The TownhallPolitics

The poverty of thought in black South African politics

By Gugulethu Hughes 

The gallant Africans who, in the late 1950s, took the struggle against apartheid into the military battlefield understood their assignment, itself a culmination of African nationalism and popular resistance predating the early years of colonialism. 

The struggle for independence in South Africa and Africa was driven by the desire for self-determination through ownership of means of production. Now, sacrifices and contributions made by the fearless blacks are being reduced to benign redundancy.  

Where did we go wrong?  

The answer to this question is threefold.  


First, the political strategy governing the liberation war procession didn’t have a clearly defined end goal.  

While the war was military, the struggle was economical. Somehow, the latter got overlooked. There were fleshed out military collaboration plans that led to Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the ANC’s military wing, engaging in intercourse with other regional military wings. Wings like ZIPRA from Zimbabwe that fought against Rhodesian white domination. 

Umkhonto also worked closely with Frelimo in Mozambique, itself a Portuguese colony. Additionally, they worked with independent Zambia, Angola, and Tanzania. Botswana played the role of being a strategic logistics route for MK soldiers traveling to Tanzania for military training.  

Jonas Matlou was instrumental in setting transit points in Botswana while establishing relationships with other countries on behalf of the ANC. External military training and war arms supplies came from Russia and China. What is clear is that there was a clear-cut collaboration strategy with other African countries to ensure military victory. 

However, there was never a coordinated attempt to create unity of purpose in mapping means of production repossession and its ultimate execution. At the time of liberation and political independence, an overwhelmed ANC with no clue of what to do with minimal power emerged. 

Also, important to note is the role played by the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, also known as PAC, and it’s military wing POQO. PAC wasn’t apologetic about Pan Africanism and blackness. PAC practiced progressive violence to destabilize apartheid machinery and was deemed more hostile than the ANC, which had a tendency of practicing romantic diplomacy. 

One could argue that the very diplomatic nature of the ANC is what made it an easy target for hacking and penetration by the forces of darkness.  


The second dimension lies in the existing loopholes in the ANC that led to counter revolutionary elements infiltrating it. When Jan van Riebeeck got to the South of Africa in 1652, he embarked on a trail of displacement, disenfranchisement, and decimation of native black Africans. 

Blacks experienced gruesome pillaging and then were driven into doldrums of landlessness. This conquest and brutality towards Africans was further amplified by Cecil John Rhodes’s arrival in South Africa in 1870. Black people experienced a Double British Double Dutch Sandwich.  

In 1912, the ANC was formed. John Langalibalele Dube was its founding President. The ANC looked to address black conditions. Simply put, it was a black movement for black people by black people. 

Unfortunately, over the years, the organization transformed into a colorful outfit allowing individuals from other races access to its engine room. While the black conscious members of the ANC didn’t lose sight of the struggle, the counter revolutionary elements succeeded in diluting ANC ideology, traction, and direction. 

These people from other races began recruiting other blacks within the ANC into adopting anti-black attitudes. When independence came, those people assumed political leadership roles. 

Now, no one is born a counter revolutionary. It’s an attitude acquired through the socialization process. Infiltrators succeeding in socializing obstinate minded blacks into being anti- black. We see those blacks today being packaged and paraded as voices of reason by apartheid and colonial figures locally and internationally. 

The process of infiltration also allowed the enemy to identify those ‘stubborn blacks’ that couldn’t be modelled into spinelessness. Both within and outside the ANC, those blacks were eliminated. 

Steve Biko was assassinated, as was Chris Hani. We’re made to believe Mangaliso Sobukwe died of lung cancer. Solomon Mahlangu was executed, Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela Mandela was banished, and Nelson Mandela and Jacob Zuma were imprisoned. 

On top of that, the apartheid prison system was not a correctional one. No, it was a psych modification laboratory. This explains why Nelson Mandela emerged from prison a well-mannered, well packaged, and well marketed individual prepared to be first in line to become the first black President. 

On the other hand, Cyril Ramaphosa, a man of zilch revolutionary substance, an artificial struggle icon, was next-in-line to take over from Mandela and ensure continued black servitude. This evil plan and its ultimate execution was made possible by the ANC’s lackluster ideology protection mechanisms. 

Those counter revolutionary individuals from other races are today celebrated as custodians of human intellect, compassion, and progress. These are the likes of racist Mahatma Gandhi, champion and apologist of the Indian Caste System, Helen Suzman, Ahmed Kathrada, and others. Some of these individuals have Foundations that determined the trajectory of all State arms. 


The third and final dimension is the South African constitution. This document, touted as the best constitution in the world, is really a book of colorful oppression. Political independence in South Africa was, at most, the product of a negotiated settlement with the settlers. 

There’s nothing wrong with a negotiated settlement, but it ought to recognize the material conditions that led everyone to the negotiating table. Unsurprisingly, the South Africa CODESA settlement that gave birth to the constitution was far from being a win-win outcome. 

Instead, it was adversarial. It disregarded that the liberation war was needed by the arrival of settlers, land dispossession by settlers, settler brutality, and exploitation. A constitution that doesn’t address those primary concerns, particularly the land issue, can’t be the best constitution. 

It’s a crime against humanity that such a document was produced. The fact that black people can now mix and mingle with white people or can access financing for so-called modern living apartments and homes, is nothing but modern slavery and mental destabilization. 

Really, the populace that accounts for more than 80% of the population required means of production ownership. This is what a world class constitution ought to have catered for.  

The constitution assumes land ownership is a foreign concept to black South Africans. It assumes it’s unfair for the majority black people to own the means of production. The country is now being kept occupied with amending sections within the constitution that would never exist in a democracy. 

Even the proposed amendments to allow for land appropriation don’t address the holistic needs of black people.  


All the above factors contributed to the emergence of an indoctrinated middle class that acquired its prestige from colonial institutions. These black bodies exhibiting all sorts of foreign mannerisms and conduct are invested in accumulating riches for themselves. They’re doing so through both wide political and white patronage. 

Within government also exists individuals excelling at thwarting any efforts at black empowerment and progress. A combination of all these diabolic factors advances the entrenchment of both poverty of the mind and of the wallet.  

However, the downtrodden masses are beginning to confront the evil system as shown by the events of the past weeks. The government and anti-revolutionary forces in the media, living in air conditioned and well-manicured posh areas, are yet again advancing anti-blackness. 

They’re labeling a cry for attention as an insurrection. More so, the army has been dispatched to repossess food stuffs looted from non-black owned shops that enjoy monopoly in both the production, distribution, and retail sectors. 

Opportunistic companies are using this to practice artificial Mother Theresaism dressed as Corporate Social Responsibility. In the media, ironic advertisements characterized by demeaning words like ‘we will come back stronger’ persist. Humanitarian aid companies like Gift of the Givers are distributing food hampers. All these benevolent givers aren’t pausing to ask what led to the unrest, the inequality in South Africa.  

To avoid the mistakes of past revolutions, any attempt at correcting the wrongs must be firmly guided by unapologetically black think-tanks, unapologetically black industrialists, and unapologetically black economic power instigators. 

The process of black intellectual conglomeration is way overdue. A model, black-owned economy must ensue. Ownership of means of production should be the guiding anchor, anything else is unnecessary babysitting. 


Curtis Scoon

Editor-In-Chief | Founder

The editor-in-chief, executive producer, writer, and businessman. Curtis is active in helping the black community by employing and providing services in the Washington, DC and Detroit, MI areas.

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