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TRIBUTE IN HONOUR OF LATE STALWART LEADER OF THE PAN AFRICANIST CONGRESS, JOSEPH DUDUDU MKHWANAZI
PROF VUYISILE DLOVA, OF THE SAN-KWA KINGDOM (SA) FOUNDANTION
Joseph Dududu Mkhwanazi, whose untimely death at the Four Ways Life Hospital-Gauteng, on Monday 31st of December 2012, rocked Pan Africanists in his native South Africa, in the entire African Continent and in the African Diaspora, the world over, was born to Elijah and Elisenah Mkhwanazi, at Mandlazini rural location of Mpangeni District, in Kwa Zulu Natal, on the 8th of March 1928.
Joe Mkhwanazi as he was affectionately known cut his political teeth in the African National Congress Youth League in the 1940s and 1950s . An ardent Advocate of primacy of Indigenous African Leadership in the liberation struggle, Joe Mkhwanazi shared, propagated and developed the Africanist perspective of Anton Mzwakhe Lembede, Robert Mangaliso Sobukhwe and other Philosophers and Activists.
In the wake of the adoption of the 1955 ANC Freedom Charter by the African National Congress, in association and in alliance with the Congresses representing minorities , i.e. the Indian Congress, the Coloured Congress, the Congress of Democrats or South Africa Communist Party, Joe Mkhwanazi along with other Africanists including Robert Mangaliso Sobukhwe , concluded that the ANC had been compromised and damaged, irretrievably as a champion of African interests , and that any meaningful African National Liberation Programme in South Africa , had to be organized and implemented outside the frame work of the ANC.
Meticulous planning on an alternative vehicle for African National Liberation in South Africa began in earnest under the leadership of Mangaliso Sobukhwe and his associates. The launch of the Pan Africanist Congress on the 6th April 1959 was the end product of this protracted process of planning. It was the considered view of the Africanist that liberation of the indigenous African majority could only be achieved with the resumption of the war of resistance to colonial occupation that was led by the San-Khwa (So called Bushmen), Khoi Khoi (so called Hottentots) and Abantu (so called Negroid-Bantu), from 1652 to 1900 . Mobilization of the African Masses in the view of the Africanist could no longer be confined to traditional leaders, clergy, intelligentsia and other elites it had to extend to the to what the Africanist referred to as illiterate and semi literate masses of the people. Moreover the African intelligentsia leadership of the African liberation movement had to move out of its comfort zone and lead from the front accepting all the risks and sacrifices attendant to the new strategy. Hence the substitution of the slogan of the ANC “freedom in our life time” to the PAC slogan “serve, suffer, sacrifice “
Joe Mkhwanazi, JD Nyawose and other Africanist Leaders in the Natal were not fazed by what was considered to be the toughest brief and assignment, of the day i.e. taking on the ANC in its own back yard, the Natal, the home of Inkosi Albert Luthuli who was the National President of the ANC at the time.
The Africanists were not in the business of name calling or denigrating statures of established individuals or organizations including Inkosi Albert Luthuli and his ANC. The Africanist message and programme was simple and effective it called on all African Men throughout South Africa to follow on the footsteps of the PAC leadership, and to leave their passes at home on the 21st of March 1960. And to present themselves with the PAC leadership in front, to police stations all over the country, where the PAC leadership would request arrest of those who had presented themselves to the police , for failure to abide by the laws of the country requiring carrying of passes by the African people, at all times.
Joe Mkhwanazi , according to the PAC National leadership Plan and Directive resigned his post as Head Master of Hlophekhulu Senior School, in Mseleni Rural Location, in the Mpangeni District of Kwa Zulu Natal, in preparation for what PAC called appointment with destiny , Robert Mangaliso Sobukhwe the first President of the PAC had already resigned his post of lecturer in African languages at Wits University in compliance with the directive he issued to his colleagues, to the effect that the PAC National and Regional Executives and Members of the Task Force,(precursor to the Azanian People ‘s Liberation Army (APLA)) , had to abandon all employment and enemy posting and take up full time their respective liberation assignments and postings . This was raw courage and extreme defiance to colonialism seen for the first time since the colonial resistance wars of 1652 to 1900.
On the dawn of the fateful day of the 21st of March 1960 the response was massive on the part of the oppressed masses. The reaction was equally swift on the part of the Law Enforcement Agencies of the White Settler Republic. Before the end of that fateful day, 69 Africans, including by-standers, lay still and dead, hundreds more were injured, riddled with bullets, in the normally sleepy township of Sharpville, in the Vereeniging District of the then Transvaal Province . The settler controlled police force for the first time since 1900 took fright, panicked and released a volley of shots instead of executing arrests as requested by the leaders of the PAC . The world was shocked and outraged by the massacre, overnight South Africa turned into a pariah state.
Joe Mkhwanazi as a leading, member of PAC Task Force was not one of those assigned to present themselves at at the police stations, on the day. Together with Mfanasekhaya Gqobose, John Nyathi Pokela and other leaders of the PAC Task Force, they had already gone underground to prepare for the next phase, the National Armed Insurrection.
In the after math of the Sharpville Massacre, as the events of the day were to be known the world over, PAC and ANC were both out – lawed.
Large numbers of PAC Activists including Members of the Task Force were rounded up, arrested, charged , prosecuted , convicted, sentenced and hanged or sentenced to long prison terms in the unforgiving conditions of Robben Island.
For the first time since colonial wars of resistance from 1652 to 1900 members of the PAC Task Force were not fazed by the massacre at Sharpville , instead they responded in kind. Death of members of the Settler Security Forces became a frequent occurrence from the latter part of 1960 to 1963.
The back of the PAC rudimentarily armed National Insurrection was only broken by the end of 1963. By all objective accounts of our history, this was the largest African National Insurrection in South Africa.
Joe Mkhwanazi, on instructions of PAC slipped out of South Africa into exile in neighbouring Swaziland on the same year, 1963.
Joe’s wife and those of their children who were already born at the time, followed him into exile.
From 1963 to 1978 Joe Mkhwanazi served as an undercover PAC Diplomat (Chief Representative) in Swaziland, as well as a link between the PAC underground leadership and the exiled PAC leadership . During this time the South Eastern Border of Swaziland in particular the Ngwavuma forests , mountains and caves were a hive of activity for APLA guerilla fighters going in and out of South Africa , in execution of their tasks . Joe’s job as a big mercedes and big house owner Chief Executive of an American beverages company, Coca Cola in Swaziland , offered a perfect cover for Joe the nocturnal liaison officer with the North Eastern Natal Command of APLA.
Joe Mkhwanazi’s continued revolutionary activities were however exposed in a lengthy PAC trial, where another Stalwart of PAC the late Zephania Motopeng and 18 other PAC Leaders, were charged, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to long terms of imprisonment in South Africa for what the Presiding Judge in the case, described as instigation , organization and execution of the June 16th Student National Uprising of 1976. Like Sharpville, the June 16th National Students Uprising was turned by the Racists Regime Security Forces into a blood bath, and led to further international isolation of South Africa.
The Mngomezulu Tribe that straddles the South Africa/Swaziland Eastern Border, together with Chief Ntunja, their Traditional Leader, were exposed in the same trial for aiding and abetting PAC/APLA Military Operations. Chief Ntunja together with 50 adult male members of his tribe were detained without trial for a whole year. They were only released for lack of evidence afterwards.
Under intense pressure from South Africa, including threats of cross border raids, PAC leaders in Swaziland, upmost in the list , Joe Mkhwanazi, were rounded up , arrested and detained “ indefinitely” in a maximum security prisons facility, having been declared Persona Non Grata (non persons in the eyes of the Swazi law) . Their Political Asylum and Refugee Status was revoked accordingly. After six months in solitary confinement, Joe Mkhwanazi was released and immediately deported to the United Kingdom where he had been granted political asylum and refugee status in the same year 1978.
In 1982 Joe Mkhwanazi was recalled by the PAC back to Africa, but this time at the main PAC Rear Base and Head Quarters, Dar Es Saalam , Republic of Tanzania. This time, Joe Mkhwanazi was elevated to the pinnacle of the Africanist Movement and Liberation Struggle. He was appointed administrative secretary of PAC, a member of a PAC Central Committee and the Secretary of its Military Commission. A body with oversight responsibility over the Azanian People’s Liberation Army (APLA) and its Revolutionary High Command.
When the PAC and other Liberation Movement, ANC were unbanned, Joe Mkhwanazi was amongst those tasked by PAC with coordinating PAC representation and participation in the fashioning of a new political dispensation for South Africa. This included the drafting of a new consensus constitution for the country as well as the creation of the New National Army , the South African National Defence Force. The new army was constituted through integration of APLA combatants, Umkhonto Wesizwe combatants i.e. the so called non statutory forces with the so called statutory forces i.e. the Old Apartheid Armies including S.A.D.F. and the Bantu Stan Satellite Armies of Apartheid, that were based in the so called “Independent” Bantu Home Lands of Bophuthatswana, Transkei, Ciskei and Venda (TVBC STATES).
Joe Mkhwanazi, on completion of the task of negotiating a consensus constitution with the Apartheid State and the African National Congress and the creation of the New Army, constituted as stated above , submitted a report on behalf of the exiled leadership of the PAC to the First Congress of PAC following the unbanning. In the said congress the entire exiled leadership of the PAC resigned enmass after the report had been accepted and thus surrendered the institution and office of the PAC leadership to the Congress.
Joe Mkhwanazi was subsequently elected to the Provincial Legislature of Kwa Zulu Natal where he served for a number of years.
Joe Mkhwanazi is survived by Mrs Nomsa Judith Mkhwanazi (Born Dube) , whom he married in 1956, his four daughters, Mrs Thoko Obixanya, Mrs Zanele Thwala, Miss Thembi Mkhwanazi , Miss Busisiwe Mkhwanazi, his son Mr Themba Mkhwanazi , his numerous grandchildren , the Nation he served so diligently and religiously.
May his soul rest in peace.
REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
(Model & Rationale)
“Non Racial, Majoritarian, and Quasi Federal”
By Dr Vuyisile Dlova
(Professor of Law, Distinguished Business and Constitutional Lawyer, Eminent Educationist and Publicist)
Free Press (Pty) Ltd-2012
Appeared and Issued, for the first time in a Special issue of
Lesotho Law Journal, on desirable Constitution Model, for a then
future South Africa.
Lesotho Law Journal (1987)
Volume 3 Number 1
Titled, Towards a Non-racial, Majoritarian and Quasi-federal Constitution in South Africa.
N.B. Published in original form / Verbatim, for the benefit of posterity.
To Sivuyisiwe Dlova, his siblings, his plus million Sankhwa / Zangwa ancestors who sacrificed their lives in defence of Sankhwa human civilization, legacy and mother land, against a targeted Colonial Genocide, executed on the Sankhwa / Zangwa aborigines, by the Dutch (1652 – 1795), the British (1806 – 1910) and the White Settler Colonialists (1910 – 1994).
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