BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST ON SHARPVILLE DAY

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Today we remember the hundreds of our people murdered by the apartheid regime for standing up and saying “enough is enough”.

Today we remember and honor the leadership and legacy of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe. We remember his exemplary motto of “Serve…Suffer…Sacrifice”.  Sobukwe led from the front. He was prepared to suffer for his beliefs.

Today we note that those who murdered and maimed our people remain free. Those who massacred our people have not been called to account.
We note that there has not been acknowledgement, there has not been reparations for the Sharpville massacre.

The government of the ANC has whitewashed the blood of Sharpville with words. The ANC government has erased the truth of the day by not calling it what it was – a massacre that happened in Sharpeville before spreading to the other black zones up to the dusty streets of Cape Town’s townships.

Today we are here to demand acknowledgement, to demand reparations, to demand and work to realise justice. The fight of our people was for land and dignity that comes with the land. The only real basis for moving forward is the return of our land.

Those who suffered, who lost families must now be compensated without any further delay. We don’t need another Commission of Inquiry on reparations. Pay the people!  They have suffered enough already!

On justice, BLF supports the call of the Anti Racism Action Forum (ARAF) that says:

#FreeAllAplaSoldiersNow
#ArrestDeKlerkandVlok
#ReturnLandEndRacism

Long Live The Spirit Of The Class Of Sharpeville!
Your Blood Shall Not Be Spilt In Vain!

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

21 March 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 CONDEMNS THE RELEASE OF CHRIS HANI’S MURDERER JANUSZ WALUS AND CALLS FOR THE IMMEDIATE UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE OF ALL APLA SOLDIERS

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BLF calls on the ANC government to release all Azania Peoples Liberation Army (APLA) soldiers immediately and without terms and conditions. After 21 years of ANC rule we still have the anti black situation where revolutionaries like the APLA soldiers (who have been in jail for assaulting white power) while apartheid criminals like Janusz Walus (who murdered struggle leader, Chris Hani)  gets to be released! Moreover APLA soldiers like Kenny Motsamai are now in jail for 27 years (for serving black revolutionary interests) while Janusz Walus (who has sought to preserve and maintain white power by murdering Chris Hani), is being released and thereby rewarded after a relatively shorter term of 22 years imprisonment.  In this context it is also deeply concerning that apartheid-era criminals, F.W. de Klerk and Adrian Vlok, who were complicit in the crimes resulting in the mass murders of blacks get to walk free. BLF calls for these two criminals to be arrested and made to account for their heinous crimes against blacks in furtherance of white supremacy.

BLF views the continued incarceration of APLA soldiers as a perpetual onslaught by the ANC government against them as well as against the hopes of the black majority for a bright future  To this end the evident intent is to crush the spirit of the country’s bravest soldiers as well as the brightest revolutionary minds currently emerging in this era of Pan Afrikanism and Black Consciousness in the face of the intensification of White Power. This is an indication that SA has regressed and in fact reverted to its former apartheid repressive status.

BLF condemns the release of Januz Walus and pledges solidarity with all the progressive voices calling for the immediate and unconditional release of All APLA soldiers!

Also FW de Klerk and Adrian Vlok must be arrested and prosecuted for their aparheid-era crimes immediately

#ReleaseAllAplaSoldiersNow!
#ArrestDeKlerkArrestVlokNow!
#BlacksCantBeRacist!
#BlackFirstLandFirst!

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

11 March 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

BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST CALLS ON THE VICE CHANCELLOR PROFESSOR L.R.VAN STRADEN OF TUT SOSHANGUVE TO MEET THE DEMANDS OF THE STUDENTS AND WORKERS WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT

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Prof Lourens R van Straden

Vice Chancellor

Tshwane University of Technology

Tshwane

05/03/2016

Dear Prof van Straden

I write to you mandated by the joint leadership structures of the TUT SRC who are engaged in the struggle for free education and an end to outsourcing in your university. We met last night (Friday, 04 March) up to this morning. We were able to address two mass meetings on Soshanguve campuses of TUT in this period. The leaders of PASMA, SADESMO, EFF and SCO all engaged us with the view of bringing attention to the serious situations students are faced with and the totally unhelpful response from you and the university management. We were shocked to learn that you have suspended the authentic leaders of the students and basically refused to talk to the SRC. We were shocked to learn that you have decided to divide the student leadership by turning SASCO into prefects who represent not the wishes and interests of students, but rather those of management.

Talking to the students and their leaders we have come to the conclusion that an urgent intervention from you by Sunday would assist in averting events which we cannot predict but which are certain to occur from next week Monday. We were met with disappointment, with despair, and above all by the righteous determination of students to get free education by any means necessary. Needless to say we stand with the students one hundred percent because we know that free education is possible. We implore you to also choose the side of the students and stop being an agent of the ANC government which is denying our children education. You still have the opportunity to choose the side of the students and workers. This opportunity shall not always be there. From our assessment there is little room to play any delaying tactics. The application of apartheid repressive measures will not work. It did not work with PW Botha, it will not work with you.

We saw that your campus is a mini war zone. You have private security on army vehicles harassing students as if they are criminals. We received testimonies of generalised terrorism by these private askaris you have brought onto campus.

VC we didn’t send our children to university to be treated like outlaws. You are the parent of those children away from their homes. You are obliged by your position to treat them as you would treat your own children. You have turned the campus into a militarised space where learning or critical engagement is impossible.
VC, things are changing and they are changing fast in our nation. You may not be aware of these seismic shifts until it’s too late. We call upon you to save the situation and do the right thing. Choose the side of history or go down with those who are destined to go into the dustbin of history with the colonial rot. The demands of the students and workers are not impossible to meet. Your own actions in defence of the violent, exclusionary, capitalist, anti-black system has only served to compound the situation.

We call upon you to the meet following with immediate effect:

1. Lift the suspension on all the student leaders;
2. Drop all charges against student leaders;
3. Implement free education, no student who cannot pay should be forced to pay;
4. Implement insourcing without any further delays, with full employee benefits to all workers;
5. Withdraw private security stationed on campus now.

Prof van Staden, we understand it has been two weeks of general peaceful protest. You have responded in a heavy handed manner. You have left students very little option but to escalate their own struggles because like Pharaoh, you have decided to shut your eyes and ears to the cry of the black students. We saw how leaders of the revolutionary student movement were trying to calm the students to give you and your administration one more chance to show leadership. Take this letter as a friendly warning shot. Meet the demands stated above and avert the incoming inferno. The responsibility of free education is not yours or your administrations’ burden. It’s the responsibility of government. You can now choose to march with the students, workers, and broader South African society, or you can choose to march against these revolutionary forces whose time has come. The choice is yours.

I leave you with Matthew 3:11.

I thank you.

Andile Mngxitama

National Convenor of Black First Land First (BLF)

NOTES ON THE RACISM DEBATE “WHERE TO FROM HERE?” BY BLF NATIONAL CONVENER ANDILE MNGXITAMA AT THE TOWNHOUSE HOTEL, CAPE TOWN, 26 FEBRUARY 2016

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“I wish to thank the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference Parliamentary Liaison Office, for the invitation to contribute to this important debate.

When I was here last year in July, sharing a platform with my brother from Namibia, Job Amupanda of the Affirmative Repossession, we discussed the difficult issue of land occupations. I had then for the first time called for the establishment of a Land First movement in SA.
Im happy to report that in August the same year we published a call officially to start our movement, Black First Land First (BLF).

This Talk is Dedicated to the class of 1976!

I wish to dedicate this talk to the black youth of our country on this 40th year of the 1976, June 16 uprising.

Forty years ago the black youth of this country launched the struggle against white supremacy. Incidentally that struggle was ignited by the language question and white arrogance – the same issues that stalks our university system today.

I want to insist that the university today is the laboratory of decolonisation. It’s the microcosm of what our nation is headed to – just like 1976 was the precursor of the 1980s and finally forcing the apartheid regime to consider a new strategy to holding onto power.

We do well to remember that the struggle led by Tsietsi Mashinini and Khotso Seatlholo was about the establishment of Black Power! 1994 didn’t realize this objective and therefore the black youth today are carrying out this unfinished business. Since we are today talking to an institution of the church, it may be good to learn from the scriptures about what is may be saying about today.

This is important because, what is going on in our campuses is not an intellectual debate, but a concrete, blood, flesh and fire expression of white racism on the one hand and the resistance to it on the other.

Black students want a decolonised anti-racist future. White students and the university adminstrators fight to maintain the status qou. it’s the classical case of two forces meeting.
Black academics are generally caught in a post-colonial disability. They want just enough strife to get into the system. They don’t want the end of the current order and they generally want integration into it. It is not decolonisation but a neo-colonial solution they seek – they want revolution without revolution!

At both UCT and Wits they first aligned with students so that they could get their full professorships. Once they got professorships they then denounced the students as violent.
Up to now there has not been any intellectual defence of the methods of struggle of students by black academics. What we see is going back to the outmoded liberal Blacksash silent protest. Blacks are meeting the apartheid monster through rocks. Whites are involved in silent protest. Black academics condemn the violence of all involved (the oppressed and the oppressor). This objectively puts them on the side of the status qou. This is typical behaviour of the post colonial comprador that Fanon and Cabral spoke about. Fighting the colonialist to take his position, not to end colonialism.

Back to the black students and the holy scriptures. Reading Matthew 3:11 – as a lay man I find lots of prophetic resonance with it but also from my own personal experience with being a black consciousness activist all my adult life (I have been preaching like John about the need for repentance).  Allow me to read the passage John the Baptist preached:

“As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

This passage resonates well with the teaching of Fanon on decolonisation. Fanon tells us that:

“Decolonization, which sets out to change the order of the world, is, obviously, a program of complete disorder”.

These students are doing the work of God. They are fulfilling Fanon’s adage of
“each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it.”

Current State of Affairs: The Return Of Sobukwe and Biko

First lets recognise a positive development, which is that popular opinion is decisively shifting to the perspectives of Pan Africanism (Sobukwe) and Black Consciousness (Biko) on the race question after 22 years of the failure of non-racialism/intergration (Mandela). 

Biko resting on the shoulders of Sobukwe had clearly defined what the main contradiction was in SA and how to resolve this. His Hegelian schema remains relevant: Thesis (White Racism), Anti thesis (Black Solidarity) and the synthesis (non racialism). Which we have over time called anti racism.

You don’t declare yourself non-racialist, you don’t work for non-racialism. Non-racialism as a true reflection of anti-racism is the outcome of the initial dialectical conflict which must be decidedly resolved on the side of the black majority. Biko is instructive:

“One does not need to plan for or actively encourage real integration. Once the various groups within a given community have asserted themselves to the point that mutual respect has to be shown then you have the ingredients for a true and meaningful integration.”

This is the basis of any real solution to the national grievance. The ANC chose integration instead of obliteration. That is why President Zuma can honestly say that racism was ended in 1994. They mistake integration with ending racism.
 
Let’s now deal with some basic but popular misunderstandings of racism, which have found their way into the current debate of racism:

1. Racism is not a misunderstanding between friends (lets dialogue and forgive)
2. Racism is not just prejudice or bad attitude.
3. Racism is not what individuals think or do ( stop racism, it starts with me)

Racism is about the oppression of black people by white people!

“If a white man wants to lynch me, that’s his problem. If he’s got the power to lynch me, that’s my problem. Racism is not a question of attitude; it’s a question of power.”- Stokely Carmichael.

Penny Sparrow, Chris Hart, the UFS white students are speaking/acting from within power!
This definition is in synch with Biko’s notion hat racism is, “the discrimination of one group by the other for the purposes of oppression”. In historic terms this has been whites discriminating against blacks for the purpose of subjugation.

Its important to recognise that individual acts of racism are made possible by institutional racism, which is foundational to white supremacy. This goes back to slavery, colonialism and land theft!
Slavery created the white as the human and the black as the sub-human. This permits all the possible horrors that can be visited upon the black because the black is just property.
The slavery idiom has not ended. Black lives CAN’T matter in racism. Black rights don’t exist in racist societies. That’s why, Andries Tatane, like Biko, like the the Marikana workers, like black people in the USA can be murdered without anyone being held accountable.

White supremacy has established these truths. In SA the constitution ensures the survival and continuation of White Racism. The laws do so: Gareth Cliff says, Penny has freedom of expression to call us monkeys. His employer couldn’t fire him because the law doesn’t recognise black pain or transgressions against blacks (I say nothing about those black lawyers who have no problem to advance this defence – that anyone has freedom of expression to call blacks monkeys).

SO WHERE TO?

Black First Land First (BLF) recognises that part of the solution is to grasp better what racism is and what it’s not – to recognise the foundations of racism which are both slavery, and colonialism (land dispossession and colonial hegemony from the symbolic to the intellectual). There is a need to acknowledge SA as an unethical entity which is fundamentally anti black.
Also we must demand accounting for both colonial and apartheid transgressions (economic and political).More than 560 billion was stolen during the last decade of apartheid and few years into post 1994. Of this amount some R26 billion is recoverable tomorrow (its ok to chase after Nkandla, but can the Public Protector also help us get white monopoly capital to account?)

I call upon the Church, political parties and Society to support the campaign called ANTI RACISM ACTION FORUM (ARAF), and:

1. Demand the arrest of both FW De Klerk and Adrian Vlok (22 charges laid.  370 blacks murdered directly under their guard and still counting.  They didn’t go to the TRC as required so they have no amnesty from prosecution). We are encouraged by the NPA deciding to prosecute the police for the disappearance and murder of Nokuthula Simelane (MK operative).

2. Educate the public about what racism is (especially black people)!

3. Demand the provision of free education for all and the transformation of the curriculum to reflect the Black/African reality. There is this question: can we have a decolonised university in a colonial society? I speak on this topic on Monday at the Stellenbosch University Medical School.

4. ARAF’s principles to defeat racism are:
4.1 Land return as the first pre-condition to end racism.
4.2 Criminalisation of racism is important but must occur under the principle BLACKS CAN’T BE RACIST!

It’s the irony of history that we blacks have to end a problem we didn’t create. It a challenge we have to take on with great energy! An anti racist world is possible!”

Issued By BLF NCC
26 February 2016

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