I was couped up in one of the top US hospitals suffering from heat stress. I could hear certain words the doctors were saying as if in a trance.
It was determined that I was in Level one care, implying that all my movements were being monitored by some electrical cords under my bed. If I tried as much as move my body six inches above my bed, as many as six nurses and doctors in US Marine fashion, came trooping in.
But during this time, whenever a window of opportunity opened, I sneaked in my computer. At the right-hand top corner was Ibbo Mandaza’s image. “Write, Mukoma.” He instructed me. I waited till mid-night when the medical US marines had retired to open Thabo Mbeki’s files in my supercomputer, which carries more than 100 000 books.
Who are we?
The date was April 19,1993. Mbeki had been chosen by Nelson Mandela to be his shadow. On this day, they awaited the handover of power from the Dutch nationalists.
The Dutch provided the oppressive muscles of imperialism while the English provided the brains.
Comrade Yolanda (wearing a yellow blouse) had been in the struggle for over twenty years. She was in the front row audience. Apparently neither the ANC nor Mbeki himself had taken time to plan livelihoods of these comrades.
But former colonial adversaries had gifted a five bedroomed house at his Qunu Hills in Xhosaland. A Cadillac was on its way from the US. Journeys of adulation were in preparation, and in due course a statute was built in his honour at Trafalgar Square in London.
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Mbeki in the April 1993 speech asked the question. Who are we? Nobody made any effort to assist Yolanda. Mandela’s life, even his burial was mapped out for him. But by whom? Is it possible that the ANC’s hand was not decisive in the planning the immediate future of its own liberators. The theory that the ANC was captured from the beginning cannot be dismissed. An invisible hand seemed to be guiding its courses of action, even its words.
Mbeki addressed this matter (on many occasions).
Without civilian skills, half their lives spent in the bush war, now coming to rather indifferent civilian population, many liberators became petty criminals and intimidators on behalf of the ANC. Mbeki audited the leadership of one region and found that 60% of the leadership were petty criminals. In another black empowerment case, a minister told the procurement company to add 40 percent to the cost. Explanation was simple. Ministerial position was not permanent. “What will my children eat when I am sent home?”
In the scheme of things, Yolanda’s life, past heroic deeds, and future welfare are of no concern to the ANC.
The great speech was entitled: “Who are we?” His efforts were in consolidating the gains of the democratic revolution. Their enemy, so they thought, were the stupid Dutch who will attempt to overthrow the government by force.
There is a long paper trail behind Mbeki’s thoughts. In one speech, he uses Ethiopian King Menelik 11 as his hero. Menelik (1986-1996) realized that the Italians, though General Oreste Baratieri conquered part of Ethiopia and now called it “Italian Somaliland” he pretended to speak nice words of friendship. The so-called friendly powers, Britain, France, and Germany were in Italy’s corner. Mbeki learned from this that unless Africans become Africans, regard themselves as Africans, they are doomed.
It was because the Ethiopians of all ethnic groups, gathered 100 000 men to defeat the evil imperialists.
Mbeki learned from the supremacy of identity. Unless we regard ourselves as Africans, we stand no chance against the imperialists.
The enemy is within. And this is why the African intellectual prostitutes are worse than the imperialists. But before we describe the formidable enemy, let me show you how Mbeki, as it were, came home in spirit to Mother Africa. After hob-knobbing with world leaders, some vicious imperialists like Tony Blair, always ready with crocodile tears while disremembered Afghanistan, Libya, and Iraq just for the pleasure of it; in 2002, Mbeki had matured enough that he told his comrades at arms.
So let me begin.
I am an African.
Among us prowl the products of our immoral and amoral past-killers who have no sense of human worth, rapists who have absolute disdain for the women of our country…all this in the name of self-enrichment. All this I know because I am an African!
Mandela attended every committee meeting of the Security Council, hoping to discover some wicked Dutchmen and their black associates. In four years, they found only four personalities that fitted their definition.
After Mandela’s death, Mbeki came to realise that there was a concerted group, backed by money and intellectual firepower, both of which were being used to destroy in broad daylight the gains of the democratic revolution.
The intellectuals wrote thousands of pages about black empowerment. In 2007, through government committees, they suggested that ISKOM (Power Company) new operations be awarded to black operatives. Apart from the over pricing which went with black empowerment projects, the 20 proposed power stations did not work.
Whether the “entrepreneurs” were people of colour merely by coloration seems a possibility.
South African Airways flew 135 aircraft before independence, had taught Pan American and Quanta’s how to manage long haul flights with additional fuel tanks because SAA was not allowed to land in African countries.
The operation was “blackened.” It became a nightmare to fly to South Africa. The boardrooms were filled with women cultural operatives, who had never flown a plane, nor a child’s drone. The magazine Saubona was nothing but a girls’ fashion show magazine. Of the 67 booths (2002), all a passenger heard was the Xhosa click Xa! As the women employed on other grounds other than competency, swished around their bottoms, cursing in every Bantu language one could imagine.
Nelson Van Outhysen wrote a biographical essay about his last flight into the land of his dreams. As a boy he had always dreamed he would fly. The board chairperson and his political team praised themselves, raised their salaries and emoluments, were rescued by government three times. SAA collapsed.
Mbeki suggests that there is a devil behind these well laid out plans to destroy National Sovereign wealth. One plane has been leased for a penny. Was there a plan to prove black incompetence?
South African Railways (Transnet), Iskom and National Parks were created to provide jobs to ill-educated Boers who could not compete. Only whites were allowed to drive oil-tankers, railway locomotives, and become park rangers. White careers were natured and bloomed.
All these are but shells of their former selves. Next week: Is South Africa ruled by street gangsters.
n Ken Mufuka is a Zimbabwean patriot. He writes from the US.