Saturday, 5 May 2012

The Sharpeville Massacre: We remember Sobukwe by Malaika wa Azania

by Malaika Wa Azania on Monday, March 21, 2011 at 11:04am ·
There are many stories doing the rounds about the Anti-Pass campaign of 1960.The ruling party has continued to claim this memorable day as its own,to steal the victory against White domination from its warriors-the men and women whose courageous stand against the apartheid regime cost them their lives and the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) at the time led by its first elected National President,Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe and National Secretary,Potlako K. Leballo.

The PAC of Azania was launched at Orlando Communal Hall in Soweto on the 6th April 1959,with Sobukwe elected its first President.It was destined to play a most decisive role in the struggle for national liberation,with its policy and ultimate goal stated authoratively and unambiguously.

The PAC was formed by members of the youth wing of the African National Congress (ANC) in response to the adoption of the "Freedom Charter" by the said liberation movement.Prior to this document,the ANC had been advocating for Black nationalism,but it abandoned the belief that Afrika belongs to Afrikan people,including in this,colonial settlers.The Charter stated that "South Africa belongs to all who live in it,Black and White",thereby liquidating the anti-colonial struggle of Afrikan people to regain their stolen land.

On the 21st March 1960,the PAC launched the Anti-Pass Campaign.The pass laws forced Afrikan people to carry official identification with them at all times.It was a criminal offense to be unable to produce a pass when called to do so by the police,a crime punishable by detention.

The PAC was the first liberation movement to launch the armed struggle against the apartheid regime.Sobukwe and the PAC organised mass anti-pass demonstrations throughout the country,including Sharpeville,where 7000 Afrikans surrounded the police station,offering themselves up for arrest because they refused to carry passes.The police opened fire on the unarmed demonstrators,killing at least 69 people and injuring 180,including children.

After these demonstrations,the racist government,in a quest to silence Sobukwe,banned the PAC and all other liberation movements.He was arrested,along with many other PAC leaders and sentenced to 3 years in prison.On the 3rd May 1963 Sobukwe was released and the SOBUKWE CLAUSE was passed.Its secondary aim was to keep political prisoners incarcerated for an additional 12 months,a "...detention without trial until this side of eternity." However,it was used primarily to keep Sobukwe in Robben Island for a further 6 years.He was released and banished to Kimberley in 1969.

March 21st,Human Rights Day/Sharpeville Day is now observed throughout the world as a day of solidarity with the people of Azania and has been named Internation Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in the world.

The world remembers Sobukwe,but we the people of Azania FEEL the giant.Every time a Black child hungers,we feel Sobukwe.Every time a Black child is unable to afford school fees,we feel Sobukwe.Every time the ANC government sells our land to foreign investors,we feel Sobukwe,we feel Leballo,we feel Lembede,we feel Masemola,we feel Mothopeng,we feel Phama,we feel Biko,we feel Mashinini,we feel Seahlolo,we feel Khumalo,we feel Mahlangu...
Everytime policies are taken by the new government,that further subjugate Black people,we feel the blood of the 69 Azanians murdered in cold blood in Sharpeville.We feel the cries of Langa township...and we weep.We weep for the revolution that was betrayed.We weep for Sobukwe,who died of induced cancer on 27th February 1978.We weep for Azania our beginning,Azania our ending.

This time in the near future,may we all meet in the United States of Afrika.

Yihla moya ka Sobukwe.

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