seretse Khama who was instrumental in the formation of the Southern Africa Development Coordinating Conference in the 1970’s who was a very eloquent speaker. And there was the erudite founding President of the Botswana National Front Dr Kenneth Koma who was intellectually far superior than Nelson Mandela and genuinely committed to the cause of the poor and working class.

Robert Sobukwe

Intellectually Nelson Mandela did not match Lembede, the founding President of the ANCYL in 1943, his deputy Mda and PAC founding President Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe. Why is there such an obsession about Mandela? The Western world has its hidden agenda. It could be that like in religion they want to deify him in order to use his carved image to control and manipulate the masses for their own benefit or to take our focus away from Mandela’s imperialist-brokered sellout deal and the fact that he amassed wealth for himself, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and tax evasion charges his former lawyer accused him of.

By Sam Ditshego


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