Leaders of the Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) have been urged to play the role of the biblical Prophet Moses and free South Africans from the hegemony of the governing ANC as the left-wing outfit mulls collaborations with future coalition partners.
Well-respected clergyman Bishop Joe Seoka delivered his message of encouragement to the Azapo faithful during the party’s non-elective national Congress held in Tshwane over the weekend, under the theme “Towards Dismantling the Colonial Structure of Azania: Championing the People’s Struggles.”
The Congress became a show of strength from the list of guests who came to support the movement as it gears up to reclaim its relevance and change its fortunes at the polls next year. Seoka was among the distinguished guests, who included past Azapo presidents Dr Mosibudi Mangena, Professor Saths Cooper, Pandelani Nefolovhodwe and Strike Thokoane.
Others included Pan African Congress (PAC) President Mzwanele Nyhontsho, South African Federation of Trade Unions general-general Zwelinzima Vavi, and The All-African People’s Revolutionary Party’s (A-APRP’s) John Trimble. Seoka told African Times that he meant every word that he delivered in his message to the Azapo delegates.
“All I was saying to the conference is that this is an opportune moment for Azapo to enter the space of political leadership. They can only do that by moving into communities of the marginalised, identifying with them and turning their ideas into implementable programmes that would alleviate poverty and lack of basic services.
“The leadership must take this opportunity to engage and do all that is lacking so that people can rethink their electoral participation. They should help people not to vote with their hearts but to use their brains in deciding who to vote for,” said Bishop Seoka. “The ruling party has failed them and they need somebody to liberate them. The example of Moses with the Egyptian and liberating the Israelites from bondage and oppression is a good example that needs to be followed.”
Azapo’s secretary for publicity and information, Gaontebale Nododa said the Bishop’s message resonated well with the members and supporters of the party.
“Bishop Seoka shared a profound message of hope, encouraging delegates to provide the much-needed leadership in their communities and inspire hope for the demobilised electorate. “The message he shared resonated with Azapo’s vision. All our speakers urged Azapo to ready herself for assuming the responsibility of being a formidable contender for state power. Speaker after speaker encouraged Azapo to continue to pursue campaigns and projects showing that the party cares,” said Nododa.
Nododa said one of the resolutions include embarking on coalition agreements that lean towards the liberation of black people from neo-colonialism, racism and economic exploitation.
“Representatives of the coalition partners in government should not be implicated in any form of corruption. Coalition governments should primarily serve the interest of Black people. “Azapo will ensure her constituency fully appreciates, is educated and understands the objectives of entering into coalition governments,” said Nododa.
Azapo President Nelvis Qekema said some viewed the party as a weak prey because it doesn’t have the same financial resources that the major parties have. He, however, emphasised that Azapo was a strong idea that would never be easily demolished as it represents the oppressed masses of the country.
“It would take a complete genocide of black people to liquidate Azapo. Financial strangulation failed to lynch Azapo because the absence of money cannot frustrate the will and determination of an oppressed people to be free.
“Money depreciates under a negative economic environment while the will of a people intensifies even under the most ruthless persecution. This ruthless persecution is neo-colonialism,” Qekema said.
Azapo took a number of resolutions to reaffirm its position in society towards a deliberate move away from what Qekema labelled “politics of purity and self-marginalisation.”
The Azapo conference took a number of resolutions including the following:
- Building a vibrant and action-oriented organisation for attainment of One
Million Votes in 2024: Azapo will embark on a series of door-to-door campaigns aimed at collecting signatures and influencing voting patterns.
- Establishing an electoral fund and finalising an election strategy that
encompasses digital communication and political education targeting the youth.
- Spread Black Consciousness and discuss the future of the country with black people in their communities while also forming Azapo branches throughout the country.
- Fight patriarchy wherever it rears its ugly head in all sectors and communities.