South Africa is in the mess it is today because the ANC literally fought against Africanist inclined activists and the PAC after its formation in 1959. The ANC fought to lead the struggle for liberation only to capitulate to white people and the West and make a mess of the country. ANC activists, who were controlled by whites in the communist party, fought tooth and nail and even using dirty tricks and political thuggery to lead the struggle for liberation by hook or by crook.
PAC founding President, Robert Sobukwe correctly traced the divisions among the African people around 1950 because of the influence of whites and some Indians in the communist party. The attempt at taking over the Africanist leaning activists began in 1945 when Ruth First wrote to the ANC Youth League President Anton Lembede inviting the Congress Youth League to join the Young Communist League. Lembede rejected that invitation with the contempt it deserved. He died mysteriously two years later and was succeeded by AP Mda.
Those ANC leaders who were captured by the communist party sabotaged the Defiance Campaign. As Robert Sobukwe said in a 1970 interview after his release from Robben Island the previous year, "It [that captured ANC leadership] had abandoned the Program of 1949 altogether. Our aim was always to bring the ANC back to the Program of Action. We would be living different lives today if the ANC had stuck to that Program."
After the proscription of the PAC and ANC in 1960 because of the PAC's anti-pass campaign, the ANC and SACP took this fight to exile. They lobbied multi-lateral organisations such as the UN, Non-Aligned Movement and later the OAU not to recognize the PAC.
In London in the early 1960's, a front to forge unity between the PAC and ANC was established and named South Africa United Front. It included Nana Mahomo who was in the first NEC of Robert Sobukwe and Oliver Tambo from the ANC among others. It collapsed because of the influence of the SACP.
In 1973/74, former Unity Movement leader, IB Tabata wrote in Imperialist Conspiracy in Africa under a chapter titled, Who Are the Wreckers of Unity that the SACP was responsible for wrecking unity between the PAC and ANC.
Tabata wrote, "A long document purporting to come from the African National Congress of South Africa dealing with the question of unity and a United Front was presented to the Mogadishu Conference of the African Liberation Committee (1973) and subsequently distributed amongst Liberation Movements. From the outset the document makes an explicit promise to elucidate the ideas of the ANC on the subject, before dealing with the question of Unity with the Pan Africanist Congress. It states: "We would like to begin my clarifying ANC policy and practice on the question of Unity or a United Front in general before dealing with Unity with the PAC today."
The promise was sadly unfulfilled on both counts. Of the fifteen pages of this strange document, seven of them which are supposed to deal with the question of Unity with the PAC, beginning from page 9 to the end, turned out to be a diatribe against Potlako Leballo. Nowhere are the political differences shown, which keep the African National Congress and the PAC apart. This is not accidental as will be shown later.
In the first eight pages there is a great deal about unity and united front but one waits in vain for clarification of "ANC policy and practice on the question of Unity or a United Front in General. " Nowhere do we see a statement of the ANC's policy on the question of a united front. It is impossible to deduce it from its practice as exemplified by the numerous examples quoted in the document. Under the heading "The ANC and Unity," we read "Unity of the anti-racist and anti-colonialist forces in South Africa, Southern Africa, Africa and the democratic and Anti-colonialist forces of the world has been and still is the very cornerstone of the policy of the ANC. Even a cursory glance at its history and activities confirms this."
After mentioning its attendance at the Bandung Conference, it gives an imposing list of international organisations on which the African National Congress is represented: "The African Peoples' Conference, Pafmecsa, WIDF, WPC, WEDY, WETU, AAPSO, AAT, UF, AAWC, PAYM, the Anti-Apartheid Movements" etc. etc.
Then the document makes a strange boast: "In all these activities the ANC acted on its own initiative and without having to be prompted and urged." Is it so unusual for an independent liberation movement to act "on its own initiative and without prompting"? The mere mention of the fact that the ANC is represented on international organisations and that it also works in close collaboration with liberation movements from other countries does not in any way enlighten us on "ANC policy on United Fronts in general", much less on its political objection to a united front with the PAC or any of the many South African liberatory organisations."
When the Black Consciousness Movement came into being in the late 1960's and early 1970's, the ANC and SACP also took up the fight against the BCM. When the external wing of the BCM, the Black Consciousness Movement of Azania (BCM (A)) was established in the late 1970's or early 1980's, the ANC also prevented it from being recognised by the same multilateral organisations. Many members of the BCM who had joined the ANC after the 1976 uprising were purged especially during the mutiny in Angola in 1984. Two of them were Chief Seremane and Zaba Nkondo.
In his 1959 speeches, Sobukwe scared the apartheid government and the West out of their wits. He said the African people under the leadership of the PAC were going to take the fight to the white government. Sobukwe would not have negotiated the land whites usurped or took by force of arms. They were going to return it to its rightful owners unconditionally without secret talks. The ANC negotiated in secret with apartheid government officials, captains of industry and the West on the back foot and as a junior partner. The status quo in South Africa remains. The Ruperts, Oppenheimers, Wieses and all those white families that owned South Africa's wealth during apartheid still own it. There are sprawling shanty towns all over the place in the land of our forefathers which cannot be found in Botswana, Namibia and even in Zimbabwe.
It is obvious the ANC and SACP had a hidden agenda of wittingly or unwittingly serving the imperialists. They held secret talks with captains of industry, apartheid officials and their imperialist backers in the early to mid-1980's to the exclusion of the PAC and BCM. Look at the mess they created in South Africa. They are stealing everything. Corruption is rampant. They have collapsed state owned enterprises. They began with the rotten-to-the-core arms deal presided over by Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. The SAPS and NPA are a cesspool of corruption. The judiciary is also said to be captured by white supremacists.
Did the ANC, SACP, apartheid elite and the white capitalist class fight to remove the PAC from the picture only to deliver a lawless society where the strong survive, the law of the jungle type of a situation?
When the people feel they are not protected by law enforcement agencies, the prosecuting authority and the judiciary, there is bound to be instability the likes of which have not been seen before.
By Sam Ditshego