Letter to Comrade Julius Malema

Letter to Comrade Julius Malema
Published: 07 September 2018 (567 Views)
Dear Mr. Malema,

Firstly, I would like to apologize to you personally because when you started your political path, I am one of those you did not take you seriously. I was deeply concerned about your "rhetoric," I sincerely thought it was going to plunge South Africa into another failed state like Zimbabwe. Now that I have read a lot about you and your fight for justice for all who live in South Africa and beyond your own South African borders, I am now convinced you are a true son of Africa, son of the soil. You will indeed be counted in the African books of heroes of this continent.

Your wisdom is not confined to South Africa but to the entire continent. I appreciate the fact that you are indeed worried that the independence of South Africa is not benefiting the majority; hence you are up in arms to correct that serious oversights ANC party made in the negotiation processes leading to the independence of South Africa in 1994. What defines what South African independence today is far from what is in the Freedom Charter? Remember too our mothers and father put a lot of time and effort to put together that Freedom Charter document. South Africa's independence does not address poverty and crime related to poverty and destitution to the majority of South African. However, your parliamentary input, together with the other parliamentary members of your party EFF are making make an immense effort to address this: your EFF party is the conscience to the nation. We always argue that if South Africa really got the Freedom Charter as the basis and guidelines of the negotiation processes to independence South Africa independence, that country would be different today.

Fighting for social economic freedom and the land question will address poverty significantly. You are on the right path. Even the World Bank does appreciate the fact that if citizens were given land it would reduce or even eliminate impoverished communities, people will learn the culture of producing wealth and food securities to subsist and not dependents on hand-outs from the donor companies. This culture of donor dependency is continental and not subscribed to your country only. In your parliamentary debates you ask pertinently why such a continent with its vast natural resources in abundance would sink so low as to depend on foreign aid: dead aid. Why is the yawning gap between the rich Whites and the poor Blacks in South Africa overwhelming?  

The bone of my contention today is your video I have just listened and it shook me heavily as someone born north of you: Zimbabwe. This recent video talks about the borders that were created for us by the colonizers, and how we have religiously recognized them as demarcation provinces to strictly defend. I could not have said it better than you did in your video. Indeed these borders were made in Berlin-Germany in 1885. They sat down and crafted their own colonies by defining borders to reduce tensions and indeed wars among the colonizers themselves inside Africa without us Africans knowing it.

You effectively question the stupidities of xenophobia in South Africa. How it is possible, a white foreigner who comes to South Africa; he/she is a tourist, whereas an African coming from Zimbabwe and Nigeria or elsewhere is a mukwerekwere? We African are prone to hate speeches to inflict hate and pain on other fellow Africans. To label a human being as mukwerekwere is indeed hate-speech to say the least. To question this limited thought processes makes me think you really appreciate what is Africa and African.  

You are aware of the fact that during the struggle for the independence of South Africa, you were assisted by several countries in Africa South Africans: black and white South Africans where exiled in most parts of African countries. To turn them back, fight them, destroy their livelihoods, and harm them by selectively hunting them down killing them is a travesty of justice; a crime against humanity, unimaginable by good sense. You are saying South Africa belongs to all of us born in this continent and of course those citizens of White, Indian, and Chinese race born in South Africa despite the history of Colonialization.

An African should be at home in any corner of any African country she/he finds herself/himself in and she/he should not fear of her/his African sister and brother. Africans should never live in fear of Xenophobia in South Africa. The selective racism is what you are concerned about: to start looking at the color-skin that is wholly black and language wholly not from South Africa, then to determine if they are worthy to stay in South Africa or not, something quite contrary to the values of African-UBUNTU. You are articulating noble values of the African culture. This shaming of foreigners of black origin tells us what is still inside the limited minds of some South African citizens: Zimbabwe is not better.  

The dreams you have about one- Africa punctuates the noble values in you. There is a lot loaded in that interview on video most of us have seen it, that video is a "must see" to all who love this continent. You said we Africans should never be reduced to artificial and colonist-made boundaries of African states; by so saying and doing, we are talking the language of our colonial masters, you said. You go on to say: Instead, there should never be passports; an African travelling across Africa with an ID is enough identity. You are saying Africa should have one monetary currency to trade with one another effectively. Above all, you are saying all those despots that have committed crimes against humanity must be tried here in the continent because we shall have set up strong institutions including the judiciary that will be independent, democratic and well functional to execute such duties.  

Now dear Malema, let's move direct northwards to Zimbabwe, your neighbor from the north of you as the first entry point. We have political parties in Matabeleland that want to cessed from the rest of Zimbabwe. This wish is contrary to your dreams of removing those artificial demarcations of the "famous 1885 Berlin conference" your dreams and ideals dear Julius Malema. The reasons for them (the term "them" are Mthwakazi parties, they are many) wanting to cessed are not the sentiments of the general populations in the region of Matabeleland and rightly so. The Organisation for African Unity and UN declared these national boundaries as sacrosanct, boundaries set up by colonial powers. You are refusing these boundaries to define us as African peoples because of the xenophobic sentiments it brings with it.  

The political parties of Mthwakazi groups want the Jameson Line Boundary between Mashonaland and Matabeleland to be revisited with the assistance of the current British Crown. The boundary was established between Matabeleland and Mashonaland, an act of the British Parliament in 1891. Here again is a situation whereby a colonial master: British Crown is invited to intervene in our internal African conflict: the British will then be an arbitrator in our conflicts to recognize (give a nod) the boundary to enable the cessation of Mthwakazi nation to succeed. This is what you categorically refuse to yet again get and seek recognition of land disputes using foreign laws, colonial vestiges of laws to solve African problems. Where is our pride as African people if Britain is going to be the one solving the boundary line between Matabeleland and Mashonaland?

In this loaded context, I hasten to highlight some facts that border on this wish to cessed from the rest of Zimbabwe. We the people of Matabeleland feel marginalized ever since we got our independence from Britain. There has never been any form of development in this region whatsoever. Those dilapidated road infrastructure, hospitals and schools that were built by racist Ian Douglas Smith are still the old infrastructure relevant and visible to this day. Most jobs, be it menial or professional are the preserve of the peoples of Mashonaland. There are projects that are over 100 years old (e.g. .Mathebeleland Water Project) that have never been realized because the government is openly not willing to have this region developed by any stretch of our imagination. Millions of Ndebele people, mostly men, have relocated to South Africa looking for jobs because there are no prospects of a semblance of decent future in our own region. I agree to some extent that this segregation has militarized so many peoples of this region to the point of pushing for separate development: that is cessation from the mainland Zimbabwe and have some self-rule equal to South Sudan or Catalonian or Scotland.

The people of this region are bitter indeed, and by right, when they see ground-breaking social and economic developments elsewhere and no initiatives to bring the same development to Matabeleland can indeed reignite negativity, violence and war. Bulawayo alone is a ghost town. One shudders to think how the residents in Bulawayo are managing without any industry but instead there are banks, car sales, supermarkets and trade-fares. Politicians come to harvest votes and they are not seen for five years until the next general elections. But you are saying, we do not need elaborate borders but dialogue if there are issues. If there are conflicts address them without going to war, without demarcation of any territory.  

The electorate has the affinity to vote for people without ideas: said Professor Lumumba of Kenya. Some young politician Nelson Chamisa, (who thought seeing a sea of people his rallies replicates success in the plebiscite, you told him that if it is the case, we should never go for elections, instead make head-count of people attending the rallies as vote win) he dubbed the people of Matabeleland and promised ground-breaking changes in this region regarding the employment of people particularly from this region. Before the cock could crow three times, he came all the way from Harare and chose the people of Mashonaland to be mayor and deputy mayor without any mandate whatsoever. This is indeed what creates disharmony between the two ethnic groups

It is for this reason that some people from Matabeleland want to cessed from Zimbabwe and demand independence from Zimbabwe, using the British Crown as the arbitrators of the conflict; it's wholly not African. African problems mean seeking African solutions. We have not exhausted dialog in this tribalism issue in Zimbabwe. But at the same breath, we want and we demand the genocide issues of Zimbabwe addressed through dialog and not arms conflict. We want a rainbow nation that prides on its diversity just like South African Rainbow Nation.    

I am sure you are cognizant of the historical fact that the San and Khoi-San populations were the original owners of this part of African cone. Before all other Bantu peoples regions came from wherever crossed the Zambezi River and settled in the Mthwakazi zone, we San peoples were here in this region for centuries. The name Mthwakazi is now a curse word in Zimbabwe. The name Mthwakazi comes from the Khoi-San populations: Abatwa. It is now used to define all Matabele peoples in this region Matabeleland or the Jameson demarcated Line of Matabeleland from Mashonaland. Now to limit this region by a name that spells centuries of distinct peoples: original occupancies of Zambezi escarpments right up to the shores and ocean "Cape of Good hope" is genuinely not true. But I quickly revisit your video of the past week where you castigated these national boundaries as artificial demarcations that create UNNECESSARY CONFLICTS, Africa is Africa without demarcations, you said rightly so.

Dear Juju, we are concerned about the gradual uprising conflict of Mthwakazi parties seeking to cessed from the mainland Zimbabwe. This development will cause serious problems for women and children in this region. Rural Matabeleland is predominantly habited by women and children living in those undeveloped areas of Matabeleland. Most of our menfolk have relocated to South Africa because of the unavailability of work and inadequate and genuine development that uplifts rural population. Any arms conflict will mean displacement of women and children; we cannot afford this once more, we have seen it all.

You are surely aware too of this genocide that took place in the early 1980s immediately after Zimbabwe independence. So many people perished, about 20,000 people lost their lives in this conflict under the hands of the Zanu PF regime. Zanu PF is the sole perpetrator of genocide. We need some TRUTH and reconciliation to give those issues some closure and we move on. We do not want this pseudo solutions called peace and reconciliation because it removes the truth in the process, if in the wording: "truth" is removed then the whole process is not genuine at all but short-changing the victims of genocide. It is an insult to be told that the Gugurahundi atrocities of the 1980s are indeed a reciprocation of Mzilikazi invasions in Mashonaland in the 1835 period. Is this how you argue crimes against humanity in this day and age: a revenge that stretched 150 years? What is painful is that some academics have bought into this insensitive argument for their political expediency.

Our main problem Julius is tribalism in Zimbabwe that is at play in all aspect of our lives. We need dialog as Africans to solve a tribal aspect of our problems and put many painful issues to rest, put some closure to the dark history of Zimbabwe and indeed move on in our social and economic development. All that should happen through dialogue. Zimbabwe is a country that needs peace for it to develop. We have enough conflicts in the African continent ever to allow another one to happen in Zimbabwe. We do not need war conflict again, that is at the detriment of us women and children. If indeed this Matabele conflict develops into an armed one , it is our men who will run away and seek cover in South Africa leaving behind women and children to the detriment of the ruling Zanu PF regime. We speak from experience, we have seen it before.  

Dear Julius, your voice is very loud. We hear you when you speak in South African parliament. Your powerful voice transcends in all regions of the continent. You tell it as it is without fear or favour. Mandela is not dead indeed, but he multiplied. You have no fear in your voice, Mandela did not fear. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela did not fear. You are indeed a continuation and an extension of those African revolutionaries who have fallen in the struggle for us to be free. We admire Steve Biko, Thembisile Chris Hani, Winnie Mandela and all of them we hold them high in our minds and in our history books because of their sterling contribution to the black race.  

Please think about these issues I have highlighted, humble as they might sound, do not ignore them at all. Africa is for all those who were born and live in Africa, be it black, white, colored, pink, blue whatever colour. Our problems in Zimbabwe are your problem equally as Africans who share the values of UBUNTU. Tell us we need those issues solved by dialoguing and not war, not cessation from Zimbabwe because the noble dream is that of one African nation.   

Keep up your good work dear Julius, we are listening. You are redefining the region and Africa as a whole. Speak and we shall listen. I send revolutionary greetings to you comrades and your party that is the check-and-balance of democratic values and principles of all those comrades in ANC and Umkhonto we Sizwe who died for our freedom. That Freedom Charter is the key to our African solutions; EFF should not betray the aspirations of the Freedom Charter to the deep end. That Freedom Charter is the guideline and solution for the future Africana continent. Remember to hold the torch high and forward with the genuine struggle for economic independence. Mayibuye iAfrica!!!!

Yours truly Meme Nomazulu Thata

- Nomazulu Thata


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