Month: Nov 2010


The founding fathers of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) of Azania have bequeathed to us a vibrant organization which we are reducing to ruins through selfishness and factional battles.

I have read David James Smith’s book, Young Mandela and the book confirmed what I have repeatedly written that there is no organization that the ANC fears more than the PAC. If there are those who doubt the veracity of the foregoing statement then they must go and read Young Mandela. Moreover, the book confirms that the PAC and the founding President of the ANCYL Anton Muziwakhe Lembede were always right on the question of Africans being on the forefront of and leading the struggle for liberation.


It is complex and dangerous to compel African people to be critical of their role in perpetuating their own oppression. It is complex because constructive criticism is a critical ingredient in the development of the strong African nation and it is dangerous to the one who dares to drag African society to self criticism running the risks of being seen as a traitor, naïve or labelled all sorts of nasty things. It is dangerous to the African nation as self-introspection data can be used to reinforce pessimistic view of Africa and African people. External forces with geopolitical interest can overt or convert utilisation self-analysis to absolve oppressor’s guilt by blaming the oppressed.

The colonial powers have invested heavily on the destruction of African minds. The education systems have been designed to reinforce perceptions of white supremacy and African inferiority. The print media fortifies images of European heroes and African villains on the minds of our people. The visual media is consistently portraying beauty from a Eurocentric point of view. The audio media pump messages that equate civilisation of Africans to their assimilation to white culture and values.


The 23rd October 2010 marked the twentieth anniversary of the death of Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) founding member and its second President, Zephaniah Lekoane Mothopeng. He was fondly known as “Uncle Zeph” and “The Lion of Azania” because of his uncompromising and non-collaborationist stance. Zephaniah Mothopeng is one of those great African thinkers and intrepid freedom fighters whose contribution to our struggle for liberation has not been acknowledged the way it is supposed to be.

Uncle Zeph was also a founding member of the Congress Youth League in 1943 with Anton Lembede, Ashby Peter Mda and those we always hear about in the media. Born in the Free State on 10 September 1913, he attended Primary school there and completed High School in St. Peters, Rosettenville in 1937 where he was three grades ahead of the late Professor Eskia Mphahlele. As fate would have it, they also worked together as teachers at Orlando High School and later expelled together in 1952 and went to teach in Lesotho.

“Redefining Afrika’s Political Identity in the Era of Globalisation”- 2nd Mayihlome Annual Lecture

Trade is not new. Struggle is not new. Both are as old as human endeavor and for as long as the two have been at odds , there have been fierce battles fought . Whether it was called imperialism, colonialism, global oppression, apartheid the struggle by the many against the economic tyranny of the few remains one of the longest in human history. International trade too has an ancient history. The context for Afrika includes a conflation between colonial interests ,political subjugation and economic control. The story of Afrika after the invaders is essentially a story of the West’s insatiable appetite for raw materials, cheap labour and beautiful minerals ,wildlife and fauna all of which Afrika “Free trade” is not a new experiment either it has been tried before. Prior to the advent of colonialism, the region used to dominate international trade. Colonialism distorted the terms of trade and Third World countries were transformed from being exporters of manufactured commodities to being suppliers of raw materials and a market for British manufactures. What has changed are the uncomfortable, unfavorable and often immoral terms of engagement between the global South and the North.

The prevailing trade paradigm presupposes the existence of equal power relations equal gender relations, equal race relations, equal access to resources and equal voice in economic agenda setting. This is an absolute lie. Some are clearly more equal than others and their voices more audible than others. The ascendance of the World Trade Organisation in 1995 as the overarching body has given rise to continued discussions detailing the historical and structural inequities that prevail unfettered in the current global trading system. It is in fact the institutionalisation of every lie about the supposedly equal nature of power relations between the global communities.

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