Early in the morning of 15 August 2018, the mother of Azania, intombi kastini wase Hlobane Kwazulu, after chatting with her daughter Miliswa [the beautiful Watusi women as fondly referred to by her father Mangaliso Sobukwe), fare-welled us on her way to join her husband at the graceous Palace of the God of Africa and of Humanity. As from 27 February 1978, she and her husband had been separated for 9 years when Mangaliso was first imprisoned for 3 years for his role during the historic Anti-Pass Law Campaign in March 1960 and the 6 years he was under solitary confinement on Robben Island before being house-arrested in Kimberly until his engineered death in February 1978.

The details of Mama Zondeni are provided in the written obituary statement; here I need only to provide the following information: Zondeni was born on the 27th July 1927, to Stini and Kate Mathe in the Vryheid region in what is now referred to as KwaZulu-Natal (another neo-colonial compromise name; with Africans always expected to accommodate the interest and the demands of foreign settlers). Zondeni Veronica Mathe was the second eldest of four daughters; coming behind Hilda, the eldest and followed by Gertrude, Vemba and Florence.

Her father was a mine worker at Holbane while her mother was a local teacher who later on was dismissed from her work by the racist regime’s authorities. The family also got evicted (the land question) from its homestead and got allocated a “Skomplaas, a small little room, divided with strings and cloths.” It was here that the family got cramped.

From the age of 5 years, she was taught by her parents to be responsible and to be self-sufficiently oriented person. Such upbringing became valuable and handy during her married life. These were the foundational groundings for her “self-determination, resilience and leadership qualities.”

At the boarding school, she shared the room with a friend who later on in the years was to become the wife of Herbert Chitepo, the leader of Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), who was educated at Fort Hare and was part of the Africanist nucleus with the likes of Mangaliso Sobukwe. He was assassinated in Lusaka, Zambia in the early 1970’s. Robert Gabriel Mugabe took over the ZANU leadership from Chitepo. Zondeni kept in touch with her school mate Mrs Chitepo and once asked me to convey her greetings to her in Harare.

After her boarding schooling, she studied nursing at the Victoria Hospital in Lovedale. Owing to her supreme wit and intelligence at Lovedale, she excelled in her studies and became a notable figure amongst her peers. Her leadership qualities were catapulted to prominence during the nurse’s strike at the Victoria Hospital in 1947. The African nurses were protesting against abject living and studying conditions at the hospital and as a result some nurses were summarily dismissed by the Hospital authorities. Her political activism was ushered into the South African political scene during this strike.

What is even of great historic significance was that, like all matters designed from above, the political restive conditions that, at the time, were prevailing at the hospital and Fort Hare College provided the opportunity for Zondeni to meet somebody who was to be her future husband for life, Mangaliso Sobukwe. And that [marriage] which was knotted during the Great Political struggle of the African people in this country, could not be put asunder by anyone including the racist regime of Verwoerd, Vorster, Botha and other racist oppressors supported by Western colonialist and imperialist countries that conspired against the freedom of the African people in this country and against Mangaliso, Zondeni and the Pan Africanist Congress.


“We are witnesses today of cold and calculated brutality and bestiality, the desperate attempts of a dying generation to stay in power. We see also a new spirit of determination, a quiet confidence, and the determination of a people [African people] to be free whatever the cost.”

These were the words, in October 1949, of Mangaliso Sobukwe at Fort Hare. Least did he knew that he and his wife and children were going to be the quintessence of the object at which these bestiality and brutality excesses were to be meted or unleashed against for a period of 18 years. A life spent in pain and desolation beyond any imagination within the annals of the history of political struggle for political, social, cultural and economic liberation and freedom.

But Sobukwe had no illusion about the chimerical days to come against the freedom fighters and ipso facto, his family and himself with respect to the brutal responses that were to emanate from the beleaguered racist regime in particular and European colonialism generally and specifically.

It can however be said that such consequences, Sobukwe had them covered. During his 1949 Fort Hare speech he exhorted his audience as follows: “But the price of freedom is blood, toil and tears.….. We should not fear victimisation. ….. We must fight for Freedom….. For the right to call our souls our own and we must pay the price.” Although the price was in a monopolised racist political market, it was made extremely high for Sobukwe and his family.


The daughter of the soil, Zondeni Sobukwe and her husband had love made of and of the crucibles of the struggle for African Liberation. The 1949 student nurses uprising at the Victoria Hospital in Lovedale and Mangaliso’s political activism at the Fort Hare University created conditions that led to the meeting of the two. In his October 1949 Fort Hare Student Address Sobukwe said of the Hospital crisis: “To me the struggle at the hospital is more than a question of indiscipline in inverted commas. It is a struggle between Africa and Europe, between a twentieth – century desire for self-realisation and a feudal conception of authority.”

Zondeni Veronica whether because of her prominence in the role she played during the strike or something else, she was one of the persons sent by the Fort Hare Youth League to meet with Walter Sisulu, the Secretary-general of the ANC to discuss the substantive issues behind the nurses strike. These events mark the coming together of African Freedom Fighters in a manner unplanned but with telling consequences with respect to happiness, pain, agony, isolation and unmitigated brutality that were unique and unequally meted against Sobukwe, his wife and children as representatives of the struggle for African liberation in “South Africa” and the continent of Africa as a whole.


On 6 June 1954, the two got married at the St. Pauls Anglican Church in Jabavu, Soweto . This was a marriage to be tormented by the political struggle of the African people and the increasing brutality of the racist regime protecting the interests of the European Settler Community, and imperial colonialism. Sobukwe got involved in numerous episodes of this struggle. The couple was blessed with four children: Miliswa (daughter) Dinilesizwe Dalinjebo and Dedanizizwe (sons). The naming of children was Africanistic and pointer to the political struggle.

On 21st March 1960, in their Mofolo house, Zondeni had a morning prayer with her husband before he walked to Soweto Police Station for his arrest. As already known Sobukwe was arrested and sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment with hard labour. He was due to be released on 3 May 1963. But unknown to his wife and children he was whisked away to Robben Island for 6 years of isolation and agony. By this time a Special Law the “Sobukwe Clause” was passed and he was already, unknown to his wife, on Robben Island, for indefinite isolated detention which was renewable yearly. From then onwards, Sobukwe was detained for what he might do, for his refusal to change his political views “this side of eternity” or until the resurrection day. Later on, another Minister of Justice (Injustice) justified the continued detention and house arrest of Sobukwe on the grounds that he had refused to change his political determination to free the African people and the PAC trained Cadres were waiting for him to lead them to overthrow the South African State.

Reasons given by the racist regime to pass a law to detain Sobukwe indefinitely where as follows:

“This Clause will be used to keep him (Sobukwe) there longer for here we are dealing with a person, let me say this, who has a strong magnetic personality a person who feels he has a vocation to perform, this task well knowing what methods will be applied.”

According to John Vorster, Minister of Justice, in Parliament in 1963, just before Sobukwe was to finish his 3 years sentence on May 3, Sobukwe could not be compared or treated like iNkosi Albert Luthuli, the President of the ANC in the early 1960s, because, according to Vorster, “Luthuli compared to Sobukwe is a light weight.”

In June 1967, P.C Pelser, Minister of Justice and Prisons June 1967 stated that Sobukwe’s fate was “not a matter to be decided by capricious decision one way or the other. I weighed the pros and cons very carefully before deciding what I should do. In the final result, it was a matter of choosing between the interests of the country and that of an individual….. Because I know that the powers that are seeking our downfall are gathering their forces to destroy us and are seeking at this very moment assiduously looking for a star to give lustre to their nefarious schemes. The man concerned would if he were given the opportunity, not hesitate to do everything in his power to make up and regain what he has lost during his time of detention because in his life and aspiration he has in no way changed his attitude or his aims.”

Nelson Mandela identified Sobukwe as his Political icon and stated that “His [Sobukwe] life epitomised the cold, calculating, vindictive brutality of apartheid; his mind and heart proclaimed the abiding humanity of liberation. Nelson Mandela obituary statement upon the death of Mangaliso Sobukwe.


Zondeni played two principal roles: supporting her husband in his political struggle, encouraging and mobilizing women to support their husbands who were involved in the political struggle and being a mother and father to the children.

The newspaper IMVO, March 18, 1988 covers one of the political roles that Zondeni was engaged in, it goes on as follows: “Unkosikazi Sobukwe Kwintetho yakhe ukhuthaze amakhosikazi ukuba asoloko eyamene nabayeni bawo ekuzabalazeleni inkululeko ye Azania.” P.1. [Mrs. Sobukwe encouraged women to support their husbands in the struggle to free Azania].

Otherwise Sis Veronica as she was known, though in full support to her husband and the political struggle “… always managed to keep in the background.” Stan Motjuwadi [Drum, June 1978]. Speaking to Stan, Zondeni said: “You should by now know that I do not like publicity. I have always shinned it. …. In fact my husband did not like publicity either. My great ambition is to see that my children grow up the way their father did. I will teach them what I learned from him. I want them to be as simple as he was. They must follow in his footstep.”

This avoidance of undue publicity is acknowledged by Mangaliso in early 1967; writing to Pogrund he maintained: “The honest truth about Veronica is that she is undemonstrative by nature and upbringing. It must be hell for her to tell me that she loves me in a letter she knows will be read by eyes other than mine.” This was during the time when Sobukwe was in Solitary Confinement on Robben Island. Combined with her undemonstrativeness was her contempt, with disdain, of excessive material possessions as definers of ones station in life; the predisposition that has Zumguptarised many of the ANC’s political elite. In this regard Mangaliso had this to say about Zondeni to Pogrund: “…. My wife is not concerned about material possessions; you know her well enough to know that.”


We have already covered Zondeni’s public political statement in the mobilisation of women to support their husbands in pursuit of the liberation struggle. On numerous occasions, she combatively wrote to various Ministers of Justice (Injustice) and Security (insecurity of Africans) about the ill treatment of her husband and demanding that he should be unconditionally released from detention.

Around August 1964, she risked arrest by the regime by going to Basutoland visiting two victims of a car bomb planted by the racist regimes security agents against the PAC leadership in Maseru in July 1964. The victims of this first bomb planted by the racist regime against the African Liberation movement were Sipho Richard Shabalala and Salu Soyizwaphi. Both persons are still alive in Durban and Mthatha respectively.

There were admitted unconscious to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Maseru. In my memoirs book, I remember these events as follows: “To us this was a vindication of our resolve to fight for the end of the racist regime. Being visited and conforted by Prof’s Wife was very heaven to us, revolutionary speaking. I shall never forget her courage and motivation she gave us. We were bound to heal against all odds. One could not die after such a visit.”


Most people are not aware, including most PAC members, that Zondeni operated as a courier between the PAC top leadership in Maseru and the imprisoned Mangaliso Sobukwe. This was crucial and smartly executed. I know this because I served in the security services of the PAC.


Children demanded both physical and emotional nursing from their mother. They wanted to unite with their father. Initially, Sobukwe could not be visited on Robben Island. Some relaxation came along as a result of the persistent fight by Zondeni and other people of goodwill. Visiting her husband alone with her children on Robben Island, was Sobukwe’s responsibility with respect to travel expenses, meals and accommodation.

This was so inspite of the fact that they were not responsible for Mangaliso’s detention. But Sobukwes preferred it that way. They did not want any mercy from the oppressor: “We must pay the price for our freedom,” remember. In this regard, Sobukwe had this to say “I feel happier knowing that Veronica and the children pay for their needs. And so does she: ask her.” This was conveyed in a letter to Pogrund in 1967.


In 1969, at the beginning of the first second quarter of the year, Sobukwe was removed from his solitary confinement place on Robben Island and sent to Kimberley where he was house-arrested and banished until his death in February 1978. Veronica had to move to join him in Kimberley. She, however, agonised seeing her husband deteriorating to death with miniscule attention by racist regime’s officials. Zondeni got concerned about Sobukwe’s health as early as January 1965. “My great fears are complications. What tactful and sympathetic treatment is he receiving? We must press that he be taken to where I must personally supervise his health.”


Zondeni loved her husband and Mangaliso loved his wife. From Robben Island Sobukwe wrote to his wife and said “There is a lovely moon in the sky, quite unlike the moon on which American Ranger landed. This is a silver moon with no crater and thick dust.And as it shines on the sea it transforms the latter into a wide stretch of polished glass. It is the type of evening in short that reminds me of you because everything beautiful reminds me of you.” In admiring her as an African woman Mangaliso Sobukwe in 1967 had this to say about Zondeni: “I have come to know what a great woman you are, the true embodiment of African womanhood.” And Pogrund had this to say: “In the years of fighting and struggle, Veronica stood like a rock, always there, bringing up the children and giving support to her husband. She fought with him and for him.”

E’skia Mphahlele, in March 2003 penned the following lines dedicated to the Mother of Azania: We salute you Daughter of Africa, devoted wife and mother, who turned pain into an ever-glowing shrine.”

It should be remembered that Sobukwe and his family represented a combative African nationalism which was pitted against local white settler nationalism and external imperialism. It was for the complete decolonisation of this country culturally, socially, economically and governmentally. But what do we have?


The sacrifices that the likes of the Mother and Father of Azania, Zondeni and Mangaliso Sobukwe made, seem not to have realised the expected and the desirable results. The country and its African people have substantively experienced truncated transition from colonial (settler and imperial) social order (social, economic, cultural, institutional, operating paradigm, state system, etc.) to a post-colonial social order.

The African “nationalist” political leaders have failed to craft a functional post-colonial African nation state, culturally, economically, socially, politically, etc. The obtaining post-colonial social order hardly demonstrates the characteristics of a decolonised state in all critical dimensions of life: economically, culturally, socially, politically etc. Other critical minds have asked a question as to what is really African about the “South African” state.

The settler-colonial order has been tinkered with but not uprooted and drastically transformed. The country is highly undemocratic in substantive terms (i.e. removal of all the hurdles preventing, at a mass level, people to access productive resources and human capital to develop themselves, to control institutions and decisions that matter to them, to develop within their cultural bases including their languages, and in holding continuously between elections the executive to account to the ruledmasses, etc).

The goal of the African nationalist movement was to fully resolve the National, Land, Agrarian, Cultural and Economic Questions affecting the colonised Africans. It was, therefore, aimed at self-assertion by Africans in the domains of culture, politics, economy, etc. [Kwesi Prah, African Nation, 2009]. This meant access and self-control of “….. The empowering conditions of culture, language, economy and politics [Ibid], in the interest of the African people. The struggle was not merely for a right to vote.

The above statements are posited being mindful of the fact that the settlement of the National Question per se does not address, as practical politics and programme, wealth inequality and class stratification and racialisation (as was the case during colonial days) of society. But an effective resolution of such a question could have been instrumentalised to deal with cultural and wealth inequality (economic concentration and condensation) and socio-economic class and gender stratification of the society; of-course being driven by the right socio- political forces.

In the supposedly post-colonial South Africa, the African political elite, with a claim of liberating the African majority has joined the ranks of erstwhile settler capitalists and imperial capitalists to enjoy exclusive political and economic power and privileges. Having ascended to political power, these African elite have used this power as a resource to extract economic dividends from white (Europeans) and Capitalists of Asian origin. Through shareholding, directorships (all awarded to them by the above capitalists), deployment to executive positions in state owned enterprises (to be used to play liasoning roles between the ruling party/government and private corporations) and some position in the public administration, tenderpreneurship and related actions of the “trousered niggers” have become important junior partners within the exploitative capitalists system in this country.

The Constitution of this country provides for a neo-liberal capitalist economic system. Poverty, inequality and various forms of unemployment are embedded in the structures and processes of this capitalist system. In this country industrialisation (in fact it now takes the form of de-industrialisation with growing tertiary sector especially the financialisation of the economy making this economy to be more susceptible to speculative capital flows rather than brick and mortar capital flows) and an export of unprocessed primary commodity sector has reached a culdesac. The growing debt to GDP ratio heavily influenced by government’s borrowing to meet current expenditure needs rather than the financing of investments for future benefits has exposed this country to rating agencies downgrades and the reliance on “hot money” which is the enemy of stable economies anywhere in the world. The aborted primitive accumulation processes (movement of capital and labour flows from agriculture as part of growing industry and movement of labour to higherwage industrial sector with workers in the agricultural sector enjoying higher wages and skills acquisitions) have combined with incomplete industrialisation and/or processes of de-industrialisation to bring about the emergence of semi-peasantisation and trapped farm workers in the country side; in the urban areas industrialisation has been shrinking, not only exploiting labour but expelling it, thus creating an army of unemployed proletarians (and semi-proletarians) eking out precarious life in the informal sector including the crime semi-sector. Conditions of semi-proleterianation and semi-peasantisation exist both in urban and rural areas. In fact functional dualism is prevalent with individuals operating in peasant and proletarian activities at the same time as efforts to deal with the risk of deteriorating livelihood conditions.

The GDP/GNP is a poor measure of national and citizen’s welfare. The benefits of GDP/GNP growth are distributed in accordance with the primary distribution of economic wealth and economic productive assets. Income inequality and poverty cannot be resolved or solved without tackling wealth differentials and inequality. Societal transformation must address this fundamental truism. Furthermore, the efficacy of economic growth to reduce poverty is the function of prevailing wealth inequality. Economic growth can take place with no or very little change on the levels of inequality and poverty.


It is now a worldwide accepted truism that the determinants of unequal distribution of income is the very unequal distribution of ownership of the productive assets such as credit, land, human capital, infrastructure, social/political/cultural capital etc, by different segments of the country’s population. It is also now accepted that high levels of inequality (income/capital, wealth, etc.) reduce the capacity (elasticity) of economic growth to reduce poverty. Poverty and inequality are resident elements of the country’s social order. As part of policy problem definition, we should determine precisely how income-earnings factors of production are distributed among different socio-national groups in the country. Any quest for radical economic transformation must take this into account as part of a social system, requiring systems approach to its tackling.

At the Pan African continental level, socio-economic misery is the most descriptive level. The money – in –politics dispensation is the order of the day. Poverty, inequality and unemployment have become the order of the day. Essentially, the ruling African political elites are fully culpable in this regard. The richness or wealthiness of the few elites, abject poverty of the majority have characterised the artificial African nation-states. Consequent to this is the replacement of the Sirocco winds, hot winds from North Africa which are known to brush the shores of Southern Europe with the hopeless sons and daughters of this continent trying to forcefully migrate to Europe, the citadel of yester year’s colonialist forces. This is a shame to African leaders and to all African governments which also uses mostly aid money to finance most of its programmes. This is not what the likes of Sobukwe and Mothopeng conceived as a Monolithic State of Africa, prosperous and with her people beaming with dignity, self- respect and respect by other peoples of the world.

A response by the Africanist and Pan Africanist in this country is required and must be delivered. Our Africanist/Pan Africanist prospect and convictions must now emphasise unity about the masses of Africa (as opposed to the unity of political/business elite that is operating under imperialist and neo-colonial auspices which impoverish the African masses). We must oppose the occupation of many African countries by foreign military forces, from countries like US, France, Turkey, China, etc. Africa is now being reoccupied through the use of military forces in the same way as the first occupation heralding colonisation.


The PAC deals with the issue of the resolution of the Land and Agrarian Questions much broader and deeper than what has been invoked under the slogan” “Land expropriation without compensation.” The following perspectives and approaches are instructive:

A. The primordial or overarching political and social problem with respect to land ownership and agrarian structure {landed property and its associated capitalist relations of production and reproduction) is not resolvable under this (slogan) or Programme:
“Change Sect. 25 of the Constitution to allow for expropriation of Land Without Compensation.”

– It runs short of dealing with the political issue of decolonisation of the country and its indigenous African population,
– It does not address holistically the distribution of land ownership (structure and processes) and the use of this land by people of this country: indigenous and non-indigenous; various social classes, gendered and age groups and future generations,
– Is limited in dealing with the structure of the traditional use rights found in communal land under the trusteeship of AMAKHOSE Traditional Authority and private property rights under the capitalist ownership structures on communal land,
– Does not address the needs for the restructuring of the agrarian sector with its capitalist social property relations: “ capitalist landed property, agrarian capital and (proletarian) agrarian labour.” [Bernstein] to achieve social justice, social equity, efficiency – effectiveness and development requirements or imperatives.


The resolution of the land question is primarily a Political Issue, it is political decolonisation of the land ownership structures ushered in by colonialism. It decolonises and accordingly deracialises land ownership, control and use in this country. National independence and self-determination (and inalienable rights thereof) are collective (affects all members of the nation equally) concepts: so is Land Re-possession at a Grand Scale and Terrain.

Just as colonial freedom and independence was a political issue and not an economic issue (performance of the colonial economy as a precondition for political independence) and cannot thus be predicated on what happens in the economy (as advocated by the ANC and her neo-liberal supporters).

Only after complete decolonisation (including liberation from the prevailing neo-colonial status quo) can land rights and land use rules be determined and institutionalised by a nationally independent polity and polis. Rights in landed property acquired through colonial dispossession are illegitimate and improper and no one can politically and legally pass them to anyone, to another person (natural or legal).

The above issues must permeate through the Constitution of this country over and above Section 25 and any changes in Section 25 must be expansive enough to cover issues covered (albeit briefly) in this presentation. In a nutshell, therefore, the following areas are critical to the PAC. The resolution of the land question and associated redistributive land reform entails the following:

– The realisation of the political goal of decolonization and the restoration of political and social justice to decolonised Africans,
– Thus the resolution of the land question as part of the national question is a political action to realise a political goal and not an economic action to realise an economic goal (which is a subsequent factor to the political goal and its efficacy is precondition by the quality and character of this goal).
– The decolonised nation land of Africans qualitatively means socialization of the ownership of the national land for use and benefit of all the Africans, indigenous African and African of Asian and European origin who consider themselves as Africans, being loyal to Africa, identifying themselves with indigenous Africans with the African culture, history and identity and willing to live under conditions of social, cultural, economic and political equality with indigenous Africans (Africans of African origins).
– The equalisation of the Rights of Collective ownership and use of the decolonised land ownership structure and dispensation, thus affecting all Africans irrespective of historical origin, class, gender, ability, age, etc.

The Constitution of the country must, in its outset, declare among other issues, the following:

1. The prime purpose of the Constitution is to decolonise the country and allow for a new democratic and egalitarian social order.
2. “South Africa” (we prefer Azania) is an African country, for indigenous Africans in the first instance and Africans of foreign origin such as Europe and Asia. All these shall live as equals, culturally, socially, politically, economically and legally.
3. Changes with respect to Section 25 must accommodate the existence of two types of property regimes: Common Property and Private Property. This is the deco-commoditisation of land as a property category.


Land is included here as common property for all Africans in this country and they hold it in absolute equality to and with each other. No one can have no access to land for own use as a member of the African nation. Land is not a produced product to be sold and bought.

The following processes will ensure:

o All privately owned land will be turned into this common property category irrespective of who holds it (no discrimination of any form)-
o So called “state owned land” will also be transferred to this category (non-expropriatorymeasure)
o Community owned land (already a common property at local level) will also be classified and be accommodated at national level as common property
o The issue compensation or no compensation will only apply to privately owned land.


This includes but not limited to houses, income, financial investments, pensions, dividends, etc.


o Given the case and cause for restorative justice with respect to land which was acquired from indigenous Africans through unjust wars, cheating, racist legal instruments, etc., in principle there is no justification for compensation.
o However flexibility can be considered including: Compensation on recognisable and unretired investment on the land; token compensation, range of levels of compensation such as 10%, 20%, 30%, 50% etc.; if so different means of compensation including cash, government bonds, etc. and various grace periods.


A Statutory Body (independent) to be established, answerable to the state and to the public to establish the rules and conditions for the distribution of land as Common Property, for use (not for private ownership) by individual nationals. Principal to these rules will be that of land ceiling to be legislated on land to be made available to individuals, companies, etc. for various uses taking into account the quality of land, its location, intended use, etc.

▪ The recipient of the land will have Rights of Use (supported by registered, secured leases that are legally protected and transferrable to offspring’s. No private Property Rights. (Private title deeds) will be available.


The typical agrarian sector in this country is an arena of capitalist property relations of production and reproduction. Here are found large and medium sized white commercial capitalist framers; there are also dispossed and exploited farm workers, farm tenants (rural proletariat) and African peasants (essentially semi-peasant, semi-rural proletariat).

Capital under capitalist social relations of distribution and exchange is dominating the agrarian sector and arena and reveals itself over the control of agri-business, and downstream and upstream agricultural activities. Without restructuring and transformative interventions by the state and progressive popular socio-economic and political forces, the misery of rural workers, unemployed and peasants will remain unchanged. Interventions are required to kick-start meaningful economic development in these areas. Without adequate provision of quality land, infrastructure, credit, extension services, training and other agrarian support services, the agrarian restructuring and transformation will not take place.

Landlessness in rural and urban areas exacerbates adverse livelihood conditions of urban and rural workers and peasants and small holder farmers. Under these conditions, the possibilities for the domestic accumulation of national capital and growth of the home market are severely thwarted. At a detailed level the resolution of the land and agrarian question will contribute towards the resolution of these economic development constraints.

The resolution of the agrarian question of labour (capital has, though with uneven effects, captured agriculture and has contributed to initial industrialisation in this country with African rural areas, agrarian areas bypasses, with industrialisation now failing uprooted labour of the past and failing to absorb labour of today times) is tied with land tenure, land use and industrial transformation.

It is worth noting that the currently sloganized programme is nourished by the classical Marxist call for “land to the tiller” which calls for a bourgeois state to take land from landed property class but soon thereafter the bourgeoisie appropriate large pieces of land for their own use. In some cases, erstwhile landed propertied class re-emerges to join forces with the new land-owning bourgeoisie at the expense of the general masses, workers, peasants, rural workers and tenants. This for instance, has happened in Zimbabwe and Namibia. The history of Latin American countries in this regard is replete with excellent examples. The ANC governments land reform and redistribution programme is following this path unfortunately.


An encounter between the late former President of Malawi, Dr Kamuzu Banda and Sir Roy Wellensky during their mutual confrontation over the federation of Southern Rhodesia is instructive. Dr. Kamuzu Banda said to Wellensky: “You are just an engine driver and I am a medical doctor, and I know when something is dead: The Federation is dead.”

Let us then not mince our words: South Africa is today operating under structural and austerity programmes with the support and inducement by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The financial and economic stress this country is under has been brought about by us, the liberation movement and the African political and professional elites. The ordinary African masses, workers and peasants are mere victims. As I have said before, the elites in the public sector in particular and plus their kindred’s in the private sector have built themselves the Noah Ark and they are going to survive the immiserating floods. And because these elites in the Titanic occupy the Upper Deck they have access to early warning about the impending socio-economic and political disaster, they also have immediate access to safety life boats.

Scandalous political and economic management at the state level has been taking place in front of our wide-opened eyes and recognition. But loyalty to our leaders, to our political parties and to our cronies have numbed us from reacting and revolting (outside the frequent so-called service delivery protests unsupported by the African political and professional elite) against this scourge.

We cannot be told convincingly that the government and the ruling political and professional elite have not been aware of the looting that has been taking place both within the state-owned-enterprises and public service and local government spheres. Senior officials in all these institutions are government/party appointees and during the January conferences of the ruling party they are the one who coughed large sums of money to afford them the privilege to sit closer to the former president and his senior executives.

The government has “politicized capitalism” in this country by spending billions of rands through its ever fraudulent purchasing engagements. This is where the centrality of looting takes place.

The private capitalist sector is known to be seated on billions of rands that it is not willing to invest in this country. South African companies are investing more abroad than here at home. At home here, only consumption takes place and not investments. Unfortunately, our newly enriched compradorised African elite follow this behaviour with emphatic hubris.

Sometime in the past the South African Airways was transferred from the Ministry of Public Enterprises to Treasury: but what came out of this? At some time in the past also the Deputy President of the country was delegated the responsibility to turn-around state-owned enterprises. What came out of this effort? Is President Ramaphosa surprised about the rot that exists within these enterprises today. Is there honesty in this regard?

We are been drowned or dopped with the New Dawn opium: but what was happening during the Night before the New Dawn and who was responsible for it. When are we going to be told the truth, and with responsible persons accepting culpability and then begging us for forgiveness. That is what is wanted. To us the hoppy horse New Deal or Dawn is nothing but a hocus-pocus neo-liberal platitude. Looking at the overall picture of the social, economic, political, governance crises facing the country, the liberation movement must take full responsibility for the crises: here I include the PAC, the ANC, AZAPO. Black Consciousness Movement, etc. As a ruling party, of course, the ANC carriers the greatest responsibility. It is perhaps high-time that these organisations, from an Africanist perspective and agenda should work together for the affective decolonisation of this country in all critical dimensions; political, economic, social, cultural, etc. In addition to the above parties to be addressed is the EFF, IFP, UDM, and APC. This is an African country historically, culturally and economically. Our Africanness is not merely based on colour or blackness but on the historical, cultural and economical primordials. In paraphrasing Kenneth we should be able to say: “We are Africans, nothing African is alien to us.” Any continuous thrust and utterances on racial reconciliation under the circumstances is a socio-political-economic fraud as far as the African masses are concerned. As per Sobukwe advocation we accept, post 1994, the existence of indigenous Africans, Africans of Indian and European origin all living under strict conditions of cultural, economic, political, etc. equality in a substantive sense and meaning. Essentially this is a Hobson’s Choice to non-indigenous Africans.


We have presented the life history of Mama Zondeni Sobukwe and her husband. Their entire adult lives were dedicated to the liberation and freedom of Africans in this country and in the continent of Africa as a whole. They immensely suffered for this: there is no equivalence for this. We indeed salute Mama Zondeni Sobukwe for her support to her unequally punished husband by the racist regime of white settlers in this country with the support from their kin and kith in the western countries and the governments of Western countries. These governments cannot tell us anything about human Freedom, freedom of nations and equality of members of humanity.

Zondeni has been saluted as the Mother of Azania (black people country) and is also been saluted for bringing up the children under trying and difficult conditions. And for mobilising fellow women to support their husbands engaged in the freedom struggle and playing the courier between her husband and the PAC (leadership).

We also thank the children that have been up and down and have remained with their mother. Miliswa left her place in Cape Town to be with her mother here in Graaff Reinet up to the last few minutes of her mother’s life. Dinilesizwe and Dedanizizwe have also been here with their mother. The Mfenes salute the mothers for such a great daughter who turned their Makoti. The PAC and its Africanist fraternity have lost their beloved mother. But the struggle continues. There is still a lot of work to be done including the following:

– Changing the Constitution to provide for the division of property into Common (public) and Private property as already alluded to earlier on;
– Changing the National Anthem of the country to convey the memories of the African people, who they are, and their hopes and aspirations for the future.
– Changing the Constitution to provide for constituency-based electoral system and the direct voting for the President by the Public with more candidates standing; a President with reduced, controlled and streamlined powers and more accountable to the public, especially in the appointment of Ministers and heads of various Public Institutions,
– Mobilisation of domestic financial, human and institutional resources to kick-start a participatory and equitable development of the country,
– Trim down the size and powers of Provinces and Local government to articulate developmental emphasis under socialised economic and institutional resources ownership and management.
Accordingly we are “Thuming” President Ramaphosa to realise the above desiderata plus others to come. You see the President cannot ask us to Thuma him to where we do not know and for purposes not decided by the people. This is what is meant by being the President of the people.
– The PAC cannot completely absolve itself from the failures of the post-colonial “South Africa,” and this being a black peoples country we prefer Azania. The Party has not fully come to the party in the same manner it did during the political and armed struggle during the colonial period. The PAC has no choice but to become a united constructive and combative party for the realisation of the Africanist goals in an African country. Accordingly the PAC, its leadership and membership must heed Tsikani’s injunction: “Be ye the indivisible ones.”

Isizwe samaAfrika sithi hamba kahle Mother of Azania, hamba kahle Mother of Azania; Hamba kahle Dlakude, Mzilankatha, Nombokodo, uwenzile owakho umsebenzi; ubulise u Mangi, Urbania Mothopeng nabanye.


By Professor Sipho Shabalala

This is a speech delivered on the occasion of the funeral of the Mother of Azania in Graaff Reinet on 25 August 2018.