In South Africa, there was a repressive tyrannical white supremacist elite terrorizing the country with the help of a cruel and inhumane police force and an efficient looting machine that was stealing the country’s resources.
For more than 6 decades the oppressed Africans had responded with peaceful protests as the racist Apartheid security forces mowed them down mercilessly.
The ANC was then led by Chief Albert Luthuli, a conservative man who consistently took his unarmed people to protests where they were killed by the racist police.
In 1962, a young and radical group emerged from the ranks of the South African Communist Party, African National Congress, COSATU, Pan-African Congress, Black Consciousness Movement of Steve Biko and AZAPO. This radical but small group was led by Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu, Joe Slovo and Ahmed Kathrada. They founded the Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation) and launched an armed struggle, splitting the liberation movement into two.
Chief Albert Luthuli who was the ANC President, continued with his “non-violent, turn the other cheek, peaceful protests” which earned him the Nobel Peace Prize as Umkhonto we Sizwe launched its sporadic attacks against the Apartheid regime. The Apartheid regime always reacted with even more violence against the African people. But that did not stop the struggle.
In 1962, Mandela, Sisulu, Joe Slovo, Kathrada and other leaders of the Umkhonto we Sizwe were arrested, charged, tried, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for “attempting to overthrow the Government.”
Govan Mbeki and a few radical leaders escaped into exile and continued the armed struggle. Those in the country like Lekota and Chris Hani formed cells of Umkhonto we Sizwe in urban centres and continued the armed struggle, even though most of them routinely served time in jail intermittently.
As the South African Liberation Movement went on for decades, ultra right-wing conservatives like Mangosuthu Buthelezi of Kwazulu Natal emerged on the scene and basically joined the Apartheid regime. He subscribed to the myth that “if you cannot beat them, join them,” which has always been the hiding place for conservative, greedy and hypocritical cowards who spout the empty rhetoric about “retreating and regrouping” when they actually mean “surrendering to tyrants and betraying the struggle” as a means of extracting financial benefits for themselves and their families while the overwhelming majority of the people continue to live in servitude and repression.
A split in the Kenyan progressive movement occurred on March 9, 2018 after Raila Odinga – like Mangosuthu Buthelezi of the Zulu Inkatha “Freedom” Party before him – crossed over and joined the tyrannical Jubilee regime.
By inexplicably abandoning the struggle at a time when the National Revolutionary Movement of Kenya (NRMKe) had successfully isolated, discredited and surrounded Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto and were gearing up for the final confrontation and defeat of the despots, Raila Odinga chose the side of the oppressors.
He betrayed more than 500 innocent people who had been killed on the streets as they demonstrated against the electoral thefts that had occurred on August 8, 2017 and October 26, 2017, respectively.
More than 12 million Kenyan voters did not take part in the October 26, 2017 coronation exercise that illegitimately installed Uhuru Kenyatta as the Jubilee “president.”
During Mandela’s 27 years in prison, he had no access to the outside world. He could not access radios and TV. There was no internet. Yet, his comrades and compatriots who were outside continued with the struggle in their absence.
Even though Govan Mbeki and other Umkhonto we Sizwe cadres had greater limitations than we do, they smuggled hand-written and typed up propaganda material to South Africa.
Although the entire Western world had isolated and branded them “terrorists,” Umkhonto we Sizwe leaders and soldiers never wavered. They fearlessly continued with the struggle.
We, Kenyan patriots, have no option but to continue with the struggle, as well.
Those oppressing the people cannot give the people they oppress freedom. To obtain freedom the people must defeat, overthrow and remove their oppressors.
Ignore those who, either from ignorance or malice, express the unfounded, baseless and unscientific view that merely on account of being in forced exile – like Govan Mbeki and others before me – we cannot work together to defeat tyranny. We can and we must do so!
Surrender is not an option!
The enemies of the people remain the same. The strategies and tactics for their defeat remain the same. The overarching interests of the ordinary Kenyans – social justice, rule of law, democracy and the establishment of a merit-based society – remain the same.