End the education crisis, let politicians send their children to public schools

End the education crisis, let politicians send their children to public schools

Image: Thomas Sankara

Yearly South Africa experinces the trauma of black children doing poorly in matric. The overall pass rate is deceptive when disaggregated by the more technical subjects such as Mathematics and Physical Science . Furthermore, the percentages become dismal if the number of dropouts are included in the cohort.

The basic education crisis is not likely to end until elected politicians, from the President to the local councillor, send their children to public schools. This must be done by law.

Elected Public Representatives do not use the public services they give to the nation. This is a call for Public Representatives to be compelled by law to adhere to the Thomas Sankara Oath to use public services.

This is the solution to poor quality public education.

We learn from Thomas Sankara!

Issued by Andile Mngxitama, President of BLF
21 January 2022

Honor the AmaXhosa King, implement the Sankara Oath

Honor the  AmaXhosa King, implement the Sankara Oath

Photo credit: Bheki Radebe

It’s a disgrace that the late AmaXhosa King, King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu, had to wait for six hours for an ambulance. This is the disgrace which has become normal for the black majority.

The disgrace and neglect of black people has to end now! The best way to honor the memory of the late King, who lived like his people, is to insist that the South African government implement the Thomas Sankara Oath. This oath calls for the President, Ministers, Members of Parliament and all senior managers in the state to use public hospitals by law. It makes it a criminal offence for state and political leaders to use private hospitals.

The National Health Insurance is a joke. Public hospitals are falling apart. Politicians and public servants have abandoned the public hospitals for the private sector. The ordeal the King had suffered is because those who make decisions about public hospitals don’t have to use them, hence they let them decay and become places of death instead of places of healing.

In memory of King Sigcawu, Black First Land First (BLF) calls on parliament to make the Thomas Sankara Oath, law. It’s time to put the people first! BLF will be undertaking a national petition to force parliament to do the right thing and implement the Thomas Sankara Oath.

The full text of the Thomas Sankara Oath, can be read via the link, https://blf.org.za/policy-documents/the-thomas-sankara-oath/

Issued by Black First Land First, National Coordinating Committee of (BLF NCC)
20 November 2019

Contact Details:

Black First Land First Mail: [email protected]
Zanele Lwana
(BLF Deputy President)
Cell: +27 79 986 7225

BLF honours Thomas Sankara

BLF honours Thomas Sankara

Image credit: Goodread Biography

Today, 15 October 2019 marks 32 years since the death of Thomas Isidore Noel Sankara at the instance of an imperialist sponsored coup d’é·tat in 1987. Thomas Sankara was an unapologetic Pan-Africanist, Marxist Leninist, black feminist and anti-imperialist revolutionary.

Black First Land First(BLF) is inspired by a Sankarist leadership practice. Sankara taught us that it is possible to use political office to put the people first. As President of Burkina Faso he didn’t use his status to enrich himself. He put an end to the luxuries that traditionally come with being a politician and senior civil servant. In this regard he replaced the Mercedes Benz with a Renault 5 and forbade the use of first class airline tickets, for instance.

In just four years Sankara managed to resolve all the big questions facing blacks. Women’s liberation for instance was resolved via land ownership. To this end black women were given equal ownership, management and control of land with their male counterparts. Gender equality was further promoted via the outlawing of female genital mutilation (FGM) and polygamy

Sankara transformed the nation from being impoverished to self-reliant, economically independent and socially progressive. He denounced the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) as instruments of imperialism from which he rejected loans. He promoted textile production and land based sustainable livelihoods including food production. Moreover, Sankara built railways, decolonized education, provided decent housing and sanitation, resolved the unemployment problem, ended rural poll taxes, executed a massive immunization program, and implemented a national reforestation program, amongst others.

Sankara thought us that leaders must not live parasitic luxurious lifestyles while the people suffer. He earned a paltry salary of $450 a month. He condemned compradoreal leaders as appendages of the international bourgeoisie, who depend upon imperialism for their survival and stunt the development of the productive forces. We have seen how in South Africa (SA) the agenda of these leaders (VBS lootists and Steinhoff sponsors for instance) – is utterly out of kilter with that of the revolution. They always side with imperialism by their actions and ultimately prove to be counterrevolutionary.

BLF notes that imperialism used the comprador Blaise Campaore to be a traitor of black liberation and to assassinate Thomas Sankara. But as Sankara said a week before he was murdered, “[w]hile revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill ideas”.

BLF calls upon the youth to honour and educate themselves about Thomas Sankara’s legacy. The fundamental lesson to learn from Sankara is that “a solider without political education is a potential criminal”. BLF urges you to watch the documentary, “Thomas Sankara: the Upright Man” and to familiarize yourself with ‘The Sankara Oath’ and the ‘People’s Manifesto’.

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

15 October 2019

Contact Details

Black First Land First Mail: [email protected]

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

BLF follows in Sankara’s footsteps

BLF follows in Sankara’s footsteps

Black First Land First (BLF) calls on everyone, especially those engaging in revolutionary struggle and aspiring for political office to follow the example of the great Burkina Faso leader, Thomas Sankara.

In 1983 through a revolutionary coup and various campaigns like ‘Homeland or Death’ and changing the country’s name that advocated self reliance, return of the land and economy, as well as anti corruption, Thomas Sankara rose to power in what was then known at the Upper Volta. Upon becoming President, Sankara rechristened the country ‘Burkina Faso’ which means ‘Land of Honest People’ which in turn captures what being a Burkinabé is – proud, free, honest, and hard-working. Also renaming the country fostered national unity by combining ‘Burkina’ which is the Mooré word for ‘honest’, with ‘Faso’ being the Jula word for ‘homeland’.

In a space of four years Sankara made profound changes including facilitating women’s liberation via land return, ending polygamy, and banning forced marriages and other harmful practices against women; making the cheapest car at that time, the Renault 5, the official vehicle for ministers; reducing his salary as well as that of all government officials; ending the use of chauffeurs and first class airline seats; achieving food security; and democratising power to facilitate more participatory governance. His visionary project was brought to an abrupt end by a pro-imperialist assassination led by Blaise Compaoré who replaced him in office and reversed all the revolutionary gains under him.

Thirty one years after his death there’s one movement that has become restive and revitalized Sankara’s spirit − BLF. When BLF says “Land or Death” we mean as Sankara did “Homeland or Death, We will Overcome”. BLF has boldly incorporated the Sankarist leadership ethos. To this end we say in our constitution that ‘[a]ny BLF member who has been elected into office as a public representative and who is subsequently found to have been conducting herself/himself contrary to what is required of her/him in terms of “The Thomas Sankara Oath” shall be recalled from such office.’

True to our Sankara pledge, BLF intends to live up to the greatest revolutionary standards of incorruptibility. We reinforce this commitment in the face of politicians currently using the state apparatus to enrich themselves.  As Sankarist practitioners, BLF has undertaken to end the practice of using state power and access for personal gain. Also like Sankara we are in internationalist solidarity with the oppressed people and nations of the world as we seek to end centuries of colonial, apartheid and neo-colonial rule.

In this context, BLF’s ‘Thomas Sankara Oath’ outlines the cultural dictates and political commitments binding politicians and public servants. In accordance with this BLF members taking Public Office commit themselves to serving the public through providing high quality services and developing an efficient public service system that guarantees the dignity and equality of all. The Sankara Oath ends with this profound battlecry:

“I THEREFORE declare that it is a criminal offence to use private services for myself, my family and my dependents, including but not limited to: education, healthcare, housing and transport. I’m committed to public service therefore; I use the services I provide.”

Thus following Thomas Sankara’s footsteps, BLF shall facilitate the restoration of our people’s dignity.


Issued by the National Coordinating Committee of Black First Land First (BLF NCC)
15 October 2018

Contact details

Black First Land First Email:[email protected]
Facebook: Black First Land First
Twitter: @black1stland1st
Website: www.blf.org.za

Deputy President: Zanele Lwana
Cell: +27799867225

National Spokesperson: Lindsay Maasdorp
Cell: +27 79 915 2957

Head of Media & Communications: Brian Tloubatla
Cell: +27 82 216 7664