Open Letter by Zizamele “Zamo” Madlala – National Spokesperson – Black Economic Foundation
I pen this letter with extreme difficulty as I have been raised not only to respect my elders but to hold utmost respect for men of the cloth. But I simply could not hold back after having viewed your invitation to South Africans to march to Parliament to ask the members of parliament to do the right thing and ask the President of the Republic of South Africa to step down.
As an honourable man of the cloth, I hope that as you stood behind the pulpit yesterday, Sunday 6th August 2017, you had a visit from uMvelinqangi that allows you to answer to your conscience and to cease spreading the untruths that emanate from your lips. Bishop, are you honestly asking poor black people to believe that the President is the reason that they continue to be undermined in the land of their forefathers? Are you really asking our people to believe that they continue to suffer in abject poverty because of one Jacob Gedleyihlikisa Zuma? It cannot be, dear Bishop. You are being economical with the truth (Once again, my upbringing asks of me to respect your standing and not call you what you are, ngesiZulu umtomdala uyaphosisa, akaqambi amanga…)
My dear Bishop, the very man you ask to step down, or asking the MPs to do the “right thing” by removing him from his job, once called on all men and women of the cloth to stay out of politics but alas none of you have heeded his call. I note further that even the ZCC has made a statement albeit in support of the President. I am also of the opinion that they are also not right. But before I deal with your disingenuous call, let me frame for you who I am. I am Zizamele Madlala iBhunlesganga and the spokesperson for the Black Empowerment Foundation (BEF). In short, the BEF is an apolitical organisation that is the voice of the masses of black individuals within the Republic who find themselves in abject poverty, excluded from participating in the economy and denied the benefits of the natural riches of the land of their forefathers under the manipulation of a minority that has co-opted, not only some of their leaders, but have also successfully co-opted people like you who’ve reduced themselves to peddling half truths.
The honourable Emeritus Bishop Tutu once said, “When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray’. We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.” Now my dear Bishop, if you want to arrange a march, arrange a march to ensure the fair and equitable sharing of the resources of this land and not insult the intelligence of the majority by laying blame of all the country’s ills at the door of the President. Do not parade like a wolf in sheep’s clothing because we can see right through you. We understand that the President has touched the nerve of those who control the economy through the announcement of radical economic transformation and we all know what happened in the days of apartheid with izimpimpi. So, we do not expect that those who are in control will simply walk away without a fight and co-opting you and others as the faces of their campaign for regime change is just part of their fight.
My dear Bishop, South Africa is a constitutional democracy and if you wish to enter into the political fray, I would suggest you get ready for the elections that will be held in 2019. You will have the opportunity to canvas and campaign for votes on behalf of your masters instead of staging an underhanded coup that is devised by the minority. After centuries of colonialism and apartheid, and a hard fought battle for our liberation, South Africans went to the polls to choose their government of choice. The electorate will decide the fate of the ruling party and not a few men and women sitting in clandestine meetings attempting to determine our future.
Dear Bishop, what the majority would like to know is the number of marches you have embarked upon in the context of the grave challenges and brutality that face our country daily:
- South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world
- The majority continue to be treated like second class citizens in their own country. You need look no further than some of the most grotesque and inhumane violations to which your fellow countrymen are being subjected. Take the case of the white men who forced Victor Mlotshwa into a coffin and threatened to pour petrol over him; then there’s the rampant racism that manifests itself on social media and the latest case of sheer racism in the KFC case where six white men brutally assaulted a Black couple in Pretoria this past week. How about those who kill Black people because they mistakenly think they are monkeys? These cases are many.
- The extraordinary levels of violence that occur, especially against women
- The racism towards black children who have to be chased away from schools because of their “unruly” hair
My dear Bishop, we shall engage with you through your office as we see that you seek to participate in the development of this country, but let us please deal with the realities of South Africa and not the narrative that is peddled by certain sectors to achieve their narrow ends. If you are truly what you claim to be, you will rise above the fray and follow your calling which is to care for all man. Feed not just our souls Bishop, but let us fight to ensure that the disenfranchised rise to their rightful position.
Bishop, you will continue on your current course at your own peril as this radical economic transformation shall occur by hook or crook. We therefore humbly request that you do not participate in side shows that are intended to distract us from our mission because those who stand in our way shall be dealt with by whatever means necessary.
Yours in faith
Zizamele “Zamo” Madlala
National Spokesperson of Black Economic Foundation