Archive for the ‘South Africa’ Category

The Sharpeville Massacre

Posted on October 26, 2012 by Akashma Online News

Martin Meredith works of South Africa Apartheid-era, as he put it in his book “In the Name of the Apartheid”, published on 1988. His bibliography is comprised of more than 250 references that he used to compiled his book. But he gives special mention in the Bibliography section to: Anglo-Boer war, Pekenham, On the Rise of Afrikaner Nationalism, Adam and Giliomee, de Klehompson, van Benson, Biko, Karis and Carter, Lodge, Mandela, Walshe; on Platzky and Walker, Surplus People Project; on economic change, Lipton. A number of personal accounts also stand out. They include Bernstein, Carson, Finnegan, First, Joseph, Lelyweld, Winnie Mandela, Modisane, Mphahlele, Woords.
I mention his special list because you might want to go in a historical quest and read for yourself the works of the people that were involved in the research and compilation of events of that era outside of the Official story.

“As the tentacles of apartheid penetrated to every level of African society, African protests against the government steadily mounted. In rural areas opposition to apartheid measures like the Bantu Authorities Act flared into open revolt. There was prolonged violence in the Hurutshe Reserve in the western Transvaal, in Sekhukhuneland and in Pondoland. Chiefs and Councillors resisting government authority were deposed and deported. Armored units and aircraft had to be deployed to crush the Pondoland revolt. When the government decided to compel African women to carry reference books from 1956, there were protest marches in almost every major town.”

In 1948, Afrikaner Nationalists came to power bringing their own version of racial rule known as Apartheid and proceeded to construct the most elaborated racial edifice the world ever seen.
In the name of apartheid millions of people were uprooted from their homes; millions more were denied basic rights. In their attempts to resist apartheid, blacks tried public protests, petitions, passive resistance, boycotts, sabotage, guerrilla warfare and urban insurrection. At every event they were meet with repression, oppression, incarnation, deportation and death.

To get to the Sharpeville Massacre we need to understand what was the goal of the protests of March 21, 1960.

The pass law of South Africa was an old tactic used by black slaves owners to control the movements of their slaves.

The first time Pass documents were used to restrict the movement of non-European South Africans was in the early 1800’s. However, slaves at the Cape had been forced to carry Passes since 1709. Farmers at the Cape ran short of labor during the first British occupation of the southern tip of Africa in 1795, with its subsequent abolition of slavery in 1808. Until that time Dutch farmers employed by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) supplied fresh food to passing ships using slave labor to stock up the refreshment station. They could still sell slaves within the colony, but were prohibited from importing new slaves. The settlers and government turned to the indigenous Khoikhoi people to fill the labor gap. Pass Laws in South Africa.

Sharpville, was a town built as a black suburb for the steel manufacturing center of Vereenignig, fifty miles south of Johannesburg. In the times of apartheid, towns of this kind were built to house the workers of white businesses. Usually they will be only workers, no families. But eventually they outgrew the original plan and they become full towns, when getting too close to the white towns, they will be forcefully out rooted and relocated in far away lands.

What of the white Man’s Religion – Christianity?

Posted on August 29, 2012 by Akashma Online News

Excerpt of I Write What I like Steve Biko Writings published first in 1978 by Bowerdean Publishing Company, Ltd. and The University of Chicago Press.

It seems the people involved in imparting Christianity to the black people steadfastly refuse to get rid of the rotten foundation which many of the missionaries created when they came. To this date black people find no message for them in the bible simply because our ministers are still too busy with moral trivialities. they blow these up as the most important things that Jesus had to say to people. They constantly urge the people to find fault in themselves and by so doing detract from the essence of the struggle in which the people are involved. Deprived of spiritual content, the black people read the bible with a gullibility that is shocking. While they sing in a chorus of “mea culpa” they are joined by white groups who sing a different version – “tua culpa”.
the anachronism of a well-meaning God who allows people to suffer continually under an obviously immoral system is not lost to young blacks who continue to drop out of Church by the hundreds. Too many people are involved in religion for blacks to ignore. Obviously the only path open for us now is to redefine the message in the bible and to make it relevant to the struggling masses. The bible must rather preach that it is a sin to allow oneself to be oppressed. The black man to keep him going in his long journey towards realization of the self. This is the message implicit in “black theology”. Black theology seeks to do away with spiritual poverty of the black people.”It seeks to demonstrate the absurdity of the assumption by whites that “ancestor worship” was necessarily a superstition and that Christianity is a scientific religion. While basing itself on the Christian message, black theology seeks to show that Christianity is an adaptable religion that fits in with the cultural situation of the people to whom it is imparted. Black theology seeks to depict Jesus as a fighting God who saw the exchange of Roman money – the oppressor’s coinage – in His Father’s temple as so sacrilegious that it merited a violent reaction from Him – Son of Man.

Thus in all fields “Black consciousness” seek to talk to the black man in a language that is his own. It is only by recognizing the basic set-up in the black world that one will come to realize the urgent need to a re-awakening of the sleeping masses. Black consciousness seeks to do this. Needless to say it shall have to be the black people themselves who shall take care of this programme for indeed Sekou Toure was right when he said:

“To take part in the African Revolution, it is not enough to write a revolutionary song; you must fashion the revolution with the people. And if you fashion it with the people, the song will come by themselves and of themselves. In order to achieve real action you must yourself be a living part of Africa and of her thought; you must be an element of that popular energy which is entirely called forth for the freeing, the progress and the happiness of Africa. There is no place outside that fight for the artist or for the intellectual who is not himself concerned with, and completely at one with the people in the great battle of Africa and of Suffering humanity.”   by Frank Talk/Steve Biko

Ps: Founded in 1984 in South Africa, Frank Talk is a political journal whose genealogy is rooted in the student-led anti-apartheid movement of the 1970s and 80s. Originally the pseudonym under which Steve Biko wrote several articles as the Publications Director of the South African Students’ Organization (SASO), Frank Talk became the title of the journal published by The Azanian People’s Organization (AZAPO), a nationalist group committed to Biko’s ideas of Black Consciousness.

Biko’s prolific SASO writings were published in early volumes of Frank Talk, and throughout its history the journal remained committed to the Black Consciousness ideology responsible for mobilizing student-led anti-apartheid resistance. Exploring the theory of Black Consciousness and related issues of race and racism, theology, culture and revolution, Frank Talk became a platform for rigorous political analysis of the frustrations and problems of black students and black people generally. Available in both Afrikaans and English, several issues of the journal were banned for distribution by South Africa’s apartheid government. The last issue of Frank Talk was published in 1990.

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