The Forgotten Children Of Blikkiesdorp

By Yerushka Chetty

On this bitter cold rainy morning of 18 June 2016 I attended the 2nd meeting called by the residents of Woodstock and Salt River in the Salt River Community Hall to “resist gentrification” which is commonly referred to as stopping evictions.  A group of activists from Western Cape, concerned about the plight of the residents in these areas, joined the campaign called “We Are Not Going Anywhere” as volunteers representing the Black First Land First Movement (BLF). As BLF we are against the modern day dispossession and forceful removal of black people from their land which is politely termed gentrification. Continue reading “The Forgotten Children Of Blikkiesdorp”

UWC FEES WILL FALL MOVEMENT INTELLIGENCE REPORT PART 1. FREE EDUCATION NOW OR NEVER!

Released on South Africa’s Human Rights Day, 21st March 2016

Introduction

Student protests for free education are no different from service delivery protests that characterises South Africa’s failing state. Free Education is a promise that must be kept, just like free housing, and the return of the land. These are the promises of the ANC that must be kept. A promise is a promise. Students want Free Education as promised by the ANC. People living in shacks want free housing as promised by the ANC. People want land as promised by the ANC. 21 years of democracy should have been enough for the ANC to fulfill these promises. There will be relentless protest action, until all these promises are met; it is inevitable, and evident before our eyes, that these protests will never end until all these promises have been met.

This report is an attempt to document the 2015/16-student rebellion as it unfolded at the University of Western Cape. It is not a mainstream research report, or commentary, nor a journalistic account of what happened on each day of the students’ protest but more of a high-level intelligence report of the UWC Fees Will Fall Movement. The report tells the story from the students’ perspective and glorifies the national Fees Must Fall students’ movement as a timely effort in the history of our democracy, against the backdrop of political contradictions such as corruption that has evidently swayed the attention of former liberation fighters from self-sell service to the people, to self-interests, and luxurious living against the backdrop of appalling poverty levels amongst the majority of black communities in many parts of the country.

This report is a gentle reminder to the ANC government of the power of young people to make progressive change. It is a gentle reminder that “the future belongs to us” (Mzwakhu Mbuli, 1986, The Day Shall Dawn). After reading this report, the ANC government of looters should cease to take for granted the intellect of the Fees Must Fall Movement. Furthermore, this report is a firm statement to erstwhile politicians such as Dr Blade Nzimande, that as young people of this country, we can no longer breathe under the leadership of current politicians who care less about the futures of younger generations, but themselves, cronies, and families. We will forever remain disgusted by wasteful expenditures of our politicians and government officials best manifested in the Zuma administration of looters, sycophants and mafias in bed with the ANC. The looting of state coffers by sycophants is completely unacceptable given the poverty levels in our country. As students we argue that there is enough taxpayers money to fund Free Education. Right wing economists know this very well, but will never admit that Free Education is possible because they stand to benefit from the capitalist system that continues to fail our black communities, the poorest of the poor in townships of the Cape Flats, rural communities, rural towns, urban slums, and former homelands throughout the country. The fact is, our current government is failing to use the state in benefit of the people; instead the state has turned against its own people, through institutionalized violence, especially directed to those who take it to the street in protest for better service delivery. Free Education is service delivery, as this report will show.

This report is divided into 8 chapters as follows:

Chapter 1: “Narrow conceptions of violence: student rebellion lenses” challenges narrow conceptions of violence in the context of emancipatory politics, which strongly condemns ongoing police brutality in South Africa, against the backdrop of human rights enshrined in the constitution of the Republic of South Africa. This chapter shows some images of institutionalized violence which is manifested in police brutality – some of the pictures are extremely gruesome, and have been excluded from this report for ethical reasons, but available on request, and consent of the victims of police brutality.

Chapter 2: “Criminalization of student protest action” connects the struggles of students to popular dissent in the country at large such as the infamous Marikana mineworker strike action for example, and municipal service delivery protests, including the killing of Andries Tatane by the state police in 2011. Andries Tatane will forever be our hero because he openly challenged the government of the ANC, and paid the high price for it, death.

Chapter 3: “Politics of victimization, humiliation and paranoia”, draws the attention of the reader to what seems like authoritarian practices of the South African state in its attempts to dampen popular dissent by targeting key individuals (or so-called ring leaders) or those who appear as key allies to protestors in general, and student protestors in particular.

Chapter 4: “Eviction of students from on-campus residences: The politics of racialised geographies” is an attempt to lay bare the racial underpinnings of the eviction of students from UWC residence in November – December 2015. This chapter takes the reader through some history of racialised socio-spatial engineering of the past racist regimes, and how such narrow thinking has been a painful residue or hangover inherited from apartheid, and how it shaped conceptions against the UWC Fees Will Fall Movement.

Chapter 5: “SASCO, ANC & Politics of independence in the (black) student movement” is an attempt to lay bare the political contradictions of SASCO, and how that student movement has been co-opted by the ANC. We argue that there is no SASCO, but the ANC, and we explain why we strongly believe so.

Chapter 6: “Militarisation of UWC by state and private security forces” uses UWC as a lens to raise questions about the nature of our state, and the nature of our democracy in the age of surveillance of activists by our paranoid state.

Chapter 7: “The politics of containment: Anti-student rebellion negotiations”, takes the reader through the negotiation processes that occurred between UWC Fees Will Fall Movement and UWC Management from November – December 2015. In a nutshell, this chapter argues that such negotiations were merely attempts of containment of the UWC Fees Will Fall Movement by UWC Management.

Chapter 8: Workers’ struggle against outsourcing at UWC: “The beginning of the end”, takes the reader through the efforts of UWC workers’ struggle for the end of outsourcing, which coincided with the 2015/16 student rebellion in that university. This chapter explains how these efforts reached a deadlock when it became apparent that there are strong allegations of (undeclared) self-interest, and collusion (if not corruption) between some members of UWC management and the outsourced companies at UWC. Chapter 8 concludes with a proposal for investigative journalism to probe into these allegations of undeclared conflict of interests and collusion between some UWC personnel in the upper echelons of the university, and outsourced companies which have “shareholding” links implicating some of the most influential political leaders of the ANC, such as Cyril Ramaphosa. Chapter 8 makes it vividly clear that the dynamics that unfolded at the Marikana massacre were invoked at UWC, it terms of very similar political contradictions that are laid bare by this chapter in particular.

Please click link to download full report: Student Rebellion Counter Narrative UWC_Final Draft_ 21 March 2016

BLF REMEMBERS ONKGOPOTSE ABRAM TIRO – TRUE MARTYR OF THE AZANIAN REVOLUTION

 

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Onkgopotse Abram Tiro was born in 1947. He was one of the main leaders instrumental in the creation of the black power movement in South Africa. His legacy serves as an inspiration for the June 16, 1976 Soweto uprisings. To this end he politically groomed Tsietsi Mashinini who later became one of the great leaders of the June 16, 1976 Soweto uprisings. During his historic speech at the 1972 university graduation ceremony Tiro boldly condemned the white supremacist bantu education system as being anti black. He was consequently expelled from university. He then taught black history at a school in Soweto and thus raised the revolutionary consciousness of his students. On this 42nd anniversary of the assassination of Tiro by the apartheid regime via a parcel bomb in Botswana on 1 February 1974 – BLF remembers this true martyr of the Azanian Revolution by reissuing the speech he delivered at the graduation ceremony of University of the North on 29 April 1972.

“Mr. Chancellor, Mr. Vice Chancellor and gentlemen, allow me to start off by borrowing language from our Prime Minister, Mr. Vorster. Addressing the A. S. B [ Afrikaanse Studenteond ] Congress in June last year, Mr Vorster said, “No Black man has landed in trouble for fighting for what is legally his.” Although I don’t know how far true this is, I make this statement my launch pad.

R. D Briensmead, an American lay preacher says, “He who withholds the truth or debars men from motives of its expediency, is either a coward, a criminal or both.” Therefore Mr. Chancellor I will try as much as possible to say nothing else but the truth. And to me “truth” means “practical reality.” Addressing us on the occasion of the formal of the formal opening of this university Mr. [Cedric] Phatudi, a Lebowa territorial authority officer, said that in as much as there is American Education, there had to be Bantu Education. Ladies and gentlemen, I am conscientiously bound to differ with him. In America there is nothing like Negro Education, Red Indian Education, and White American Education. They have American Education common to all Americans. But in South Africa, we have Bantu Education, Indian Education, Coloured Education and European Education. We do not have a system of education common to all South Africans. What is there in European Education which is not good for the African? We want a system of education which is common to all South Africans.

In theory Bantu Education gives our parents a say in our education but in practice the opposite is true. At this University, U. E D [University Education Diploma] students are forced to study Philosophy of Education through the medium of Afrikaans. When we want to know why, we are told that the senate has decided so. Apparently this senate is our parents. Time and again I ask myself: How do Black lecturers contribute to the administration of this University? For if you look at all the committees, they are predominantly White if not completely White. Here and there one finds two or three Africans who, in the opinion of students are White Black men. We have a Students’ Dean without duties. We feel that if it is in any way necessary to have Students’ Dean, we must elect our own Dean. We know people who can represent us.

The Advisory Council is said to be representing our parents. How can it represent them when they have not elected it? These people must of necessity please the man who appointed them. This Council consists of Chiefs who have never been to University. How can they know the needs of students when they have not subjected to the same conditions. Those who have been to University have never studied Bantu Education. What authentic opinion can they express when they don’t know how painful it is to study under a repugnant system of education? I wonder if this Advisory knows that a Black man has been most unceremoniously kicked out of the bookshop. Apparently, this is reserved for Whites. According to this policy, Van Schaiks has no right to run a bookshop here. A White member of the Administration has been given the meat contract to supply the University – a Black University. Those who amorphously support the policy may say that there are no Black people to supply it. My answer to them is: why are they not able to supply the University? What is the cause? Is it not conveniently done that they are not in a position to supply these commodities?

White students are given vacation jobs at this university when there are students who could not get their results due to outstanding fees. Why does the Administration not give these jobs to these students? These White students have 11 universities where they can get vacation jobs. Does the Administration expect me to get a vacation job at the University of Pretoria? Right now, our parents have come all the way from their homes only to be locked outside. We are told that the hall is full. I do not accept the argument that there is no accommodation for them. In 1970, when the Administration wanted to accommodate everybody, a tent was put up and close-circuit television was installed. Front seats are given to people who cannot even cheer us. My father is seated there at the back. My dear people, shall we ever get a fair deal in this land? The land of our fathers. The system is failing. It is failing because even those recommended it strongly, as the only solution to racial problems in South Africa, fail to adhere to the letter and the spirit of the policy. According to the policy we expected Dr. Eiselen to decline Chancellorship in favour of a Black man. My dear parents, these are injustices no normal student can tolerate-no matter who he is and where he comes from.

In the light of what has been said above, the challenge to every Black graduate in this country lies in the fact that the guilt of all wrongful actions in South Africa, restriction without trial, repugnant legislation, expulsions from schools, rests on all those who do not actively dissociate themselves from and work for the eradication of the system breeding such evils. To those who wholeheartedly support the policy of apartheid I say: Do you think that the White minority can willingly commit political suicide by creating numerous states which might turn out to be hostile in the future? We Black graduates, by virtue of our age and academic standing are being called upon to bear greater responsibilities in the liberation of our people. Our so-called leaders have become the bolts of the same machine which is crushing us as a nation. We have to go back to them and educate them. Times are changing and we should change with them. The magic story of human achievement gives irrefutable proof that as soon as nationalism is awakened among the intelligentsia, it becomes the vanguard in the struggle against alien rule. Of what use will be your education is not linked with the entire continent of Africa it is meaningless. Remember that Mrs. Suzman said, “There is one thing which the minister cannot do: He cannot ban ideas from men’s minds.”

In conclusion Mr. Chancellor I say: Let the Lord be praised, for the day shall come, when all shall be free to breathe the air of freedom which is theirs to breathe and when the day shall have come, no man, no matter how many tanks he has, will reverse the course of events.

God Bless you all.”

ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE OF THE BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST MOVEMENT (BLF NCC)

1 FEBRUARY 2016
Contact Details
Black First Land First Mail: blackfirstlandfirst@­gmail.com

Zanele Lwana
(National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 79 486 9087
Mail: zanelelwana@gmail.co­m

Lindsay Maasdorp
(National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 79 915 2957
Mail: lgmaasdorp@hotmail.c­om

BLF SUPPORTS STUDENTS CONTINUING WITH PROTESTS AND REJECTS BOTH THE SRC MEETING WITH BLADE NZIMANDE AND THE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO HIGHER EDUCATION FUNDING

 

IMG-20160112-WA0008On Thursday 14 January 2016, Minister Blade Nzimande met with the Student Representative Council’s (SRC’s) from across academic institutions nationally in Kempton Park, Johannesburg. This came after President Jacob Zuma almost robotically announced a Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education Funding.

Since the beginning of the student protests for Free Education, historically black universities and the popular #FeesMustFall campaign, students have been clear on what is needed: Free Education. Hence calling a meeting with a select group, SRC’s who have been rejected by the students and therefore have no legitimacy, is opportunistic and seeks to crush a genuine desire that all should be allowed to learn.

It is an obvious and outdated strategy by the anti-black ANC government to setup a commission, which we know only serves to lull those who demand a basic human right into some kind of inactivity. Having a Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education Funding further enforces that education must be commodified for it to be any good, a lie that goes directly against the demand for Free Socialist Black Centred Education.

The neglect of the students and their basic human rights is seen at a number of levels. Since the ANC government became the operators of the anti-black system they have had 22 years to think and strategise, that’s not considering the 100+ years of planning they should have done. It is now time for action.

The meetings by Minister Blade Nzimande with SRC’s ignored the position taken by students, “Nothing About Us, Without Us!” The announcement of this commission undermines the holistic work done by students around education and further ignores the fact that it is impossible to have a decolonised University in a colonised country, hence the demand for Fees Must Fall is equally the demand for Land!

BLF stands with the students, Nothing About Us, Without Us!

BLF rejects the SRC’s as they are part of the ANC government’s anti-black machine operators maintaining a white-supremacist order. BLF further rejects the Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education Funding as a ploy to supress the students, and buy time to safeguard the ANC’s political ambition for the 2016 local elections.

BLF calls on students from across the country to:

1) continue to isolate sell-outs – SRC, PYA, SASCO, Nehawu and any ANC aligned movements

2) shutdown campuses until the demand for Free Socialist Black Centred Education is met

3) occupy anti-black state institutions such as The Union Buildings, Parliament of South Africa as well as Luthuli House

BLF implores all black people to remember that we cannot decolonise a university in a colonised country, and so the call for Free Socialist Black Centred Education is the call for Land.
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE OF THE BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST MOVEMENT

15 January 2016

Contact Details

Black First Land First Mail: blackfirstlandfirst@­gmail.com

Zanele Lwana
(National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 79 486 9087 Mail: zanelelwana@gmail.co­m

Lindsay Maasdorp
(National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 79 915 2957
Mail: lgmaasdorp@hotmail.c­om

BLF APPLAUDS THE RESILIENCE OF THE WITS #FeesMustFall MOVEMENT IN THE WAKE OF ANC BRUTALITY

 

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On the 11th January 2016 the WITS #FEESMUSTFALL took up their revolutionary duty by occupying Solomon Mahlangu House (Senate House). After spending much of the summer rebuilding the WITS FMF movement that the PYA (the youth movement of ANC alliance) tried to destroy, WITS FMF successfully put a stop to the commencement of registration, which was then postponed until Thursday, 14th of January 2016. The success of WITS FMF now sees the same sell-out PYA which leads WITS SRC, trying to take credit for the FMF campaign and re-enter the WITS FMF movement. PYA members entered a mass gathering on Monday evening and asking to be allowed back into the movement claiming to be “students first” before ANC members. Yet after much debate PYA left the gathering, stating “we need to speak to our mother body (ANC) before agreeing”. A few hours later at 6am, 12th of January 2016, WITS FMF received eviction letters  written and signed by Deputy VC Tewana Coupe (not a court order as they have stated in media) to vacate the premises within 5min. Followed by approx 60 private security personnel storming through the university assaulting students and then police being seen both inside and at strategic entrances to the academic institution.

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How can Deputy VC Tewana Coupe on behalf of WITS management evict students from an academic institution? It speaks to the hypocrisy of the academic institution leaders and the state crisis academia finds itself in. The struggle for Free Socialist Black Centred Education reveals that the white-centric com-modified education creates no capacity to think beyond whether students are paying, or whether students can learn through the struggle experiences they are engaged in. The revolutionary process means that the contestation for new ideas lives out in the confrontation of sell-out student leaders, police, and private security as the actors of ANC abuse.
BLF has repeatedly declared that “Unprincipled Unity is No Unity At All”, and here again we see the full machinery of the ANC to make true on their promise to crush movements who simply want the basic right to education. The ANC utilising their youth (PYA), academic student structures (SRC), private security and police trying to ensure that the commodification of the black child stays intact.

As BLF we want to place a firm warning to the movement that the ANC government in protection of white-monopoly capital is not to be trusted. That there is no difference between the Police, Private Security, WITS SRC and PYA, they are all machine operators of the ANC anti-black project which defends the anti-black white-supremacist order.

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BLF calls on WITS FMF to remain principally united, rejecting anti-black WITS SRC, PYA and any movement or body that seeks to undermine the struggle for black liberation.

 

BLF rejects the idea that police and private security can enter academic institutions as a means to solve a political crisis.

 

BLF views the students and workers as the highest decision makers and thus rejects the notion that WITS management can simply tell students to leave and then call police and private security onto campus.

 

ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE OF THE BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST MOVEMENT

 

12 January 2016

 

Contact Details

 

Black First Land First Mail: blackfirstlandfirst@gmail.com

 

Zanele Lwana

(National Spokesperson)

Cell: +27 79 486 9087

Mail: zanelelwana@gmail.com

 

Lindsay Maasdorp

(National Spokesperson)

Cell: +27 79 915 2957

Mail: lgmaasdorp@hotmail.com

 

2016 NEW YEAR’S MESSAGE FROM THE NATIONAL CONVENER OF BLF, ANDILE MNGXITAMA

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The year 2015, was a year of great revolutionary advancement, a year of counter-revolutionary treachery and a year of great hope for the future! A correct conclusive summation indicates that our country is in a cusp of revolutionary re-awakening which, if properly harnessed, shall yield a decisive revolutionary break-through that can shake the neo-colonial, white supremacist hell hole managed by the African National Congress (ANC) in the interest of the white minority settler, to its core. Equally, the forces of counter-revolution have been accumulating to ensure that the coming revolution repeats the 1994 treachery, so that the status quo is not dislodged but instead has black people being sold another defeat as victory. Revolutionary vigilance is called for if victory of the revolutionary forces is to be secured! We must celebrate with our eyes wide open or find ourselves back to1994 holding on to the hole of the doughnut as the comprador and its handlers again steal the people’s struggles for its own narrow interests which are tied up with the anti-black racist capitalist, patriarchal imperialist status quo.

The year 2016 must be a year of defending the revolutionary upheaval, exposing the reactionary comprador and organising and strengthening the forces of fundamental change.

A year of the Student!

Very few objective observers would deny that 2015 was the year of the student! We saw in rapid succession the accumulation of resistance from within the university system which translated and broke into the national consciousness and gave our people a new revolutionary attitude and frightened the ruling classes and its elements of deception such as the media. An honest observation would show that, it was the students who took a decisive step towards resistance and therefore objectively put themselves at the forefront of the emergent revolutionary process.

From this point of view, the students became the objective vanguard of the struggle for deep questioning, based on a maximum demand for both “decolonization” and a minimum demand of access to “free education”. The combined interface of these demands and how they have been pursued reflects  students’ resistance as part of the great revolutionary advancement in occupied Azania. The actors themselves are not always aware of the totality of the strategic and tactical significance of their struggles, and we only assess the objective impact irrespective of what the subjective factors are.

The development of what has become popularly known as “fallism,” as expressed in the potent hashtags #RhodesMustFall to #FeesMustFall, were developed through great sacrifice and struggle to give expression to real living resistance. These weapons of resistance must be defended and counter-revolutionary tendencies exposed each time it seeks to appropriate them for it’s restoration project. We salute the black students of our land for undertaking the struggle that gave impetus to a new wave of resistance. More especially this struggle has helped raise radical consciousness and a deepening of the analysis as is evidenced by the link made to the 1994 sell-out and the ideological confusion and backwardness of those who negotiated our defeat with the settler minority regime. Furthermore, and more importantly, we salute the students for correctly adopting the revolutionary philosophy of Black Consciousness to guide them in the battle for real change. The integrationism of the ruling party as expressed in the multi-racialism of the Freedom Charter has correctly come under sustained and principled critique in 2015. In essence the more advanced student sections asserted, “we have tried the Mandela way, it didn’t work. Now we must try the Sobukwe and Biko way.” The actions of the students, together with the ideological and philosophical re-awakening of Black Consciousness in our campuses, cements the assessment that indeed 2015 was a year of great revolutionary advancement.

What must not be forgotten is that the 2015 student uprisings has happened within an unbroken resistance that was initiated with the arrival of the colonial settlers in 1652. In recent times the whole revolutionary process was sustained by the more than six months of brave struggle of the working blacks of Lonmin that ended with the Marikana massacre. The black working class had decisively shown that the bargaining process described in the constitution and the law is a lie that has, up to now, only served white monopoly capital. To get results, legal recourse including pro-capitalist legal bargaining processes had to be abandoned in favour of direct struggle to yield positive results. The Marikana workers have contributed immensely to the new attitude that depends on mass struggle instead of prescribed legal and bureaucratic processes which are already rigged to produce results that favour the racist anti-black status quo. The student’s struggle in our country inherited this gift of putting actual struggle ahead of the established forums and processes that only lead to defeat. The Marikana workers refused to be enslaved by fruitless negotiations and the NEDLAC (National Economic Development & Labour Council) process that enslaves workers.

In the same vein we saw students break unjust processes through their own struggle and advance with great clarity to the doors of the Union Buildings,  to the very house of lies  –  the parliament of South Africa! Furthermore, we saw students refusing to be hoodwinked and abused by politicians – another great trait they share with the Marikana workers. It is because of this revolutionary commitment that the leaders of the Democratic Alliance (DA) Helen Zille and Mmusi Maimane, and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Floyd Shivambu, were told to back off by the students. Floyd Shivambu and Mmusi Maimane were correctly treated as one and the same opportunistic political class by the rebellious students.

The year of Treachery

The students’ revolutionary impetus quickly came face to face with counter-revolution. First, the political parties of reaction that thrive in presenting themselves as revolutionary tried to hijack the first moment of #RhodesMustFall by putting themselves in front of the students’ march and claiming leadership of the struggle. At it’s most patronising moment this opportunism found expression in the EFF telling students to back off while it’s political leaders bring down the statues on behalf of them. The opportunists engaged in superficial attacks on statues outside the university system, but as soon as their actions made newspaper headlines they abandoned continuation of the said actions.  As we speak, Louis Botha still stands firmly on his horse outside parliament observing proceedings in the national assembly. Opportunism of the subtitutionist type exposed for what it is! They say one thing and do another –  so long as it accumulates political mileage for them.

The second treachery relates to how the media, the reactionary compradorial academics and political parties of reaction all pushed the student struggles away from ideological and philosophical questions and commitment. The main ideological assault was the idea that the student struggles were not political. From this reactionary base, students were seduced to only raise “student” issues and not to stray into the political arena. The consequence of this corralling of students away from the big question of politics was that often students ended up raising “campus” level demands leading to Vice Chancellors and university administrative staff being put up as the enemy, instead of linking what the university does to the national political framework regulated by the ruling party and its pseudo political opponents.

The media’s interest in keeping the student struggles “student affairs only” was based on the real fear that if the students questioned the whole of the white supremacist reality, then South Africa would burn and white supremacy may fall. The mainstream media is defending its owners which are generally white monopoly capital with elements of comprador owners of capital. They presented themselves as friends of students to gain their confidence and herd them away from the fundamental questions. The correct position to be taken by the revolutionary students is: “We are BLACK before we are students”. In this way, the question of whether there can be a “decolonized” university in a colonial setting would be posed naturally.

From the denial of the essential political nature of the students struggle by the reactionary advisors of the student resistance movement, emerged the treacherous practice of suspending ideological differences to enact unprincipled unity. We saw this pinnacle of unprincipled unity at Wits University where the ruling party’s student wing went into alliance with the EFF student command, with devastating consequences for resistance at Wits. This unholy alliance (made possible by the anti-Zuma element of the Gauteng ANC leadership) meant that all critical questioning of how the ANC neo-liberal rule was responsible for keeping poor black students out of universities and for legislating on the outsourcing of services was prohibited. The result was that the VC was made the ultimate target whilst avoiding government.

When students at the University of Cape Town (UCT) were knocking at the doors of parliament in Cape Town, the Wits students were made to march aimlessly from parks to the innocuous Constitutional Court in a great effort to make sure that government and the ANC headquarters were off limits. It was during this period that information surfaced of how the ANC was sponsoring the whole Alliance with Wits via money and pizzas. It was only after the intervention of the Black First Land First (BLF) members at Wits that a clear position from the militant students emerged which directed that both the ANC headquarters and the Union Buildings should be points of focus for revolutionary engagement. When the reactionary forces couldn’t hold back the vigilant, decisive students anymore they tried to hijack the struggles to Luthuli House and the Union Buildings. They had better luck with Luthuli House. They succeeded in stage managing the whole process and thus shielded the ANC from critical questioning. Evidently, it later emerged that hired agents of the ANC  were leading the Wits Alliance anyway.

The reactionary forces however failed with their agenda regarding the occupation of the Union Buildings. The militancy of Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) students undermined all arranged sell-out solutions. In this respect the TUT students sparked the spontaneous rejection of the 0% fee increase. Furthermore they exposed the 0% fee increase as a betrayal. The narrative of how Wits and UCT students returned to write exams and how militant students were isolated and the struggle abandoned needs to be seen within the context of both class interest and the political immaturity of the student protest as well as a lack of proper coordination. For Wits and UCT to unilaterally suspend the boycott when TUT, UWC and many other black campuses were continuing the fight was tantamount to crossing the picket line. What makes these actions more treacherous is the reality that the ruling party, beholden to white supremacy, only respects these two white institutions (Wits and UCT), and doesn’t want them to be in perpetual turmoil. The ANC doesn’t care about UWC or TUT.  This makes these white institutions the weak link of white supremacy and therefore maximum resistance has to be maintained there, thus giving impetus for the black or periphery institutions to sustain their own battle.

In 2016, Wits and UCT have to be aware of their own place in the chain of resistance and take that responsibility seriously. There is not much to be said about the 0% treachery. It was an obvious fluke and the battle for free education has to be intensified in 2016.

On the political front we saw how the treachery of the mission for economic freedom being sold out gave impetus to the formation of the BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST movement. Right at the beginning of 2015 we saw the leadership of the EFF going to Stellenbosch, where they assured white land thieves that their land is safe. In broad day light the land mafia of Stellenbosch were told that no land occupation shall occur, except in the case of the land they (whites) didn’t want to use. 2015 saw the introduction in the political discourse of the reactionary notion of accessing “unused land” as the primary objective of the struggle for land. The commitment to white land owners was accompanied by requests by EFF for money from the same land thieves. We have seen that in 2015 there was not a single land occupation that affected white land owners. The struggle for land was reduced to erecting shacks on the outskirts of townships and thereby not affecting the racist land redistribution patterns.

In 2015, the land thieves slept peacefully. This abandonment of the land struggle left those who want land revolution with no option but to organise themselves anew. Hence the birth of BLF, which puts blacks first and the land question first! There can be no liberation without land reclamation, without land return! BLF makes it clear that the primary battle is against the white settler minority that has stolen our land and wealth. To abandon the land struggle is to abandon the revolution! Giving land thieves guarantees is the biggest treachery of 2015! The Stellenbosch deal must be disrupted and the lush wine farms occupied. This is the only way the arrogance of the white land mafia can be erased. Any deviation from the land demand is already a sell-out project which cannot be forgiven.

Correctly, the emergence of BLF under these conditions was inevitable. The abandonment of the land struggle and demand for return of all the land to the African people was quickly followed by the endorsement of the Freedom Charter in London by the EFF. There, we saw how in front of the agents of the queen such as Lord Robin Renwick, EFF leaders denounced president Robert Mugabe as a violent man. They furthermore denounced the land revolution in Zimababwe, assured the representatives of the British empire that a political alliance with the fascist DA is possible and more importantly indicated that there shall be no “Black Supremacy” (therefore adopting the Freedom Charter as the policy guide) in South Africa.

From the London treachery we also saw the development of a new misleading ideological fermentation that is supported by the imperialist media – from Bloomberg, New York Times up to the The Economist –  that pushes the idea that the problem in South Africa is not white monopoly capital but rather it is  Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family. In fact the agents of imperialism have now absolved white settler colonialists and call the Guptas the colonialists. This is a deliberate distortion that ties well with the imperialist agenda aimed at regime change without changing the fortunes of white monopoly capital. The treachery on that score is now complete. The revolutionary forces have to continue to build independently while exposing the treachery of the comprador.

As the year drew to a close, we saw how the racists organised themselves to carry on the same racist imperialist project hatched in London at the back of the “Nene” saga and to this end tried to steal the #mustfall hashtag. The #ZumaMustFall march was a dangerous ploy to deflect attention from the truth that Zuma and the ANC are mere bodyguards of white supremacy and rule in the interest of the white settler minority which owns the JSE. The new treachery is working tirelessly to turn the people’s legitimate rage against the ANC and Zuma into another sell-out project which will leave white interests intact. The hijacking of the struggle by reaction must be tirelessly fought and exposed. The #ZumaMustFall campaign is a racist anti-black campaign that black people should stay away from in 2016! Yes Zuma and ANC must fall, but not on the instruction of white racists in their evil quest to maintain the status quo. The time for white rule by proxy is over! White supremacy must fall!

At an international level we saw treachery from Burkina Faso to Haiti! We saw how in one year the Greek people were given hope and sold out by the party they gave so much trust to – the sell-outs of Syriza led by the charismatic Tsipras. We saw the revolutionary victory of 2014 in Burkina Faso end with the restoration of the Blaise Compaore forces with the bourgeois elections. We saw the Sankarist project won in the streets of Ouagadougou being defeated in the sponsored ballot. In Haiti we saw the treachery of the elections to prevent the revolutionary march of the great Lavalas Party of President Jean Aristide by imperialism which in turn has plunged the land of Toussaint and Dessalines into political crisis yet again. Burundi is currently on fire! Africa will continue to burn until the neo colonial and neo liberal states are eradicated and replaced by a fully responsive black first system. The forces of change in the African continent have to consolidate on an anti-imperialist platform.

The year of hope!

This year gave us new hope in the ability of our people to struggle and put reaction on the back footing. Each act of betrayal committed has not led to defeat but rather has led to the accumulation of forces of change.

The 0% treachery saw the emergence of new forces at campus and national level which freed themselves from the leadership of lies and rejected the 0% sell-out project for a continuation to struggle for free education for real. The lessons and gains advanced from 2015 on the student front must be defended and expanded in 2016! The student vanguard has to take it’s role as the head of the spear to decolonise Azania seriously, because students are Black before they are students and that no decolonisation of the university is possible in a colonial society. From this point of view, the struggle for free education has to return to its decolonisation roots and not be detained by compradorial interests for incorporation, as exemplified by the black academic staff that got its professorships and promptly attacked the student struggles. They were never for decolonisation but wanted to be incorporated into the system like all compradors do. The new hope must not be reduced to a struggle for incorporation into the white system but must rather be for the obliteration of whiteness itself!

The treachery on the land question saw the emergence of the BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST movement, which puts the land question at the centre of the struggle for decolonisation. In 2016 great effort to unite all the forces of decolonisation must be undertaken and a minimum programme that unites all must be articulated for a national program of action to deepen decolonisation. Such a programme should be both ideological and practical. At no point should the struggle of ideas be suspended. At no point should critique of the enemy agents be suspended. At no point should unprincipled silence and unity be brokered.

In 2016 the battle to the real enemy must be intensified! The response to the revolutionary call issued by BLF in mid-August 2015 has met encouraging response from the oppressed people of occupied Azania, and from the fighting revolutionary forces at home and abroad. The setting up of BLF as an alternative to the pro imperialist agenda shall be intensified in 2016. BLF shall  continue the battle to expose the treachery of South African racist institutions of “democracy” which function in reality to protect white capital. It was with the great effort of BLF that a campaign to recover the amount of R26 billion that was stolen by white capital while government has refused to follow up on the matter despite glaring evidence – was launched and intensified.   BLF takes the struggle for accounting right to the door step of white capital. We have seen how the Public Protector protects white capital. Thuli Madonsela is not reluctant to lie to protect white capital. She has in writing promised to deliver the report of her investigation – reported to her in 2011 – by the end of 2015. Like in many occasions before, she simply has not delivered on this front. BLF is convinced that Thuli Madonsela has no appetite to go after white capital. This leaves our movement with no option but to take matters into our own hands.

In 2016 a variety of interventions shall be undertaken to reclaim the stolen billions! This is the money of the people and shall be returned to the people. Equally, in 2016 the struggle for land shall be intensified. The Stellenbosch consensus shall be undermined and the land thieves forced to account and return the stolen land.

The prospects for revolution are looking good if we remain vigilant, steadfast and principled!

 

31 December 2015

ISSUED BY BLF NATIONAL CONVENOR

ANDILE MNGXITAMA

 

Contact Details

Black First Land First Mail: blackfirstlandfirst@gmail.com

Zanele Lwana

(National Spokesperson)

Cell: +27 79 486 9087

Mail: zanelelwana@gmail.com

 

Lindsay Maasdorp

(National Spokesperson)

Cell: +27 79 915 2957

Mail: lgmaasdorp@hotmail.com

BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST COMMEMORATES THE BIRTHDAY OF THE FATHER OF PAN-AFRICANISM ROBERT MANGALISO SOBUKWE

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On this day the 05-12 1924 in Azania the God of Africa gave to us a warrior, a leader, a servant of the the African people and that was Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe. Even his name Mangaliso which means a “Miracle” really for Azania, his birth was almost miraculous because Africa was in great need for a leader of his stature. Today we remember not only the man but his service to the realisation of a free Azania, where black people will be able to call their souls their own.

 

As BLF we draw our strength from this giant of Africa, to continue with his vision of a free Azania that truly belongs to its people. Today is a day all black people should use to reflect; organise ourselves and check whether we are still on the path which was charted to us by Sobukwe. BLF recognises that it is due to Sobukwe that we can affirm unequivocally without fear of contradiction, that for any meaningful freedom to be realised it must be for Black people first as we continue to be the most oppressed people in South Africa.

 

BLF knows that Sobukwe cannot be happy where he is when after 21 years of the so called democratic South African rule its people still remain the most poor and landless. We know this because for Sobukwe the land remained until his death the most essential, for he realised that without the people owning their land there can be no freedom, for without the land that nation is doomed.  The PAC’s famous rallying call “Izwe Lethu” which puts the land question at the centre of our peoples struggles attest to why the land question cannot be compromised.

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This fundamental pillar is what led Sobukwe to breakaway from the ANC in 1955 when it adopted the Freedom Charter in Kliptown. Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe was totally against the notion that our land belonged to all who lived in it, meaning even those who colonised us had a rightful claim to our land.

In 1958 Sobukwe said on the adoption of the Freedom Charter:

“according to us the Freedom Charter is an irreconcilable conflict with the 1949 Programme seeing that it claims land no longer for Africans, but is auctioned for sale to all who live in this country. We have come to the parting of ways and we are here and now giving notice that we are disassociating ourselves from the ANC”

Today, on the birth day of the father of Pan-Africanism in occupied Azania BLF wish to reaffirm our commitment of the return of the land to its rightful owners (Africans) without any compensation or compromise. We wish to reaffirm as Sobukwe did before us that we will reject and expose anyone or any organisation that seeks to promote the “sell-out Freedom Charter” to our people as a solution to the return of our stolen land and our long lost freedom.

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The Freedom Charter is not a bible for liberation, it is a program of surrender. It was written by whites to maintain white supremacy and it is a tragedy that black leaders have been coerced by agents of whiteness to promote it as a programme of liberation.

Sobukwe as a leader served, suffered and sacrificed for the realisation of a free Azania. In an age where leaders of political partys in South Africa would not dare do what s/he asks of her/his members, Robert Sobukwe serves as a shining example of true revolutionary leaders that led from the front, instilling the type of leadership that institutionalised the moto “a leader must walk the walk and talk the talk” to engender confidence in the masses. Sobukwe remains one of the most feared revolutionaries in the history of the liberation struggle,  because of his non compromising stance on land, there has been focused efforts to systematically erase his powerful legacy.

We commit ourselves to never sell-out Sobukwe’s dream by deceiving the landless and the oppressed! We know the Freedom Charter is a programme of surrender not revolution! We stand with Sobukwe and Biko in the total rejection of the Freedom Charter!

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We thank our black Gods for Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe.

Azania shall prevail! Izwe Lethu! Sobukwe Lives!

ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE OF THE BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST MOVEMENT

5 December 2015

Contact Details

Black First Land First Mail: blackfirstlandfirst@­gmail.com

Zanele Lwana

(National Spokesperson)

Cell: +27 79 486 9087 Mail: zanelelwana@gmail.co­m

 

Lindsay Maasdorp

(National Spokesperson)

Cell: +27 79 915 2957

Mail: lgmaasdorp@hotmail.c­om