Saturday, 5 May 2012

Pan-Afrikanists CAN join the ANC by Malaika wa Azania

by Malaika Wa Azania on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 8:41pm ·
In his "LETTRES PERSANES" written in 1721,Charles Montesquieu says that "Il n'y a jamais eu de royaume où il y ait eu tant de guerres civiles que dans celui du Christ".Translated,this means "No kingdom has ever had as many civil wars as the kingdom of Christ."
Monterquieu had no way of knowing that centuries later,this would hold true for the political arena of Azania,for no kingdoms have ever had as much wars as the kingdom of the Black Consciousness/ pan Afrikanist blocs and the kingdom of the Afrikan National Congress (ANC).

The ANC and the pan Afrikanist bloc have been rival enemies since 1955,when the former adopted the Freedom Charter as its guiding document.Leaders of the ANCYL-which had been formed in 1944-who called themselves "Afrikanists" felt betrayed by that position,for it compromised the radical 1949 Programme of Action which was to be the guiding revolutionary tool of the liberation movement that was the ANC.These "Afrikanists",led by a dynamic Robert Sobukwe,left the ANCYL in 1958 and formed the Pan Afrikanist Congress of Azania on the 6th of April 1959.They became agents of the philosophy,guided by the ideology of Socialism.

The pan-Afrikanist bloc was dealt a major blow 11 months later when the PAC (and all other liberation movements) was banned and its leadership,including Sobukwe,was incarcerated and many were exiled.The Black Consciousness Movemement was then formed,led by Steve Biko,inspired by the quest of the Afrikanists.BCM sent winds of change sweeping through Azania,particularly in the '60s and '70s,at the zenith of armed struggle in the country.The climax was in June 16 1976,when students in Soweto,led by BCM leaders,Tsietsi Mashinini and Khotso Seahlolo,took to the streets in a protest against the oppressive regime.The police retaliated by turning violent on the students,and hundreds were killed.These uprisings gained momentum,shaking the regime to its core.BCM/Afrikanists were once again affirming that Afrika is for Afrikans and no settlers can subjugate and marginalise its people.

In the early '80s,with the formation of student organisation Congress of South Afrikan Students (COSAS) and later under the banner of the United Democratic Front (UDF),which adopted the Freedom Charter,the ANC re-emerged.Liberation movements were unbanned in 1989 (coinciding with the collapse of the USSR) and in 1994,at the country's first democratic elections,the ANC won by an overwhelming two-thirds majority.It has been in power since.

In the current socio-political and economic milieu,the philosophical ideology of pan Afrikanist Socialism has found itself swallowed up in the crucible of opportunistic individuals,of a super-power "broad church" and of apolitical,desensitised masses.The "ballot revolution" has also meant that the pan Afrikanist/BCM bloc has found itself forced to make a home in parliamentary politics,reduced to electioneering.AZAPO had boycotted the '94 elections,on the basis of their selling out the struggle to the system.This revolutionary bravery was abandoned when AZAPO joined the political race to the bottom in 1999.
The disturbing factor in this is that despite their powerful ideological orientation,the pan Afrikanist/BCM bloc is unable to win more than 5 parliamentary seats respectively.As if this is not tragic enough,this bloc has an endless capacity for divisions and internal conflicts that tend to reach alarmingly destructive proportions.

This means that the ANC's power is near-absolute.The ANC has been able to swallow leaders once loyal to the pan Afrikanist/BCM bloc,the most painful to amaAfrika having been Thami ka Plaatjie.It is almost as though one must either join the ANC or one must remain in organisations that run the risk of becoming irrelevant to the people of Azania.For us the younger generation of pan Afrikanists it is very complex,because we have inherited the sabotaged revolution and find ourselves being drawn into factional bitterness and battles of these organisations.

Two options exist: save these disasterous organisations and be met with resistence from their self-appointed "vanguards" on top of challenging a ruthless enemy that is the system OR infiltrate the powerful ANC and attempt to change it from within by influencing its posture and driving the Afrikanist agenda to make it a "better life" for our people.We will be met with counter-progress policies of the party,and many problematic economic positions that the party has taken over the past 17 years.

If we win this,and it is a big IF,it will mean that we will have sufficient resources that the ANC enjoys as well as the support of the masses,a majority of whom believe in the leadership of the ANC despite its dismal performance record in the new dispensation.
If we swell up its ranks and fail to change its posture,the consequences are unthinkable.We shall have contributed to the rising poverty levels of our people,the kleptocracy of the government and the downfall of Afrika.

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