Dear Comrades, friends and fellow countrymen;
The health crisis in the Eastern Cape (EC) province is no matter for anyone to gloat about or fold arms and point fingers but are a clarion call to those South African who, over the years, have appropriated for themselves the title of revolutionary activist.
Stand up, damned of the Earth
Stand up, prisoners of starvation.....
Now we have a problem before us at this time. Today one finally has the right and even the duty to be, above all things, a revolutionary activist, that is a person who utilizes the technical knowledge and skills in the service of the people.
We can prove ourselves different from the rest only when we recognise the fact that our relation with the poor people is neither one of humanitarianism, nor of political exigency, but that it is an organic relation of common interests. Our interests must be irrevocable interlinked with that of the poor people in the Eastern Cape.
First of all we must be conscious of this fundamental truth and work honestly according to this conviction; then the rest will be clear. If our beliefs help to create an understanding of the Eastern Cape situation as viewed in the light of objective and subjective conditions; if they tend to awaken the activist within us; if they set us on the only path that can lead to the real freedom of our people, then our work has not been in vain.
We must call upon all those who are honestly convinced that the road to the resolution of the Eastern Cape crisis lie this way, to throw themselves into the great work of organising dedicated activists, compatriots and dedicated people upon a programme of selflessly working towards the resolution of the problems.
Now is the most suitable moment for those conscious activists, who constitute the vanguard, to assert themselves and to place themselves at the head of disorganized and scattered forces in that Province.
When we are asked: “What should be done?”, we must reply: “There is an army without command; put us at its head”. The real question is: How can this be done?
So that the thief expires,
So that the spirit be pulled from its prison,
Let us fan our forge ourselves
Strike the iron while it is hot.
Let me be brutally frank and challenge you openly that the salvation of the EC crisis lies through selfless service to the people. But we need not be sensationalists.
The experience of the past must have convinced those with an open mind that our nation is composed of two elements — one that can make a terrible noise but which will not fight; the other that appears to be dumb, ignorant and all the rest of it but which is ready and capable of fighting. The first has so far been holding the centre of the stage; the time has now come for the latter.
Therefore, my proposition is that we should shake off our passive attitude and appear in the 'battlefield', not as a spectator appendage, but as an independent force with a vision, with a programme. If such a step is not taken, a deplorable situation will result.
In moments of great danger, in moments of great tensions and great creations, what counts are great enemies and great goals. If we are already agreed, if we all know now where we are going - and let him grieve to whom it will cause grief - then we have to begin our work.
No saviour from on high delivers
No faith have we in prince or peer
Our own right hand the chains must shiver
Chains of hatred, greed and fear
E'er the thieves will out with their booty
And give to all a happier lot.
Each at the forge must do their duty
And we'll strike while the iron is hot.
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