Robben Island is the liberation struggle living foundation to build the Pan African Parliament adjacent the prison complex. Sharpeville, Langa and Soweto are the alternative struggle foundation to house the Pan African Parliament. The construction of the Parliament on the Island, Sharpeville or Langa is imperative to link the liberation in South Africa to the liberation of Africa spearheaded by the Organization of African Unity (OAU).
The current location of the Pan African Parliament, the Gallagher Estate, Midrand, South Africa, bears no root to the liberation struggle, and regrettably now manifests the major conference center for conception and formulation of the post apartheid New South Africa and Africa’s Renaissance, dependent on the dictates of the piper who funds the program.
The location is today’s citadel for migration and domicile for the struggle leadership ensconced in gifted houses and moneyed entrapments away from the township masses. The townships are the black vote reservoir resurrected only on election days.
The current location of the Pan African Parliament represents the 21st century neo-colonial political and economic coup, well contrived and executed to reverse Africa’s 20th century liberation wars and defeat against colonial occupation. It is no coincidence the location abuts one massive township concentration of shacks, poverty, joblessness and lack of service delivery.
In the context of economic transition in the New South Africa, the location is the migration center for the country’s major banks and corporations, and significantly the center for domestic flight and drainage of the newly rich black middle class, who by instinct follow the struggle leadership initial co-option and absorption by the rich community, away from the masses. What we have in the New South Africa today is the political and intellectual failure of the struggle leadership to provide a mass-based economic liberation plan, than capitulate to co-option and wholesale bribery by apartheid capital, the mining, banking and industrial monopolies.
The center appears to achieve the objective to re-colonize Africa by invitation to the center of political, banking, economic, military and significant leadership constituencies across Africa, and by fronting the Pan African Parliament and the New South Africa’s black government to accelerate the neo-colonial trajectory. At the same time the black majority in South Africa now demand the government to deliver basic services, jobs and economic relief, revolting against evidence of public corruption, and the growing economic apartheid between the poor masses and the newly rich black political elite and tenderpreneurs. The Parliament location simply adds the economic segregation.
Designating the Robben Island, Sharpeville or Langa as the foundation for construction of the Pan African Parliament is to reclaim and immortalize the moral, spiritual and physical root and legacy of the liberation struggle. The objective is to bring or take the African parliament to the masses, and to redistribute the economic benefit of the constructions to the location and struggle foundation of the country and Africa.
By Rakwena Molefe
The writer is a Pan African activist in New York, USA