It is exactly 72 hours before you make the most historically important decision in the life of this country: whether to prolong or to end the suffering of black people, especially Africans, since the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck 367 years ago, including 46 years of apartheid and 25 years of ANC misrule and corruption.
In the long run, good will always triumph over evil. The only question which involves you personally is whether the suffering will be stopped now or at some other future date and crucially whether it can be stopped hopefully peacefully or by some other unknown and destructive methods.
One thing certain is that the ANC is incapable of ending the economic subjugation of African people. It sold out in the 1990s when it agreed to abandon its socialist promise for neoliberalism and capitalism, for a fee of $800 million “donated” by the West.
Read: ANC, DA support drops while EFF picks up
This marked the abandonment of practically all 10 clauses of the Freedom Charter, notably “The People Shall Govern”, “All Shall Share in the Country’s Wealth” and the ownership of minerals beneath the soil by the people as a whole, not to mention the land question.
For black Africans, there are only two realistic alternatives in this election. Vote EFF or Vote ANC. I say so with all due respect to the dozens of smaller and black-led and progressive parties.Everybody accepts that the vote is a means of expression. To vote is to talk.
On 8 May 2019, what will you be saying?By voting ANC, you will be saying: “I am happy with the black conditions in the past 25 years. I will be happy if we are here 50 years on.
I understand and condone state capture, elite empowerment in the name of all black people, the highest inequality in the world, landlessness, continuing racism and being called and regarded as a ‘kaffir’, growing squatter camps, hospitals without blankets, schools with pit latrine toilets, the indignity of the bucket system, foreign ownership of our land and minerals to develop other countries”, to mention a few.
The ANC did not directly cause all these ills. They are the legacy of colonialism and apartheid. But the ANC is incapable of stopping these things from worsening in the next 25 years. Simply because it chose, unwisely, to adopt the very same system which caused them. It chose reform above overhaul.
It chose to serve “investors” and not the people. Their Freedom Charter says “The markets shall govern”. In doing this, the ANC has defined itself and part of the problem and not part of the solution for black people and the Africans in general.The post-Nasrec ANC, under the leadership of Cyril Ramaphosa, is even more part of the problem than before.
Somebody once said to expect a billionaire to fundamentally disturb the very system which made him a billionaire is the classical definition of madness. When Ramaphosa called for “concomitant action” against the Marikana strikers, he was not being animalistic. He was acting according to the dictates of the system which created him.
When he bought a buffalo for R20 million, he was just being his new self. Profit over people is the fundamental law of the system, which made him a billionaire without running a single business. No activist could have asked a Minister to “bring the police or army” to Marikana, well knowing that the sole business of the army is to kill.When the government responded by bringing mortuary vans before the “concomitant action”, it showed that they understood the message loudly and clearly.
Read: ANC’s voter loss is EFF’s gain as Eskom raises perceptions of corruption
It must therefore come as no surprise that the entire white-owned and controlled media is rooting for an ANC / Ramaphosa victory. Similarly, international capital via its mouthpieces, Times Magazine, The Economist and now The Washington Post, have openly endorsed Ramaphosa. If you are black, ask yourself why, since colonial and apartheid times, certain black “leaders” are preferred by the system and the true liberators are demonised and portrayed as devils with horns.
Yesterday, the sell-out homeland leaders were angels and the ANC the devil. Today, the ANC are angels and the EFF the devil. My people, let us use our brains,. The reality is that the EFF is truly the last hope for black people, especially Africans. Ironically, it is the only hope for all South Africans, black or white. For only when we face the truth of our past can we build a peaceful and united future.
The current neo-apartheid practised under the ANC is just a postponement of the revolution. It will never work. The conditions of black people can only worsen: more poverty, more misery, more inequality, more squatter camps, more crime and more corruption guaranteed. In Fanonian terms, I describe the past 25 years as neo-apartheid in which the “naturalist” liberators literally step into the shoes of the colonial oppressor, changing little or nothing and leaving the core system intact.
If you are homeless, it matters very little that the person who causes that situation is white or black. If anything, it feels morally worse that it is done by one you regard as your own flesh and blood. But, in objective reality, it makes no difference. It must be fought with equal, if not more, determination than before – sparing neither strength nor courage!It is a logical impossibility that the apartheid system can be reformed.
Only a complete peaceful and democratic overthrow of the system by the people, primarily its victims, can lead to a new nation. The land question is central to that debate. So is the issue of education. So is equal access to the wealth of the country, including its minerals, water, electricity, spectrum and other public endowments. The architects of apartheid understood this. That is why access was only given to white people. All that needs to happen is to give access to all South Africans.
This is a very rich country. There is no shortage of economic resources. Never let anybody fool you about that.The false question often asked of the EFF is: where will the money come from to pay for doubling social grants, providing free education, giving access to health and so on. This is a false question because we, the people, give the government almost R1.5 trillion every twelve months without fail in order to provide exactly such services to all.
Currently, most of that money is wasted, yearly, on corruption, irregular expenditure, tender fraud, unnecessary expenditure such as running pointless “provinces”, the new homelands, a bloated Cabinet, two seats of government, more than 1000 kilometres apart, social grants to 16 million people, most of whom are young and able-bodied, crime prevention whose root causes are economic, securing colonial “borders”, to mention a few.
Simple economics will tell you that by putting more disposable income in the hands of the population, one does not only improve the lives of the recipients, but also stimulates the economy to create more jobs. Similarly, by robustly improving infrastructure, one makes life easier for citizens but creates millions of jobs, freeing millions from dependency on grants.
You can actually double the amounts of social grants by halving the number of recipients, without adding one cent to the budget! The question where the money will come from is lazy economics and a refusal to think creatively. It is intended to condemn black people to perpetual misery and life in squalor.Free education and #MakingEducationFashionable, the other EFF next flagship policies, do not of course come “free”.
It is paid for by the taxpayer, but it is the best investment the taxpayer can ever make. An investment in future generations. The apartheid government gave free education to white children for decades, exactly because it understood the logic of investing in the future. Today, the unemployment rate among Africans is almost 50% and among the whites, it is 5%.
This is a direct result of the skewed education system of the past, giving free and equal education only to white children and relatively better education only to Indians and Coloureds. Today, the beneficiaries of that system define its intended expansion to Africans as “disastrous”, even though it is responsible for their good life of today. The state, they now tell us, should play no role in the provision of basic services and jobs.
The market is the only tool. Privatise everything. The ANC, which has bought into such nonsense, is not different to prophets of doom, such as Pastor Lukan and other snake pastors. To believe that Cyril Ramaphosa and his greedy “investors” can ever change the black historical condition through trickle down and “black” economic empowerment is no different from the story of Nongqawuse, who managed to convince black people to burn their fields and kill all cattle and livestock so that the white man could be driven to the sea and the dead would arise!
Please do not replicate such gullibility more than 150 years later by voting for a pipe-dream and guaranteed nightmare. The prescriptions contained in the EFF People’s Manifesto are indeed radical. That is simply because the historical illness is acute. You do not treat cancer by taking painkillers.
No amount of “reform” and tinkering on the borders while leaving the system intact can cure the structural defects we inherited from the past 367 years. We must take the pain which comes with surgery. If we want to heal our ugly past, we must take the pain that comes with the necessary surgery.
To birth a new nation, the pain of childbirth cannot be dodged. We cannot have a “new” South Africa without killing the old South Africa – metaphorically speaking of course. White supremacy and white privilege must go. And it must go NOW! A vote for the EFF is a vote for a peaceful and truly free future for all our people, black and white. It might not look like that at face value.
The dream of a free, non-racial and prosperous South Africa cannot be built on lies. We need to be honest with each other and exercise the ghost of colonialism, apartheid and neo-apartheid. This can only ever be achieved by the removal of the ANC, which is the only stumbling block between us and the realisation of the aspirations of those who died in the struggle against landlessness and exploitation.
The ANC is the only preserver of our ugly past and its present-day legacy. Let us hear the message of the people of Johannesburg, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and Nelson Mandela Bay in 2016!Even if you do not yet understand or buy into the message of the EFF, or if you still doubt the determination and patriotism of its leadership, then please vote for any other progressive party or spoil your vote.
Do not vote for the DA or the FF Plus. They yearn for apartheid and racism. Certainly do not vote for the ANC. It wittingly or unwittingly is the last hope for racists and those who benefit from the status quo 25 years from now, things will only be worse.
A better life for all means a better life for some, mainly white, with a few black beneficiaries. To end on a lighter note, and given the platform of this article, the only message which must ring in the ears of all those who love their children and want them to inherit freedom, equality and dignity is: “Don’t Vote ANC Don’t Vote!”
Mpofu is the chairman of EFF