Black First Land First reissues this commemorative message we released last year on Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe’s birthday. The “father of Pan-Africanism”, as he is rightfully dubbed, continues to inspire our thinking and actions towards liberation.
On this day, 05 December 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” was really designed for Azania. His birth was almost miraculous because Africa was in great need of 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 for 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 the nation is doomed.
The Pan Africanist Congress’s (PAC) famous rallying call “Izwe Lethu”, which puts the land question at the centre of our peoples struggles, attests to why the land question cannot be compromised.
This fundamental pillar is what led Sobukwe to breakaway from the African National Congress (ANC) in 1955 when it adopted the Freedom Charter in Kliptown. 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 birthday of the father of Pan-Africanism in occupied Azania, BLF wishes to reaffirm our commitment to 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.
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 parties in South Africa would not dare do what they ask of their members, Robert Sobukwe serves as a shining example of true revolutionary leadership that led from the front, instilling the type of leadership that institutionalised the motto “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!
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
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