Pan Africanist Youth Congress

LEST WE FORGET: JUNE 16 1976 AND THE BETHAL TRIAL

Sons and daughters of the soil, let me acknowledge with thanks your kind invitation to address this august gathering of pan africanists.

To the Pan Africanist Youth of today

It is now 35 years since the Soweto Youth Uprising hit the land of Azania, the world and ushered in a new phase in the struggle for the liberation of the oppressed masses of Azania. The focus of the uprising as we know was to challenge the racist forces of apartheid and colonialism and to call to a halt the attempt to enslave the mind of the African youth.

Lest we forget, it is important to set the record straight because we are aware that there is a concerted effort to distort the history of our struggle at every opportunity particularly since 1994. So much so an informed mind will think that the Soweto youth uprising was triggered by the brutal death of the young hector Peterson at the hands of the racist police whereas the fact is that youth resistance against Bantu Education and the apartheid state had been simmering long before 1976.

The Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) had been building strength on the campuses of our universities for years since 1967 with a straight confrontation between the black students and the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS). The mergence of SASO and its revolutionary stance on campuses shook the pillars of apartheid and it was clear that there was no going back for the black youths. The black power salute was visible both in the rural and urban areas as black consciousness surfaced with anger and frustration in the 1970’s.

IT’S ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR THE 2ND MAYIHLOME ANNUAL LECTURE

It is with great pleasure that the Pan Africanist Youth Congress (PAC) of Azania cordially invites all committed activists to the 2nd Mayihlome Annual Lecture to be held on Saturday, 30th October 2010 at the Central University of Technology – Welkom Campus from 16h00, under the theme “The Struggle for Economic Liberation in Neocolonial Times”, to be delivered By Liepollo Lebohang Pheko.

In a nutshell, the Annual Mayihlome Lecture is a public political platform to promote discourse over challenges facing the poor African masses in Azania and the whole African world, from a pan Africanist point of view.

The target constituency for this Annual lecture is young people, especially students, young women, the working class and the poor masses in general.

TRIBUTE TO AFRICAN HEROES

31 July is African Heroes Day in the Africanist calendar. This is a day to commemorate and honour the founding fathers and mothers of the African liberation struggle.

Anton Mziwakhe Lembede passed on six decades ago in 1947 at the early age of 33. Lembede was a firebrand youth leader who pioneered the historic 1949 Nation Building programme. It is therefore fitting, as we commemorate the heroes and heroines of the liberation struggle, to pay special tribute to Lembede, who is regarded as the father of Africanism.

At the time when the liberation movement was docile and lacking in direction, it was Lembede and his contemporaries who breathed life into the liberation movement by putting forward a clearly defined Programme of Action which talked to relevant issues of the day – to fight for the freedom of the African masses from settler colonialism. It is this programme that also inspired the formation of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) in 1959.

The Epic Story of June 16 Uprising

The plan to overthrow then Apartheid government began as early as 1963 when Zephaniah “The Lion of Azania” Mothopeng was in the notorious Robben Island prison following his arrest during the PAC led Anti-Pass Campaign on the 21st March 1960. He was a member of the PAC National Leadership at the time.

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