Malcolm X’s insightful speech ‘THE BALLOT OR THE BULLET’ is as relevant today as it was fifty one years ago when he delivered it in a speech in Cleveland, Ohio on April 3, 1964, just three days before the fifth anniversary of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) of Azania. This reminds one of the Azanian People Liberation Army (APLA) battle cry ‘ONE SETTLER, ONE BULLET’, which unsettled many settlers and quislings alike.
However, Malcolm X’s question should have been pondered in 1994 or was it asked? The PAC founding President, Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe said it was the PAC’s duty to show the people the light and they would find the way. But before their inexplicable deaths in 1990, Zeph Lekoane Mothopeng and Jafta Kgalabi Masemola showed us the light but we didn’t find the way because the PAC leadership at the time waited for them (Mothopeng and Masemola) to die and then joined the negotiations to which they were dead set against.
I would like to find out from former and current PAC leaders if they think the PAC can win power or would have won power through the ballot or are they just happy to draw salaries as Councilors, Members of Provincial Legislatures and Members of Parliament. I frankly don’t think the PAC can win through the ballot or would have won through the ballot in 1994 because of the reasons outlined in the paragraphs below.
The die was cast against the PAC from the onset because the imperialists, colonialists and settler colonialists call the shots and do not want the PAC to lead Azania (South Africa). For example, the electoral process is manipulated and controlled by the ANC and their imperialist backers. These imperialists decide for us who our leaders should be and who should govern this country.
In March 1994, the New York Times ran an article in which it was revealed that a poll showed that “the PAC was neck and neck with the ANC”. There were also local newspapers which reported about the popularity of the PAC and its military wing, APLA. International news organisations also reported that in the townships there was ubiquitous graffiti rooting for the PAC and APLA. However, the following month, in April 1994, the PAC got a mere one percent of the votes, which translated into fives parliamentary seats. Since then, the PAC’s performance has not improved. Instead, its performance is declining precipitously, one election after another, and this is ascribed to internal factional battles. On the contrary, unknown contraptions garner more votes than the PAC.
What really happened during the 1994 elections? The first glaring mistake was that there was no voters roll. Consequently, there was no record of the number of voters who were eligible to vote and how many voters cast their votes. Therefore there was no reconciliation of the votes cast that should have collated with the number of people who cast their votes. According to John Battersby who was interviewed on Canadian Broadcasting television, about 40 million blank ballot papers went missing. Battersby said he would not say the 1994 elections were free and fair until those blank ballot papers were found. In Kagiso, some ANC members were carrying ballot boxes around. A former member of the South African Police said they used police trucks that usually ferry prisoners and awaiting trialists to and from court to load ballot papers from some Soweto schools and off-loaded them at Crown Mines and their serial numbers were not recorded.
Highly placed sources have revealed that the PAC had won the Eastern Cape hands down but the ANC and National Party connived and colluded to steal the votes from the PAC and swindle the PAC. In Limpopo, a senior PAC member was tricked to go and buy soft drinks and when he came back IEC officials and ANC members had boarded a chopper and left.
After ascending to power in 1994, the ANC government used state organs including the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) to try to destroy the PAC. This is illegal but those who have found out this illegality have sworn to secrecy and can’t spill the beans. It should be borne in mind that Nelson Mandela spent his entire life trying to destroy the PAC and was so contemptuous of the PAC that he had no complimentary words towards it. That is why APLA cadres such as Kenny Motsamai who were arrested during the apartheid era are still languishing in jail today. Motsamai was arrested in 1989 for carrying out an APLA-sanctioned mission and sent to prison. He should have been considered for parole after serving about 13 or 15 years but he has spent 26 years behind bars. This is a violation of the rule of law and the constitution. It means the constitution of this country is not worth the paper it is written on. If the ANC government violates the rule of law and its own constitution what is the PAC expected to do under such circumstances?
The other point for consideration is the ruling elites of Britain and the US who choose leaders and governments for us and decide who our leaders should be. For example, on 3 February 1960 former British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan told the all-white South African parliament that, “The most striking impressions I have formed since I left London is of this African national consciousness. In different places it takes different forms, but it is happening everywhere. The wind of change is blowing through this continent… The great issue in this second part of the twentieth century is whether the uncommitted people of Asia and Africa will swing to the East or the West”. Frankly, it should not have been Macmillan’s business, or any foreign leader’s business for that matter, which direction Africa swung.
In the Congo, MI6 and the CIA overthrew and assassinated Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba who was believed to be aligning the country with the Soviet Union against the West. Stephen Dorril, author of MI6: Fifty Years of Special Operations, writes, “This conspiracy view of Soviet penetration of Africa was shared by George Young’s (an MI6 officer) rightwing ‘friends’, who took an extreme and racist view of Africa and Africans. The official line, however, was that ‘Communism (amongst African political movements) has made no great impact’ and that the idea of ‘pan-Africanism’ could be discounted”.
It’s clear that Pan-Africanism is a headache for the West, which is why the PAC of Azania has an insurmountable problem of making organisational progress. Those who don’t understand the anti-PAC stance of the West and the trials and tribulations of the PAC are naïve. The Congo, now called the Democratic Republic of Congo, is a sovereign country which should have been left alone to determine its future. Dorril says Lumumba died in mysterious circumstances.
In The Judas Factor: The Plot to Kill Malcolm, Karl Evanzz quoted from declassified CIA documents that Lumumba was abducted and killed by being shot on his temple after one of his murderers plunged a bayonet into his chest. Evanzz also implicates the Belgian government in the overthrow and assassination of Lumumba. The reason the US government gave for being complicit in overthrowing and assassinating Lumumba was that they suspected that he was going to nationalize that country’s national bank. Doesn’t the Congo have the right to align with whichever country it wishes to and nationalise its national bank?
The West and its spy agencies haven’t abandoned their racist and condescending attitude of choosing leaders for us at this time and age. They installed Nelson Mandela and the ANC; they are now infatuated by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). That explains the invitation to the EFF by the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA) which is a creation of the Milner Group, a Cecil John Rhodes secret society.
RIIA will not brook any nationalisation or radical economic policies that threaten the interests of Britain and its corporations and banks and those of other western countries. Its clone in the US is the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) whose duty is to safeguard US interests and its corporations including banks. The RIIA and CFR were created by the same people. As I have written in my other articles, all former Presidents of South Africa have addressed the CFR, including Kgalema Motlanthe. Mandela has previously been invited by the RIIA. It is worth noting in passing that Mohammed Buhari addressed the RIIA in February this year and in March became Nigeria’s head of state.
We have heard in the early 1990’s deceitful shibboleths of ‘nationalisation’, ‘redistribution of wealth’ and ‘working together we can do more’ and a host of other empty slogans which their originators ultimately drop like a hot brick because their imperialist backers do not entertain an economic system that is against capitalism.
There are those who proclaimed that they would help augment morality and virtue in the society to the highest possible degree by fighting against corruption, fighting for the rights of workers, pursue a Pan Africanist agenda and become a people’s movement. Yet they are embracing the Freedom Charter at the same time. Their conception is the codification of a transmogrified Charterism couched in Pan Africanist and Black Consciousness terms for public consumption. This eclectic potpourri of ideologies makes it convivial to many ideologies but inimical to one – Pan Africanism.
The students of this country will not be deceived by rhetoric and a motley crew of revolutionaries as they have demonstrated by storming what could be called the gates of hell during their #FeesMustFall campaign.
Against this backdrop and given the information that was revealed in this article, I am honestly asking if the PAC will win through the ballot or the bullet.
By Sam Ditshego
The writer is a Fellow at the Pan Africanist Research Institute (PARI).