Month: Jun 2012

JUNE 16 SOWETO UPRISING AS TOLD IN COURT

“You Mothopeng, acted to sow seeds of anarchy and revolution. The riots you engineered and predicted eventually took place in Soweto on June 16 and at Kagiso the next day.” These are the words of Judge Curlewis in the Supreme Court of South Africa in a secret court hearing on 1 July 1979. He was sentencing to imprisonment for the Soweto Uprising(June 16) the following accused Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) leaders and members: Zephania Mothopeng 30 years, Moffat Zungu 7 years, Michael Matsobane 15 years, Daniel Matsobane 12 years, Marks Shinners 12 years, John Ganya 11 years, Benny Ntoele 10 years, Johnson Nyathi 10 years, Themba Hlatswayo 8 years, Goodwill Thlale 8 years, Julius Landingwe 8 years, Sithembele Khala 7 years, Goodwill Moni 7 years, Zolile Ndindwa 7 years, Jerome Kodisang 5 years and Hamilton Keke 5 years.

As we mark the 36th anniversary of the Soweto Uprising, it is important that suppressed facts and truth about this inspiring history of political bravery and heroism by the youth of this country are revealed and recorded for posterity and for humanity in general.

In the Supreme Court of South Africa at Bethal, Judge Curlewis found for the apartheid regime’s prosecution in 1979, that the Pan Africanist Congress played a leading role in the Soweto Uprising which erupted on 16
June 1976. Evidence before Judge Curlewis showed that the PAC organised and fixed the date on the Soweto Uprising.

Several witness testified how PAC under the leadership of Zephania Mothopeng organised the Soweto Uprising. For instance, Adam, one of the witnesses testified before court that in one of the underground meetings of the PAC disguised as the Young African Religious Movement(YARM), Mike Motsobane introduced PAC leaders as from Soweto.

“NEW AFRICANNESS” – A RESPONSE!

On the 3rd June 2012, a columnist of the City Press newspaper wrote, “There are many ways of being African in South Africa.”

Are there many ways of being a British in Britain? Are there many ways of being a Chinese in China, many ways of being a German in Germany or many ways of being a Russian whose minority dictate to the majority population?

The misconception about national identity in South Africa stems from a falsified colonial history. It is exacerbated by the 1955 political manipulation by which a certain section of the leadership of colonised African people abandoned the anti-colonial struggle for a civil rights movement. They claimed that their country belongs equally to the colonisers and the colonised, the dispossessors and the dispossessed owners. This is tantamount to saying that stolen goods can equally belong to the armed thieves and their rightful owners. It is not magnanimity. It is betrayal of the dispossessed.

Where has this happened anywhere in the world, except where British imperialism seized this African country at gunpoint, consolidated its colonialism through the Union of South Africa Act 1909 and allocated its 349,837 colonial settlers 93% of the country and left five million Africans with 7% through the Native Land Act 1913 and additional 6% through the Native Trust Land Act 1936? This 13% has now been entrenched in section 25(7) of the present Eurocentric constitution misleadingly called “the best democratic constitution in the world.”

EFFECTS OF COLONIALISM ON AFRICA

Programme Director, Comrades, Brothers and Sisters, The effects of colonialism past and present are visible all over Africa. It is not an overstatement when Edem Kodjo, author of AFRICA TOMORROW describes the condition of African as “torn away from his past, propelled into a universe fashioned from outside that suppresses his values, and dumbfounded by a cultural invasion that marginalises him. The African… is today the deformed image of others.” On this year’s anniversary of Africa Liberation Day, African people all over Africa and wherever they may be on this planet, must reflect deeply on their history as it relates to their present life conditions and to their future. History is a clock that tells a people their historical time of the day. History is the compass that wise people use to locate themselves on the map of the world. A peoples’ history tells them who they are. What they have been, where they have been, where they are now, but most importantly, where they still must go. True African History is a powerful weapon against colonial history that has been used for mental enslavement and colonisation of the African people.

Programme Director, Africa is the Mother of Humanity. Africa is the cradle of the first human civilisation. The First Renaissance on this planet was the African Renaissance. Africa was “the first world” economically and technologically NOT the “third world” of paupers robbed of their lands and riches. Our ancestors built the pyramids which even in this 21st century no one can reproduce. Egyptian civilisation was a Black civilisation. The pharaohs were Black people. That is why that great African Egyptologist, Prof. Cheikh Anta Diop has written: “The history of Black Africa will remain suspended in the air and will not be written correctly until African historians dare connect it with the history of Egypt. The African historian, who evades this, is neither modest nor objective or unruffled; he is ignorant, cowardly and neurotic.” The Zimbabwe Buildings that Africans built have been attributed to “foreigners” who vanished into thin air and cannot be found! The stubborn historical fact, however, is that these magnificent buildings were designed by Zimbabweans.

The Azanian civilisation which stretched from Eastern Africa to our country is a historical fact. The people of Azania whose country colonialists called “South Africa” through the British imperialist Union of South Africa Act 1909; mined gold and copper in Mapungubwe as early as the 9th century. That was centuries before Jan van Riebeeck arrived in Azania on 6th April 1652. He and the other settlers brought no land here on their ships. Our ancestors fed them and housed them. They knew not the intentions of these pale strangers.

The Rev. J.H. Soga was contemporary of Enoch Sontonga, the composer of Nkosi Sikelela iAfrika. He has made reference to how Africans in what is called South Africa today came to be called “Bantu” instead of their old name Azanians. Soga explained in 1928 that the name Bantu was of modern application. It arose when Dr. Bleek a scholar of Azanian languages used the word “Bantu” as a comprehensive term for all the dialects of the inhabitants who formed a large section of the people of Southern Africa. He had no intention of applying this term to the people themselves. (THE SOUTH EASTERN BANTU pages 2, 6 and 11 WITS UNIVERITY PRESS, KRAUS REPRINT MILLWOOD, NEW YORK 1982).

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