Dr Lehlohonolo Kennedy Mahlatsi’s response to my submission, “Black Consciousness and the Quest for a true Humanity and American Policy towards Azania (South Africa)” http://uncensoredopinion.co.za/black-consciousness-and-the-quest-for-a-true-humanity-and-american-policy-towards-azania-south-africa/ calls to mind an article which mentioned the halcyon years of black internationalism of the mid 1950’s to the late 1950’s, a period when orthodox Marxism reigned supreme, so that any naysayer risked being charged with reactionary bigotry or suspected of questioning the primacy of the class struggle. Mahlatsi’s response is here http://uncensoredopinion.co.za/forms-and-methods-of-struggle-for-liberation-a-reply-to-sam-ditshego-part-i/
Because Africa is the cradle of humanity, Africans are the masters of time. When others enter the world of “universal” history, Africans welcome them with open arms because Africans have already found their rightful place in it. We didn’t have to wait for Marxists and our world didn’t revolve around Marxism.
And if Africa is the birthplace of writing, why did we have to wait for Marxism in the 1800’s without developing our theory of analysing our situation? Mahlatsi presents dialectical materialism as an invention of Karl Marx, he is not aware that the roots of dialectical materialism predate Karl Marx and are to be found in the philosophy of ancient Africa. Therefore, his party or parties do not have a monopoly on dialectical materialism and do not even understand the history and development of the history of dialectical materialism.
It seems his approach to analyses can only be done through the prism of the South African Communist Party such as for example, the Path to power of 1989 which he quoted. His analyses seems to issue from a stream of intellectual filth oozing from the same cesspool of the SACP’s rabid racism, anti-African nationalism and Mahlatsi’s reckless application of labels such as “ill-equipped pseudo-revolutionary”, “adventurism and criminal recklessness,” “ultra-leftists,” “rhetoric of the impotent” coupled with abhorrable verbosity. It is not necessary to deal with Mahlatsi’s verbiage but suffice it to address his glaring blunders and the SACP’s checkered history.
The SACP’s path to power which according to him was adopted at their 7th Congress in Havana in 1989 was itself an anachronism because between 1981 and 1985, Nelson Mandela and other ANC-SACP leaders had already capitulated to the apartheid government and their imperialist backers. Mandela began negotiating with PW Botha and other apartheid government leaders and spies from 1981. Thabo Mbeki, Oliver Tambo and others were in discussions with representatives of the apartheid government and Broederbond in 1985. So of what use was the SACP’s 7th Congress in Havana? A year after the SACP’s 7th Congress In 1990, ANC and SACP leaders began coming back from exile into the country. In a 1983 interview with the New Republic, a conservative US magazine, Joe Slovo conceded that the armed struggle had failed. This was six years before the SACP 7th Congress in Havana.
HISTORY OF THE SACP’S INTERFERENCE IN SA’S NATIONAL LIBERATION STRUGGLE
Mahlatsi tries unsuccessfully to cover the CPSA or SACP in glory but it has a checkered past. It was formed in 1922 as a racist organisation which proclaimed – after a workers strike in which they were striking against African workers’ betterment of their deplorable conditions of employment – and declare, “White workers of the world unite”.
In 1928 the CPSA sent a predominantly white delegation to attend the Comintern in the USSR and were asked by the Russians where the indigenous people were since South Africa was a Native Republic.
The seeds of confusion in South Africa (Azania) were planted in 1955 with the adoption of the Freedom Charter by Nelson Mandela’s group abandoning the 1949 Programme of Action. This Freedom Charter was incorporated into the ANC’s new constitution in 1957. The preamble of this country’s constitution was copied from this Freedom Charter. That group was hitherto referred to as “The Charterists” and those who broke away and formed the Pan Africanist Congress led by Robert Sobukwe are known as the Africanists.
The concerted effort by members of the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA) to direct and control the African people’s struggle for liberation dates back to the 1920’s. This was indirect conflict to the 1928 Resolution on “The South African Question’ adopted by the Executive Committee of the Communist International following the Sixth Comintern congress transcribed by Dominic Tweedie. This resolution called for, among other things, the establishment of an independent native South African republic. It further reads: South Africa is a black country, the majority of its population is black and so is the majority of the workers and peasants.
The bulk of the South African population is the black peasantry, whose land has been expropriated by the white minority. Seven eighths of the land is owned by whites. Hence the national question in South Africa, which is based upon the agrarian question, lies at the foundation of the revolution in South Africa. The black peasantry constitutes the basic moving force of the revolution in alliance with and under the leadership of the working class.
On the leadership of the working class, this issue is debatable because the African people in South Africa were not oppressed as a class but as a nation. However, the gist of the resolution sensitises white members of the Communist Party of South Africa to the reality of the situation in South Africa which they ignored and continued to want to place African people or natives under their tutelage and guardianship.
In 1945 the founding President of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL), Anton Lembede, received a letter from Ruth First, Joe Slovo’s wife inviting the ANCYL to join the Communist Party Youth league which invitation Lembede rejected with the contempt it deserved. In 1947 the ANCYL was struck by the tragedy of the sudden death of Lembede. In 1949, the ANCYL adopted the Programme of Action which the CPSA was vehemently opposed to and made sure they undermined and supplanted it with a sell-out document in 1955 known as the Freedom Charter. The Africanists in the ANC wanted to know the origin and author of this preposterous document but never got the answers. In Young Mandela published around 2010, David James Smith reveals the author of the Freedom Charter as a white man, Rusty Bernstein, who was a member of both the Communist Party and Congress of Democrats.
Why is the native South African still economically handicapped in spite of the country being independent? To answer that question, we should go back to the secret negotiations that Mandela and the ANC clinched with the white colonial minority government and its imperialist backers starting in 1981 according to Mandela in his book Long Walk To Freedom and in the mid-1980’s on the part of some ANC members according to John Pilger’s book Freedom Next Time in a chapter titled Apartheid Did Not Die published in 2008.
The first people to raise their objections to the secret negotiations the ANC held with representatives of the white minority government were those in the PAC led by its second President the late Zeph Mothopeng who also rejected a contrived meeting with Mandela in Harare orchestrated by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.
Mahlatsi is perhaps unaware that I reviewed Comrades against Apartheid: The ANC & SACP in Exile by Stephen Ellis and Tsepo Sechaba http://www.worldcat.org/title/comrades-against-apartheid-the-anc-the-south-african-communist-party-in-exile/oclc/23768989 which chronicles the shameful role the SACP played in the ANC. The SACP placed its members in all strategic offices of the ANC including that of Oliver Tambo. IB Tabata also writes in his book that the SACP blocked unity between the PAC and ANC.
If Mahlatsi took time to research some of my previous articles such as this one, he could have probably written a piece that made sense or not have penned anything at all. http://mayihlomenews.co.za/the-shenanigans-of-the-tripartite-alliance/
It is not correct that I quoted the works of Africanists and Black Consciousness leaders without contextualising their relevance today. The problem SACP and ANC leaders have with Africanists and BC adherents is that they have a superior ideology. The ANC-SACP are ideologically incoherent. They labelled Robert Sobukwe as a black nationalist but now we are seeing their senior leaders writing about him such as Dr Nkosazan Dlamini Zuma in the Star of 4 July 2018. They described Steve Biko as a CIA agent but last year the ANC government celebrated the 40th anniversary of his death.
Mbokodo, the ANC’s security organ in exile purged BC and PAC members who joined them. They literally murdered them in their camps such as Chief Seremane, Zaba Nkondo (BCM) and Fanyana Nyathi (PAC).
Mandela has been exposed as an MI6 agent by Stephen Dorrill in his book MI6: Fifty Years of Special Operations. How does that form part of Strategy and Tactics? The secret talks ANC leaders held with leaders of the apartheid government can’t form part of Strategy and Tactic.
The SACP and ANC have always stood on the wrong side of history.
* I will send a response to the Freedom Charter article.
Sam Ditshego is a researcher