Sir I have been itching to write you this letter for quite some time but I just didn’t know where to start. You know things are not going well when we write open letters to the departed. And this has become somewhat of a norm in a society where upright and inspirational leaders are in short supply. I guess it’s because we miss true and selfless leadership.
It is with great sadness and disappointment that Iamwriting to tell you that the organisation you helped found and led so well is dead. Yes, the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania is dead.
This year we had our fourth democratic elections and PAC didn’t manage a seat in the national assembly.
This is what I’ve been itching to bring to your attention. You see, telling a man that his house has collapsed can never be easy - I know you catch my drift and I hope you understand why I found it a daunting task.
I wish I was writing to tell you that Pan – Africanists in this country are living up to the ideals that you lived and stood for.
After the PAC’s dismal performance in the elections this year I could have pretended nothing happened and moved on like most Pan-Africanists. I could have used the clichéd saying: good things come to an end to make peace with its sad exit from politics. But I just couldn’t.
I would be lying if I told you that PAC’s poor performance in this year’s elections caught me by surprise. I have seen it coming.
I think you will agree with me when I say this is an outcome of many years of poor leadership and internal squabbles, a rot tracebale to PAC’s period in exile, during PK Leballo’s era (1962 to 1979).
I would like to believe that you were not happy with how things were done in your organisation, but I know there is little you could have done about it since you were incarcerated and then banished to Kimberley upon release.
After the unbanning of liberation movements in 1990, PAC returned home a fractured organisation. It returned with the “internal enemy syndrome” of Leballo’s era.
Now Sir let me brief you on the social conditions of your fellow Africans.
Nothing much has changed. I know that some will disagree with me and mention things such as free houses, the so called RDPs, and social grants to substantiate their argument. But the truth is that this change has brought about no change in our people’s lives.
The change we have experienced has failed to bridge the gap between the haves and have nots, who are mostly black. And as a result, ours has become known as one of the most unequal societies in the world.
One can’t help but ask: what is change if it doesn’t improve the lives of the poor?
Our leaders have done much to enrich themselves than to extricate our people from the yoke of poverty. A huge party is going on and we, the poor, are watching it from the other side of the fence.
The ANC led government promised that it will redistribute 30% of land in the first twenty years of our democracy, but so far it has only managed to redistribute a mere 5%. They have spent approximately 70 billion rand since 1994 but only have 5% of land to show for it.
In recent years we have seen evictions reminiscent of the apartheid era. The only difference between now and then is that this time they are not carried out by whites, but by our own people.
It pains my heart that we still have black people who are desperate for a place to call home in the land of their forefathers.
It is because of these issues and many others that I think this country needs a strong pan Africanist voice. It’s a pity that the current PAC leaders have found fighting amongst themselves more fulfilling than being in the forefront of the struggle for the betterment of the lives of the poor.
Their poor leadership and failure to advance the pan Africanist ideology has alienated many Pan-Africanists from the party. Right now I am not sure what they stand for because there is nothing Pan-Africanist about them.
As we speak many Pan -Africanists no longer have a political home. Most of them have been adopted by other parties while few have opted to hold on to what is remaining of the organisation, if there is any. And those who have joined other parties have, for obvious reasons, lost their Pan -Africanist voices.
PAC may be dead, but Sir I can assure you that the ideology you stood so bravely for will never die.
I hope I didn’t bother you, my apologies if I did. You are greatly missed son of the soil, may your soul forever rest in peace.