BLF statement on passing on of Comrade Robert Mugabe

BLF statement on passing on of Comrade Robert Mugabe

Black First Land First (BLF) joins the rest of the progressive world in wishing former president Mugabe’s soul to Rest In Power. We also wish his family and all those affected by his passing, strength during this period. Robert Mugabe was one of the leading lights of black nationalism and warriors for land reclamation. The symbolism of Mugabe resonates with us as black people.

We are saddened by his passing but we also draw strength from his great revolutionary legacy. We hope that our people in Zimbabwe will be inspired by his legacy to rise up and do what he and his generation did, and that is fight for the return of our land and the dignity of our people! We note that as the Mugabe chapter closes Zimbabwe is already in another era (that is fast eroding his legacy) under Emmerson Mnangagwa who rose to power via an imperialist sponsored coup. We must also not be bamboozled by reactionary agendas to turn his stature into an electoral propaganda tool to perpetuate neo-colonialism in Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa. The struggle must continue!
Zimbabwe under Mugabe had resolved the land question. He returned land to Zimbabweans. Prior to 2000, approximately 6 000 white settlers owned about 80 % of the land. These whites dominated the agricultural sector of Zimbabwe.
Up until Mugabe was undemocratically removed from power, 245 000 blacks and their families owned most of the land. This explodes the myth that only Mugabe’s loyalists received land. Evidence also indicates that those associated with ZanuPF under Mugabe’s leadership, obtained only less than 10 % of the land.

We note that the post Mugabe ZanuPF doesn’t accept that there’s a crisis in Zimbabwe. We must not be held behind by bureaucratic dictates. We have to be creative, brave and make the hard proposals. Zimbabwe must work. There’s no question about that, but it must work with these two questions – politics and economics – in an intertwined manner. Yes, the politics and the economics of Zimbabwe cannot be disaggregated and resolved outside of each other. They belong together. So normalize the politics, and normalize the economics together. In SA we argue very hard that we have a role to play and our role is to bring financial help to Zimbabwe.

ZanuPF’s Mnangagwa must make peace with MDC’s Nelson Chamisa under an anti imperialist program that puts blacks first. He must cease attacking the Mugabe loyalists who fled Zimbabwe after the coup. He must allow all exiles to return and grant a blanket amnesty to those accused or convicted of politically motivated crimes. A revolutionary transitional government of national unity, which will put the people first, must be formed. All police brutality and state violence must end!

To clarify on the Zimbabwean situation – SA must advance conditional financial support to Zimbabwe, without delay. SA must give financial support on condition that Zimbabwe does the following immediately:

1. Transitional Government of National Unity
2. Amnesty to all and let the exiles return.
3. Release all political prisoners

In the long term, we need economic stability via economic integration. South Africa must show in figures what its contribution is to the front-line states.

Let’s do the Chimurenga! We must get back on the revolutionary path, paved by Robert Mugabe’s legacy.

Issued by Black First Land First, National Coordinating Committee of (BLF NCC)

6 September 2019

Contact Details

Black First Land First Mail: [email protected]

Zanele Lwana
(BLF Deputy President)
Cell: +27 79 986 7225

Blackness still illegal in South Africa: What must be done?

Blackness still illegal in South Africa: What must be done?

Political report on the 2019 elections

“I hold that it is bad as far as we are concerned if a person, a political party, an army or a school is not attacked by the enemy, for in that case it would definitely mean that we have sunk to the level of the enemy. It is good if we are attacked by the enemy, since it proves that we have drawn a clear line of demarcation between the enemy and ourselves. It is still better if the enemy attacks us wildly and paints us as utterly bad and without a single virtue; it demonstrates that we have not only drawn a clear line of demarcation between the enemy and ourselves but achieved a great deal in our work.” Mao Zedong

The spectre of black nationalism is yet again knocking impatiently and violently at the foundations of settler colonialism in occupied Azania.

The 2019 general elections threatened to let into the bourgeois anti black parliament the reincarnation of Bambatha and the Mau Mau all rolled into one.

Terror was unleashed in the hearts of the system’s keepers and the beneficiaries of the mass murder of blacks in the last 400 years. The genocide against us black people has never ended, never been acknowledged, and never been restituted.

With the appearence of Black First Land First (BLF) in our national political scene, the guilty were no longer at ease. They all prayed to their evil god: “please, BLF must not go to parliament”. Not being sure whether their demented god would act upon their fears, they also actively instituted elaborate plans to stop the juggernaut of black nationalism. It was too late! The spirit was moved. What was left for the guilty was to participate in an open political fraud. They stole and destroyed the votes of BLF. We were robbed. This open robbery should have been anticipated and mitigated. BLF is too much to bear for a parliamentary system driven by deception, ambition and money.

BLF is the nightmare that land thieves pray would never materialize since they set foot on our shores and turned us into slaves in our own land. They know this truth but hope that the victim never rises to accept its call and act upon it. That is why Steve Biko has taught us that “the most potent weapon in the hands of the oppresser is the mind of the oppressed”.

BLF is waking up those in a deep sleep who are hypnotised by colonial terrors which destroy the mind and the soul. The observation that, ‘whites understand BLF more than blacks do’ is true. Whiteness recognizes threats to itself from miles away. Blackness, real blackness, invokes suffocation and the end. Amargedon!

The elections were a sham

It is now common cause to any fair minded person that the 2019 elections were not free and fair. At a substantive level the elections were rigged by money. White Monopoly Capital (WMC) panicked when it saw the visibility of BLF and our resolve, so it poured money into the elections campaigns of parties of WMC. It’s not disputed that the African National Congress (ANC) spent a billion rand in the 2019 elections and that both the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are said to have spent over R300 million in the said elections. Where did this money come from, if not from Stellenbosch and London? On the other hand, the elections cost the BLF not more than R50 000, half of which is not yet paid. Where is the fairness there?

Media bias

Then there was the open media bias and negative propaganda against BLF. It was relentless and sustained. The message, as intended, sowed doubt in the minds of the electorate. BLF was billed as an organization of hate and racism. The same stratcom strategy of labeling the liberation movement terrorist was used to dig a rift between the people and BLF. This explains why they shut down ANN7.

Lawfare

The media campaigns were not enough. Our organization was put under immense and extreme judicial pressure. The strategy of the enemy was to turn to “lawfare” as the key method to keep BLF out of the elections. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) received a record breaking over 20 complaints against BLF alone, including from the DA and the African Democratic Change party (ADeC). BLF responded to most of the complaints, as requested by the IEC. All the complaints were subsequently dismissed by the IEC.

In the same period, land thieves also used the courts. Up until a day before the elections we were in court. The court decision which declared our slogan “Land Or Death” hate speech, was delivered two days before the elections. Again this served to plant the idea that BLF is not electable.

A day before the elections, the weight of Patrice Motsepe was brought to bear against our movement. We believe it was a cynical calculated move to scare our people away from BLF. We saw that when Motsepe was accused of improperly benefitting from the independent power producers (IPPs), he didn’t run to court. He instead had a meeting with his accusers and the accusations stopped.

WMC knows that it can’t buy BLF. The same is true of its junior partners like Patrice Motsepe. The consequence of this reality is that these enemies of our people have only one option in dealing with BLF. It is to crush and destroy us. This is war!

Bidvest’s role

Then there was the open stealing of votes and Bidvest inspired multiple voting. It’s a serious indictment on the electoral process that the government actually hired Bidvest as a service provider for the ink. The ink is a critical safety feature in the elections. If anyone knows beforehand that the ink is removable, then the elections are seriously compromised. Bidvest is partly owned by the President and also our ideological foe Pravin Gordhan. These two are close to WMC and would therefore favour an outcome that serves WMC.

We received enough evidence to satisfy ourselves that BLF votes were stolen. Often our votes were either not counted or turned into spoiled votes. However, we have taken the view that it is part of the enemy’s strategy. We don’t expect to be treated fairly by our opponents.

The involvement of Bidvest in the elections simply meant that the parties of WMC were at an unfair advantage.

RET is the minimum program of black nationalism

The attack on BLF and its vilification is part of the attack on Radical Economic Transformation (RET). All the RET forces are under attack. The show trial of Jacob Zuma is part of the political assault on RET. All proponents of RET from inside the ANC have emphasized blackness. Thabo Mbeki is correct when he says that Jacob Zuma is trying to blacken the ANC with his call for black unity and land expropriation without compensation which are part of the RET agenda. We must remember that the ANC was started as a blacks only organization in 1912 – the African National Native Congress with the emphasis on “Native”. The ANC was captured in 1955 by whites and has ever since found itself torn between the black agenda of the Afrikanists (Lembede and the Makiwane brothers) and, on the other hand, the white agenda of people like Joe Slovo and Derick Hanekom who openly oppose land return to black people.

RET is seen as a pro black program which threatens the interests of WMC. It is for this reason that anyone who is seen as supporting RET is subjected to judicial attacks and media vilification. The unwarranted attacks on the Public Protector are part of the anti RET agenda which is essentially anti black.

When analyzing the spectre of black nationalism we have to factor in the emergence of the RET current inside the ANC. The question is whether this RET current, which was essentially defeated in Nasrec, would fold under the pressure and threats of starvation and marginalization plus bullying by judicial attacks? What is our role in the further development of black nationalism inside the ANC and beyond?

FF+ electoral growth is a response to BLF

The growth of black nationalism embodied in BLF and its unapologetic black speech, coupled with its fierce independence from WMC, has frightened white interests into revealing their hand. The emergence of BLF has compelled the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) to respond with the open revival of White Nationalism. FF+ positioned itself as the authentic defender of white interests by taking the ‘slan terug’ (fight back) campaign directly to BLF.

WMC together with the representatives of land thieves understood better than most black people that BLF in parliament would make the betrayal of the land question impossible. All the black parties in parliament would have been forced to address the land and economic question. That is why the campaign to block BLF from going to parliament was so intense.

It’s interesting to observe how the WMC owned media has gone into a new campaign to erase BLF from the minds of the people – despite the over 20 000 voters who managed to scale the fraud and got counted for BLF. When the WMC media discusses the emergence of FF+, they avoid mentioning the name BLF. They instead lie and mention their favourite party of fake radicalism.

White people abandoned the DA and voted for FF+. Black people were made to fear BLF on the other hand. Just like under apartheid when the majority of black people had internalized the propaganda of the apartheid regime that projected the liberation movement as a terrorist movement.

We also have this new challenge today: to liberate the minds of our people. How do we make black people love themselves and put themselves first? Right now, many black people genuinely think it’s racist to say “black first”. Many find the motto “land or death” threatening. Many black people have internalized white interests and fears. Then, there are those who genuinely believe that black people can’t govern themselves and to this end they have lots of empirical evidence.

BLF has forced the DA to abandon the fake rainbow nonsense. Helen Zille has been jolted into action by the electoral fortunes of the FF+. BLF has forced whites to show their white agenda more openly. This development should make agitating for a black agenda easier. No one can claim anymore that the DA is not a party of white racism. Those who continue to make the DA their strategic partner must be exposed as helping the hand of white supremacy.

There is one party in parliament right now

The exclusion of BLF from the sixth parliament has ensured that there is a one party dictatorship of WMC. There is currently no party which is representing the interests of black people in parliament. There is now a hegemony of parties of white power.

The first sitting of parliament debate was all congratulatory to the President of the country, Cyril Ramaphosa. No more were any references made to the “butcher of Marikana”. Ramaphosa was now “Comrade President” – even as he continues to cut jobs and refuses to budge on land expropriation. They showed sickning reverence to the Lonmin man. However to provide a rhetorical cover for the right wing shift, there was mention of Stellenbosch by the Stellenbosch agents. Agents of Johann Rupert pretended to be against Rupert so as to continue the lie that they want change.

In the next five years, parliament will continue to serve the interests of WMC and enact side irrelevant fights so as to entertain and amuse the poor. We must repeat, like a stuck record, this message that there shall be no land expropriation without compensation amendments by this parliament. How can WMC expropriate itself?

Lessons of 2019 elections

1. If we enter the bourgeois electoral space, we must be ready to guard each and every vote cast in our favor. This is the biggest lesson. If there are no party agents, the votes will be stolen.

2. We can only rely on the votes of our members. Sympathy votes are important, but not decisive. This means that organisational structures must be built.

3. The media shall starve us at critical moments of the elections and therefore we have to build and rely on our own alternative media channels.

4. Money versus People: WMC is prepared to throw money in the elections to secure victory for its parties. We have to counter this with people and clarity of purpose. We have to harness our people’s goodwill to fund the revolutionary program. It’s their revolution. They must fund it.

What must be done?

The main critical point of intervention is to addresss the crisis of vision and ideological confusion amongst black people.

What is the vision of Black people in SA? We say RET is a minimum program of black unity towards the realization of a society that puts blacks first.

In fact, more than ideological confusion, we have in general entered the era of “post ideology”. Ideology doesn’t matter anymore. That is why it’s possible that a party that proclaims Marxism and Leninism can go into political power sharing with parties of land thieves and WMC. This post ideology dispensation is confirmation of the hegemony of the WMC agenda and ideology which in turn is threatened by black nationalism.

The primary mode through which the post ideology politics manifests is through the anti corruption mantra. The discursive powers of the hegemonic ideological framework has ordained the corruption of the black political class as the central point of focus. This serves as a perfect deflection from the real source of exclusion of the black majority from the economic benefits accruing from the wealth of the nation. Anti corruption crusaders are essentially the enforcement army for the white supremacist economic and social order. Because WMC is in control of the main ideological apparatus which has hegemony, it determines who is corrupt and who must account for corruption. White corruption doesn’t count as corruption and therefore it is never punished.

There are urgent tasks which we must carry out to build a fighting movement. Some of the key tasks are:

1. There must be 500 000 BLF members in good standing in the next five years. This means 100 000 each year.

2. We aim to become kingmakers in the metropolitan municipalities after the 2021 local government elections (LGE). We have designed an outline of a strategy for this NCC meeting. We must debate this, including how to fund that process.

3. In September 2019 BLF must hold a policy conference.

4. In February 2020, when they open their parliament we must be there in action and numbers to demand land expropriation without compensation.

5. We shall not wait for parliament to give blacks land or amend the constitution. BLF must launch a People’s Land Return Program. On June 19, the day of the Land Act of 1913, we shall hold an Imbizo with the restitution claimants.

6. Also any program of action (POA) must focus on black workers, black students, the unemployed black youth, squatters, victims of evictions, and the landless. We must not neglect the prisons anymore.

7. We must focus on the liberation of the mind. We need systematic political education programs to advance Black Consciousness (BC). There must be a strong leadership building for BLF leaders. Then there must be an annual BC Festival from 2020. Also, we must launch a BC Summer School this coming December.

8. We need to re-launch Vuka Darkie as a print copy and build the profile and reliability of Black Opinion (BO) as the online presence.

9. We must raise money to build this movement. This Extended National Coordinating Committee (NCC) shall give direction, given the real and present danger of attacks from WMC.

10. We must strengthen our Africa and black diaspora presence.

11. We must focus on defending black people. The Private Litigation Unit (PLU) must now be priority. We must also prioritize the establishment of the ‘Bambatha Shield’ to train our people in the use of weapons to fight crime.

In conclusion

I wish to thank the more than 20 000 voters who voted for our movement. More than 20k black voices call upon us to continue the struggle until total liberation. We shall not fail!

To those who have been writing the obituary of BLF, we say it was all too premature. We are not only continuing but we are also going to unite black political parties. We are going to talk to the Azania People’s Organization (Azapo), African People’s Convention (APC), Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) and others.

In the Soweto Declaration, exactly two years ago, we declared as follows:

“If the landless wait for politicians, for the church or whites to do something about land, then we shall wait forever. Its up to the landless and their organisations to take action on the ground so as to speed up all the processes to regain the lost land. When land was taken from us, there was no law, no parliament, no talks of two third majority – the whites just took our land through force. We have to regain our land by any means necessary!”

Izwelethu!

The above political report was delivered by Black First Land First President, Andile Mngxitama, on Saturday 25 May 2019 at the Extended National Coordinating Committee meeting which was convened at the head quarters of the organization in Johannesburg

A tribute to Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela Mandela

A tribute to Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela Mandela

We are indeed in an interregnum. The old is dying and the new is not ready to emerge as the ‘new’ in the truest expression of that formulation. Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela Mandela is the throbbing nationalist sentiment that was thwarted and demonised in the African National Congress (ANC) project. This is the same project that eventually saw the breakway of the Africanists like Robert Sobukwe in 1959 and the muzzling of the ‘gang of eight’ which was led by Tennyson Makiwane.

If one judges her life in combat, one sees that here was a leader who was unashamedly in the business of loving and defending the dignity of black people generally and women particularly. A strong leader who led by example, she trampled fiercely on sexist convention which made political work the preserve of black men who felt stripped of their manhood by the apartheid regime.

Our beloved mother’s passing must make us meditate on this vacuum of ethical and servant leadership. Her passing must be a call to action, especially for the youth, to emulate and surpass her and her generation. It must be a call to reinvigorate the nationalist project inside the ANC and society generally. Her passing must mean a revisiting of what she, and her generation, missed and those must be corrected. This means we must get to understand, as Bob Marley said on the song Zimbabwe, “who are the real revolutionaries” in this post-1994 dispensation of nominal power for a ruling party that is mandated by a hungry, landless and equally powerless majority.

This quest for understanding and critical inquiry must also open up space for us to question how the genuine struggle for women’s liberation failed while she and her generation had nominal power as part of the ANC Women’s League. How did they let their beloved ANC be captured by white monopoly capital (externally and internally) such that its policies ended up keeping intact the hellish conditions that made their breasts burn with indignation in their youth. These are the very policies that harm black women the most, while them and their progeny were shielded from the rigours of black life in the townships.

These questions must not be asked for cheap populist point scoring but to uncover the ideological failures and shortcomings of the liberation movement in the ANC and outside the ANC with the black left (Black Consciousness Movement and PAC) which the Codesa negotiations frustrated to such an extent that they chose to opt out.

If, as Thomas Sankara said, “women hold the other half of the sky”, it is logical to claim that Winnie and her comrades held a disproportionately larger chunk of the sky while the likes of her former husband took all the glory in an unfair and sexist reinforcing manner.

We thank you for all the sacrifices Mam’uNomzamo Madikizela. Lala ngoxolo mama wesizwe.

2 April 2018

ISSUED BY:

Ncedisa Mpemnyama
(BLF-Western Cape Chairperson)
Cell: 073 110 0334

View this “excerpt” here from the documentary “The Free Mandela Campaign” which indicates amongst other things Comrade Winnie’s unwavering commitment towards the liberation of black people.