PAC youth show the way

By: Reggy Nyandeni

Mmbara Hulisani (PAYCO President) and the Keynote Speaker Matome Mashao

ON Saturday 30 May 2009 the Pan Africanist Youth Congress (PAYCO) hosted a milestone Annual Lecture dubbed “Mayihlome”.The lecture took place at Hotel 224 in the City of Tshwane, attended mostly by PAC leaders and activists from across the country. The youth attended the lecture in big numbers.
Matome Mashao got the honour to deliver this first lecture.  A former leader of students and youths organizations of the PAC, Mashao has also been a member of the PAC National Executive Committee (NEC) since the mid nineteen nineties. Recently in 2006 he served as head of PAC’s Legal and Constutional Affairs department in the NEC before PAC president Letlapa Mphahlele’s alleged unconstitutional invoking of rule by decree which attracted widespread criticism in the party.
Mashao’s lecture focused on principal challenges, with ideological emphasis, facing the PAC, post national liberation struggle. “The current set of circumstances, more and more, challenge us to tell and live this pan Africanist story from another perspective – a perspective of class”, said Mashao.
Mashao urged that the party must wage a class struggle saying “We must adopt and live the class perspective of pan Africanism. Now that we have united successfully and deposed foreign governments, we must now adopt a class struggle as the dominant form of our struggle. If pan Africanism is to survive, it must now expose underlying class contradictions, and champion the interests of the poor working and unemployed class”
“This class is ready; all they require is a revolutionary party to lead them”, Mashao continued.

The youth showed in numbers

He criticized the perpetual insistence on what he calls “a nation perspective of pan Africanism” and asked “Who exactly must unite with whom? The kind of unity that would emerge from this perspective analysis would be cosmetic unity. It would be unity of the borders, unity in form and disunity in substance? We submit that even the unity of Africans envisaged by pan Africanism can only truly and openly take place from a class perspective.  Unity is unity when it is so both in form, purpose and content”,
He argued further that “The oneness of Africa cannot be true and possible, underpinned by a partnership of socialists and had core capitalists”.
When he concluded the lecture he received a thunderous applause when he asserted “So indeed, I can now truly claim that I am a modern pan Africanist, a class conscious one and a committed socialist”.
Other speakers preceding the lecture included PAYCO President, Hulisani Mmbara and the liberation struggle veteran leader, Phillip Kgosana.
In his welcoming address, Mmbara told guests that “the PAC must set out to become government soon and its political leadership, policy making and administrative layers must start organising and conducting itself as such”.
“If we want to govern, we must get ready to govern” added Mmbara.
This declaration shows striking optimism given the fact that during the last general elections, just over a month ago, on 22 April under president Mphahlele, contrary to what many considered a nutty ambitious projection to poll 20% of the votes by Mphahlele, the PAC only managed to gain a mere 48530 votes as opposed to more than 113512 votes garnered in 2004 elections under the presidency of Dr. Motsoko Pheko.
Kgosana a well known veteran leader of the organisation and a leader of the historic 30 000 strong march in Cape Town, also spoke during the lecture about the heydays of the PAC. He told guests that Sobukwe lead the PAC when he was young at the age of 36.

Kgosana Philip
Kgosana Philip

“Are you saying we do not have a 36 years old in PAYCO who can lead the PAC?” quizzed Kgosana to a thunderous applause.
“You hold the key to the solution of the PAC “urged Kgosana.

Kgosana himself, then a regional secretary of the PAC in the Western Cape, was in his early twenties and a student at the University of Cape Town when he led this historic march following the Sharpeville-Langa massacres on 21 March 1960 during the anti-pass campaign led by the PAC.
Judging by the political maturity, commitment, emerging vision and ideological clarity shown by the youth during this lecture the PAC can still turn its waning fortunes around.

6 thoughts on “PAC youth show the way

  1. there is no way you can represent the masses if you are not elected by the masses,even though the masses did ellect you,failing to deliver what is expected from you will turn you into a failure.age has got nothing to do with leadership but knowledge and not changing the idiology of the party can make good leardership.dont copy the way of doing things from rulling party because you ll fail to oppose and fail to be the gorvenment.i personally dont support and “vote” for PAC for it to remain PAC but to gorven and set me free from…..

  2. Lefase ke la Rena.
    Can you post PAYCO constitution to this side.

  3. I personally believe that for us to be proud in serving a legacy of pan africanism, we should be able to live it first within our own communities. where will we get people to understand pan africanism if we ourselves dont understand it.can we think rationally about PAC being the next government if we dont work towards that goal . I agree with Ntate Kgosana when he says that the youth of this movement are capable to lead.To be a leader you dont have to serve the Pac for 60 years, but the PAC needs ideas from the youth in order to mobilize masses. where are our political schools. where are the daughters of the soil and sons of the soil. can we go back and mobilise from our own schools,varsities, workplace sectors, community stokvels, forums etc. Lets not alloa our people to derive from the beliefs and principles of PAN Africanist society .

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