Monday, March 12, 2007

Sobukwe's Dictum

Robert Sobukwe used to say that the term "non-white" was an imposed descriptor that purposefully restricted us into a non-existence alongside whites. "Non is a negative and being non-white means you do not exist" he would assert frequently.

Over the years I have thought closely about Sobukwe's dictum. I have thought about the layers of complexity that attach to the history, politics, and philosophy, of his words. And, I have thought about his Africanist struggle against non-existence.

In truth, his words have left such a large imprint on my being that my entire politics can be defined by its provocation.

In a collective sense, this kind of mental emancipation is exactly what threatened the apartheid state the most. It was the power of political will that Sobukwe conveyed. A power that de-centered whiteness and lay bare its incontrovertible contradictions.

The apartheid regime responded fiercely to make Sobukwe invisible. They sought to keep him from the those who claimed him. But it was a futile grasping. Sobukwe lived large inside of Africanist struggle.

And, he was a thorn in the side of whiteness.

During his so-called ‘treason trial', Sobukwe refused to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Instead, he contested the very existence and legitimacy of the apartheid court.

In this way, Sobukwe subjected apartheid, and whiteness, to an existential crisis. And it was a severe crisis. Short of executing him, the apartheid state responded in the only way they knew how. Sobukwe was declared ‘non-existent' and a banished captive of the state.

But again, it was Sobukwe who lived above the apartheid state. The existential crisis was not his, but his jailers and their system.

Now, 12 years after the negotiated election that brought a selected Black bourgeois to power, the last apartheid president believes that "whites coloureds and Indians", or what he calls "non-blacks", are second class citizens.

Second class citizens because of Affirmative Action (AA) and Black Employment Equity (BEE). These programs unfairly advance undeserving and inept Blacks into positions that should be reserved, like in his presidency, for whites, we should presume. Though be sure he is not going to say it like that ... oh no broer, what he wants to say is instead communicated in code words/phrases/terms.

One of the major code words for inept Blackness is "crime". It is, afterall, crime that makes South Africa unsafe for white life. It is also crime that is driving whites to leave, in addition to AA and BEE of course.

So De Klerk thinks that if AA and BEE were scrapped then crime would subside. We are told that crime is out of control because skilled folks are going to live overseas. "Skilled folks" is code for, well you know, white folks. The implication being that whites are not part of the crime problem. But rather, as any good racist knows, it is Blacks who commit all the crime.

Now don't forget that apartheid was defined as a crime against humanity by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). That is, of course, a different story in the white imagination. Different because you cannot find any white person who supported apartheid. They have disappeared. The whites you will encounter spent the apartheid years just torn about the conditions of Black life. This they did while feeding their faces at the trough of privilege.

Also, dont forget that the TRC finding must be dealt with differently because we are free now. 12 years on and all that structural advantage that whites developed over 5 decades is not really an issue of unfair advantage. Their leafy suburbs, the full trough they still feed on, well all that is just a matter of skills and hard work. None of that was achieved through racism and state directed murder, pillage, rape, ...

What every Black person must do now is to put the past behind us, because it really is not good for business. Investors will be scared away if we keep wanking about racism and justice.

What you must know about De Klerk is that he profits from selling this kind of racist nonsense in the international market. He frequently sells speeches to a global market predisposed to accept and even confirm his racist manipulations without asking peering questions.

His use of the term "non-black" is curious. Curious in the sense of how he has conveniently manipulated the old era anxieties to fit his new era interests.

In his usage, "non-black" is an inclusive racial ‘catch-all' that is really all about bolstering the numbers of whites who want to portray South Africa's politics as beset by Black power mongers.

But the category of "non-blacks" simply does not exist in South Africa. Not in the terms that suggest a consensual political agenda and overall group identity.

De Klerk is merely, and arrogantly so, reviving an old apartheid management strategy that deploys coloureds and Indians as decoys. In this latest of deployments, coloureds and Indians are included in his dubious category only because they bolster the number of whites. In effect, "non-black" is just a code term for self-obsessed white interests.

The coloureds and Indians who are foolish enough to buy into this deployment are nothing more than agents of white interests. Agents that are contained and cauterized as "non-whites" in the white imagination. Still.

And Sobukwe's dictum stands.


Mlandeli Tsheme said...

To achieve the VISION which SOBUKWE died for we have to act now as the Youth of this nation

we must spread the Gospel of Youth Economic Empowerment Policy

This will be done by Mobilising, educating and strive for socialist economy –

Let us be 100% certain that we will cross over from obstacles, and achieve our goal.
From Zero to Hero
From inadequate to adequate
From Transition to Alteration
From being pessimistic to optimistic
From being economic slaves to economic warriors

There is a period in between its called our period, our time, our chance to make a change

I’m inviting you heroes and warriors of our Revolution, young people valued possession of our nation, as I’m blazing a very new trail, join me to omnipotent because tomorrow alteration will finds us.

As I personally believe that:
As Capitalist continue to reap profits from us without the effort of physical slavery, but because of the three most powerful methods of defamation that we use on ourselves: IGNORANCE, GREED, and SELFISHNESS.

Our IGNORANCE is the primary weapon of defamation that is being used against us by those who know how. Europeans and Americans who colonized Africa they all believe in one thing about Africans as they continue to say "The best way to hide something from African (black) people is to put it in a book." It is about time we start to believe that “we now live in the Information Age”. Were we have gained the opportunity to read any book on any subject and graduate any degree or diploma of any kind from any University through the efforts of our fight for freedom, yet we refuse to read to take the right which initially belonged to us. There are numerous books readily available at Borders, Barnes & Noble, Library and, not to mention our own Black Bookstores that provide solid blueprints to reach ECONOMIC EQUALITY (which should have been our fight all along), but few of us read consistently, if at all. The question is why. Why BANTU BAKUTHI

GREED is perceived to be another powerful weapon of defamation, which we are suffering from as African people. Since the abolition of slavery, WE have had large amounts of money at our disposal. Last year we spent more than 20 million Rands during Christmas, out of our 80 million Rands in total yearly income, that is (25%) of the total income being spent in only one day. Have we lost our minds IYEPHI INQHONDO YETHU? The question is how much are we going to spend in this Christmas.

They are using us as their target market, can’t you see that. For any business venture they care to dream up, no matter how outlandish, we will buy into it. Being primarily a consumer people, we function totally by greed. We continually want more, with little thought for saving or investing. How many of us own businesses few or none, how many of us are professionalize (chartered accountants, Actuary, Engineers, Doctors, Attorneys and entrepreneurs) in our jobs very few or non. But how many of us get drunk on weekends, all of us. How many of us have HIV/AIDS all of us, how many of us are unemployed all of us.

Although we suffer from the above mentioned we would rather buy some new Nike, Lacoster and Levis jeans than invest in starting a business. Some of us even neglect their children to have the latest DH, or Nike, and we still think that having a Mercedes, BMW and a big house gives us "Status" or that we have achieved our Dream. Ukunxiba kakuhle doesn’t mean you better or neither superior that any of us, don’t look us down and think we are inferior. KUBA SINGANXIBI AMAGAMA

I must admit or we must admit that we are fools! Our vast majority of our people are still in poverty because our greed holds us back from collectively making our communities better communities. I will always be a Khayelitshan (UMHLALI WASE KHALTSHA
E-TOWN TWO). But we always dream of living our communities and go and rent a flat in suburban arrears. We continue to show off to each other while whites build solid communities with the profits from the Nike, DH, and Levis jeans we continue to buy from them.

SELFISHNESS, is ingrained in our minds through slavery, and it is one of our major suffering. Dubois said that there was an innate division in our culture. A "Talented Tenth" he called it. He was correct in his deduction that there are segments of our culture that has achieved some "form" of success (Patrice Motsepe, Tokyo Sexwale, Cyril Ramaphosa, Phuthuma Hleko and others).

However, these people missed the fullness of his work. They didn't read that the "Talented Tenth" was then responsible to aid The Non-Talented Ninety Percent in achieving a better life. Instead, these people has created another class, a Buppie (ABELUNGU ABANYAMA) class that looks down on their people or aids them in a condescending manner. They will never be ABELUNGU such as Bill Gates and others or achieve what they have achieved. Our selfishness does not allow us to be able to work together on any project or endeavor of substance. When we do get together, our selfishness lets our egos get in our way of achieving our goals. Our so-called help organizations such as UMSOBOMVU, YOUTH COMMISSION seem to only want to promote their name without making any real change in our community.

Our leaders are content to sit in conferences and conventions in hotels of the whites, and talk about what they will do to bring a better change in our country, while they award plaques to the best speakers, not to the best doers. Is there no end to our selfishness? we steadfastly refuse to see that TOGETHER EACH ACHIEVES MORE (TEAM). We fail to understand that we are no better than each other because of what we own, as a matter of fact, most of those Buppies are but one or two pay checks away from poverty. All of which is under the control of the whites in the businesses which whites own.

Yes, we will continue to be contained by them as long as we refuse to read, continue to buy everything that is useless, and keep thinking that we are "helping" our communities by paying rent in Suburban arrears, continue driving German cars (Mercedes Benz and BMW) while Germans see them as being expensive to own dues to the price hike.

Sons and daughters of the soil, revolutionarist, members of a democratic change and true revolution I am begging you, Please focus on that which is important and which can geminate your life and those surround you.

Remember it is not what you have that makes you a have, it is what you don’t have that can make you a have more if you can have it. So please let us work together in identifying what is it that we don’t have and strive to have it. Lets show the world that the youth of this country can stand on its on fight; it’s not too late.

Here is an alternative to emancipation (being free), which will make it its duty to
re-address issues affecting the youth today and what will affect it tomorrow. The YEE is our alternative to omnipotent (great power).
The Youth Economic Empowerment Policy is our initial goal, which we aim to achieve by the end of 2009 so as to participate effectively by 2010 to geminate an economy that belongs to all of us. Then what is this YEE ?

This is an organisation with a clear aim and vision, which is to develop the life that we now live as young people of South Africa. As we are surrounded by too many challenges
and unpleasant lifestyle. This is therefore a platform to re-address those challenges [unemployment, inadequate education, unpleasant environment and crime] so as to be emancipated thereafter.

This is not a Political organisation or neither have intensions of being such, this is an organisation with an aim of creating economic warriors rather than economic slaves. This will be done for the development of our country, our economy and our youth.
Its duty is to mobilise, educate and strive for socialist economy, by so doing we are creating the envy of happiness for the youth of our country.

The (YEE) demands a new beginning of a new life in a new order for the youth of this country as that has been defamed. Therefore we will make it our duty to defend what has been defamed.

The youth of our country must be emancipated (free) from being economic slaves to economic warriors, that is the Gospel, which we aim to spread across the nation.
With a third of our population being the youth aged between 14 and 35 years, it is clear that young people comprise a substantial part of South African society. However, due to the inadequate policies of our government, a significant number of young women and men have not been afforded the opportunity to develop their full potential. They have experienced poor housing conditions, inadequate education and training, limited employment opportunities, high levels of crime and violence and a general disintegration of social networks and communities.
It is because of these grievances that we demand and edge our government to re-develop and re-implement specific policies and programmes so as to re-address the needs of the youth of this country [young women and men].
“Youth are the valued possession of the nation. Without them there can be no future. Their needs are immense and urgent. They are the centre of reconstruction and development in our country.”
This is a proof that a comprehensive strategy to address the problems and challenges facing young women and men in South Africa is urgently needed as more young people tern to lose confidence on the government and its policies
The Youth for Economic Empowerment recognizes many influences of society, which have shaped the situation, and experience of young men and women today. It is unfortunate that these historical legacies and contemporary circumstances can only be described briefly in a document such as this, yet such factors play an important role in defining the needs, opportunities, aspirations and challenges of young people.
The YEE committee compiled this research using a number of sources. However, it is clear that one of the greatest challenges facing youth is the need for current research into the needs and circumstances facing young men and women toady. We believe that the paucity of detailed research, specific to the circumstances of young women and men will be one of the alarming findings in the process of formulating a Youth Economic Empowerment Policy. Thus, the need for further investigation and analysis into the situation facing young people is a major priority.
The major issues relating to young women and men in South Africa today are described as follows and they need proper research and investigation:
· the demography of young women and men;
· provincial distribution of young men and women;
· education and training;
· youth employment and unemployment;
· youth health; and crime and violence.

Writer : Mlandeli Tsheme

Mlandeli said...


under the banner of Pan Africanism : as it is a Philosophy to unite African People which started long back by: Sylvester William, Kwame Nkrumar, Patrice Lumuba, Jomo Kenyatta and Others

In oder for us to know were we are going we must remember our past which Start from a dark cloud of slavery and colonialism in Africa, and visionary African leaders realised that it was imperative that all Africans - wherever they might be - should unite to end their holocaust which began with the 'European Renaissance' in Italy in 1400.

In 1900 Sylvester Williams, a lawyer of African descent, named this coming together of Africans 'Pan-Africanism'. But as a movement, Pan-Africanism began in 1776.

It was, however, the fifth Pan-African Congress held in Manchester, England, in 1945 that advanced Pan-Africanism and applied it to the decolonisation ofthe African continent politically.

Some African leaders involved in this noble cause were giants such as Kwame Nkrumah, William du Bois, Jomo Kenyatta, Robert Sobukwe and Patrice Lumumba.

Pan-Africanism includes the intellectual, political and economic cooperation that should lead to the political unity of Africa. The Pan-African alternative provides a framework for African unity.

It also fosters radical change in the colonial structures of the economy, and the implementation of an inward-looking strategy of production and development. It calls for the unification of financial markets, economic integration, a new strategy for initial capital accumulation and the design
of a new political map for Africa.

Contemporary Africa is beset with difficulties rooted in its inability to unite territorially. The consequences have been national economies incapable of developing because of geographical, economic and political reasons.

We must accept this truth, and take it as our prime duty, if the restoration of Africa is to become a reality.

As South Africa prepares for the ratification of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) protocol on trade, we need to look beyond trade integration and analyse regional integration.

The artificial borders that separate the national territories in the region are divisive of people united by history and divisive of regions united by geography to the extent that they are the subject of disputes and conflicts between African states. SADC must strive for a community that transcends the economic level and strive for the territorial and political unification of Africa. This is the only way for the continent to become a great modern power. This is the only protection against neo-liberalism and globalisation.

Africa provided leadership of the world for 600 000 years before its enslavement began about 1400. Monotheism was first taught in Africa by Emperor Akhenaton and his wife Nefertiti, before the so-called three major religions of the world taught this doctrine.

Historical evidence reveals that Africa had its renaissance centuries, if not millenniums, before Europe. Some of Africa's past civilisations were in the Nile, Zimbabwe, Congo and Ghana. It was the trans-Atlantic slave trade and colonialism which destroyed Africa and underdeveloped it. In his book How Europe underdeveloped Africa, Dr Walter Rodney gives a vivid picture of this African tragedy.

Slavery and colonialism were made possible by the so-called European Renaissance. The authors of this renaissance used the compass and gunpowder. These Chinese inventions for peaceful purposes were used by Europeans to steal the land and wealth of Africans.

Pan-Africanism demands that the riches of Africa be used for the benefit, upliftment, development and enjoyment of the African people. Pan-Africanism is a system of equitably sharing food, clothing, homes, education, healthcare, wealth, land, work, security of life and happiness. Pan-Africanism is the privilege of the African people to love themselves and to give themselves and their way of life respect and preference.

Pan-Africanism was developed by outstanding African scholars, political scientists, historians and philosophers living in Africa and the diaspora. It was conceived in the womb of Africa. It is a product made in Africa by Africans.

Pan-Africanism is the oldest vision in Africa. No other ideology has successfully challenged Pan-Africanism intellectually.

That is why, in the midst of confusion caused by the so-called 'African renaissance', Colonel Muammar Gaddafi echoed the pan-African call for a United States of Africa when he opened the fifth summit of the Organisation of African Unity in Libya in September.

In August a prominent Nigerian political scientist reminded participants at the fifth Pan-African Colloquium in Ghana of the historical context of the 'European Renaissance', from which the so-called 'African renaissance' is trying to borrow and transpose its rationale.

He pointed out that the 'European Renaissance' was the foundation of slavery, colonialism and racism. Africa has nothing to gain from this decadence, which was responsible for the worst holocaust of the African people in memory.

The inheritors of this inhuman 'renaissance' are still working hard to perpetuate the holocaust of the African people and the underdevelopment of Africa, which they inflicted through slavery, colonialism, apartheid and racism.

Today these forces have their Pan-Europeanism through their European Union, making them a powerful economic bloc. They are integrating socially and politically, and working for a borderless Europe.

On the other hand, Africa is wallowing in the quagmire of underdevelopment, poverty, endless border wars, economic domination and the dictatorship of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

This is because African leaders are dragging their feet on the implementation of Pan-Africanism and have made Africa a perpetual beggar of foreign 'aid'.

Some of these leaders have become agents of neo-liberalism and neo-colonialism, whose instrument is 'globalisation'. Globalisation is just a new form of recolonising the African continent.

There will continue to be an ideological and intellectual crisis in the African world until Africans understand Pan-Africanism, its value and benefits, and apply it to their many problems.

These include 'foreign debts', reparations, repatriation of African intellectual property from the museums of Europe, lack of continental railroads and air routes, intra-trade, communication and technological development among the African people and states.

The triumph of Pan-Africanism, the only way Africans can survive the foreign onslaught and live as a truly liberated people, will come out of the sweat and blood of the African people themselves.As Nkrumah put it:

'Only a united Africa can redeem its past glory, renew and reinforce its strength for the realisation of its destiny.

'We are today the richest and yet the poorest of continents, but in unity our continent could smile in a new era of prosperity and power.

The time is now, the vision of uniting AFRICAN people will leave on forever. It is up to us as Sons and Daughters of the soil to mobilise people under the same banner not selfenrichment like what under leader do or did or does


Writer: Mlandeli Tsheme

Mlandeli said...


As a component structure of the APC, We feel that the youth should unite under the banner of "African youth Federalism" as a philosophy to unite the young man and woman in Africa. Africans we need to realise that the "African youth Unification" is long overdue.

We also believe that the Ideology that will make us achieve "Free education in South African and Africa" it is an adoption of "Socialist Youth Education" as our guiding principle towards tha attainment of what belongs to us.
all student movements must adopt this idoelogy and unite.

For our unemployed youth the APC youth league believes that the only mechanism to distroy unemployment is the adoption of "Democratic Youth Socialism" as our only answer that African youth must undertake to overcome this dark cloud

Mlandeli Tsheme
APC Youth League
Werstern Cape