Saturday, May 26, 2012

I am an African by Mbeki

I am an African.
I owe my being to the hills and the valleys, the mountains and the glades, the rivers, the deserts, the trees, the flowers, the seas and the ever-changing seasons that define the face of our native land.
My body has frozen in our frosts and in our latter day snows. It has thawed in the warmth of our sunshine and melted in the heat of the midday sun. The crack and the rumble of the summer thunders, lashed by startling lightening, have been a cause both of trembling and of hope.
The fragrances of nature have been as pleasant to us as the sight of the wild blooms of the citizens of the veld.
The dramatic shapes of the Drakensberg, the soil-coloured waters of the Lekoa, iGqili noThukela, and the sands of the Kgalagadi, have all been panels of the set on the natural stage on which we act out the foolish deeds of the theatre of our day.
At times, and in fear, I have wondered whether I should concede equal citizenship of our country to the leopard and the lion, the elephant and the springbok, the hyena, the black mamba and the pestilential mosquito.
A human presence among all these, a feature on the face of our native land thus defined, I know that none dare challenge me when I say - I am an African!
I owe my being to the Khoi and the San whose desolate souls haunt the great expanses of the beautiful Cape - they who fell victim to the most merciless genocide our native land has ever seen, they who were the first to lose their lives in the struggle to defend our freedom and dependence and they who, as a people, perished in the result.
Today, as a country, we keep an audible silence about these ancestors of the generations that live, fearful to admit the horror of a former deed, seeking to obliterate from our memories a cruel occurrence which, in its remembering, should teach us not and never to be inhuman again.
I am formed of the migrants who left Europe to find a new home on our native land. Whatever their own actions, they remain still, part of me.
In my veins courses the blood of the Malay slaves who came from the East. Their proud dignity informs my bearing, their culture a part of my essence. The stripes they bore on their bodies from the lash of the slave master are a reminder embossed on my consciousness of what should not be done.
I am the grandchild of the warrior men and women that Hintsa and Sekhukhune led, the patriots that Cetshwayo and Mphephu took to battle, the soldiers Moshoeshoe and Ngungunyane taught never to dishonour the cause of freedom.
My mind and my knowledge of myself is formed by the victories that are the jewels in our African crown, the victories we earned from Isandhlwana to Khartoum, as Ethiopians and as the Ashanti of Ghana, as the Berbers of the desert.
I am the grandchild who lays fresh flowers on the Boer graves at St Helena and the Bahamas, who sees in the mind's eye and suffers the suffering of a simple peasant folk, death, concentration camps, destroyed homesteads, a dream in ruins.
I am the child of Nongqause. I am he who made it possible to trade in the world markets in diamonds, in gold, in the same food for which my stomach yearns.
I come of those who were transported from India and China, whose being resided in the fact, solely, that they were able to provide physical labour, who taught me that we could both be at home and be foreign, who taught me that human existence itself demanded that freedom was a necessary condition for that human existence.
Being part of all these people, and in the knowledge that none dare contest that assertion, I shall claim that - I am an African.
I have seen our country torn asunder as these, all of whom are my people, engaged one another in a titanic battle, the one redress a wrong that had been caused by one to another and the other, to defend the indefensible.
I have seen what happens when one person has superiority of force over another, when the stronger appropriate to themselves the prerogative even to annul the injunction that God created all men and women in His image.
I know what if signifies when race and colour are used to determine who is human and who, sub-human.
I have seen the destruction of all sense of self-esteem, the consequent striving to be what one is not, simply to acquire some of the benefits which those who had improved themselves as masters had ensured that they enjoy.
I have experience of the situation in which race and colour is used to enrich some and impoverish the rest.
I have seen the corruption of minds and souls in the pursuit of an ignoble effort to perpetrate a veritable crime against humanity.
I have seen concrete expression of the denial of the dignity of a human being emanating from the conscious, systemic and systematic oppressive and repressive activities of other human beings.
There the victims parade with no mask to hide the brutish reality - the beggars, the prostitutes, the street children, those who seek solace in substance abuse, those who have to steal to assuage hunger, those who have to lose their sanity because to be sane is to invite pain.
Perhaps the worst among these, who are my people, are those who have learnt to kill for a wage. To these the extent of death is directly proportional to their personal welfare.
And so, like pawns in the service of demented souls, they kill in furtherance of the political violence in KwaZulu-Natal. They murder the innocent in the taxi wars.
They kill slowly or quickly in order to make profits from the illegal trade in narcotics. They are available for hire when husband wants to murder wife and wife, husband.
Among us prowl the products of our immoral and amoral past - killers who have no sense of the worth of human life, rapists who have absolute disdain for the women of our country, animals who would seek to benefit from the vulnerability of the children, the disabled and the old, the rapacious who brook no obstacle in their quest for self-enrichment.
All this I know and know to be true because I am an African!
Because of that, I am also able to state this fundamental truth that I am born of a people who are heroes and heroines.
I am born of a people who would not tolerate oppression.
I am of a nation that would not allow that fear of death, torture, imprisonment, exile or persecution should result in the perpetuation of injustice.
The great masses who are our mother and father will not permit that the behaviour of the few results in the description of our country and people as barbaric.
Patient because history is on their side, these masses do not despair because today the weather is bad. Nor do they turn triumphalist when, tomorrow, the sun shines.
Whatever the circumstances they have lived through and because of that experience, they are determined to define for themselves who they are and who they should be.
We are assembled here today to mark their victory in acquiring and exercising their right to formulate their own definition of what it means to be African.
The constitution whose adoption we celebrate constitutes and unequivocal statement that we refuse to accept that our Africanness shall be defined by our race, colour, gender of historical origins.
It is a firm assertion made by ourselves that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white.
It gives concrete expression to the sentiment we share as Africans, and will defend to the death, that the people shall govern.
It recognises the fact that the dignity of the individual is both an objective which society must pursue, and is a goal which cannot be separated from the material well-being of that individual.
It seeks to create the situation in which all our people shall be free from fear, including the fear of the oppression of one national group by another, the fear of the disempowerment of one social echelon by another, the fear of the use of state power to deny anybody their fundamental human rights and the fear of tyranny.
It aims to open the doors so that those who were disadvantaged can assume their place in society as equals with their fellow human beings without regard to colour, race, gender, age or geographic dispersal.
It provides the opportunity to enable each one and all to state their views, promote them, strive for their implementation in the process of governance without fear that a contrary view will be met with repression.
It creates a law-governed society which shall be inimical to arbitrary rule.
It enables the resolution of conflicts by peaceful means rather than resort to force.
It rejoices in the diversity of our people and creates the space for all of us voluntarily to define ourselves as one people.
As an African, this is an achievement of which I am proud, proud without reservation and proud without any feeling of conceit.
Our sense of elevation at this moment also derives from the fact that this magnificent product is the unique creation of African hands and African minds.
Bit it is also constitutes a tribute to our loss of vanity that we could, despite the temptation to treat ourselves as an exceptional fragment of humanity, draw on the accumulated experience and wisdom of all humankind, to define for ourselves what we want to be.
Together with the best in the world, we too are prone to pettiness, petulance, selfishness and short-sightedness.
But it seems to have happened that we looked at ourselves and said the time had come that we make a super-human effort to be other than human, to respond to the call to create for ourselves a glorious future, to remind ourselves of the Latin saying: Gloria est consequenda - Glory must be sought after!
Today it feels good to be an African.
It feels good that I can stand here as a South African and as a foot soldier of a titanic African army, the African National Congress, to say to all the parties represented here, to the millions who made an input into the processes we are concluding, to our outstanding compatriots who have presided over the birth of our founding document, to the negotiators who pitted their wits one against the other, to the unseen stars who shone unseen as the management and administration of the Constitutional Assembly, the advisers, experts and publicists, to the mass communication media, to our friends across the globe - congratulations and well done!
I am an African.
I am born of the peoples of the continent of Africa.
The pain of the violent conflict that the peoples of Liberia, Somalia, the Sudan, Burundi and Algeria is a pain I also bear.
The dismal shame of poverty, suffering and human degradation of my continent is a blight that we share.
The blight on our happiness that derives from this and from our drift to the periphery of the ordering of human affairs leaves us in a persistent shadow of despair.
This is a savage road to which nobody should be condemned.
This thing that we have done today, in this small corner of a great continent that has contributed so decisively to the evolution of humanity says that Africa reaffirms that she is continuing her rise from the ashes.
Whatever the setbacks of the moment, nothing can stop us now!
Whatever the difficulties, Africa shall be at peace!
However improbable it may sound to the sceptics, Africa will prosper!
Whoever we may be, whatever our immediate interest, however much we carry baggage from our past, however much we have been caught by the fashion of cynicism and loss of faith in the capacity of the people, let us err today and say - nothing can stop us now!
Thank you

Dr. Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki

Thabo Mbeki was born in Idutywa in Transkei n June 18 1942.  After his schooling at Lovedale Academy was interrupted by a strike in 1959, he completed his studies at home. He moved to Johannesburg where he came under the guidance of Walter Sisulu and was elected secretary of the African Students' Association (ASA). The ASA collapsed following the arrest of many of its members at a time when political movements were folding under increasingly severe attacks from the state and Mbeki went on to study economics via correspondence with London University. Mbeki left South Africa for Tanzania in 1962 under orders from the ANC, after his father was arrested at Rivonia and sentenced to life imprisonment. From Tanzania he moved to Britain where he completed a Masters degree in economics at Sussex University in 1966. He Remained active in student politics and played a prominent role in building the youth and student sections of the ANC in exile. He worked at the ANC's London office with the late Oliver Thambo before being sent to the Soviet Union for military training in 1970. Later in 1970 Mbeki went to Lusaka to become the assistant secretary of the Revolutionary Council. Over the next five years Mbeki was active in Botswana. In 1973 and 1974 he was in Botswana holding discussions with the their government about opening an ANC office there. By 1975 Mbeki was acting ANC representative in Swaziland. Appointed to the ANC's national executive committee in 1975, he served as ANC representative to Nigeria until 1978. On his return to Lusaka, he became political secretary in the office of Oliver Tambo, and then director of information. From this position he played a major role in turning the international media against apartheid. His other role in the 1970s was in building both the ANC in Swaziland and underground structures inside the country.

His father, Govan Mbeki, alongside his mother were activists. Govan was leading in the ANC. He was in prison with Mandela for over 20 years. 

During the 1980s Mbeki rose to head the department of information and publicity and coordinated diplomatic campaigns to involve more white South Africans in anti-apartheid activities. In 1989 Mbeki headed the ANC's department of international affairs and was involved in the ANC's negotiations with the former government. After South Africa's first democratic election in April 1994, Mandela chose Mbeki to be the first deputy president in the new Government of National Unity. The National Party withdrew from the Government of National Unity in June 1996 and Mbeki then became the sole deputy president. At the 50th Conference of the ANC at Mafikeng, from 16-20 1997, Thabo Mbeki was elected as the new President of the African National Congress.Thabo Mbeki was elected President of South Africa on 14 June 1999 and was inaugurated as President on 16 June 1999.

Zuma took over from Mbeki.

In 2005 Mbeki removed Zuma from his post as his deputy after Zuma was implicated in a corruption scandal. In October 2005, some supporters of Zuma burned tshirts portraying Mbeki's picture at a protest. In late 2005, Zuma faced new rape charges, which dimmed his political prospects. There was visible split between Zuma's supporters and Mbeki's allies in the ANC.

In February 2006, Mbeki told the SABC that he and the ANC had no intention to change the Constitution of the country in order to permit him a third term in office. He stated, "By the end of 2009, I will have been in a senior position in government for 15 years. I think that's too long. He, although barred by the Constitution of South Africa from seeking a third term as president of the country, in 2007 entered the race to be President of the ANC (no term limit exists for the position of ANC president), for a third term, in a close battle with Jacob Zuma.He lost this vote against Jacob Zuma on the 18 December 2007. Zuma went on to be the ANC's presidential candidate. Having made it a point not to contest this decision" of the ANC NEC that Mbeki was no longer fit to lead South Africa he formally announced his resignation on 21 September 2008 as a result of the ANC decision no longer to support him in parliament. This came a few days after the dismissal of a trial against ANC President Zuma on charges of corruption due to procedural errors. Allusions were made in the ruling to possible political interference by Mbeki and others in his prosecution. Parliament convened on 22 September and accepted his resignation with effect from 25 September; however, because an MP for the Freedom Front opposition party declared his objection to the resignation, a debate was set to take place the following day. In cases of such a void in the presidency, the constitution regulates the replacement to serve as the interim president: either the deputy president, the speaker of parliament or any MP (Member of Parliament), as chosen by parliament, can take the role of president of the country until the next election. ANC president Jacob Zuma, who was elected president after the next general election, was not eligible as he was at the time none of these


Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Mother of the Nation

Winnie as she is known, played a critical role in fighting the apartheid government. She is often depicted as important because of her marriage to Nelson Mandelabut this is not the case, she is a very important figure because she played the most role in violently fighting the apartheid which was destorying, repressing and oppressing the black majority of South africa. Winnie was banned, this entails severely restricted in travel, association, and speech, by the apartheid government because she was expressive and she influenced many black people to resist. She pressured the apartheid government for the release of her then husband Nelson Rholihlala Mandela. But when he was released he throw her away like yesterday's news.

Nobandla Madikizela has endured enormous pain and suffering through the apartheid era and this was caused mainly by her marriage to Nelson but also in part because of her resistance. I coin her as the The Greatest Woman Living. She laid her life down so that the people of South africa would enjoy the freedom they are enjoying now.

Her resistance to oppression is distinct from Nelson's one because she resisted with violence not peace talk. She wanted a South Africa where black people would be free and would be in charge while Nelson Mandela wanted a South africa where all races will be free. The pain she wented through during the apartheid made her the strong woman she is.

She married to Nelson when she was only young and when Nelson had came off from a divorce from a mother of his four children, Evelyn Mandela who made Nelson choose betwwen her and politics. His choice was clear but she later madly blamed Winnie for the divorce.

She was born on September 26, 1936, Bizana, Pondoland district, Transkei  in Eastern Cape South Africa. The social worker and activist was a child of a principal. In May 1991 she was sentenced to six years in prison upon her conviction for kidnapping, but the sentence was later reduced to a fine. she was framed for killing Stompie who was found murdered in her home. But this did not break the impregnable spirit of this stong black woman, she continued to fight a good fight, fighting for the people of South africa. Her contribution to the abolishment of the aparthied are immeasurable.

She had a larger number of supporters during the aparthied and what she said mattered. she was listerned to and was highly influencial.

She is famous for her controversial qoute "Together, hand in hand, with that stick of matches, with our necklace, we shall liberate this country."
She realistically said "We have no guns - we have only stones, boxes of matches, and petrol."
she might be characterised by the untransformed mainstream media of murderous, but she is a passionate woman who wanted to free her people.

This five part documentary attempts to show her contributions, power, influence, fights, resistance and her downfalls.

This woman has endured so many heartaches and struggles brought upon by the apartheid government who destroyed our beloved country. She deserves even better recognition that the one Nelson is getting as she was in the forefront in mobilising people to pressure those Nationalists monsters to release her former husband who then dropped her like yesterday's news. She still continued to be part of the ANC, the party that made this country free and democratic. At least under the presidency of Jacob Zuma, she is appreciated. South Africa made a huge mistake by not making her a president immediately after Dalibhunga Mandela.

To white people she has been a symbol of threat because of her revolution. She is however a true symbol of hope and victory to black people.

South Africa is yet to find anyone like Winnie, she desrve a lot more than what she's getting.
Halala mama wesizwe wena ntombi ka Madikizela. We salute you my comrade.

She sis still involved in politics and under the presidency of Zuma, she plays a bigger role in the ANC.

She still continues to care and play her role as the mother of the nation.

The closest comrade to Winnie's calibre is the controversial yet revolutional Julius Malema who has been fighting for the social justice of the black people but has been depicted as a monster by the media which is highly controlled and owned by white people.

She is loved, hated, been critised and appluaded, she has been the central figure of the apartheid regime that spoke with precision and clarity for the black people against the white minority unjust ruling.