Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

Presidents Mugabe Gabriel Robert; Zuma Jacob Gehleyihlekisa, Fort Hare students say voetzek!

23 May 2016 at 18:52hrs | Views
Foot-sake is just the right word to tell both Mugabe and Zuma to go away!
Voetzek Zuma, voetzek Mugabe! Those were Fort Hare students trying to force their way into the Hall where Presidents Zuma and Mugabe were to speak on the centenary celebrations of Fort Hare University. These are students who have read history and found out how much they have been betrayed by these revolutionary fathers. Voetzek is just the best word to tell them to foot-sake, go away. They must go away because they promised emptiness; their revolution is empty and smells of poverty. Both Zuma and Mugabe should read a book by Karl Marx: "The poverty of Philosophy." The ANC reneged the famous Freedom Charter miserably; they should be ashamed of themselves. It was a revolution led by political wing of ANC and a military wing of Umkhonto-we-Sizwe of serving persons and their families. A revolution that sees a persona like Mr. Jacob Zuma looting day-light the national coffers while the children of Soweto are squatting and squalor. Women and girl-children are raped every hour, no security given to them. Temporal housing made of plastic bags all around the posh suburbs of Johannesburg. No running water or decent toilets in 2016.

President Zuma was incarcerated together with Nelson Mandela in Robin Island for years. What independent South Africa was he dreaming about in his mind? He must have been dreaming in his cell, how many young women he was going to marry when South Africa becomes independent, beautiful virgin girls; the traditions of the Zulus permit him to get married every year. He will build them a home called Nkandla, he dreams, to rule over them and South Africa, a dream came true. (Let's not go about talking about the dignity of a woman in a polygamous set up, we are going too far!)

The students of South Africa are asking themselves pertinent questions? They need pertinent answers too. How did it happen since inception of ANC in 1912 so many people sacrificed their lives for the good of a united free South Africa and it turns out that only those selected few enjoy the fruits of independence, the fruits of which are only assessable to very few ANC members? Where did it go wrong with South Africa and the revolutionaries? What happened to Chris Thembisile Hani, an alumnus of Fort Hare University? Who killed him and what for? Why is it not clear to all of us the reasons of his death? Did Apartheid South Africa kill him or was he killed by the Comrades themselves. Is it a coincidence that Presidents Robert Mugabe and Jacob Zuma come to make speeches at this University where Chris Hani was a law student?

Why is President Mugabe now a big name, a respected persona in Free South Africa, a man who frustrated the birth of a free South African nation? Who does not know that in 1980, Zimbabwe worked with Apartheid South to frustrate and make it impossible for ANC to achieve independence? Are we missing some jicksaw-puzzle-pieces in understanding the processes that led to the independence of South Africa? Is there some information that we do not know and we shall never know, if Thabo Mbeki was incarcerated by Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe in the 1980s what makes Thabo hero-worship Mugabe in that manner he did before and after the government of National Unity in Zimbabwe of 2009? Are there beans that Mugabe is holding on to his chest just in case the South African politicians become careless, he will spill them, will be laid bare by the knowledge Mugabe may have against them?

South African students need these answers from their painful questions; they need answers as to why Apartheid South Africa went scot free during the hand-over processes to independence. Why did Mandela and all those educated economists in the ANC give away so much so that he is then called "Mandela the unifier of the Rainbow Nation." Why did Mandela and the rest forgive so much even sold their souls and their bowels to appease the international community that benefited from atrocities of Apartheid? Are we African so timid, no technical ability to negotiate what belongs to us by right? Mandela and ANC are right to have forgiven white South Africans. But they should have made all those big companies that benefited from apartheid pay heavily because they benefited from slave labour. Is it enough to be some respected  "Mandela and ANC" than to ask what belongs to you: labour that built South Africa, land, resources to be shared by all South African and not the elite only?

Immediately after it was announced that Mandela will be freed from prison, De-Beers headquarters were moved to Switzerland. Richard Branson moved his company back to UK, Charles Spencer, who was resident in one of the posh suburb of Constantia in Cape Town South Africa, left his residency for his home land UK. This is evidence that they did not trust Mandela at all. They all still maintained personal friendship with Mandela, but for what purpose? Was their presence in South Africa and their relocating back to their respective comfortable zones give bread and butter to the majority of black South Africans?

 Big companies looted South African resources, used and abused black Africans and their labour that was cheap to make maximum profit they could never dream of in their respective countries. ANC had a template; the "Freedom Charter" that specified exactly what the black people were fighting for. Do we blame Julius Malema for his radicalism? What if he came to power and he fast tracked the economic reforms in the manner land reforms were fast tracked in the country just direct north of them and it was, and still is a disaster to this date? Zimbabwe was a bread basket and is no more!

The  Marikana massacre, that took place way back in August 2012, a Farlam Commission of Inquiry set up by President Zuma have not until today concluded their findings or they are resisting to publish the findings. What is much abhorable about the Marikana killing is that it was killings done by predominantly black policemen, supervised by black senior officers. Some top ANC politicians must have okayed the killings too. The students of Fort Hare are rightfully saying voetzek Zuma. Saying so, rightly because there is no difference between Marikana killings by blacks in 2012 and the Sharpeville killings by whites in 1960: reasons for both miners strikes were and are still the same, striking because they are demanding liveable wages from multi-international companies: Lonmin Platinum Mine. The Marikana massacre is a classical example of a revolution that was not a revolution for the majority of the people of South Africa, but of those few elite who managed to tug themselves inside the gravy train: its eating time for ANC- ruling elite and voting time for the rest of the black population.

Have South Africans ever asked themselves questions such as: why are Germans still making reparations to Israel to this date because of the genocide and looting of property done to Jews during the WW2, they will be made to pay until the end of this Millennium. Be it East Germany that reparations to the Soviet Union, West Germany paid back the allied forces USA, France and Great Britain in cash and kind. On the other hand a black South African failed just to negotiate some fraction of what Germany had to repay after the war.

The international community are extremely grateful for the stupidity of Africans especially those South Africans that had the responsibility of negotiating the processes leading to independence of South Africa. They can't believe their luck that they were not made accountable by the ANC dispensation, to repay the profits in billions made in the apartheid era. They know the weaknesses of African in and out: give them Africans respect, they will cling on respect and will forget the struggle they have been fighting for over half a century. Buy a posh house for Nelson Mandel in a leafy suburb of Johannesburg so that he jettisons the Freedom Charter. Send the rest of the ANC officials to Chicago School of Economics and get them to taste money; scotch whiskey and slowly introduce to them neo-liberal policies! Everything happened according to the hymnbook of International Finance Capitalism! (The Washington Consensus)  What has changed is South Africa in terms of black empowerment? The black population is in the periphery of capitalist imperialism. Nothing, absolutely, nothing has changed. It's the economy stupid! Zuma voetzek!

It is for this reason that almost all respected leaders of the world came to pay their last respect when President Mandela died. He remains a darling in the hearts and minds of billions of people in the whole world. To be kind to him, he ushered political freedom to the blacks and economic empowerment to already rich white South Africans and the rest of the multi-international companies! The economy was to remain a free market economy, intact, to ensure global stability in the world market. So the economic revolution of more than 50 years was for nothing! Zuma voetzek!

Reading between the lines, together with sustainable rumours; Comrade Chris Thembisile Hani was killed by the powers that be because he was a "communist" and therefore uncomfortable to the coming dispensation that was already compromised by multi nationals. Hani was not going to see a betrayed South Africa of today, he was going to say nope to neo-liberal policies that South African adopted in their dreams without thinking much. Nobody was going to frog-match Hani to sign shady deals that had no benefit to the poor black South Africans. Hani did not fight for freedom to get respect from the international community but to get justice from the injustices meted by apartheid. Chris Hani was going to give the people of South Africa tangible benefits of the liberation struggle. But he is dead; he is not there in South Africa but in the form of a grave that is as silent as itself. Who is going to rekindle his dreams if it's eating time in the ANC rank-and-file?

New dispensation had big debt from the apartheid era signed behind the back of the ANC, and they gullibly accepted. Central bank and treasury was run by Chris Stals and Derek Keyes, ministers of the previous apartheid regime. Were they going to allow it to make some economic transformations benefiting the black population? There was no land redistribution to alleviate poverty. If the means to produce was not in their hands, how were they going to fight poverty, the very elements that sent revolutionaries to fight apartheid? In the new constitution of 1994, there were clauses that stipulate the right to private ownership making land reforms impossible. Minimum wages were to remain the same as before, a revolutionary struggle with no tangible results either than a free Mandela. Zuma please voetzek! South Africa has political power; they are in power by name only. The means of production are not in their reach. To put in the words of Naomi Klein; the ANC government was given the keys to the house but they were not given the combination to the safe! So when the students say voetzek they know what they mean, these ANC leaders betrayed the future aspirations of the coming generations that will continue to languish in abject poverty.

It is the South Africa's ANC that elevates Mugabe, call him a hero to spite the Zimbabwean people. Did they read in the media about the missing 15 billion dollars supposed to have been looted from the diamond mines? They call Mugabe a hero! A leader that killed maimed thousands of its people since independence, rigged elections, travels all over the world using scarce resources, our treasury is bankrupt. They still tell us Mugabe is a hero! Our hospitals are in worst state, schools are in worst state, factories a closing down no jobs for our young educated graduate, but we are told Mugabe is a revolutionary. He destroyed the food securities buy implementing most brutal farm reforms to satisfy his ego, we are told he is a hero by our neighbours directly south of us. Mugabe is on his way to the Far-East to collect his newly born grandchild, a grandchild who could have been born in Zimbabwe. No, because she is the daughter of the ruler she has to have it different; we are told Mugabe is a hero! There is no sense in everything about Mugabe and Zuma put together, is it a wonder then that the students from Fort Hare are saying it simply: voetzek and both of them, voetzek!

Enough of the scatter shots, I pen off for now

Ugogo omncane

Nomazulu Thata is a political activist, an engineering metallurgist by profession, author of two books, a chemistry teacher and lecturer in her present occupation. Her essays are purely personal and do not reflect any political party affiliation. She can be contacted on Nomazulu.thata(at)

Source - Nomazulu Thata
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.