“We, the People of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know: that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white.”
Who can forget this ringing declaration from the Freedom Charter, adopted by the Congress of the People in 1955?
It became the key document, guiding the ANC during its long years fighting apartheid.
Yet its ethical stand appears to have been all-but forgotten.
Here’s a press release issued by the party for a meeting in one of the country’s richest suburbs, Sandton.
It is to “engage with our White compatriots”.
Why the racial profiling? This is 25 years after the end of apartheid!
A quarter of a century. Yet the ANC insists on still classifying its citizens by race.
A party that once supported by people like Joe Slovo, Rusty Bernstein, Helen Joseph, Ruth First, Jack and Ray Simons is now almost exclusively a black African party.
Where are the equivalents of Ahmed Kathrada today?
When the ANC opened its doors to whites, coloureds and Indians at the Morogoro conference in Tanzania in 1969, it was meant to be a turning point – establishing the party as a truly non-racial organisation.
Now the ANC is – once more – effectively only representative of Africans.
Yes, it might still have Jessie Duarte as its Deputy Secretary General and have the backing of Rob Davies and Jeremy Cronin, but how representative are they?
The mass membership is now African, and the ANC really doesn’t care about the racial composition of its support base.
As former President Thabo Mbeki put it: “It is no longer a representative of the people of South Africa. Rather, as its former President, Jacob Zuma, said, it is a black party.”
It is sad that it has come to this. The ANC is mired in racial profiling, racial classification and racial leverage of positions and resources.
As Dr. Ismail Lagardien tweeted recently that non-racialism died.
The real losers are the people of South Africa.
With his life on the line, Nelson Mandela swore to fight racism in all its forms. How many ANC leaders would do the same today?
During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for. But, my lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.