“To us it seems that their role spells out the totality of the white power structure — the fact that though whites are our problem, it is still other whites who want to tell us how to deal with that problem.
“”They do so by dragging all sorts of red herrings across our paths. They tell us that the situation is a class struggle rather than a racial one. Let them go to van Tonder in the Free State and tell him this. We believe we know what the problem is, and we will stick by our findings.
“I want to go a little deeper in this discussion because it is time we killed this false political coalition between blacks and whites as long as it is set up on a wrong analysis of our situation. I want to kill it for another reason – namely that it forms at present the greatest stumbling block to our unity. It dangles before freedom hungry blacks promises of a great future for which no one in these groups seems to be working particularly hard”, Stephen Bantu Biko.
The situation that Bantu Stephen Biko analysed in the early 1970’s still obtains in 2018. Whites are our problem, it is still other whites who want to tell us how to deal with that problem. Although I believe the EFF-ANC “expropriation of land without compensation” is a gimmick, Afriforum wants to dictate how the land question in this country should be resolved. They have also said they were going to challenge this gimmick at the Constitutional Court.
In a 1976 memorandum to US Senator Dick Clarke who had attended a conference in Lesotho, Biko wrote, inter alia, “The winds of liberation which have been sweeping down the face of Africa have reached our very borders. There is no more doubt about the inevitability of change – the only questions now remaining are how and when.”
In his 1972 graduation speech, Biko’s comrade-in-arms Onkgopotse Tiro concluded his speech by saying, “In conclusion Mr. Chancellor I say: Let the Lord be praised, for the day shall come, when all shall be free to breathe the air of freedom which is theirs to breathe and when the day shall have come, no man, no matter how many tanks he has, will reverse the course of events’.
These were young men in their twenties who were predicting, many years before the Apartheid government and the ANC knew the white supremacist government would become weary of pressure from African resistance to the white supremacist government and sought a sham negotiated settlement, whose outcome white people again dictated.
If Biko alerted us to the danger of what white people did by dragging all sorts of red herrings across our paths, why do we still allow ourselves to be duped? They not only mislead us by saying our situation is a class struggle than a racial one but also about other things. In the same memorandum to Senator Clarke, Biko wrote, “America’s foreign policy seems to have been guided by a selfish desire to maintain an imperialistic stranglehold on this country irrespective of how the blacks were made to suffer”. PAC founding President Robert Sobukwe identified white supremacy, colonialism, imperialism and capitalism as problems for Africa that must be destroyed. Biko is accused the USA of maintaining an imperialistic stranglehold on South Africa. In today’s South Africa we no longer hear about these dangerous systems. They have disappeared from our discourse and lexicon.
I am not pointing an accusing finger at the Black Consciousness formations, the torchbearers of the Black Consciousness philosophy. However, it is a long time that I have not heard them address the imperialistic stranglehold the USA and Britain are maintaining on South Africa or what Biko referred to as Azania in the same memorandum to Senator Clark. I have not heard them condemn the recent visit to the Queen of England by President Cyril Ramaphosa and/or his predecessors. I have not heard them condemn Ramaphosa’s address to the Afrikanerbond’s 100th anniversary. I have not heard them condemn Ramaphosa’s predecessors’ address of the US’s Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). I have not heard them condemn Nelson Mandela’s and Julius Malema’s address of Britain’s Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA). CFR and RIIA are Cecil John Rhodes created private organisations and/or had links to him and work to undermine governments around the world. These are organisations law makers should not associate with.
PAC leaders have not been as determined as Sobukwe was in their condemnation of Britain and the US. The current PAC leadership, whose leadership is disputed, is riding on the coat tails of the ANC, and organisation that was exposed by Sobukwe and the PAC leadership as having betrayed and compromised the African people and their revolution. This is a false political coalition. They just want a “lift” to Parliament. That is not what our struggle for liberation was about.
Biko said, ‘it is time we killed this false political coalition between blacks and whites as long as it is set up on a wrong analysis of our situation. I want to kill it for another reason – namely that it forms at present the greatest stumbling block to our unity. It dangles before freedom hungry blacks promises of a great future for which no one in these groups seems to be working particularly hard”.
Azapo needs to be commended for having rejected participation in the 1994 elections whose results were predetermined. It was a brilliant move even though it came to naught because eventually some members of the organisation’s top echelons were co-opted into the governing party which is the same as endorsing the white power structure because the governing party is essentially under the control of the white elite. Nevertheless, Azapo leaders were not bamboozled by dangling of promises of a great future. Although Black Consciousness organisations did not get involved in false political coalition set up on a wrong analysis of our situation, on unity all Black Consciousness formations performed dismally. Unity eludes them. However, it was very important to Biko.
Once in a while one hears PAC MP Luthando Mbinda saying he does not want to vote with political parties that are controlled by the imperialists. Otherwise all the political parties represented in parliament have veered away from the objectives of our struggle for liberation. Do representatives of those political parties in parliament even remember that our struggle was a national liberation struggle for self-determination and to do away with foreign control our country by colonialist and imperialists?
They must revisit the speeches and writings of Sobukwe and Biko to jog their memories.