Write the truth about the PAC and why it was formed
STAR columnist Onkgopotse JJ Tabane, like most columnists, wakes up and writes whatever comes to mind, without reflection and research.
In his July 31 article, he wrote that in the four years of its existence, the EFF has shaken our political landscape more than any other splinter party in the history of the ANC. He continued, “Even the PAC, which broke away on ideological grounds, cannot claim a fraction of the success of the EFF as a solid alternative of its mother body.”
Your correspondent has scant regard for the truth and facts. He knows nothing about the PAC and its founding president, Robert Sobukwe. The second time he mentions the PAC, he spews gobbledygook. There is no way he could know the impact and influence of Sobukwe and the PAC, when he had not perused literature on both. The best thing he could have done was not to have written nonsensical statements.
Let’s examine the facts on the ANC-PAC “split”. The PAC is not a splinter party. The ANC had two documents after its founding – African Claims of the early 1940s and the Programme of Action of 1949 that every member of the ANC at the time they were drafted accepted. In 1955, some members of the ANC, who wanted to smuggle in the Freedom Charter through the back door, came to be known as the Charterists. Other members of the ANC, who were known as the Africanists, objected to this.
A contestation between the groups ensued and ended in an ANC elective conference in 1958, when the Africanists were physically prevented from taking part in elections through thuggery. The late Oliver Tambo admitted he hired thugs to prevent the Africanists from taking part in the elective conference. The elections went ahead without those who wanted to rescue the ANC from adulteration and political prostitution. Those who hired thugs continued with the election where the Freedom Charter was adopted and incorporated into the Constitution.
This was a completely new organisation. The real ANC members were prevented from participating in the elections and left with the traditions of the ANC to form the PAC. Tabane should read the letter the Africanists’ wrote to that conference of imposters, characterised by thuggery and intrigue. The ANC of 1912 was not formed the same way as the ANC of 1957/58. Thuggery and intrigue were foreign to the 1912 ANC.
In the nine months that it was in existence (not four years) before its proscription in April 1960, the PAC of Sobukwe not only shook the apartheid government to its very foundations but the entire Western world. The 1960 antipass campaign collapsed the South African economy, which was bailed out by US companies and banks.
Sobukwe and the PAC never addressed imperialist contraptions such as the Royal Institute for International Affairs.
Instead of writing unsubstantiated stories, try to find out what the Chatham House Rule is and why Julius Malema agreed to address the institute in the first place.
On the influence of Sobukwe and the PAC, they gave us the word “non-racialism”. The ANC’s foreign policy is a poor version of what Sobukwe espoused in his 1959 inaugural address. He spoke about African rebirth in his 1949 Fort Hare speech and explained what it is.
In 1962, the apartheid government instituted the Snyman Commission of Inquiry into the PAC and POQO, its erstwhile military wing and the forerunners of Apla. About a hundred cadres were hanged in the 1960s at Pretoria Central Prison. Considering this and many other PAC and POQO contributions and successes, how can this Tabane boldly write, “Even the PAC, which broke away on ideological grounds, cannot claim a fraction of the success of the EFF as a solid alternative of its mother body”? Tabane should do his research.
The real ANC members (left the party and) formed the PAC