A guest article by Sibusiso Buthelezi, blogger on www.thesbu.com
Mit 15 Jahren widmete sich Sibusiso Buthelezi dem Afrikanischen Nationalkongress, einer Organisation zur Vertretung der Rechte von Schwarzen. Frustiert musste er die Bevorzugung von Weißen bei Toiletten, Banken, Menschenschlangen oder Geschäften ertragen. Schilder, die mit „Whites only“ versehen waren, dominierten das Leben im Südafrika der Apartheid. Buthelezi kann sich erinnern, dass Weiße innerhalb der Geschäfte kaufen durften, während Schwarze ihren Einkauf vom Außenfenster aus abwickeln mussten. Der ANC bot ihm deshalb die Hoffnung, sich dieser Benachteiligung zu befreien. Buthelezi betrachtete den Kampf des ANC nicht als einer gegen die Weißen gerichtet, sondern vielmehr gegen ein „System des instrumentalisierten Rassismus“. Seine ANC-Mitgliedschaft verbindet er mit Eigenschaften wie Stolz und Ehre, betont Buthelezi. Der ANC ermöglichte ihm eine Beschäftigung in der Kommunal- und Länderverwaltung, wurde jedoch später durch die selbe Partei „schlecht behandelt“. Der ANC müsse noch lernen, die Fähigkeit einer führenden Partei anzunehmen, so die selbstkritische Ansicht des Parteimitglieds. Doch auf der heutigen Jahrhundertfeier besinnt sich der ANC in erster Linie auf glorreiche und vor allem auf die gefallenen Genossen. Dieser Tag widmet sich dem alten ANC-Kader wie Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Solomon Mahlangu, Bathandwa Ndondo und allen voran Nelson Mandela.
Guest article in English:
I am a member of the African National Congress – and I am proud to be associated with this glorious revolutionary movement. I was 15 years old (1982), my late father advised that I go find the ANC as it was the only true representative of the aspirations of the people of South Africa. I had been frustrated by the „Whites only“ signs in toilets, bank queues and some shops – blacks had to buy from the window outside the shops. Schools for whites were much better than the schools I went to.
I joined the ANC with the hope of liberation. I had anger and hatred towards whites and the police. The ANC comrades that I met, way back in 1983, moved quickly to remove all racial and ethnic thoughts that lingered in my mind. By 1984 I had been exposed to the most advanced thinking about the world we live in. From the various reading materials that we brought to my house by the ANC cadres, I understood the primacy of democracy, that the struggle against apartheid was not a gripe against whites as a racial group. That ours was a principled struggle against a system of institutionalized racism. This became very clear in 1985 when Oliver Tambo commanded that the youth render the country ungovernable, thus making apartheid unworkable.
This is the ANC I joined, this is the ANC I am proud and honoured to be associated with. The ANC that taught me the principles of non-racialism and non-sexism. This is the ANC of Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela. This is the ANC that produced Thabo Mbeki. The ANC of Solomon Mahlangu and Bathandwa Ndondo. The ANC that taught us never to betray the masses of our people, the thousands of ordinary people, the overwhelming majority of whom are working class Africans, who through their daily experiences, struggle and battle against adversities, together as comrades, in pursuance of the vision of a South Africa that would be a better place for all its people.
At university I got to understand the Strategies and Tactics of the ANC, the strategic content of which is the total emancipation of the black people in general, and the Africans in particular. I learned the skills of organizing communities around their basic needs. The ANC gave me the privilege of participating in the transformation of government, from municipalities to provincial administration. Two years ago, the very same ANC treated me badly (see my blog http://www.thesbu.com) – that notwithstanding, I have been long in this organization to know that it has the capacity for introspection, self-criticism and corrective action.
I know and understand that the ANC was not well prepared to adapt to being a ruling party with control over state machinery and resources potentially for patronage. This ANC is now grappling with challenges it never prepared for, the competition for elected positions and government posts, the reality of being an open organization, that draws within its ranks even the most unscrupulous in society. It is such deviant characters that have occupied the driving seat at all levels of the organization. But this organization has survived for 100 years. I have no doubt it will cleanse itself – drawing from its capacity to introspect, self-criticise and take corrective action.
I am a proud member of the ANC. The ANC has a proud history of struggle; my generation will live to reclaim the proud character of this organization.
As we reach the critical milestone of the ANC Centenary – we owe it to the fallen hero’s to bring integrity and sacrifice back to this glorious movement of the people of South African.