For instance “the Africanists take the view that there is only one race to which we all belong, that is, the human race”. This is a powerful policy position or statement that has stood the test of time and still valid in a society prone to slipping back into racial attitude and behaviour by elements that have yet to accept that majority rule is here to stay. In pursuit of this vision, the struggle must be intensified to ensure that the majority downtrodden and poor are brought to the same level as other national and racial groups in this country.
In relation to the concept of one race, Sobukwe made it clear that “Africanists guarantee no minority rights because we are fighting group exclusiveness which those who plead for minority rights would like to perpetuate. It is our view that if we have guaranteed individual liberties, we have given the highest guarantee necessary and possible”. This is how Sobukwe understood and interpreted the resolution of the National Question, that is, the elimination of social, racial and national inequalities in South Africa.
Sobukwe stood for and believed in a planed economy because this will facilitate the most equitable distribution of wealth. This will not only tackle socio-economic inequalities but it will also deal with unequal development of the country and people. He understood that the market forces of the free market economy will not do justice to the just allocation of resources in our society. It is for this reason that he also rejected the exploitation of the many for the benefit of the few. To achieve equitable distribution of wealth, the starting-point for Sobukwe is ‘equality of income’ which will create equal opportunities or equal access.
Sobukwe was an Africanist and Pan Africanist at the core. He did not only espouse these concepts and ideals but he also believed in them. His commitment to these concepts and ideals verged on religious belief. He loved the African people and the African continent. Like Kwame Nkrumah he was committed to the immediate unification of Africa with a centrally controlled government. He also believed in the surrendering of power to the central authority of the Union or the United States of Africa stretching from Cape to Cairo, Madagascar to Morocco.
The other option would be the creation of the Federation of Southern African States in the SADC states as a step towards the formation of the United States of Africa. The same would apply in the states of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), East African Community (EAC) and other sub-regions. This process must eventually lead to the obliteration of existing colonial-created boundaries and the so-called nation states or state nations. The achievement of this goal will end the fragmentation of Africa’s mineral resources, energy resources, human resources, etc. This will ensure that Africa speaks and negotiates with one voice at all international forums. This is the Africa Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe envisaged.
By Molefe Ike Mafole
(Mafole is a founder member, political activist, former international representative, Senior leader of the PAC and a member of the Azanian People’s Liberation Army Military Veterans Association (APLA MVA). He delivered this address on Saturday February 27th, 2010 at the Ethiopian Church, Pimville Zone 1, Soweto, on the occasion of the 32nd Anniversary of Sobukwe’s death)