Feature Articles

SA MEDIA FAILS PUBLIC

Addressing the annual dinner of the American Press Association in 1914 John Swinton, editor of the New York News said “There is no such thing as an independent press in America. Not a man among you dares to utter his honest opinion. We are the tools and the vassals of the rich behind the scenes. We are marionettes. These men pull the strings and we dance. Our time, our talents, our lives and our capacities are all the property of these men – we are intellectual prostitutes.” I am asking my countrymen and women who are journalists if they are like the way John Swinton describes them in the foregoing lines or are they different? They must search their souls and be honest. Are they proud of their reportage vis-à-vis the wretched of the African continent?

DO SOUTH AFRICANS HAVE A NATIONAL IDENTITY?

If Siki Mgabadeli’s recent morning talk show on SAFM radio is anything to go by, then there’s no South African identity. Her predecessor, Tebogo Matima also had a discussion on that topic in the past and was equally befuddled, completely bamboozled. It is sad that the public broadcaster is used to trivialize issues of national importance. Matima and Mgabadeli betrayed their dilettantism. They really dabbled with a subject of national importance. Moreover, Mgabadeli’’s show was replete with cliché’s and anecdotes. She kept on asking, “Do South Africans have an identity”?

Identity?
Identity?

An identity in this context refers to who or what South Africans are, the characteristics determining who or what they are. There must be something that makes South Africans who or what they are, something common among them, an identity. What is it? A passport, as suggested on Mgabadeli’s show? A forged one also? Or a myriad of other preposterous and nebulous things that were brought up on that show which have nothing do with our national identity?

SUBJECTIVISM OF CHARTERISM

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.

TRIBUTE TO AFRICAN HEROES

31 July is African Heroes Day in the Africanist calendar. This is a day to commemorate and honour the founding fathers and mothers of the African liberation struggle.

Anton Mziwakhe Lembede passed on six decades ago in 1947 at the early age of 33. Lembede was a firebrand youth leader who pioneered the historic 1949 Nation Building programme. It is therefore fitting, as we commemorate the heroes and heroines of the liberation struggle, to pay special tribute to Lembede, who is regarded as the father of Africanism.

At the time when the liberation movement was docile and lacking in direction, it was Lembede and his contemporaries who breathed life into the liberation movement by putting forward a clearly defined Programme of Action which talked to relevant issues of the day – to fight for the freedom of the African masses from settler colonialism. It is this programme that also inspired the formation of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) in 1959.

NATIONALISATION AND THE RESOLUTION OF THE NATIONAL QUESTION – AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH

The Kempton Park Settlement was and remains a flawed settlement because it was based on the interpretation of the National Question not as that of settler colonialism or a colonialism of a special type. It conflated the struggle for national self-determination and independence to that of democratisation. Having reduced the National Question to that of democratisation, serious compromises were made on fundamental issues of the land and by extension the property clauses that guaranteed the retention of ill gotten gains by the white minority and rendered the question of nationalisation a mere restitution case based on willing buyer and willing seller. In short the Kliptown Charter vision of Nationalisation was thrown out of the window at Kempton Park. Thus leaving control of mining and land in the hands of the white minority, with very little room to make necessary and required radical changes.

The Epic Story of June 16 Uprising

The plan to overthrow then Apartheid government began as early as 1963 when Zephaniah “The Lion of Azania” Mothopeng was in the notorious Robben Island prison following his arrest during the PAC led Anti-Pass Campaign on the 21st March 1960. He was a member of the PAC National Leadership at the time.

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