In response to Marianne Nghidengwa of Confidente newspaper on the Mandela matter

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By Job Shipululo Amupanda

 

QUITO, ECUADOR – I BECAME aware of Confidente´s plans to run a story on and about me through the questions sent to the SPYL Secretary Comrade Dr Tjitunga Elijah Ngurare. On December 13, 2013, I read the story online, while preparing for sessions, in Ecuador.

The story was titled “Amupanda in hot soup over Mandela sellout remark.” They did not tell the readers who cooked the soup.

From the reading of the article, three objectives become clear: (1) to character assassinate my person and present me as insensitive, ill-disciplined and a liability to the Swapo Party (the movement); (2) to drag the movement into personal matters having nothing to do with the party; (3) and finally to make a contribution to the greater scheme of what the Paguel Thugs say “it is a matter of time before we get rid of the boy.”

All these are of course meant to make sales of the paper, as it did.  Selling the paper did well, compared to other editions according to sales records we received. Media bosses admit that stories on SPYL and Swapo sell. Marianne Nghidengwa was, therefore, rented to execute the above objectives. What are the facts?

 

FACTUAL INACCURACIES

 

Without verification of facts, the rented and uncouth Marianne Nghidengwa wrote that I posted on Facebook on November 7 that Nelson Mandela is a sellout. The reading of the story was concocted to suggest that I produced the post after the late President of South African, Nelson Mandela, died.

The objective was then to paint me as insensitive, ill-disciplined and a liability to the Swapo Party. This is highly incorrect.

I never posted anything about Nelson Mandela after his death or in 2013. The post under question was produced in 2012 when I was attending events in South Africa. Said differently, it was not a post in response and in context of the passing of the late. I studied and stayed in South Africa from 2010-2012. While there I served firstly as the Political Education Officer of the South African Students Congress (SASCO) and later as Deputy Secretary of SASCO at Stellenbosch.

During that time, we used to have sharp debate regarding the black condition in our Black Consciousness circles.

At one point, we were debating two historical developments in South African politics; one was the remarks by Mrs Winnie Mandela, the wife of the late Nelson Mandela, while visiting the west that “Mandela did go to prison and he went in there as a burning young revolutionary. But look what came out … Mandela let us down. He agreed to a bad deal for the blacks. Economically, we are still on the outside. The economy is very much ‘white’. It has a few token blacks, but so many who gave their life in the struggle have died unrewarded … I cannot forgive him for going to receive the Nobel Prize with his jailer de Klerk. Hand in hand they went.”

The second historical development we dealt with, as Black Consciousness cadres at Stellenbosch, was the assertion that Mr Govan Mbeki, father of former South African President Thabo Mbeki, described Mr Mandela as sellout-ut number 1 and his two sons, Thabo and Moeletsi as sellouts number 2 and 3 respectively.

After heavy debate, I made my input thus producing the post that “as an agent of White Supremacy, Mandela negotiated a deal for himself and his family and a deal that saw him being elevated to the level of Jesus. In return he seems to have promised the White man to keep blacks in poverty and in bondage.”

Marianne Nghidengwa and the bunch street vendors she interviewed are not expected to know of the existence of this debate since they are concerned mainly, through their inaccurate and inappropriate linkages, with achieving the three objectives established earlier.

 

AFRICAN CONCEPTION OF THE COMMUNITY 

 

Africans have always understood the community as consisting of three characters: The Living, The Dead and the To be Born. The Living live their lives in remembrance of the lessons from the dead while tasked with the responsibility of preserving a good community for the To Be Born. The Dead are with our ancestors looking over us.

It is unAfrican to celebrate death and to speak ill of the dead at their point of departure. To suggest that I did so in the case of Mr Mandela, as did rented Marianne and her street vendors, is mischievous, opportunistic and it is a pity.

When I presented the paper on the “Liberal Democratic Zone of Peace “ at the session of the World Festival of Youth and Students (WFDY) here in Ecuador, I asked the world youth to reminisce on Mr Mandela, in light of his passing, given what he has come to represent. Doing that was in recognition of the Mandela discourse from the Objective Reality perspective.

Subjective reality does exist and as all human beings we all have opinions on Mr Mandela. I have views on Mr Mandela, both expressed and unexpressed, positives and negatives.

 

THE CORE OF WHO I AM

 

We are all individuals in this world; we came alone and will depart alone. We are all unique in our own ways although there exists similarities. I am a rural youth who is inspired by revolutionary morality and the struggle of the oppressed people in our country and beyond. I am biased towards black people, as long as they remain oppressed, and I am an unapologetic Black Consciousness youth.

I am a student of Marxist-Leninist tool of analysis, believe in dialectical materialism and stand opposed to Capitalism in support of Socialism and the Developmental State.

I am inspired by Sam Nujoma, Thomas Sankara, Fidel Castro, Amilcal Cabral, Patrice Lumumba, Ernesto Che Quevara, Robert Mugabe, Hugo Chaves, Steve Biko and Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe and other leftist revolutionaries. No one must impose their heroes and heroines on others. On my part, I don’t impose mine on others.

 

THE POSTURE OF MY DETRACTORS AND IDEOLOGICAL OPPONENTS 

 

Being who I am has, as expected, placed me amongst the list of those who do not share the same view. Some do not like me because to them I am too young to occupy a position of authority (these I do not take seriously).

The owners of the means of production – the capitalists, and both the petit and comprador bourgeoisies – see me and my views as influencing the youth rapidly such that I represent a direct threat to their positions and status in society (these we will battle till the end). How it plays out is that myself and those around me are demonized as ill-disciplined and liabilities as a strategy to dispose me and us. Journalists and leaders are therefore rented by the detractors to execute their plans. On their part, journalists, like Marianne, are hired to perform such duties.

Leaders, within and outside the liberation movement are hired to ensure that they condemn each position I take and label me as a degenerate. Some were even heard telling their masters, “it is a matter of time before we get rid of the boy.”

There has been much manifestation to this effect. Everything I do must be scrutinized to find something negative. Nothing good I do must be recognized. Even where there exists no linkages, they will find linkages. When I established a youth development office at my village, Omaalala, it formed part of the discussions amongst powers that be. When we opened a free water tap for our community and our headman, who happens to be from the opposition, commended us, it was asked of me why I am associating with opposition.

They did not bother to ask who gave blankets to my grandmother when her homestead burned down (discussion for another day). My explanation that my traditional leadership is important than the parties irked the powers that be.

The gospel of “it is a matter of time before we get rid of the boy,” continued and continues. The Mandela matter is nothing but part of the same objective.

 

THE FINAL ANALYSIS

 

For what it is worth, I wish to make it clear that at no point was my post made on behalf of the SPYL or the Swapo party or in my elected position. The post was part of the debate we had, as Black Consciousness cadres, at Stellenbosch in South Africa.

It was also not produced after Mr Mandela’s death nor was it produced in 2013. I remain a firm believer of Black Consciousness and a leftist activist. No amount of intimidation, deliberate concoction and misrepresentation of matters will make me abandon the philosophy of choice and freedom of thought.

I will not seek permission to think. The only thing I can do, due to organizational discipline and consideration, is to offer an explanation. As for the rest of the things, this matter included, history will decide. As for the youth, do not relent, equivocate nor compromise. Take into Namibia a vision of a Namibia reborn, a Namibia that will not relent, equivocate nor compromise. We must still ask, who cooked the soup?

 

• Job Shipululo Amupanda is a Doctoral Student | GSD | Switzerland.

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