Search Results for: Ike Mafole

THE LEGACY OF ROBERT MANGALISO SOBUKWE

During his remarkable and outstanding short period of leadership, Sobukwe taught us that leadership is initiative and courage. To lead one must initiate ideas and action. He also taught us that leadership is courage. Sobukwe initiated ideas that gave PAC direction and inspiration. There was no confusion and doubt as to where he was taking the PAC. His clarity of thought, systematic thinking and forthrightness left no doubt in the minds of PAC members and the general public as to where the PAC was going and leading the masses of the oppressed and exploited.

SHORT PROFILE OF JAFTA KGALABI “THE TIGER OF AZANIA” MASEMOLA

Jafta Kgalabi Masemola – “The Tiger of Azania” also popularly known as “Bra Jeff” by many others, was born at Bon Accord near Pretoria on the 12th December 1931. He lost both his parents at an early age and was raised by his sister like one of her own children. The family moved to Marabastad and then to Atteridgeville in 1942 where he enrolled at De Jong Primary School and completed standard six in 1947. He proceeded to Hofmeyr Secondary School where he obtained a Junior Certificate in 1950. Then he went to Kilnerton Training Institution (KTI) where he did his Higher Primary or Teacher’s Training Certificate.

His first teaching post was in Atteridgeville where he worked on a temporary basis until he got a permanent post at Mmakau Primary School (Rama) in Western Transvaal . In 1956 he returned to Atteridgeville to teach at Banareng Primary School where Mr. Rammopo Makhudu was principal. In 1958 he joined the Youth League of the African National Congress. He was impressed by the vigorous politics of the principal. In 1959 he joined the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) of Azania at its inception and thus became one of its founding leaders. His Africanist politics influenced the school children and some his colleagues. As a result some of his pupils became members of the PAC when they got to high schools and were later incarcerated with him on Robben Island in 1963.

After the banning of the PAC on April 8, 1960 under the Unlawful Organizations Act, Jafta Masemola continued with underground activities. He and other operatives formed underground structures that were planning an armed revolt in 1963; to this effect they gathered whatever weapons they could put their hands on for the planned uprising. The state security police uncovered these activities and Jafta Masemola and other underground activists were arrested during a swoop on PAC-Poqo suspects on the night of March 21st, 1963.

SOBUKWE STOOD FOR THE LIBERATION, UNIFICATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF POOR AFRICAN MASSES!

We are gathered here today to remember, honour and celebrate the life of a man whose death has left not only sorrow, grief and nostalgia but also in disarray, confusion, disorganization and lack of leadership or direction in the ranks of the PAC. For 32 years now members of the PAC have been looking for a leader who does not exist but who only exists in their minds and wishful thinking. The Party has experienced endemic and continuous crises that have led to the scattering, drifting away, marginalization and loss of some of its best cadres through disappointment, despondent, despair, tiredness, demoralization, de-motivation but also because of opportunism and corruptibility by a few others who were not prepared to leave the ‘gravy train’ pass by while there was time as this is seen as the phase or era of benefits. Sobukwe and many others who did not see 1994 toiled for no benefits and some who lived to see 1994 have yet to enjoy the fruits of freedom or liberation.

Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe Remembered. (Source: Graaff-Reinet Publicity Association)

At the time we remember, honour and celebrate this great man, the party he founded and led briefly has lost shape, identity and soul. It is unrecognizable because it is neither heard nor visible; its voice has been deliberately and systematically stifled and choked by those who fear the truth and their puppets and agents who are aiding and abetting in the destruction of this Party of the African masses. The space of the party of Sobukwe is occupied by those who pay lip service to the interests and aspirations of the masses of the poor and have-nots who have yet to enjoy the fruits of the freedom they and their children sacrificed and suffered for. Their material conditions have yet to change radically 15 years since national freedom was attained in April 1994. They continue to live in abject poverty and squalor and ravaged by HIV/AIDES, tuberculosis and many other common diseases. The majority are still illiterate, semi-literate and ignorant in this era of information technology and globalization.

The unchanged situation is characterized by socio-economic inequalities and disparities that obtained during the apartheid era and have been carried forward into new South Africa and are perpetuated and sustained by the new African political, bureaucratic and business elites in partnership with the apartheid elites and this is what constitutes neo-colonialism known as new South Africa or the Rainbow nation buttressed by reconciliation without justice. This is the Mandela and Tutu order which has meant the maintenance and perpetuation of the apartheid status quo or the apartheid property relations buttressed by the most liberal constitution that does not serve the interests and aspirations of the masses of the African people who are crying for leadership as they did prior to the Sharpeville and Langa Massacres.

%d bloggers like this: