Motsoko Pheko

AZANIA MUST BE FREE!

In A South African newspaper, THE STAR of the 8th 0ctober 2012, Prof. Themba Sono raised his concern about referring to South Africa as ‘Mzansi.’ Mzansi means South in Zulu. What is historically clear and politically correct is that free men and women name themselves. Only slaves and dogs are named by their masters. That is why not long ago, there was Gold Coast, Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia, British Bechuanaland, Upper Volta and of course, South Africa. But now, free men and women named their countries, Ghana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Burkina Faso respectively.

“South Africa” is the name that British imperialism and its colonial settlers gave to this African country on the 20th September 1909. This colonial statute was called “An Act To Constitute The Union of South Africa 1909.” It was implemented in 1910.

What were the reasons for this Union of South Africa? Constitutional lawyers Gilbert Dold and C.P. Joubert have written, “Long before the Union was brought about, many recognised that the colour question in all its aspects had to be dealt with, not piecemeal by separate governments, but as one complex whole. The Cape had one native policy and Natal another entirely different, the Transvaal a third one, the Orange River Colony a fourth one.

MARIKANA MASSACRE A SIGN THERE IS NO ECONOMIC LIBERATION IN SOUTH AFRICA

Marikana Massacre of 50 African workers and 78 injured at the platinum mine North-West of Johannesburg under ANC government on 16 August 2012, illustrates the absence of economic liberation for 80% of the African people who were supposedly “liberated” in April 1994. Azania (South Africa) is home to 80% of the world’s known reserve of platinum, a very precious metal which competes with gold in value and price.

The price of platinum fluctuates between $1650 and $1800 per ounce. Miners at Marikana platinum mine as all other mines where minerals are dug from the ground; do very dangerous work. Some miners have described mining as “graves” as the mine can collapse at any time bury them, never for them to come out alive. The Marikana platinum miners went on strike demanding an increase on their wages. They are paid R4000 a month. This is about five hundred American dollars. Many of these miners have families to support.

They were massacred in what the media has described as: “Another Sharpeville,” “The Hill of Horror,” “Bloodiest Security Operation Since Apartheid,” “Bloodbath,” “Killing Field,” “Mine Slaughter,” etc. Three thousand miners took part in this mine strike. It involved talks with mine company unsuccessfully. The platinum bosses are some of the leading controllers of the economy in this economically colonised African country.

JUNE 16 SOWETO UPRISING AS TOLD IN COURT

“You Mothopeng, acted to sow seeds of anarchy and revolution. The riots you engineered and predicted eventually took place in Soweto on June 16 and at Kagiso the next day.” These are the words of Judge Curlewis in the Supreme Court of South Africa in a secret court hearing on 1 July 1979. He was sentencing to imprisonment for the Soweto Uprising(June 16) the following accused Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) leaders and members: Zephania Mothopeng 30 years, Moffat Zungu 7 years, Michael Matsobane 15 years, Daniel Matsobane 12 years, Marks Shinners 12 years, John Ganya 11 years, Benny Ntoele 10 years, Johnson Nyathi 10 years, Themba Hlatswayo 8 years, Goodwill Thlale 8 years, Julius Landingwe 8 years, Sithembele Khala 7 years, Goodwill Moni 7 years, Zolile Ndindwa 7 years, Jerome Kodisang 5 years and Hamilton Keke 5 years.

As we mark the 36th anniversary of the Soweto Uprising, it is important that suppressed facts and truth about this inspiring history of political bravery and heroism by the youth of this country are revealed and recorded for posterity and for humanity in general.

In the Supreme Court of South Africa at Bethal, Judge Curlewis found for the apartheid regime’s prosecution in 1979, that the Pan Africanist Congress played a leading role in the Soweto Uprising which erupted on 16
June 1976. Evidence before Judge Curlewis showed that the PAC organised and fixed the date on the Soweto Uprising.

Several witness testified how PAC under the leadership of Zephania Mothopeng organised the Soweto Uprising. For instance, Adam, one of the witnesses testified before court that in one of the underground meetings of the PAC disguised as the Young African Religious Movement(YARM), Mike Motsobane introduced PAC leaders as from Soweto.

“NEW AFRICANNESS” – A RESPONSE!

On the 3rd June 2012, a columnist of the City Press newspaper wrote, “There are many ways of being African in South Africa.”

Are there many ways of being a British in Britain? Are there many ways of being a Chinese in China, many ways of being a German in Germany or many ways of being a Russian whose minority dictate to the majority population?

The misconception about national identity in South Africa stems from a falsified colonial history. It is exacerbated by the 1955 political manipulation by which a certain section of the leadership of colonised African people abandoned the anti-colonial struggle for a civil rights movement. They claimed that their country belongs equally to the colonisers and the colonised, the dispossessors and the dispossessed owners. This is tantamount to saying that stolen goods can equally belong to the armed thieves and their rightful owners. It is not magnanimity. It is betrayal of the dispossessed.

Where has this happened anywhere in the world, except where British imperialism seized this African country at gunpoint, consolidated its colonialism through the Union of South Africa Act 1909 and allocated its 349,837 colonial settlers 93% of the country and left five million Africans with 7% through the Native Land Act 1913 and additional 6% through the Native Trust Land Act 1936? This 13% has now been entrenched in section 25(7) of the present Eurocentric constitution misleadingly called “the best democratic constitution in the world.”

EFFECTS OF COLONIALISM ON AFRICA

Programme Director, Comrades, Brothers and Sisters, The effects of colonialism past and present are visible all over Africa. It is not an overstatement when Edem Kodjo, author of AFRICA TOMORROW describes the condition of African as “torn away from his past, propelled into a universe fashioned from outside that suppresses his values, and dumbfounded by a cultural invasion that marginalises him. The African… is today the deformed image of others.” On this year’s anniversary of Africa Liberation Day, African people all over Africa and wherever they may be on this planet, must reflect deeply on their history as it relates to their present life conditions and to their future. History is a clock that tells a people their historical time of the day. History is the compass that wise people use to locate themselves on the map of the world. A peoples’ history tells them who they are. What they have been, where they have been, where they are now, but most importantly, where they still must go. True African History is a powerful weapon against colonial history that has been used for mental enslavement and colonisation of the African people.

Programme Director, Africa is the Mother of Humanity. Africa is the cradle of the first human civilisation. The First Renaissance on this planet was the African Renaissance. Africa was “the first world” economically and technologically NOT the “third world” of paupers robbed of their lands and riches. Our ancestors built the pyramids which even in this 21st century no one can reproduce. Egyptian civilisation was a Black civilisation. The pharaohs were Black people. That is why that great African Egyptologist, Prof. Cheikh Anta Diop has written: “The history of Black Africa will remain suspended in the air and will not be written correctly until African historians dare connect it with the history of Egypt. The African historian, who evades this, is neither modest nor objective or unruffled; he is ignorant, cowardly and neurotic.” The Zimbabwe Buildings that Africans built have been attributed to “foreigners” who vanished into thin air and cannot be found! The stubborn historical fact, however, is that these magnificent buildings were designed by Zimbabweans.

The Azanian civilisation which stretched from Eastern Africa to our country is a historical fact. The people of Azania whose country colonialists called “South Africa” through the British imperialist Union of South Africa Act 1909; mined gold and copper in Mapungubwe as early as the 9th century. That was centuries before Jan van Riebeeck arrived in Azania on 6th April 1652. He and the other settlers brought no land here on their ships. Our ancestors fed them and housed them. They knew not the intentions of these pale strangers.

The Rev. J.H. Soga was contemporary of Enoch Sontonga, the composer of Nkosi Sikelela iAfrika. He has made reference to how Africans in what is called South Africa today came to be called “Bantu” instead of their old name Azanians. Soga explained in 1928 that the name Bantu was of modern application. It arose when Dr. Bleek a scholar of Azanian languages used the word “Bantu” as a comprehensive term for all the dialects of the inhabitants who formed a large section of the people of Southern Africa. He had no intention of applying this term to the people themselves. (THE SOUTH EASTERN BANTU pages 2, 6 and 11 WITS UNIVERITY PRESS, KRAUS REPRINT MILLWOOD, NEW YORK 1982).

PAN AFRICANISTS MUST STOP THE SECOND BERLIN RAPE OF AFRICA

From its inception on 06th April 1959, the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) in South Africa, whose first President was Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe, agreed with Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah that “The longer we wait the stronger will be the hold on Africa by neo-colonialism and imperialism.” That “If Africa was united, no major bloc would attempt to subdue her by limited war because, from the very nature of limited war, what can be achieved by it, is itself limited. It is only where small states exist that it is possible, by landing a few thousand marines or by financing a mercenary force that they can secure a decisive result.”
 
Nkrumah emphasised this important point for Africans when addressing the African Heads of State and Government on 24th May 1963. He declared, “No sporadic act nor pious resolutions, can resolve our present problems…As a continent we have emerged into independence in a difficult age, with imperialism grown stronger, more ruthless and experienced, and more dangerous in its international associations. Our economic advancement demands the end of colonialist and neo-colonialist domination of Africa.”

AFRICOM WILL DESTROY AFRICA

The USA Africa Command which they call “Africom” is a military structure of the Defence Department of America. It is the American political deception for establishing military bases on the African Continent. It conceals its real intentions in Africa. It was formed in February 2OO7 during George Bush’s term of office. This was two months after America had bombed a small African country, Somalia, destabilizing it to the ashes it is today.

At that time the American President said Africom “will enhance our efforts to bring peace and security to the people of Africa and promote our common goals of development, health, education, democracy and economic growth of Africa.” Where in Africa has the USA done this? With the same breath Bush revealed, “Africom will co-ordinate all U.S. security interests throughout Africa.”

AFRICAN HISTORY: PAN AFRICANISM PAST PRESENT AND THE FUTURE

It is an honour for me to speak at this important institution of high learning on AFRICAN HISTORY: PAN AFRICANISM PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE on this 49th anniversary of Africa Liberation Day May 25.I would like to appreciate the presence of so many students in the African Diaspora and other lovers of Africa I see here. I wish all of you success in your acquisition of education which you must use for yourselves and in the service of Africa’s people where ever they are located on this planet. We are living in perilous but exciting times. Let us play our role with determination and distinction.

The African Union has recognized the importance of the African Diaspora in the re-building of Africa’s walls that were broken through the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, colonialism and European racism. Indeed, a new history is in the making. This is good news for all lovers of Africa and justice- loving people of the world who stood with Africa during her darkest times.

We have a great and unique continent. We must serve it to the best of our ability. Africa is endowed with enormous riches, beauty, culture and a fascinating history that has been swept under the carpet for a long time in order to facilitate Africa’s economic exploitation and domination. Africa is a Continent we should be very proud to serve under all circumstances.

Africa built Memphis, the ancient capital city of ancient Egypt in 31OO B.C. Greeks built Athens in 12OO B.C. The Romans built Rome in 1OOO B.C. Africa invented writing. It was Hieroglyphics in 3OOO B.C. Hieratic writing shortly after this. Demotic writing was developed about 6OO B.C. The Kushite script was used in 3OO B.C. Other scripts were Merotic, Coptic, Amharic, Sabean, Gee’z, Nsibidi of Nigeria, Mende of Mali and writings such as the Twi alphabet of Twi people of Ghana.

In November 1999, some scholars at Yale University such as Prof. John Damell discussed the origin of writing in the world. They found no reason to dispute the fact that the location was Africa.

Edem Kodjo, author of AFRICA TOMORROW, a profound researcher on Africa has written, “It is here in Africa that history began. Far from being a gratuitous assertion, this statement is undeniable scientific fact for which one finds corroboration when one roves the world in search of the remains of ancient civilisations….Africa remains the privileged source of the early intense human activity.”

Ancient historians such as Herodotus, Diodorus and others have established that Africa is the cradle of the first human civilisation. Sir E.A. Wallis Budge was a keeper of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities at the British Museum. In his book EGYPT he has written, “The prehistoric native Egyptians both in the old and new age stone were Black, and there is every reason for saying that the earliest inhabitants came from the South.”

These people built the pyramids not only in ancient Egypt, but in other parts of Africa such as Nubia and Ethiopia. An American scholar, Louis P. McCarty has stated that “Before the people of the earth can duplicate the Great Pyramids they will have to rediscover the lost arts of perfectly hardening copper, overcoming gravitation, navigating the air etc Also perfect Mathematics.”

Africa has been a victim of foreign aggression and destruction. Among these can be mentioned the Hykssos, the Vandals and the architects of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and colonialism. Scholars such as Prof. Charles H. Hapgood affirm that the Library of Khart-Haddas, later called Carthage by the Romans was burnt down by them. They destroyed half a million books.

The ancient Zimbabwe Buildings demonstrate the advanced technology that was involved in their construction. The Zimbabweans built these magnificent structures with solid granite stones. The walls were five metres thick and ten metres high. The stones were placed on top of one another without mud or cement.

At Mapungubwe in a country called South Africa today, archaeologists have found numerous gold ornaments on the banks of the Limpopo River dating to the 14th century. Niel Parson, a noted researcher on Southern Africa has recorded that Clay pottery in the shape of a human head was found at Mashishini (colonially called Lydenburg) in Eastern Transvaal. It is carbon dated 5th and 6th century A.D.

The earliest date for copper mining south of the Limpopo River was 7th century A.D. A Portuguese sailor, Vasco da Gama arrived there in 1488. He called Limpopo River “Copper River” because African rulers and their wives in this part of Africa wore copper neck-rings, bracelets and anklets. Time does not allow me to speak of the advanced medical science of the Khoi and San people that colonialists called “Hottentots” and “Bushmen.” The Basotho, the Zulus and Xhosas, to mention them as examples, never killed children, women and old people in war. European missionaries’ lives such as that of the Rev. Francis Owen even under King Dingane of the Zulus were spared. The Zulu King’s order “Kill the wizards” did not include European missionaries who were doing religious work. Africans never had the brutal system of taking other people’s lands and expropriating their riches for themselves.

There are European people and their cousins who say that they went to Africa to “civilise” Africans! How do you “civilise” people through slavery, colonialism and racism? Some of these people called Africa the “Dark Continent.” How come the Dark Continent saved Moses’ life, educated him and gave him Zipporah, an African woman for his wife? How come that the Dark Continent gave refuge to Jesus Christ? How come that the Dark Continent gave protection to Moslems at the beginning of this religion when they were persecuted? How come that the fundamentals of the Christian religion were laid by African theologians such as Tertullian and Augustine? Augustine is reputed to have spoken Latin, the “English” of those days in an African accent!

CREATING A COMMON AFRICAN BASE TO ENGAGE THE WORLD: A PAN AFRICANIST REFLECTION

Programme Director, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and gentlemen, It is an honour for me to speak to you at this important meeting of the OPEN SOCIETY AND INITIATIVE FOR SOUTHERN AFRICA. I like the name especially, the words Open and Initiative. We need openness and initiative in Africa.

I have been asked to speak on CREATING A COMMON AFRICAN BASE TO ENGAGE THE WORLD: A Pan Africanist Reflection. I shall humbly do so from a Pan Africanist perspective. You are the architects of Africa’s future and shapers of her present.

Now! How Do I Start?

Well, knowledge has been colonized and information manipulated in order to control the minds of African people, and achieve epistemological domination over them so as to undermine their national and continental interests. There is much that must be known, regained and done to restore Africa to her lost power and glory. Africa created the first human civilization on this planet. In adoration and admiration of the Africa he knew, that great Roman Emperor, Julius Caesar exclaimed, “Ex Africa semper aliquid novi!” (Out of Africa comes always something new).

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