MEDIA STATEMENT ON THE RECENT POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS, MARIKANA AND THE WAY FORWARD.
18 September 2012
We have called all of you here as members of the media from across South Africa and the world to speak to all South Africans about the recent political developments, the Mining revolution and the struggles that the people of South Africa are facing 18 years after the democratic breakthrough that transferred only political power from the white racist, murderous regime known the world over as amongst the greatest crimes against himanity, apartheid. Various political formations, the youth movement, civil society, trade unions have since 1994 decried the slow pace of development and transformation which had to accompany political liberation. We speak today an absolute majority of the previously oppressed and economically excluded people are still trapped in the poverty and starvation that existed under colonial and apartheid slavery and domination. More than 50% of the youth who need jobs and are capable of working cannot find jobs and subjected to various forms of suffering and starvation in South Africa's townships, villages, squatter camps, and some on the streets with no home due to suffering.
As revolutionary political activists and economic freedom fighters, we have been at the forefront of the struggles of the excluded and oppressed people of South Africa, speaking everyday about their siuffering. As revolunary political activists, we have said that the only solution to the crisis of unemployment, poverty and starvation in South Africa is attainment of economic freedom, which we say should find expression in attainment of all freedom charter objectives and aims. To us economic freedom means that all people of South Africa who need jobs should be given jobs and that the wealth underneath and above South African soil should be utilized to benefit all South Africans. Our call for Nationalisation of Mines and expropriation of land without compesention is directly linked to the struggles of the people of South Africa benefitting from South Africa's wealth.
We have actively done everything in our power to raise the plight of the poor and downthrodden. We have been to the informal settlements of South Africa, and took all key events of the ANC Youth League to the suffering masses of our people. We have been to the Mines and communities in Kuruman in the Northern Cape to speak on behalf of the former mineworkers whose participation in mining has only left them with diseases called asbestos. We have been to the communities in the Western Cape to speak against the racist DA government that subjected our people to open toilets. We were the first to condemn open toilets when they were done by the ANC government in the Free State. We have been to the Mines in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the North West to speak to mineworkers who do not have anywhere to turn to because they are exploited. We were amongst the first to internationally raise the plight of the suffering mineworkers in the international space. We have been to the villages, squatter camps, townships, suburbs, schools, universities, traditional councils, government offices, corporations and we have been to the world to speak to Africans in the diaspora about the suffering of our people.
We have cautioned South Africa before that since Jacob Zuma took over leadership of the South African State, we have seen introduction of dictatorship and extremely intolerant forms of leadership. Because of his inability to persuade and politically convince those that disagree with him, he has resorted to usage of force and coercion in his leadership style. It begun during the elections campaign when he begun to question the principle of innocence until proven guilty and in 2009 when he called on the police to use maximum force against people who are not yet arrested. Jacob Zuma then went to militarize the police without any resolution and guidance of the ANC. Like all dictators, Jacob Zuma is only concentrating on his village, Nkandla for development and even declared it a military zone in order to prevent media from reporting about it. The department of agriculture and forestries is reported to have donated R800 million to a private entity which Jacob Zuma and his friend own called Masimbambisane, which is used to buy political support in KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape. It is only dictators who donate so much money of government to themselves because they know that government systems will not allow the manner in which the money will be spent.
South Africa's Courts of Law have passed ruling that the National Prosecuting Authority should release the basis upon which more than 700 cases of corruption and fraud against Jacob Zuma were withdrawn and the NPA has not done so because they are instructed not to by Justice Minister who is conflicted. Minister Jeff Radebe speaks about law and order as if he really wants to protect these, but the real reason is protection of his wife's mining interests, and the interests of his brothers in law Cyril Ramaphosa and Patrice Motsepe who are part of a black elite that has benefitted from mining in South Africa. Where is the rule of law when a sitting President is preventing the Courts from probing corruption and theft by him? Mineworkers in Lonmin Marikana have opened a police case against the killing squad that massacred the 34 mineworkers and Minister of justice has not said anything over the fact that no police officer was arrested. Where are we taking this country to? Minister of police used slush fund money to build security wall around his house and for what else we do not know, and the Auditor General says the Minister did not know. How on earth can a person not know who is paying for the wall built on his private residence?
The soldiers in South Africa have won all the cases against the State and there has never been any compliance. When we speak to the aggrieved soldiers, we are threatened with violence and killing, but when COSATU and the Young Communist League address so many soldiers than we did, nothing is wrong with it because those are blind supporters of Jacob Zuma due to the patronage he has dispensed to them. South Africa, we have warned of dictatorship and it is becoming real and more real day by day. In KwaZulu Natal, any leader of the ANC who questions the leadership of Jacob Zuma and his policy stances disappears. In KwaZulu Natal, the charges brought against Comrades Peggy Nkonyeni and Mike Mabuyakhulu were recently withdrawn because of the Conference of the ANC in December 2012. The strategy to drop the charges is meant to intimidate other leaders of the ANC in other provinces into supporting the re-election of Jacob Zuma as President of the ANC. This is pure dictatorship, where people are not allowed to exercise free democratic rights and choices, but forced through threats to agree with the sitting President.
Our isolation, suspensions, and expulsions from the ANC was solely meant to suppress dissent and deal with courageous youth who could not stand pure mediocrity of Jacob Zuma. We cannot blame the entire collective because they are not given space to speak to the future an when they do, they are ignored. Many leaders of the ANC have spoken against some of the things we are mentioning here and they were intimidated and isolated.
Typical of all dictatorships in the world, the public broadcaster which has a public mandate and funded by the public to fairly report on all necessary political, social and economic developments in the country has now been reduced into a praise singer of Jacob Zuma. The only news that is covered in the SABC should necessarily be affirming Jacob Zuma because he thinks appearing on television everyday alongside the newspaper of his children's business associates, the Guptas, he will be seen as the only leader in South Africa. All dictators engage in activities that seek to benefit their friends and families, and the supersonic speed with which Zuma related businesses have grown since he was elected President are evidence that he is only concerned and interested in his family affairs and interests at the expense of everyone.
In October 2011, we led the longest march in the history of mass protests from Johannesburg to Pretoria, which is 60 kilometres to highlight the plight and suffering of the people of South Africa. We went to the Chamber of Mines, Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the Union Buildings to demand Nationalisation of Mines, expropriation of land, better housing, free quality education, and proper sanitation for the people of South Africa. To this day there is no response and direction from these centers of power and if these problems still exist, the country will further collapse like Mines will be collapsed by wokers revolt. We have never been ashamed in and outside the ANC to speak about these challenges confronting society. We went to the National General Council of the ANC and made some progress in terms of these key policy issues we have been campaigning about as revolutionary politicsl activists and economic freedom fighters. Jacob Zuma chose to distort outcomes of the NGC because they never agreed with his personal views.
It therefore came as no surprise that when Lonmin mineworkers embarked on a strike against their employers to demand R12.500 minimum wage, they called upon us to help raise the voice. We did not immediately respond to the plea and invitation to the call because we believed that the mineworkers had potential to liberate themselves from slavery and dangerous working conditions with no adequate payment. When the South African police massacred the 34 mineworkers on Thursday, the 16th of August 2012, we saw the need to intervene because it was clear that the political leadership of this country could not provide leadership except killing the mineworkers. On Friday, the 17th of August 2012, Comrades Sindiso Magaqa, Floyd Shivambu, and Anda Bici as Fearless Economic Freedom Fighters visited the mineworkers in Marikana to understand closely the request mineworkers had made that we should speak on their behalf.
On Saturday, the 18th of September 2012, we visited the workers and held an open public meeting with the mineworkers wherein we called Mr. Jacob Zuma and Nathi Mthethwa to step down because they presided over a cold blooded massacre of our people for protesting against the Mine bosses. We called for their resignation of Jacob Zuma because Jacob Zuma is a liability to this country and to the African National Congress. Never in it's history has a sitting President of the ANC presided over such chaos and divisions in the ANC and in the country. Jacob Zuma is a proud proponent of tribalism and tribalist politics, which will plunge South Africa into a deeper crisis. Members of the ANC and whole of society should appreciate that under Zuma, our country will be plunged into a deeper crisis. The massacre in Marikana is definitely not the last one and more workers and poor people will still be massacred and killed by the South African security apparatuses. The soldiers are unhappy about Jacob Zuma's leadership of this country, but he will deploy them alongside police to intimidate and kill more people. The whole world must watch this space because we will again remind you that we warned you about Jacob Zuma administration.
Comrades, friends and fellow South Africans, let us stand firm in defence of the democracy and freedom our forefathers fought so hard to achieve. Let us defend the legacy of Nelson Mandela, Chris Hani, Thami Zulu, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Peter Mokaba and many others who fought for real freedom not for the freedom of few families and friends. The aspirations contained in the Freedom Charter should be achieved and we should all fight towards attainment of all Freedom Charter objectives. All people who want to protest should never be scared to protest and and stand up to demand what is rightfully theirs. All people who want better wages and better living conditions should rise up to demand their interests and aspirations. We are ready to join all protest actions and strikes that are aimed at improving the living conditions of our people and we will not be scared to join in the protests.
South Africa belongs to all of us and inspired by many generations before us who were fearless and we are fearless. We are ready to confront anything that will face us. The actions of members of the SAPS in Marikana on Monday, the 17th of September is a sign that freedoms and rights of the people of South Africa as contained in the Constitution are being eroded. The SAPS without any order prevented us from going to a legal meeting where we were invited by the workers in front of television cameras and in front of everyone. We went to Marikana to visit the latest victims of the police brutality who were shot at and harassed by the police for no given reason. After visiting the families that were shot at, we were asked to go visit the mineworkers at the stadium who had legally gathered and the police physically stopped up, threatened to isolate and kill us and further pushed us out of Marikana against our will and against the right to assemble and associate with workers who invited us to speak to them.
We have instructed our Legal Representatives to follow up on the illegal prevention of Economic Freedom Fighters to address mineworkers and community members who met in Marikana on Monday, the 18th of September 2012 when members of the SAPS physically prevented us from going into the meeting whilst allowing other civilians who went in. We also have instructed our Legal Representatives to find ways of setting aside the State of Emergency declared by the South African government because it has potential to further degenerate the state of affairs in the Mines.
We will never keep quite and we will never be intimidated by anything under the sun. We carry a responsibility and obligation to speak on behalf of all the people and we will never retreat. No surrender! No retreat! ASIJIKI!
ISSUED BY ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS
Contact Floyd Shivambu preferably via email firstname.lastname@example.org