Why I joined the ANC

I identified myself with the Pan

Africanist Congress (PAC) politics in 1984 after meeting Essau Rankholo. We were

both in detention for our respective roles in the 1984 Vaal uprisings.


Rankholo inducted me into the Azanian National Youth Unity (Azanyu)

that was aligned to the PAC and thus began my formative and exciting years in

the PAC.


Generally, my reasons for leaving the Africanist fold to join the

ANC were: Firstly, the Africanist organisations lack an entrenched and resilient

organisational infrastructure to carry forward their strong ideas.


Secondly, we need a strong state to best deliver in the vital

interests of the poor who are still under economic oppression. The cry about the

need to foster a weak government is unsubstantiated and implausible.


Thirdly, it is right for us to consolidate the progressive forces

under one behemoth political organisation with the active participation of those

who come from the liberation tradition.

Fourthly, we must bring our ideas and

solutions into a political entity that stands the best available chance of

implementing them.

Fifthly, we need to bring about an orientation towards

issue-based politics and oppose the emerging political cult of personality

politics.

Lastly, to avail ourselves of the democratic space that is proffered.

Truth be told, the most critical voices that are fired in the direction of the

ANC come from within.


We have put lucid arguments forward to win the support of our

people since 1994 but they have repeatedly shunned us by incessantly refusing to

accord us even the benefit of the doubt – despite our illustrious past and

impeccable struggle credentials.


I am grateful to the Africanist family for the invaluable teachings

and, regarding my move to the ANC, we must take from Marcus Garvey’s counsel

that: “God, in the affairs of man, takes sides with the strongest

battalion.”


» Ka Plaatjie is a former PAC member who formed his own party, the Pan Africanist Movement, a few years ago. He joined the ANC this week
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