God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Thoughts, inside, comments of a Catholic priest

Chris Hani Memorandum – or history repeats itself

South Africa commemorated the life and death of Chris Hani recently.  Connected to his name is the so called Chris Hani Memorandum, which was written and signed by him and some of his comrades and addressed to the higher powers of the ANC at that time. Please take your time and read it – it gives you an inside in the ANC  at that time and how little has changed or has come back to haunt the organization today. Who is interested in learning more: the pocket biography of Hugh Macmillan: Chris Hani – published 2014 gives an interesting account of events around the life and death of Chris Hani and puts the narrative that the ANC is the sole savior of South Africa to rest.  The reading of the biography reaffirms that many different historical developments have brought South Africa to the point of 1994’s first free elections for all. But it also speaks of the many sacrifices ANC members endured to free the country. Like always in life, nothing is black and white but grey and only who humbly accepts this can harvest the lessons learned. Otherwise history repeats itself.
Coming back to the memorandum: the signatories were almost executed for criticizing the ANC – speaking up for what was right was in those times a life threatening  exercise. Otherwise the memo speaks for itself and needs no further comments.

We, as genuine revolutionaries, are moved by the rightening depths reached by the rot in the ANC and the disintegration of M.K. accompanying this rot and manifesting itself in the following way:
1. The ANC Leadership in Exile has created a machinery which has become an end in itself. It is completely divorced from the situation in South Africa. It is not in a position to give an account of the functioning branches inside the country. There has never been an attempt to send the Leadership inside since the Rivonia Arrests. There has been an over-concentration of people in offices – this has become a fully fledged activity in itself, for eg, you get a Director of Youth who maintains no liaison with the home front. There are other departments, such as the Treasury Department which is to all intents and purposes catering for activities outside, and whose functioning is only limited and known to a few people; the Department of the Secretary-General which has not furnished any reports on political activities in the various regions in the country; the Department of Publicity which is giving out propaganda geared only to external consumption. The quality of information is not revolutionary and is out of step with the existing political situation inside the country. Its material hardly gives a deep analysis of the prevalent situation inside. We strongly feel that time has come that the department should make every effort to reach the masses of our people by seeing to it that more and more of its revolutionary propaganda is written in the language of our people.
2. We are disturbed by the careerism of the ANC Leadership Abroad who have, in every sense, become professional politicians rather than professional revolutionaries. We have been forced to draw the conclusion that the payment of salaries to people working in offices is very detrimental to the revolutionary outlook is of those who receive such monies. It is without doubt that such payments corrupt cadres at any level and have the effect of making people perform their duties or fill offices because of money inducement rather than dedication to the cause – they become in effect merely salaried employees of the movement. It is high time that all members and cadres of the ANC, be they in M.K. or not, should receive equal treatment and be judged only on the basis of their dedication and sacrifice to the cause we serve. The principle of thorough selection of cadres should be on the basis of merit and such selection should never be delegated to an individual – this will prevent individuals owing allegiance to those who appoint them rather than to the Revolution.
3. The Leadership of the ANC abroad must be committed to a resolution and programme of going home to lead the struggle there, which resolution and programme must be seen to be implemented. Presently there is a Leadership vacuum as all the leaders are either locked up in Vorster’s prisons of are in exile. This has deprived the S.A. masses of leadership which is so vital at this crucial moment of our Revolution. A situation where our people, because of this vacuum will be deceived by opportunists of all shades is strongly developing. We feel that the number of leaders attending international conferences and other globetrotting activities should be cut down to a reasonable few and the remainder should work around the clock working on the home front.
4. There are certain symptoms which are very disturbing and dispiriting to genuine revolutionaries. These comprise the opening of mysterious business enterprises which to our knowledge have never been discussed by the leadership of the Organisation. For instance, in Lusaka a furniture industry is being run by the ANC. In Livingstone a bone factory whose original purpose was to provide cover for underground work in Botswana is now being used as a purely commercial undertaking. As a result of these enterprises more and more M.K. men are being diverted to them. And some of the people in charge of these enterprises are dubious characters with shady political backgrounds. We are therefore compelled to conclude that there is no serious drive to return home and carry on the struggle. This is disturbing because the very comrade, Thabo More, who is supposed to be planning, directing and leading the struggle in South Africa is fully involved in these enterprises. Now he has assumed complete responsibility for the running of these enterprises in collaboration with others and it is extremely doubtful that with his attention so divided he can do justice to the armed struggle in South Africa which should be his primary and absolute concern. The Leadership of the ANC can’t but be blamed for this state of affairs.
5. An equally disturbing situation is that M.K. is being run completely independently of the Political Organisation. The Political Leadership Abroad is not aware of the activities and plans of M.K. We therefore infer that M.K. is separate from the ANC; that there is conflict between the ANC and M.K.; that the ANC has lost control over M.K.; that there is no co-ordination between the ANC and the M.K. All this has brought about a situation where the ANC is run single-handed by the Commander-in-Chief who appoints and dismisses arbitrarily – as a result there is a tendency among members of the Headquarters to owe allegiance to the individual who appoints and dismisses them and it takes a genuine revolutionary to challenge him. We are compelled to blame the National Executive for this anomalous situation.
6. The Security Department is internally directed. It is doing nothing against the enemy. It has achieved nothing of military importance. The failure of the so-called Security Department has been shown by its inability to furnish the Organisation with the fate of our most dedicated comrades in Zimbabwe. Or how is it possible that so many comrades have been able to desert so successfully? In the prosecution of its internally directed activities the Security Department has become notorious. Those who serve in it have the central task of suppressing and persecuting dedicated cadres of M.K. who have nothing to lose by participating in the struggle except their chains. There is no Security Dept in our Organisation. For instance the arrest of Msomi and Matthews was inevitable as the fact of their presence in South Africa was common knowledge; as well as of comrades bound for home.This situation is tantamount to betrayal of comrades.In Morogoro Joseph Cotton, Shadrack Tladi and Boy Otto are openly flirting with the Peace Corps an international known C.I.A. Front, a counter-revolutionary and espionage organisation. The first two handle vital information as they are connected with the Radio transmission service relaying Organisation material. Boy Otto is moving between Zambia and Tanzania transporting M.K. personnel and war material. Most disturbing is that a comrade raised this matter with the Secretary-General and Chief of Security of the ANC, Duma Nokwe, who agreed that the matter of the above comrades flirting with the Peace Corps was true and that it should be furnished in writing, but no action was taken. This is very disturbing and discouraging to serious revolutionaries who know fully well that these three comrades are close to the leading figures of the ANC and M.K. For instance, Joseph Cotton is the son of Moses Kotane the Treasurer-General of the ANC and General Secretary of the S.A.C.P. Shadrack Tladi is relative of Thabo More who is C-in-C of M.K. and member of the National Executive of the ANC Abroad. This has made us and many other comrades conclude that there is nepotism in the ANC An equally perturbing fact is that Mrs V. Nokwe, the wife of the Secretary-General and Chief of Security of the ANC, Comrade D. Nokwe is presently working for Amiran Israel, an internationally known Israeli Intelligence Organisation operating under the cover of an Import-Export firm. This Amiran-Israel is a co-ordinating centre for Israeli Intelligence Services (Shinbet) in Southern Africa, Central Africa including Congo Brazzaville and Congo Kinshasa. Israel is a nest of imperialism which is actively sabotaging the National Liberation. Presently it has colonised parts of Arab territories and is maintaining close links with the most reactionary and fascist governments, such as South Africa and the revanchist Federal Government of Germany. We demand an explanation for this anomalous situation and we demand that we should cut links with the counter-revolutionary organisation forthwith and should there be any other links with the Israel, the ANC should sever them in the interests of our Revolution.
7. The tragedy of the Zimbabwe campaigns is the fact that we have been unable to analyse our operations so as to be able to assess and draw lessons that would make it possible for us to formulate a correct strategy and tactics vis-à-vis the enemy.
8. It is a cause for serious concern that comrades who have come back from the battle front have not been accorded a comradely reception and the fact that there has been no re-appraisal of their combat experience. We are shocked by the criminal neglect of our most dedicated comrades who have either fallen in battle, sentenced to death or serving long term imprisonment in Zimbabwe. These men are heroes who have performed their revolutionary tasks gallantly without flinching. How can we possibly keep quiet [about?] these valorous sons of South Africa? Is this not an indication of callousness and irresponsibility on the part of the leadership? The behaviour of the Secretary-General and Chief of Security of the ANC D. Nokwe and his attitude towards Comrade J.Mlenze,when we petitioned for a meeting, disturbed us greatly. For him to have said he did not know, did not recognise Mlenze is a height of indifference and cynicism and we are really very worried about it. Here is a comrade from the battle front, a Commander of a unit, and a Security Chief of a vital region, namely Transkei accorded this type of snub.
9. We are perturbed by the fact that certain members of M.K. are receiving payments from the External Mission, eg the C-in-c and the C.P.O. who as a matter of fact are getting allowances and the fact that the C-in-C has a posh and militarily irrelevant car at his disposal. The fact that these soldiers are paid has a very demoralising effect on the other revolutionaries.
10. Individual leaders keep cars and run them and this coupled with the fact that they receive salaries alias allowances is in every way building them up as a middle class in our revolutionary organisation and in M.K.
11. A strange and alarming trend is developing whereby secret trials and secret executions have been carried out. We are not against the execution and liquidation of traitors but we are against the veil of secrecy. We are having in mind the trials of Zola Zembe, Wellington Mbata, Phalanyane and Bopela. It is a shame that we should have been witnesses to the emergence of extremely reactionary methods of punishment in M.K. There have been instances when offenders in M.K. have been  dumped in dugouts filled with several drums of water without blankets or any other protective material for periods of up to about 22 days. The cases in point are those of Daphne Zwane,Tallman Ndlovu,Bob Zulu,Erends and Joseph Ndlovu. This type of punishment, among others, is, from any angle,criminal and inhuman, and must have been designed to break the physical and moral integrity of victims.
12. The ANC is the vanguard of the revolutionary struggle in South Africa and it is strange that its leaders have not been obliged to take the M.K. oath. We strongly feel that there is no difference between the leaders of the ANC and men of M.K. who are obliged to take the oath, for such an oath might have dealt with J. Radebe’s desertion and will definitely deal with any other leader harbouring right wing designs of sabotaging our revolution.
13. The development of the Revolution has necessitated a renewal and rejuvenation of those who are leading it. We must guard against the fossilization of the leadership as this is likely to hinder the progressive development of the Revolution. There has been a tendency to appoint people to the National Executive outside. We would like to know what is the yardstick for these appointments. After proper consultation with all the members of the ANC a method should be found of changing leadership and the fact that there have been no conferences involving all our members at home should not be used as an excuse for not renewing the leadership. We should not depend on mandates given at national conferences 10 or more years ago. We have been forced to conclude that a few individuals are monopolising posts in the Organisation. This has brought about a situation where members of the Planning Council are also members of the National Executive.
14. It is very alarming that double standards as regards to health of the members of the Organisation are maintained. Whenever leaders are sick arrangements are made for them to receive excellent medical attention without delay but this sort of concern is hardly shown to the rank and file of the movement. We maintain that all of us are important in so far as the Revolution is concerned and should thus be accorded the same treatment.
15. We consider the youth in M.K. as the most revolutionary. We strongly feel that we should be consulted on matters affecting the youth. For instance we must be informed about the revolutionary International Youth gatherings and we should be given priority in the sending of delegates. The farce of the Bulgaria ANC Youth delegation should never be repeated and those responsible should acknowledge the mistake they made. The Youth of South Africa is not located in London or in any European capital. We therefore take particular exception to the appointment of certain students as leaders of the ANC Youth. Thabo Mbeki who went to London on a scholarship sponsored by NUSAS is a leader of ANC bogus Youth Organisation. We are convinced that the ANC leadership in Exile is according better treatment and attention to the students. This attitude and practice has had a disastrous effect of diverting many would-be revolutionaries into the academic field. We feel that it is high time that the M.K. personnel which is in fact the core of our Revolution should be given the best treatment by virtue of having volunteered with their lives to give the supreme sacrifice for the Revolution. Another disturbing symptom is the glaring practice of nepotism where the leadership uses its position to promote their kith and kin and put them in positions where they will not be in any physical confrontation with the enemy. The sending of virtually all the sons of the leaders to universities in Europe is a sign that these people are being groomed for leadership positions after the M.K. cadres have overthrown the fascists. We have no doubt that these people will just wait in Europe and just come home when everything has been made secure and comfortable for them playing the typical role of the Bandas and others. As opposed to the treatment of the students, we find complete indifference and apathy to the heroes and martyrs of our Revolution who have fallen in South Africa and Zimbabwe. We have in mind the gallant sons of our country, who without doubt lay their lives in the struggle against imperialism. These include among many Patric (sic) Mosedi one time President of the ANCY.L. and former treason trialist, Benson Ntsele the tireless Commissar,the young cream of our country Sparks Moloi,Chris Mampuru,James Masimini and Andries Motsepe. We have not forgotten those who have defiantly and stubbornly refused to be frightened by the hangman’s noose in Rhodesia following the heroic example set by our murdered martyrs Vuyisile Mini, Zinakile Mkhaba, Diliza Khayingo, W. Bongco and others. These comrades are the dedicated Alfred Mninzi known to many of us as James Harmanus, Tamane known as Zami, the son of that great revolutionary and women’s leader Dora Tamane, the young Rhodes Msuthu Ngamlana known to us as Charles Mhambi and Tula Bophela.
16. We call for a full definition of the ANC-Z.A.P.U. alliance, its form and content. We demand that a serious and genuine effort should be made towards the intensification of ways and means of going home. This should be one actively involving the most dedicated members of M.K. and it should be on the basis of a correct strategy.
In conclusion all these problems must be resolved by a conference between the ANC Leadership and members of M.K. and not just handpicked individuals.

Signatories
M.T. Hani (Chris), W. Hempe, Z.R. Mbengwa (Jeqe), Tamana Gobozi (Mikza), Leonard Pitso,G. S. Mose (Mlenze), Ntabenkosi Fipaza (Mbali)

Filed under: Politics and Society, South Africa, Uncategorized, , , , , , , ,

Prolonged Good Friday and hopefully Easter in South Africa

Tomorrow Christians around the world are celebrating Easter – feast of the resurrection. It feels odd to me on first sight as South Africa seems to “enjoy” a prolonged Good Friday experience – crucified by corruption, downgrading, political ignorance, state capture and witnessing an agonizing dead of a liberation movement trying to turn into a political party. And not only on the level of politics and society but also on an personal level Good Friday continues: poverty, lack of food security, high crime rates, xenophobia – maybe this inner connect of a religious celebration and reality brought so many people to churches all over the country yesterday; the sense and recognition of despair and sometimes the knowledge that alone one can’t stem the wave of all this negativity. And South Africa is not alone in this prolonged Good Friday experience when we look around in the global village.

For that very reason the message of Easter, the message of resurrection, the message of hope carried by more than a billion Christians is so important in our days – Easter does not negate or take away the pain of the past or the pain of the present times but it holds the promise of a turnaround and a better future. And more: it speaks not only of a promise but for us Christians it manifests a reality that this turnaround is possible not only in a far away future, but that Easter, that resurrection can and will happen in our days if people just find the courage to act on it, simply to live it.
Easter is not so much the promise of a life after death – it is the promise that things can be turned today – the bible tells multiple stories of people encountering the risen Christ, e.g. on the way to Emmaus and always after such an encounter life is not the same anymore.

Understanding the deeper meaning of Easter frees from many anxieties – it also brings to the forefront that we are at the end all part of one,of the divine – we call it in human language we are brothers and sisters in one family. There is no race except the human race being inter-connected in the divine mystery. The day people understand that we are part of one creation – as the Apostle Paul puts it – still developing through space and times – is the day we will move forward and that will be the day Africa will be rising within the global village.

Easter, the religious message of Easter holds so much for the situation South Africa is in today – and I hope and pray that those attending the Easter celebrations in any of the churches not only are filled with hope but also filled with the energy to heal and transform our South African society for the better – ambassadors of a reality ignited in the midst of darkness.

Filed under: Africa, Politics and Society, Reflection, Religion and Ethics, Society and living environment, South Africa, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , ,

Join us for the Ball of HOPE 2017

 

Ball of Hope BOOKING FORM 2017

Ball of HOPE 2017 invite and intro

Filed under: HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, SA-German Chamber of Commerce & Industry, South Africa, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , ,

A new year for HOPE Cape Town – some thoughts…

With the 1st of March HOPE Cape Town is starting afresh in a new financial circle – the new budgets are approved and put into working, the old ones are closed and now made ready for the independent audit. Obviously the change in the currency exchange rate and so many other factors influence the outcome of budget planing – in our days it is getting more and more difficult to be as precise as possible. Therefore HOPE Cape Town is determined to follow true with the dream to have as much own capital as needed to pay all operations from the interest. It would take away the worries of constant fundraising, the constant knocking on doors which obviously also with all the reporting binds forces which could be used to aid those in need directly.

With HOPE for Babies in the maternity wards of Tygerberg Hospital the work with pregnant moms, delivering moms and then paediatric HIV to follow through with the kids infected and affected HOPE Cape Town compliments more and more its own goal to work with children from birth till they are matured in adulthood, only to come back as parents of newly born babies. The first 1000 days play a pivot role in having a holistic view and HOPE Cape Town is proud to be part of the program, the Western Province is pursuing to make sure that every newborn has the best chance in life possible in the framework of the circumstances he or she is born into. Re-visiting the Go-Box project to engage with young mothers and their babies in teaching them how to stimulate the little once with educational toys and education play adds to the bouquet of services.

Published research in national journals gives HOPE Cape Town the chance to showcase the results of best practice and to share this knowledge with those beyond the Western Cape boarders. Attending national and international conferences or, as just happened with our Program Coordinator doing an internship in a German paediatric hospital in Passau, adds to the possibilities to learn, share and being part of an international movement assisting children being infected, affected or having related illnesses or medical problems.

HIV and AIDS are topics which interconnect with so many other topics and portfolios. This lead for example to the founding of HOPE Cape Town USA – poverty, racism, the desire for Afro-Americans to find their African roots as well as infection rates are common areas to engage in a close working relationship with the USA.  Obviously also the chance to contribute as an US American to our work in South Africa is a welcomed component of this adventure. Many US students take a chance to engage with HOPE Cape Town when visiting South Africa on a field trip or excursion.

So, this small little entity called HOPE Cape Town connects three continents now: HOPE Kapstadt Stiftung in Bonn/Germany, HOPE Cape Town USA in Dallas/Texas and HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust in Cape Town / South Africa. The global family is growing slowly but substantially with all its challenges here in South Africa, but also to bring worlds together in a global village which seems in the moment so much driving apart. We hear about “America First” and all those funny slogans – HOPE Cape Town remains committed to “humanity first” and the organization will work tireless not only to serve those in need in the Western Cape but also to make sure that international understanding and care for each other stays a much-needed focal point.

Filed under: Africa, HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, HOPE Cape Town USA, Medical and Research, Networking, Politics and Society, Reflection, Society and living environment, South Africa, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

If a “gangster” calls a “gangster” a “gangster”

This was my spontaneous thought when I heard EFF’s Julius Malema, the man who once defended and desperately wanted to die for Jacob Zuma rose on his feet at the opening of South Africa’s Parliament to scream and shout at the giggling President before being forcefully removed. Later that eve I could not find any compassion with Mr Julius complaining that he might not be able to hold a pen when having an exam the next day because he felt injured during the scuffles broken out when pushed out of the chamber.

Why should it matter to ordinary South Africans?

Because yesterdays calamities mirrored the downfall of the New South Africa in a way which revealed how the struggle for power, the lack of healing within society, the inability of changing the mindset from struggle to democracy and the lack of education and ethics in the cadres and the consequence of repetitive learning instead of thinking outside the box creates a framework for every decent South African in which survival is the first and nation building comes at the end.
The show of force, the intimidation of public, journalists and politicians by an almost authoritarian lock-down of a whole city to protect one man and his cronies is indeed a treat to the future of this beautiful country.

So, next question: Why does this all matter to a blog of “God, Aids, Africa and HOPE”?

The work of HOPE Cape Town, as most other NGO’s does not stop in its defined portfolio – in our case HIV, Aids,TB and related illnesses. It is in its holistic approach assisting those marginalized and as such a tool  supporting nation building. Looking into the social circumstances, allowing for a healthy development of life, taking away the tread of dead, reassuring people of their worth, showing compassion and in doing so leading by example – all those little mosaic pieces are needed to fill the bigger puzzle picture of a prosperous South Africa. Like in a motor-block the smallest screw is important to make the entire motor run round.
The backbone of such an adventure to make South Africa a shining example of a functioning democracy where every citizen counts and is appreciated is Parliament where members should explore and decide with dignity and reason on the framework for such a way forward. In a highly demoralized society which still licks the wounds of apartheid the role model function of MP’s and the institutions concerned is even higher than usual.

Yesterday evenings’ events show the promise of more dark hours for South Africa to come – and as long as the ANC is not able and willing to let go of a president having lost all credibility and recall him demagogues like Malema will have easy play with harsh consequences for this country. It’s up to us all to stop this in its traces and to work even harder to transform and heal this country – and important is this combination. “radical transformation” will not work – because healing needs time and dialogue and if we want to use the word “radical” in this context then only “radical compassion” and “radical dedication” towards our goal will bring the wanted outcome for every South African.

Filed under: Africa, Politics and Society, Reflection, South Africa, , , , , , , , , , , ,

12th HOPE Gala Dresden

HOPE Gala Dresden - the event to be in DresdenOctober 28th, 2017
6 months to go.

Ball of HOPE 2017

Join us @ The Westin in Cape TownMay 13th, 2017
21 days to go.

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