ARAF held a community dialogue event at the Morris Isaacson High School in Central Western Jabavu, Soweto this past Saturday, March 5, 2016. The subject of dialogue was, “Understanding Racism: Why FW de Klerk and Adrian Vlok should go to jail”. ARAF thanks the facilitator of the dialogue, Andile Mngxitama, for a job well done. The laying of charges by ARAF against FW de Klerk and Adrian Vlok for their apartheid crimes resulting in the murders of hundreds of blacks in the decade leading up to the 1994 democratic elections, has drawn attention to the question of “what is to be done”, regarding the root cause of the problem, with curious insistence. In this context the need for black unity as a precondition for the obliteration of white supremacy was canvassed. The fact that liberation movements are riddled with factionalism and to this end have been unable to forge any kind of principled unity between themselves was raised as a major concern. The approach suggested in the dialogue was to unite black people and their organizations in terms of a practical political programs and to this end imbue the people with political consciousness. In real terms, as ideas get tested via practice on the ground, the unity of the people and peoples’ movements are strengthened that much more. It must be stated that a dialectical approach to forging principled unity must be factored into the process.
Another very important concern raised was: “So we get FW de Klerk and Adrian Vlok in jail, how does this help blacks?” Here there was an understanding that this outcome will amount to a partial concession on the part of the anti black system since the root cause of the crimes against blacks is land dispossession via colonialism. This partial concession will remain empty for the people unless we extend it sufficiently to strike at the core of white power.
The ARAF event was followed by community mobilization in the area which involved one on one engagements on the issue of racism and how to ultimately defeat it. The response of the community was overwhelmingly positive. Close to 100 people have indicated willingness to engage in ARAF’s campaign to end racism. The people are clear: de Klerk and Vlok must go to jail, the land must be returned and racism must be defeated.
The mobilisation team then formed up at the assembly point of the Morris Isaacson High School, raised their fists in Black Power salutes and gave full honors to Tsietsi Mashinini and Khotso Seatlholo. On June 16, 1976 at or about 8am Tsietsi Mashinini disrupted the assembly of this very school and consequently led the first contingent of students on the streets that started the Soweto uprising involving about 20 000 people. He worked closely with Khotso Seatlholo during this period. We say long live the spirits of Tsietsi Mashinini, Khotso Seatlholo and the class of June16, 1976. The struggle for decolonization of education and of the whole country and indeed the world continues.
ARAF will soon be convening an Anti-Racism Summit in Soweto where the main focuses will be on adopting an Anti Racism Manifesto as well as a People’s Law on what racism is. Further details will soon follow. ARAF has since the beginning of February this year been engaging in weekly community mobilization programs on what racism is and how to defeat it. We are also engaged in educating our people regarding inter alia the dangers of the “criminalisation of racism” within neocolonialism.
ARAF’s next Community Mobilisation Event will be held at the Tshwane University of Technology, Soshanguve (TUT, Soshanguve) ) on Saturday 12 March 2016 at 11h00. Do join us and please bring a friend. Details to follow.
ISSUED BY ARAF STEERING COMMITTEE
DATE: Sunday, 6 March 2016
ARAF Coordinator and Spokesperson: Zanele Lwana
Cell: +27 79 486 9087
ARAF Coordinator and Spokesperson: Zandi Radebe
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
ARAF Coordinator and Spokesperson: Yerushka Chetty
Cell: +27 72 649 7555