This conversation came about when me and a friend, Roche Mamabolo were talking about the famous Robben Island, well the real discussion was the exclusion of other liberation movements from the Robben Island's history. Well by account probably the modern worst treated political prisoner on Robben Island was Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe who was interned in solitary confinement for 6 years following a completion of his 3 year sentence, then banned to a township he knew nothing about, refused right to medical care. A much surprising fact is the deliberate exclusion campaign of a man that has fought and suffered so much for the liberation of this country. When visiting Robben Island you are taken on a tour around the island then the prison to go inside the cells and see where prisoners lived but the Robert Sobukwe house is just a stop by for a bus and the tour guide will tell you this here is the Robert Sobukwe's house. Is the intension to discredit all the political prisoners at the island and glorify only those belonging to the African National Congress? This seems to be working great as many South Africans and those who take time to learn about the history of South Africa seems to think that Robben Island was a place to imprison the ANC leaders, despite the island being used as a prison from 1657, imprisoning chiefs that defied the government and keeping political prisoners such as Andimba Toivo ya Toivo of Namibia.
So this topic raised a lot of questions that goes to the foundation of our nation; were people like Sobukwe, Biko and others killed because they were deemed more "radical and difficult" than the ANC leadership imprisoned in Robben Island? Were these leaders killed due to their Africanist stance and belief rather than agreeing to talks with the oppressor of what our liberation should entail? Is it because they rejected the idea of working with whites in building a country rightfully theirs along western ideology guidelines? Sobukwe labeled the ANC "liberal -left-multi-racialists, Biko criticised the adoption of a white value system as a standard in South Africa. Was democracy our idea? Is being included into a voting system that is built on the western values/ideologies serving us better than our African traditions and governing systems? Did the remaining leaders sell us out to enrich themselves, those closer to them and if not why is the majority of the Black race still living in poverty with the exception of politician together with the politically connected capitalists? Have we traded land for a vote because all we have is a penniless vote with no land to grow our crops while the developments continue to rise and occupy the African skyline we call ours perhaps the only reason we were allowed a vote was because we had agreed to not question the economic standing, generational wealth and land ownership enjoyed by the white race.
Well the biggest question I suppose in this whole dilemma is who fought for the liberation of Azania and who had the right to negotiate away the birth rights of the people of the land? It seems that everyone is focusing on being recognised as the owner of this liberation, the ANC claiming to have brought liberation for the people of South Africa. The claims on ownership of the Sharpville shooting, June 16 and many other days that demonstrated the plight of an African child in the hands of a cruel system that killed children, raped women, chased fathers away from their families and labelled grown men and women as boys and girls. A system that removed people from the land their ancestors were born on yet this system still strives and rules over the same land, a system that has turned those against it to embrace and administer it to their own people. But for the people of Azania the struggle continues.
History will judge all of us and our descendants will bare the heat of it, but until then the plight of the poor people of this land continues. As to our leaders putting the people first....Dololo.....