AP Mda’s 1958 The Africanist Case exposition leaves no doubt that Charterism has neglected the objective basis of society in favour of the purely subjective world. Charterists are imposters. There are many examples one can cite to corroborate the above. Let us take NEPAD and African renaissance for instance. The authors of NEPAD pretended as if there were no other better continental economic blueprints that preceded NEPAD like The Lagos Plan of Action for example.

NEPAD is replete with flaws, there was no consultation, and its approach was top down and alienated many African heads of state. The authors of NEPAD absolved the West of colonialism and imperialism which wreaked havoc on the continent. Instead of uniting African countries it divided them. African renaissance was not a new concept but was portrayed as such and the brain-child of SA’s second post-Apartheid President, Thabo Mbeki. Yet in a speech in 1948 Robert Sobukwe who was then a student at Fort Hare University, who a decade later became the founding President of the Pan Africanist Congress and whose name the Charterists want to expunge from history books said, “We want to build a new Africa, and only we can build it…Let me plead with you, lovers of my Africa, to carry with you into the world the vision of a new Africa, an Africa reborn, an Africa rejuvenated, an Africa re-created, young Africa. We are the glimmers of a new dawn”.

Rebirth and renaissance are synonyms. In that same speech, Sobukwe spoke about what education meant to Africans. He said it meant “service to Africa”; he spoke about nation building as well as the building of Africa, the struggle between Africa and Europe and also spoke against western imperialism. Moreover, those who came up with the concept of an African renaissance didn’t explain what it means.

Another Pan-Africanist, the late Dr Cheikh Anta Diop as a student at the Sorbornne University in Paris, France in 1948 wrote an essay titled “When do we speak of an African Renaissance”. In 1977 Diop said about African renaissance, “…Man’s mission is creation. African renaissance, black renaissance, is inseparable from the restoration of the black world’s creativity. To assume his destiny, man must be a creator irrespective of his race. The loss of our national sovereignty strangled our independent creativity. Today, as black people are slowly recovering their national sovereignty, we are obliged to free ourselves from all forms of cultural alienation. Without that internal recovery and psychic self-appraisal, very little can be accomplished. The recovery of political sovereignty is merely one aspect of the question. Economic sovereignty is another. Psychic autonomy is yet another. All three must combine in a dynamic renovative effort. These are terms by which I define the African and world black renaissance”.

What are the Charterists’ view of an African renaissance? The Charterists’ survival depends on our former colonisers and are unashamedly imitating our former colonisers by ostentatiously displaying opulence in the midst of poverty. Their wealth is ill-gotten through corruption in the form of nepotism, partisanship, patronage appointments and irregular tender awarding to friends and relatives, hence there are country-wide service delivery protests. The imposters are sitting on a powder keg.

By Sam Ditshego