We are gathered here today to remember, honour and celebrate the life of a man whose death has left not only sorrow, grief and nostalgia but also in disarray, confusion, disorganization and lack of leadership or direction in the ranks of the PAC. For 32 years now members of the PAC have been looking for a leader who does not exist but who only exists in their minds and wishful thinking. The Party has experienced endemic and continuous crises that have led to the scattering, drifting away, marginalization and loss of some of its best cadres through disappointment, despondent, despair, tiredness, demoralization, de-motivation but also because of opportunism and corruptibility by a few others who were not prepared to leave the ‘gravy train’ pass by while there was time as this is seen as the phase or era of benefits. Sobukwe and many others who did not see 1994 toiled for no benefits and some who lived to see 1994 have yet to enjoy the fruits of freedom or liberation.
At the time we remember, honour and celebrate this great man, the party he founded and led briefly has lost shape, identity and soul. It is unrecognizable because it is neither heard nor visible; its voice has been deliberately and systematically stifled and choked by those who fear the truth and their puppets and agents who are aiding and abetting in the destruction of this Party of the African masses. The space of the party of Sobukwe is occupied by those who pay lip service to the interests and aspirations of the masses of the poor and have-nots who have yet to enjoy the fruits of the freedom they and their children sacrificed and suffered for. Their material conditions have yet to change radically 15 years since national freedom was attained in April 1994. They continue to live in abject poverty and squalor and ravaged by HIV/AIDES, tuberculosis and many other common diseases. The majority are still illiterate, semi-literate and ignorant in this era of information technology and globalization.
The unchanged situation is characterized by socio-economic inequalities and disparities that obtained during the apartheid era and have been carried forward into new South Africa and are perpetuated and sustained by the new African political, bureaucratic and business elites in partnership with the apartheid elites and this is what constitutes neo-colonialism known as new South Africa or the Rainbow nation buttressed by reconciliation without justice. This is the Mandela and Tutu order which has meant the maintenance and perpetuation of the apartheid status quo or the apartheid property relations buttressed by the most liberal constitution that does not serve the interests and aspirations of the masses of the African people who are crying for leadership as they did prior to the Sharpeville and Langa Massacres.
At the end of the 1940s, the conditions and historical processes in South Africa had produced a new type of leadership which had been developing from 1944 with the formation of the Youth League of the African National Congress. This leadership was a reflection of the changed political situation that had evolved from what was then known as “colour bar” to what came to be known as “apartheid” characterized by racial discrimination, racial segregation or racial separation and racial domination driven by the ideology of racial or white supremacy. The apartheid system had intensified colonial repression, land dispossession, disenfranchisement and indoctrination through slave education.