Dear Thami ka Platjie
I have read your open letter published on the 16th June edition of the Sunday Independent. I might be wrong, but I interpret your letter to be basically saying that I should be patient in the Zuma African National Congress (ZANC), and fight struggles for Economic Freedom within the confines of such, because those who fought from different platforms before never succeeded.
Coming from you, the advice might be genuine because your political life and Career has been in the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), which had profound potential as a Liberation Movement, but was compromised by the untimely death of Robert Sobukwe, a prominent Africanist, and founding leader of the African National Congress Youth League, a generation that proclaimed FREEDOM IN OUR LIFETIME. Had Sobukwe not died, the PAC would have been prominent and contributed far much more significantly to the struggle for national and economic emancipation.
As a Scholar of domestic liberation history, you will appreciate the reality that subjective aspects (such as leadership choices), and objective factors in any moment constitute a critical component of the path, direction, form and vigour of any revolutionary Movement.
Despite his misconception of non-racialism, Robert Sobukwe gave practical meaning to the Congress Youth’s League founding generation’s determination to confront the apartheid regime, and his ultimate isolation and banishment by the regime was recognition of the subjective capacity and strengths he possessed; one which posed a more serious challenge to the nonsensical apartheid racist domination.
You also might be genuine in your advice because you recently founded and registered a political organisation, the Pan Africanist Movement (PAM), which was short-lived, either due to lack of determination or poverty of the ideals it upheld.
We will never know, because on what appeared to be Career decisions and the need for immediate class upward mobility, you joined the Zuma African National Congress (ZANC), which does not represent anything the ANC of Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Nelson Mandela represented, and therefore not a genuine Green, Black and Gold Movement we joined. The ZANC is an association of Careerists and neo-liberal Bureaucrats whose sole mission and role is protecting the interests of White monopoly capital, and that is the band you have joined.
One thing you seemingly do not understand is that to me and my fellow Economic Freedom Fighters, politics is not a Career or profession wherein one is obsessed with upward mobility, even at the expense of principle. I am not in Political revolutionary activism because I want to pursue Career interests and aspirations.
If I was chasing positions, I would have readily accepted when substantial majority of ANC members requested that I go to Parliament. I would have not taken up a struggle for Economic Freedom, which by its very nature was Career-limiting. When I gave the Closing Address to the ANC Youth League 24th National Congress in June 2011, long before charges were preferred, as newly elected President of the ANC Youth League, I said, “by the way things are turning up, me and you Floyd are not safe in the ANC”, and further said “We need the ANC to declare in December 2012 that we are in an economic struggle – that is the terrain in which we find ourselves. Once that declaration has been made by the ANC, everybody will work towards the economic emancipation”. The need to carry the struggle outside the ZANC is now, because it has proven that will not take us anywhere.
I said this because I knew that with the determination to intensify the struggle for economic freedom, which was a direct challenge to white monopoly capital and their representatives in the ZANC, our determination will be banished, criminalised and our lives threatened.
I refused to retract on principle even during the ANC Disciplinary process because I stood firm on what I believe is a genuine struggle for economic freedom in our lifetime, which must be extended to Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Angola, Mozambique, Angola, Lesotho, Swaziland, the rest of the African continent and intensified in Zimbabwe. If my obsession was positions and Career, I would have apologised and chose to abandon the struggle for economic freedom in our lifetime.
We are inspired by the fighting spirit of Vladimir Lenin, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Patrice Lumumba, Hugo Chavez, Robert Mugabe, June 16 1796 generation, and many other Freedom Fighters who understood that revolution and struggle for emancipation is far much bigger than organisational confines. Revolutionaries know no borders and draw inspiration and courage from fighters across the world, and not confined to domestic politics or narrow organisational politics you are making reference to in your Open letter.
When Lenin realised that the struggle for a socialist revolution was being confined and constrained in wrong, counter-revolutionary, and effectively reactionary parameters of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, he mobilised to pursue the revolution from an independent platform, the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks did not only lead one of the most successful revolutions in the world, they contributed massively to the declination of many countries and stood firm in opposition to imperialist domination and control of the world.
The Bolsheviks inspired many revolutions, and world history can never be told without mentioning the profound impact this Great October Revolution caused in the world. Spectators like you, defined the courage and determination of Vladimir Lenin as Adventurism when he started the Bolsheviks Movement, and his contribution to our current understanding of the State and revolution is more than profound, and a continued inspiration to many in the world.
The subjective weaknesses on the leadership of the Bolsheviks (such as Stalin) undermined the revolution from being carried to its logical conclusion. Politically and ideologically, we are the Bolsheviks (majority) in society and that will be realised in action that is not inspired by vote-buying and manipulation.
Che Guevara and Fidel Castro led determined Combatants in Cuba to defeat the Batista regime and played a decisive role in the liberation of many colonised countries in the world, including in Africa and particularly South Africa. When they begun the struggle, they were called Adventurist and reckless, and impatient as some are doing now, but they fought until the end and their mark in history will never be deleted, even by the West propaganda that seek to portray them as evil. Please note that this was a novel movement, founded on principles that developed to even embrace Marxism-Leninism as tools of analysis and guide to action.
Dissatisfied with the military and fighting tactics of the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), Ndabaningi Sithole, Herbert Chitepo, and many revolutionary others founded the Zimbabwean African National Union (ZANU), which fought for liberation of Zimbabwe, and suppressed insurrection post attainment of political freedom.
The ideological dynamism of ZANU made it appreciate that it had to work with ZAPU (to form ZANU-PF) to continue the struggle for total emancipation. ZANU-PF under the leadership of President Robert Mugabe became a dynamic Movement which challenged imperialism and decidedly reclaiming Zimbabwe’s economic resources amidst global neo-liberal, racist, and Afrophobic condemnation of blacks reclaiming their land.
The June 16 1976 generation is our greatest inspiration, who without an military infrastructure to confront the apartheid regime, went ahead, even without the approval of the ANC to confront the regime. The regime was shaken by the June 16 events of the youth who were fearless and did not have anything to lose, but their chains. We are here today, with no financial resources to fight electoral politics, but we will do everything we have in our power to get the message across that the time for Economic Freedom in here, and the youth are better placed to take this struggle forward.
It is important to make those few highlights of important political dynamics in different parts of the world in order to remind you that political activity in the world is a result of conscious human action, not a supernatural phenomenon. The ANC is not Alfa and Omega of South Africans revolutionary politics. Many major political events have transpired in South Africa without the involvement of the ANC, and to think that it is only the ZANC that will carry the struggle forward is foolishness
Like the many observations we have made before, we want to remind you that the ZANC is on a constant downward spiral ideologically, politically, and morally. The ZANC is not committed to the Freedom Charter anymore. The ZANC is demoting South Africa into a Kleptocracy (government of thieves), who uses selective prosecutions and secrecy to hide their looting of resources that should better the lives of our people.
South Africa has been re-colonised by a family that stays in Saxonwold in Johannesburg, the Guptas because they control the ZANC. These are facts, which with practical and material evidence will become very clear on the election platform when we will be asking the people whether they want to continue under the colony of the Guptas or want to carry forward the Freedom Charter towards Economic Freedom.
Also it is wrong to liken the Economic Freedom Fighters to a breakaway faction from the ANC. We are not a breakaway faction, we are revolutionaries who having realised suppression of radical economic thoughts and policy direction in the ANC, have chosen to establish an independent platform to gain mass power, political power, the State and then transform the economy for the benefit of all South Africans. You will not immediately understand this urgent need because you are obsessed with domestic history, whilst revolutions and political movements should be understood and interpreted beyond confines of political and organisational borders.
Your advice that I should remain the ZANC and fight within does not make sense because I am not a member of the ZANC, and do not believe that the ZANC will be a revolutionary Movement, because Tribalism, regionalism, factionalism will be entrenched to marginalise all radical economic perspectives. Already the Zuma National Task Team (ZNTT) is saying the ANC Youth League does not have policy on Nationalisation of Mines and Land expropriation without compensation because that is what Zuma wants. All radical, Freedom Charter hoisters will be eliminated from the ranks of the ANC, and the band of Guptarised puppets will be in domination.
We are not a breakaway formation, and we will live to realise economic freedom in our lifetime. The reality which you and the band of Careerists in the ANC must begin to appreciate is that this Movement for Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime will realise economic freedom in our lifetime. We will in our lifetime, turn the mass support we command into formalised political power, capture the State and radically change ownership of the economy, particularly land and mineral resources to benefit all South Africans. It is a matter of time, and like those who did not internalise the reality that the generation of youth in 1944 demanded FREEDOM IN OUR LIFETIME, some amongst yourselves, do not believe that we are demanding ECONOMIC FREEDOM IN OUR LIFETIME, and we will win this WAR.