Remembering the past South Africa – Part 1

Remembering the past South Africa – Part 1
South Africa Nagarjun Kandukuru’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License

South Africa will remember June 16, this week. A significant date for the majority that is now a public holiday in South Africa, a day that the majority remember the Soweto Uprising. However, let us not only remember June 16 but also let us give some thought to the other events that turned South Africa into a “democratic” country in 1994 and how since that date the country has slipped into kleptocracy. Where did it all begin?

It all began with Nelson Mandela, and the real legacy of Nelson Mandela is that he is a terrorist, the founder of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the military wing of the African National Party (ANC). Mandela left South Africa in 1962 and sought help for a violent struggle against the apartheid government. He negotiated for both financial and military aid to communist countries, including East Germany and China. He gained strong support from Cuba, the Egyptian government, and the Soviet Union, whom all gave tremendous aids to his terrorist organization to carry out a barbaric onslaught against the white minority group.

The bullets of the Apartheid government crushed the resistance of the laws and repressive measures during the Sharpeville and Langa protest. The ANC leaders were convinced that the time had come to rethink their approach toward the struggle and move forward from passive resistance to an armed struggle.

The leaders of the ANC left the country to gain support for their struggle, and this was a turning point for Nelson Mandela. At a gathering of local and foreign reporters he said, “If the government’s reaction is to crush by naked force our non-violent struggle, we will have to reconsider our tactics. In my mind, we are closing a chapter on this question of a non-violent policy.”

Mandela presented proposals to the leaders of the ANC, and at first, they were rejected but after a long period of deliberation. Mandela had support in his opinion and quoting JN Singh, who said, “Non-violence has not failed us, we have failed non-violence.” He finally had the power to implement the military wing of the ANC. The peaceful method of the struggle was over, there had to be other alternatives, and this was an armed conflict, with violence, in the context of the Marxist and communistic ideology. A real revolutionary practice.

The aim of the new military wing, Umkhonto resize (MK) was to “strike back within our power in defense of our people, our future, and our freedom.” Officially launched on December 16, 1961, the same day in 1836 when the Afrikaners defeated the Zulus at the Battle of Blood River. Perhaps this date was an important reminder to the white government that the armed struggle was to continue.

Mandela underwent extensive military training in Ethiopia and gained skills in sabotage, bombing, and guerrilla warfare. Upon his return to South Africa, he was detained for leaving the country without a passport and provocative a strike. Mandela was convicted for his part in the alleged 235 separate acts of sabotage in the famous Rivonia Trial.

Nelson Mandela described the “Operation Mayibuye” in his book “Long Walk to Freedom” as the keystone of the state’s case. The six-page documented plan was confiscated by authorities and in Mandela’s words, “Sketched out in general form the plan for a possible commencement of guerrilla operations, and how it might spark a mass armed uprising against the South African Government.”

The international pressure at that time caused the government to sentence Mandela to life imprisonment rather than death. The government at the time believed it had prevented a bloody civil war.

While in prison and although not personally involved in the direct campaign of terror, Mandela’s group went on to kill innocent people and the infamous “necklacing” technique was popular and endorsed by his wife, Winnie Mandela. Necklacing is the forceful action of putting a rubber tire, filled with gasoline, around a victim’s chest and arms, and setting it on fire. The victim can take up to 20 minutes to die, and suffers severe burns in the process. Today blacks continue to use this form of brutality.

This is South Africa and its memories of the past, stay tuned for part two and the continuation of events that lead up to the falling democracy.

Remembering the past South Africa – Part 2

Remembering the past South Africa – Part 3

Remembering the past South Africa – Part 4

Remembering the past South Africa – Part 5

South Africa Today – South Africa News