Paradigm shift needed towards pan-Africanism,socialism
OUR proud heritage as Africans was violated and disrupted by imperialism and colonialism which ruptured the African community, family structure, culture and fortunes. It is only at the root of panAfricanism and socialism that we can fully restore our well-being and dignity and free ourselves from the landlessness, economic exclusion, and dishonour inflicted on our people by ruthless racist regimes under colonialism and apartheid.
This will free us too from the chains of an imposed inferiority complex; an illicit and baseless creed of white supremacy, which many continue to subscribe to today.
The beneficiaries of apartheid – at 8% of the population – remain the reference point at the expense of a 90% African majority, and this is symptomatic of a society which continues to vest in white centrality. This has had dire consequences, as many of the policies pursued by the ANC have simply reproduced the past in terms of socio-economic power relations.
A decisive paradigm shift away from an oppressive liberal hegemony and towards panAfricanism and socialism as the main policy constructs across our political, economic and educational spheres will ensure African centrality in a society which downgrades and sidelines it.
A pan-Africanist society, drawing from the logic of the African situation, is where the interests of the native majority must always take precedence.
If we are fully to reclaim our heritage, we will need to reverse fully the de-personalisation and selfalienation of the African.
Putting a sure stop to the systemic erosion and fragmentation of our heritage, community and purpose by colonialism and apartheid will require unity.
An anti-Africanist neurosis among the minority groups and even some African intelligentsia dates back to the time of Anton Lembede, AP Mda, Robert Sobukwe and Peter Raboroko.
This is because of the innate potency of these political philosophies and in their deeprooted capability to unify Africans and restore the strong African heritage, which poses a threat to capitalism and imperialism.
The African People’s Convention (APC) believes that socialism, like pan-Africanism, is the right antidote to the devastating legacy of colonialism and apartheid, as socialism will deliver the most equitable distribution of the country’s wealth, as well as the reversal of workers’ inequality and exploitation.
A society that pays true tribute to our heritage must be democratic to give expression to the wishes of the majority, a popular democracy exemplified by Burkina Faso’s Captain Thomas Sankara.
Frantz Fanon has taught us the dialectics of think, act and think better; and Kwame Nkrumah said that revolution is achieved by men who think like men of action, and men who act like men of thought.
The great Marcus Garvey taught us that our days do not lie in our past but in our future; once we know who we are.
We must therefore seek to hold high the banner of pan-Africanism in the sea of liberalism.
To express a new paradigm within the liberation journey of our country, we have called for a name change from South Africa to Azania.
This is necessary as we believe such a name change is important in closing a horrific chapter of national colonial humiliation.
South Africa is a colonial name and a mere geographic pointer. It gives no honour to our heritage.
Based on the debates and research on the name for a liberated country in the 1960s and 1970, there seemed to be broad agreement on the appropriateness of Azania as the name of a liberated country.
But it is necessary to look beyond symbolic gestures and gear for fundamental transformation. Decisive and bold manoeuvres are required on key fundamental issues of land return and economic transformation, if we are not to remain captive in the clutches of colonialism.
As we aim to restore our heritage, we need to address fully the land question.
Land is the primary means of production, and dispossession reduced Africans to paupers overnight.
Thus, to address poverty, inequality and racism, the land must be returned to its rightful owners. It is a monstrosity to seek to normalise the continued clinging to alienated land.
The land of the African people must be restored.
A policy framework pivoted on pan-Africanism and socialism will significantly alter and free us from the suffocation of a liberal hegemony, which is incapable of honouring Africans and an African heritage.
The majority party has tiptoed around white privilege. The beneficiaries of apartheid have not only defended what they have, but have entrenched privilege and ownership, and stolen land and ownership of key strategic economic sectors remain in the hands of the oppressor.
As the slogan of the Socialist Party of Nepal says, “The road is tortuous, the future is bright”.