Land is Freedom: “Freedom Day” speech

Land is Freedom: “Freedom Day” speech

Address on 27 April 2021, the 27th year of “democracy”, by the President of BLF Andile Mngxitama, on the Black First Land First Facebook page

On this day of the 27th year since the African National Congress (ANC) was given political power by the apartheid regime in a deal during the Codesa negotiations we ask the question, are we free? By “we”, we are referring to the black majority which has sustained a systematic, deliberate and well planned white supremacist assault since 1652. The oppressor is the European that arrived here in 1652 and took the land and reduced us to slaves in our country.

The question of freedom for us in South Africa (SA) as a colonised people, is a question of land. Our state of un-freedom was created by our state of being dispossessed of our land. Once you make a people landless you un-people them.

The proposition is simple: being landless equals being oppressed, therefore freedom is regaining the lost land.

The status quo on land ownership 27 years after democracy in SA is thus: about 30 000 (0.05%) white families and trusts own close to 80% of the land. That’s not even 1% of the population. Whites in total are about 8% of the population, that’s just 4 million people!

Then you have the so-called coloureds who are 9% of the population and are said to own about 14% of the land; Indians who own 5% of the land but constitutes only 2.6% of the population or a mere 1.5 million people; and Africans who own about 4% of the land are 80% of the population.

Land ownership patterns reflect the apartheid racial hierarchy to this day. Basically, the amount of land owned by one white family is equivalent to the land owned 160 black families put together.

Land ownership gives rise to social relations and power distribution in society. Those who own land, by extension, also own the economy and are the ruling class (land lords) whose existence is respected and who are protected by the law as citizens. Therefore in SA whites are citizens and blacks are subjects.

These racist social relations emanating from the racist land ownership patters explain SA today. A graphic representation of this is how white corruption doesn’t matter but alleged black corruption is punished. Whites are citizens and blacks are subjects because they are landless.

On farms, which is 80% of SA by the way, white farmers murder blacks at will with no consequences. When on occasion there is a conviction of the offender, Afriforum ultimately gets involved and the higher courts let the killers go! That’s why white farmers could burn a police car, vandalise a court house, fire guns etc and there were no consequences.

The farmers who murdered in daylight our brothers in Mpumalanga shall also walk free eventually, like all others, because they own land and blacks don’t, and whites are citizens and blacks are subjects.

We have lost the memory of what it means to be free. That’s why we accept without question that we blacks live in townships and squatter camps and whites live in well serviced suburbs. There is Sandton and Alex side by side and we have internalised this as a natural order.

The land question is reflected in our national soccer team, Bafana Bafana, which plays like a team representing a landless people. A national team represents a nation. A nation is a matter of territory. Whose territory does Bafana Bafana play for? Our national soccer team is nothing short of being mercenaries.

This state of landlessness affects even our cultural practices. We buy the “traditional attire” from Aranda Textiles in Randfontein. It’s a white owned business. We buy cows, sheep and goats from the white man to do our imisebenzi including ukutwasa. Our African Christian churches are themselves landless and subjected to violence, like we are.

Poverty, unemployment and hunger are racialised in SA. In a sense, one is landless because they are black and one has land because they are white. This is an outcome of an historical process of colonialism and white supremacy.

Land Expropriation Without Compensation is a bigger betrayal than CODESA.
A series of events has led to the raising of the national consciousness about land as central to liberation. Today all black political parties talk about land. But instead of being true to this national grievance and to address it through the political power we regained in 1994, the people are being duped again.

The CODESA compromises may have been necessary to get political power to advance the liberation project. The current compromises based on lies are merely to sell black people out while pretending to address the land question, the very basis of our freedom.

Before we go deeper into the selling out through Land Expropriation Without Compensation, lets put the question of political power into perspective. There is a growing misrepresentation of political power as something not important. This is a mistake that must be quickly addressed.

The notion that economics trumps politics is simply wrong and must be dispensed with. Truth is, there is no economic freedom without political freedom that takes itself seriously enough to command economic power.

The Afrikaners fought hard to get political power from the British colonialists. They eventually got it in 1948 and used it to change the lives of the Afrikaner. Afriforum is the outcome of that political power.

Hitler is another example of how the political can command economics. He was able to nationalise the banks of powerful families like the Rothchilds. Political power is the tool to realise economic power. There is no other way.

China is another example of how the political must command the economy. Many people do not know that Jack Ma, the wealthiest Chinese, has recently been disciplined by the Chinese government and forced to respect it.

The deal Nelson Mandela cut at CODESA was to secure political power so that the state is in the hands of blacks and can advance the Black Agenda. Thabo Mbeki inherited a state not wobbled by the sun set clause, and above that a two thirds majority of the ANC.

Thabo Mbeki had complete political power to take us to liberation. The ANC had a two thirds majority and did not need any other party to amend the constitution to remove the compromises of CODESA, more especially on the land question. Mbeki chose to side with the apartheid killers and protected them from prosecution here in SA. He even went to the extent of going abroad to support the companies that helped the apartheid government to kill and oppress us.

He stood against the victims of apartheid. The story of the Khulumani Support Group is still to be told. This decision to support the enablers of apartheid for profits was a political decision. This decision was, thank God, overturned by President Jacob Zuma who immediately reversed Mbeki’s sellout position on the litigation and supported the apartheid victims.

The decision not to use the 2/3rds majority to give land back was a political decision. Mbeki could have decided to use the political power he had to address the land question. Incidentally, Mbeki pushed the rhetoric of redress and Afrikanism when his actions were actually anti black.

To those who claim that political power is not important, how do they explain the fact that Johann Rupert and the Oppenheimers had run away from SA during the intensification of the Radical Economic Transformation agenda? If political power is not important, why is it that Stellenbosch paid the opposition parties to get rid of Jacob Zuma? If political power is irrelevant why has white monopoly capital forked out R1 billion to buy itself a President?

Political power is too important to be left in the hands of politicians. We need patriots and revolutionaries to take political power and use it as an instrument of liberation. This is our challenge today. We don’t have to be politicians to be in politics. We come to politics to end politics through using political power to serve the people, not politicians and their handlers.

Every one of the problems we have today in SA is political, all of them. And the basic problem is the refusal of our political class to act black and put black first.

Land Expropriation Without Compensation shall not happen. What the politicians are busy with is a monumental fraud to deny our people land and thereby postpone our freedom for many decades.

If you think that Mandela sold out, it’s because you are not aware of the serious sellout process now underway in parliament led by Julius Malema and Cyril Ramaphosa. There is an ideological agreement between the two to give blacks promises of land on paper whilst leaving land in the hands of the land thieves.

At the end of the current spectacle, blacks shall clap and celebrate and whites shall keep the land. The two Bills on Land Expropriation Without Compensation are cleverly crafted to make sure that there shall be no land expropriation. This is a betrayal bigger than CODESA.

The truth is beginning to come out about the true nature of the Land Expropriation Without Compensation draft legislation. Recently Ann Bernstein of the Centre for Development and Enterprise (a think tank for WMC), has clarified the irrelevance of white hysteria around the Land Exporporartion Act. She wrote the following in the Business Day about the Land Expropriation Bill:

“The bill, though understood by almost everyone to be introducing a new order in which land reform is vastly accelerated, is being grossly oversold. If implemented as it is drafted…, it will deliver less land reform and less disruption than the public debate might lead you to expect”.

This view is shared by the chief architect of the notion of “Nil Compensation”, Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi.

Bottom line is that our freedom through land return is being once more sold out by a gang that comes to us as saviours. The EFF and ANC have entered an unholy pact to mortgage our freedom!

We have to change this situation through the two-line struggle. We have to take political power and use it to end politics. This is the one line of the two-line struggle. We have to participate in the formal political process. But also, we have to engage at the same time in revolutionary struggle outside the formal political process. This is the other line of the struggle.

BLF has just undertaken such a process in Sodwana Bay. We didn’t wait for elections. We didn’t wait to take state power. We were driven by our commitment to the revolutionary process to solve a problem that has bugged the people for almost forty years. We helped the people to take back their land and business in Sodwana Bay. Land thieves and their newspapers are losing their minds. They put the matter in the front page of their paper, Rapport.

Equally, we support all struggles of the people for land and self actualisation such as the Up Money stokvel and network marketing!

Also, exposing white corruption has been part of the revolutionary battle. For this BLF members were arrested on the instruction of the then Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, who represented land thieves. The matter of the R26 billion stolen by ABSA, Johann Rupert and others from the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) is being resuscitated. BLF met with the Office of the Public Protector last week, in this regard.

This brings us to the new revelations by Tokyo Sexwale. We hold no brief for Tokyo, but the amount of backlash he has received from the enemy suggests that they are hiding something. BLF supports the instigations. Tokyo must not be deterred by the insults.

BLF knows for a fact that Tito Mboweni lies to defend white corruption. He has lied openly about the CIEX report which showed that money was stolen from SARB. He said that the CIEX agency undertook the work of investigation unsolicited. It’s a blue lie. The SA government paid CIEX over R10 million for the investigation.

The problem was that the CIEX report indicated the names of the handlers of the government at the time. That’s why it was put under the table. Tito lied then and he is lying now!

On this day we must also make clear that we are not searching for new masters. We haven’t yet gotten out of the plantation and we are faced with new masters knocking at the door. We don’t want to be oppressed by anyone. We reject the whites who have our land. We don’t want to be oppressed by Indians. We don’t want to be oppressed by the Chinese. And please, we don’t want to be oppressed even by the Cubans.

BLF has written to the Cuban embassy and asked them to not send their engineers to SA. We are waiting for their response. If they don’t respond we shall visit their embassy and await their engineers at the airport. Now it’s time to fix our problems.

Let me close by raising two matters. Firstly, we have to prepare for power. That’s why we must go big into the 2021 Local Government Elections. BLF invites all black people to the launch of our campaign and Battle Plan to be held on 15 May 2021 in Soweto.

Secondly, we must find a revolutionary solution to our problems. We must not wait for elections only. As far as the killing of our brothers and sisters on farms is concerned, we must no longer think that the courts can give us justice. We have to declare a fatwa on anyone who murders our people. If can’t get protection from the law, we must protect ourselves. The ratio remains, 1:5.