The Mystery of Appeasement Code
I would like to add my comments to the sentiments that were expressed by Dr Motsoko Pheko in The Southern Times of September 22, 2013 under the heading “Mandela’s negotiations were superficial”.
I totally agree with the content, particularly his expression of “appeasement” that has resulted in the continued existence of African people at the base of society as if we are still in apartheid. Here I would like to offer answers to the mystery that boggles the mind, resulting in a Parliament that represents party officials rather than the people.
In the aftermath of the Marikana Massacre, in August 2012, a report appeared in The Star newspaper. It sought to answer a question as to how Cyril Ramaphosa could have changed from a mine workers' hero (when he was a founding member of the union and founded the Mine Workers' Provident Fund) as its general secretary; to the 2012 situation where he ordered police chiefs in an e-mail to meet Marikana mine workers with “concomitant force”. That order gave us 34 dead, as if the ANC was competing with apartheid rulers in a manner of killing a black man.
Mr Ramaphosa is said to be a millionaire, custodian of ten percent of Lonmin and a myriad other white man's companies. Well, that report revealed the existence of a secret agreement between the ANC and apartheid government to the effect that when they took over governance, the ANC should ditch socialism; and they should not take away white people's privileges, even if they were gained from land-grabbing criminality as in the provisions of the Native Land Act of 1913, or job reservations.
This agreement remains confidential, as opposed to Mugabe's Lancaster House agreement with colonial Britain that limited free Zimbabwe from taking land from thieving whites there for at least ten years. When the terms of that agreement expired, Britain refused to play their part of the agreement and Zimbabwe embarked on its Fast-Track Land Reform Programme.
The ANC's has become a secret code by which the country is ruled. So here lies the answer to the mystery of Dr Pheko's worries; as well as the explanation of the traits of appeasement seen today.
It was an act of outright and treasonous selling out of the people in return for quisition by erstwhile freedom fighters of shares in companies like Lonmin and other firms owned by apartheid beneficiaries. I'm saying apartheid has not ended: what has happened is the freedom fighters have joined the oppressors of the black man, leaving the masses ever the worse off.
Because of this secret code, the land claims procedure of the Thabo Mbeki era was a short one. It did nothing and they closed all claims. Now that a young ANC cadre has been thrown out of the club and threatens to implement what people want, the Zuma regime has reopened the claims process.
Before long, it will be closed again. Its aim is to remove the proverbial carpet from underneath Julius Malema's feet. But the people are not stupid; they have their eager gazes firmly on the ruling class. One day, they will explode, and God forbid. Zimbabwe will look like a Sunday picnic. CODESA was a rubber stamping process to give legitimacy to the secret code.
But when was this agreement signed, before or after 1990? Was Mandela part of it? If he was, how does it explain the next item?
Before CODESA negotiations were convened, which Dr Pheko’s PAC and AZAPO are known to have boycotted, there were nine African languages confined to apartheid’s homelands. Two linguistic groups were excluded from the homeland system: The Khoi-San and Northern Ndebele.
As the homelands developed their languages, these two were left to their elements, though their speakers never ceased to use them. At CODESA, they only listed the homeland languages for “recognition”, and only slotted Khoi-San language under a section that says the languages merits protection, not recognition.
Northern Ndebele was left out of the reckoning. Foreign languages like Gugurat, Tamil Urdu etc merit protection in South Africa but not Sindebele. One Dr Ramaala of Turfloop University termed it an illegal language at a recent Limpopo Language Indaba in Polokwane.
If the language is isolated and declared illegal, it means all its speakers are illegal South Africans. All mention of these people on government literature has been erased and even the recent census did not mention the language. What happened? One may ask.
When white people arrived where the Ndebele were resident in 1838, running away from the British laws at the Cape, they met a resolute indigenous people who were prepared to protect their land and customs.
A sustained war took place from 1854 that defined the relationship between Ndebele people and the ruling class from the missionaries, colonial Britain, the Boer republics and apartheid. I suppose all these people have never come to terms with what happened; and no one wants to talk about it.
From that time, the missionaries were told to exclude Sindebele in all school subjects, forcing Ndebele children to learn in Sesotho. Ndebele chiefs kicked out the missionaries and never joined the church.
The relationship between the parties stayed like that until 1994. Ndebele were excluded from the homeland system and remained undeveloped linguistically, economically and educationally.
When CODESA came, there was hope that freedom was on the way. Surprisingly, when the Constitution of South Africa was written, authored by Cyril Ramaphosa and National Party lawyer Roelf Meyer, Sindebele was absent from Section 6.
Incensed by the exclusion, Reverend KW Mulomo of Northern Mandebele National Organisation (NANO) organised the first post-1994 protest and made a presentation to President Nelson Mandela in 1997.
In response to the letter of demand for Sindebele, the Founding Father of the nation acceded.
He sent out instructions to the national department of Education. In turn, Prof Bhengu's offices commanded the Northern Province Education Department to immediately start with the study of the language and do pilot teaching. The language Committee had to include Ndebele representativses.
PanSAlB, the University of Pretoria's Prof A Wilkes and NANO wrote and published a Northern Ndebele Orthography in 2001. Hundreds of teachers were work-shopped on the rules of the language and teaching commenced. Mokopane College of Education became the centre of study of the language.
The smell of freedom filled the air of all 12 Ndebele chieftaincies between Pretoria and Pietersburg (Polokwane bastardised). But Very quickly, the unthinkable happened.
There was a massive conspiracy designed to undo the liberation of Sindebele from the 150-year bout of suppression, without their (MP's) involvement. The President was guided by the letter of the Constitution, not personal interests.
After that, South Africa descended into a free-for-all where homeland personnel took over the ANC and the government.
Ndebele people slid back into the Lebowa homeland, continued with with the moribund Bantu education with Sesotho-sa-lebowa – now termed – Sepedi being rammed down their educational throats. The result is that in all Ndebele regions education is going down the drain.
Recently, Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education, launced launched a campaign to involve all stakeholders in making sure education improved from the current situation.
Education specialists like Dr Graeme Block say children who are schooled for the first five years in their mother tongue come out of the educational system psychologically confident. In Ndebele areas, this is lacking and the government knows that but is doing nothing about it.
Ndebele children fail this forced language and fall out of the system without matriculating. From frustration, they go into unemployment and drugs. Those who excel in education will come and take jobs here while the locals look on in frustrated admiration.
If you are Ndebele and you want to survive, you must become a member of the chosen tribe and comply with Section 6 of the Constitution as a recognised person, then you will do well in education and get employed. If not you will die poor and be isolated by your own government.
This isolation of Ndebele people is manifested by the refusal to accept Sindebele in schools, denying Ndebele access to TV, radio and newspapers. Even local governments in Ndebele areas are ran by people from “recognised” tribes who make sure Ndebele’s never raise their heads, because they are illegal, and unrecognised.
Lastly, there are ructions underground where people talk of “this is better than apartheid”.
They are planning to vote DA. It’s frightening. I would like to plead to South Africans not to even consider the DA. They cannot demonstrate good governance in the Western Cape. The toilet saga indicates that they still hold black people in contempt.
Lady ZilIe's cabinet of the Western Cape showed us she will deal with a national cabinet. It will take us back as the DA has no policy on restitution of land.
Let us vote Julius Malema's EFF. The ANC will be shell-shocked and the country will slide into chaos. In the confusion, the Secret Code will be nullified and a brand new constitution will emerge.
Then South Africa will be free indeed. Victims of forced removals will return home. Education will be designed, and equality will reign. Democracy will be based on people needs.
As I write, there is a painful development going on regarding the burial of skeletons recovered from the sight of the 1854 siege of Ndebele children and women at the “Makapaan's Caves”. The chief of that time was buried at his home, Nochidi, now it is owned by an Afrikaner, renamed Pruissen.
That is where the bones must be buried. What if the white farm owner refuses to allow Ndebele bones to be buried there? The land claims process is playing out behind the scenes. What will happen? I hope that the foregoing demystifies the Good Dr Pheko's Government of Appeasement, though he sat in its parliament for ten years. *MA Kekana writes from Mokopane in Limpopo Province, South Africa.