Speech of Honourable Bongani Mkongi (MP) on the occasion of the Debate of the State of the Nation Address (SONA) by President Jacob Zuma to the National Assembly (NA) of Parliament of the Republic of South Africa
17 February 2015
Mr President, on Thursday, the 12th February 2015, you delivered the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in this House. Before you could even commence with your speech some broken men tried to break the rules of this August house to satisfy their broken egos. After they broke away from this House on Thursday and left the State of the Nation Address, they come here on Tuesday to lecture us about the characteristics of a broken man. They suggest that you Mr President, you are a broken man and that you failed to implement the Freedom Charter and lead our struggle for economic freedom. Ironically Mr President, these broken young black males were supported by another broken general from the Eastern Cape province - who happened to be the leader of UDM.
Honourable Members, allow me to narrate the tale of two broken young black males in this House. These broken minds say ours is a broken society. It is a broken country with broken constitutional democracy. The way they are so broken Mr President; they say all these things in the House that is democratically constituted. They participate in the periodic democratic elections in this country. All these elections were declared free and fair. When they are defeated in this Parliament they run to our functional and capable Judicial System. The principle of the separation of powers is alive in this country. They say all these things because their only mission in this Parliament is to attack and break the personality of the Head of State. They are obsessed with one man President Jacob Zuma. They are unable to provide a viable alternative to our people because they preside over broken organisations. They are playing the man instead of the ball.
Let me join that bandwagon, Honourable Musi Maimane for an example is a broken young blackman with a broken heart, Mr President. He is a broken young blackman in the broken blue sea of white conservative males. He is utterly undermined. He does not have the support of his party especially the conservative white males. We saw him last year breaking down in this Parliament after his instructions to the DA caucus was broken down and defied by his colleagues. He is a troubled man. The way he was so broken he even forgot to vote for a motion of no confidence against the Speaker on that day. The extent of their brokenness; even their minds are also broken; there is no systematic coordination between their minds and their mouths; there is no proper coordination between the thinking and the saying. In my analysis Mr President, you are not broken, you are stronger and solid more than ever before. Don`t be shaken, the ANC loves you and it supports you 100%.
Ladies and Gentlemen, President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on 12 February 2015 declared this year as:
"The year of the Freedom Charter and Unity in Action to Advance Economic Freedom".
Another broken soul came to this podium yesterday to show case about his short memory of the history of the South African struggle. He believes that the Freedom Charter is not the brainchild of the ANC and that the struggle for economic freedom in our lifetime began at the 2008 National Conference of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) and when they were expelled from the movement they left with that struggle. The fact of history is that the struggle for economic freedom in South Africa began more than 300 years ago. The Chiefs and Kings of the African indigenous people of this land are the custodians of our struggle for economic freedom. To claim the custodianship of the struggle for economic freedom is naked political opportunism and ideological delinquency, it should not be left unchallenged. It should be defeated.
Let me refresh your memory, Honourable Julius Malema, in a revolution a struggle against forgetting is the matter of principle and discipline. The struggle for economic freedom began on the very same day that the white man set foot in our ancestral land. The wars against the dispossession of our people from the land of their birth and proletarisation of the African men marked the beginning of the struggle for both political and economic freedoms in this country. These struggles found coordination and united expression during and after the birth of the African National Congress in 1912 and reaching higher heights under the capable leadership of Anton Lembede, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Reginald Tambo, Peter Mda, Mxolisi Majombozi, William Nkomo, Duma Nokwe, Ida Mtwa, James Njongweni, Dan Tloome, and many more. The question is one Honourable Malema; waar was jy?
Waar was jy when these capable cadres of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) and a generation of youth in South Africa articulated the symbiotic link between political freedom and economic freedom. They grasped and understood well that you cannot separate the struggle for political freedoms from the overarching fight for economic freedoms. The strategic connection between political freedoms and economic freedoms is politically and ideologically expressed in the relationship between the national struggle and class struggle which in essence is the symbiotic link between the National Question and Class Question in South Africa; put differently race, class and gender struggles. Xa ndikurabulisa sasiyibiza i-Two Stage Theory. Waar was jy? This is why the liberation forces in South Africa asserted that there is no Chinese Wall between the two; they are not mutually exclusive; they are dialectically linked and re-enforcing each other. In fact, the call for political freedom in our lifetime was a strategic launching pad for economic freedom in our life time. These cadres were not harbouring tendencies of ultra-leftists or Marxist Workerist.
Waar was jy when Nelson Mandela gave his famous Rivonia Trial speech emphasizing that:
"The realization of the Freedom Charter would open up fresh fields for a prosperous African population … it calls for redistribution of the economy and land including white monopoly industry because big monopolies are owned by one race only … without redistribution of the economy and land racial domination would be perpetuated despite the spread of political power".
This is the actual contextualization of the relationship between political freedom and economic freedom. Therefore it is a fallacy to suggest that the struggle for economic freedom in this country was conceived by people who were just born in the late 1970s and 80s.
Chairperson, it is in this regard that I would like to caution these broken young black males not to use dialectics as an excuse for understanding history. When conducting any legitimate revolution you use both historical and dialectical materialism.
Mr President and Honourable Members, it is my submission that revolutionary consciousness cannot be reduced to recklessness. Great revolutions were lead by great individuals with discipline. Discipline is a mother of all successful revolutions across the world. Equally, comrade President, to be rude and disrespectful can`t be praised as being radical. In the same vein, `rascalism` can`t be robustness. Lastly, but not least, assertiveness can`t be reduced or equated to arrogance and misbehavior. That behavior in the conduct of a revolution is not revolutionary instead it is counter-revolutionary! Successful revolutions across the world were conducted through revolutionary discipline; there is no revolution anywhere in the world was won by lumpen leadership. Lumpens had miscarriage many noble revolutions in the history of humankind. The capable vehicle in South Africa to fight for economic freedom is the revolutionary alliance of capable forces led by the ANC who have history and experience to lead the broad forces of the National Democratic Revolution; not political adventurers and ideological amateurs.
If you are a revolutionary movement, how can you define yourselves outside the framework of the liberation forces in this country? You define the ANC as your strategic enemy not the white monopoly capital represented by the DA. You encourage people who are faced by abject poverty, unemployment and inequalities to occupy unoccupied land but the only land invasion happens in the townships. Your occupation is informed by the apartheid spatial planning. You don`t take your battles into affluent areas and representative of the white monopoly capital. You want our people to live in townships and shacks forever. You spoke about the invasion of mines; but the only mines your referred to are those that owned by black people. You are afraid to confront white monopoly capital instead you are shifting the goal post. Steve Biko, Chris Hani, Mangaliso Sobukhwe and many revolutionaries must be turning in their graves. Your so-called radicalism is selective; it attacks black people and lacks substance. In the South African context that kind of the so-called radicalism is counter revolution. What is radical by burning schools used by black children to the ground? What is revolutionary by burning down a clinic used by our grandparents and children? What purpose does it serve to burn down municipal offices that are closer to black people? Why do you damage properties that service black people in South Africa? Why are you depressing townships and areas where the majority of black people live? Therefore a protest movement, Maoist, Sankara, Marxist, Fanon, Bikoist, Sobukhweism, Troskysm and Leninism scrambled-egg or sushi ideological confusion conceived at sheebens and taverns will never work in South Africa and can`t compete with the peoples` movement, the ANC.
Similarly, Honourable Members, another angry black man in this House opened his speech by quoting one of the greatest sons of South Africa, Professor…. He deliberately omitted to quote Professor Ian Haney Lopez from University of California in the United States of America in his recent book entitled; "Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class". Professor Lopez takes us down memory lane about "how (white) supremacists, politicians and plutocrats deploy veiled racial appeals and insecurities to persuade white voters (and coloured voters in our case) to support policies that favour the extremely rich and wealthy yet threaten their own interests".
Their catch to these vulnerable voters is to play on their fears about crime, the need to curb immigration, and protect the affluent areas, but in the main is to persuade white voters and unsuspecting coloured voters to vote for tax holidays for the super-rich and monopoly capital, giving big corporations and financial markets more regulatory control over the state and industry, and aggressively curtail social services for the poor. White voters and some sections of coloured voters convinced by powerful white monopoly interests led by the DA are told that the black majority is their ultimate enemy.
The shortcoming of a white and coloured voter in this equation is to be unable to see the fine line between the political agendas they support and the surging wealth and income inequalities that take an increasing toll even on their own lives. The DA "keep blacks out of the Western Cape" campaign bears reference.
The matter that our people from the Eastern Cape are called foreigners still the resonates in the minds of our people. The overcrowding in schools and unemployment in this province is blamed at influx of our people from both Northern and Eastern Cape. This re-enforces the notion that the Western Cape belongs to white people. The DA is quiet about the verkramte whites who are in the "treg trekker" from the Provinces of the North to the Western Cape; an opposite trek from the "voortrekker" of the Afrikaners to the north of our country. This `swart gevaar` DA strategy is coupled by the use of racial slurs to drum-up enthusiasm to further polarize the South African society according to race and colour including a geared attempt to break down unionism at work place, reversing hard won worker`s rights, and even opposing health care reforms.
The policies that we defeated in 1994 are systematically re-introduced in the Western Cape. Job reservations policy is re-introduced in this province. The policy of separate development is the day to day policy in this province. They have closed down the red doors agency that was assisting Africans in particular and black people in general to access economic opportunities in the Western Cape Province. They have closed down schools belonging to poor communities in this province. They have polarized the Western Cape people plotting the coloured community to fight against the African communities. They breed hatred in the province between a people that was united during the struggle for liberation. The DA is an utter disgrace for humanity. They are closing down Wynberg and Grassy Park breaking down homes that belongs to black people for Mycity bus route against a popular grievance of the people. I want to ask again; why are you closing the doors to prosperity that were opened by the ANC government in this province.
It is in this context that as we move towards the attainment of the national democratic society we must march forward in unison to defend our hard won democracy and freedoms, by among others, guarding our revolution against this marriage DA-EFF marriage. It is an unprincipled alliance. It is a mixture of paraffin with ice cold water. This is a `mixed masala` that breeds anarchy, hooliganism and ideological confusion in our society. It must be defeated! It is a Marriage Made at a Zoo.
The people`s call shall triumph!!
Nkosi sikelela iAfrika from Boko Haram, Savimbi and Hitler!!!
Thank you! Mr President!!!