I'm wondering why are we sourcing information about the PAC and its
activities in exile from our own political adversaries e.g. the article
here-under has been directly sourced from ANC website in a document that
was circulated by the ANC prior to 1999 general elections for reasons
best known to the ANC top brass. I'm therefore still puzzled as to the
logic thereof,  Basically the article is insulting PAC's role in the
liberation struggle, to say the least. Maybe someone may enlighten us on
this one. 

 

Hope not to be misunderstood...

 

Sebenzile Mlaza

Dept. :Claims 6

*  E-mail     :  sebenzi...@raf.co.za

*   Phone      : +27 11 223-0354

*  Fax           : +27 11 223-0072 or 086 697 4587

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Mduduzi Sibeko [mailto:msib...@randwater.co.za] 
Sent: 03 August 2010 02:47
To: payco@googlegroups.com
Subject: [PAYCO] 

 


Potlako Leballo


Potlkako Leballo (1915 - 1986) was an Africanist who led the Pan
Africanist Congress until 1979. Leballo was co-founder of the Basutoland
African Congress in 1952 and a World War II veteran and primary school
headmaster. 

Leballo was born in Lifelakoaneng, Mafeteng, Basutoland in 1915, but
claimed he had been born in 1925. He ranked a chief but never claimed
his rights. He was active in the African National Congress Youth League
until he and other radical leaders including Robert Sobukwe were
expelled from the ANC and went on to form the PAC, a more radical
Africanist movement.He held the extraordinary distinction of having
respectively successfullly nominated Chief Albert Lutuli (1952) and
Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe (1959) to the leadership of the African
National Congress (ANC) and Pan Africanist Congress (PAC). He stated
later (1984) than he believed that leaving the ANC (although encouraged
by Kwame Nkrumah and the Basuto leader Ntsu Mokhehle) was a mistake and
that his "Africanists" should have fought for control of the party
rather than forming a new one. He was elected Secretary General of the
PAC and within a year the new party was seriously challenging the ANC.
[cite web| url=http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/discussion/pac.html
title=The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania: A viable alternative or a
flat spare-tyre?
publisher=ANC
date=1998] 

After the anti-pass campaign and the Sharpeville massacre when PAC
supporters were shot by police in 1960, Leballo was sentenced to prison
for incitement, and on his release in 1962 moved to Basutoland (now
Lesotho), where he helped re-establish the PAC. His leadership included
the formation of the extremist Poqo military wing of the PAC, later to
become the Azanian People's Liberation Army (APLA). The 1962 -64 Poqo
rising partly failed because the vital shipment of arms from Ghana and
Egypt to the Transkei coast vanished, reportedly sold by corrupt PAC
officials, but mostly because of Leballo's expulsion from Basutoland
(his own country) following South African pressure. Leballo set up PAC
headquarters in Ghana and Tanzania. He was responsible for a major
ideological shift towards Maoism but until 1976 was unable to get
majority backing from external refugees, many of whom quickly lost their
ardor for militant activities while still demanding a major role in
party affairs. A formidable demagogue in the rural areas and townships,
Leballo was ill suited in exile to the diplomatic circuit. The majority
so called "reformist-diplomat" section of the external PAC repeatedly
challenged for the PAC leadership but were then themselves seriously
challenged by the arrival in exile in 1974 of 178 troops of the refugee
Basutoland Congress Party who trained as PAC Azanian People's Liberation
Army guerrillas in Libya; and then by 500 Soweto and Cape students who
joined the Basotho in Libya. In 1978 the PAC leader Sobukwe died in
restriction in Kimberley and Leballo was elected Chairman of the PAC.
His position was tenuous. Nkrumah was long gone and Mao Zedong died in
1976. The PAC had been forced to consider extremely unsavory allies such
as Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein and Idi Amin. The main threat however came
from the US Carter administration that had resolved it needed South
Africa as a stable element in the equation to settle the Zimbabwe issue.
The ANC and PAC were urged to abandon guerrilla war and embrace detente
and dialogue. Andrew Young, the (USA UN ambassador) and the Nigerians
reportedly donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to David Sibeko, the
PAC representative at the UN, to dilute Leballo's revolutionary ideology
by getting his own supporters elected to the new PAC executive. Sibeko
was largely successful (hence Leballo's title of "Chairman" rather than
"President") but neglected the newly recruited Azanian People's Army
(APLA), already victorious over the older APLA of Templeton Ntantala and
demanding a greater share in finances. In 1979 Leballo left for medical
treatment in England and a triumvirate of Sibeko, Vus Make, and Elias
Ntloedibe announced they were the new PAC leadership following Leballo's
"resignation." APLA commanders arrived in Dar es Salaam from Itumbi
Camp, Chunya near Mbeya, and quarreled with Sibeko. The same evening
they shot him dead. Vus Make was then declared the new PAC leader but
APLA rejected him. In the ensuing standoff at Chunya Tanzanian troops
allegedly killed eleven APLA soldiers, wounded forty and split the
survivors up into detention camps. Many escaped to Kenya but were unable
to regroup. In 1980 Leballo arrived in Zimbabwe and established a new
PAC headquarters. He had no funds and was financially supported by a
white APLA intelligence officer. Although he was welcomed by Edgar
Tekere, the ZANU (PF) Secretary General and other party and military
leaders, others including Prime Minister Robert Mugabe, pointedly kept
their distance. Leballo's intelligence officer advised him to bolster
links with North Korea, whose ambassador was enthusiastic and had even
financed household purchases for Leballo, because the officer felt that
however Pan Africanist the party was, it simply couldn't trust African
governments and it was advisable to find a secure base in North Korea.
Leballo declined, saying the party had to rely on Africa, however
treacherous politicians were. He was encouraged by the Libyan
government's promise to finance an exiled University of Azania in
Zimbabwe. 

In February 1981 John Nyati Pokela, a senior PAC member, was released
from detention in South Africa and replaced Make as the leader of the
"reformist-diplomat" PAC. Leballo wrote him suggesting a meeting,
stating in private that he would accept Pokela as PAC President/Chairman
if he (Leballo) could command APLA. Pokela never replied. They both
attended the first anniversary celebrations of independence at Rufaro
Stadium but merely waved to each other at a distance. Tanzanian
sympathizers at the Tanzanian High Commission warned Leballo that the
Tanzanian president, Julius Nyerere, and the Tanzanian secretary general
of the OAU Liberation Committee, Hashim Mbita, had both demanded
Leballo's expulsion from Zimbabwe. The next day Leballo was arrested
while waiting to meet Edison Zvogbo, a government minister, imprisoned,
and deported the next day. Handed a few dollars by his intelligence
officer as he was rushed on to a plane, Leballo eventually arrived in
Libya after being shunted around the Middle East and losing all his
luggage. 

>From 1981 until his death in 1986 Leballo worked in Ghana with President
Jerry Rawlings' People's Committees but was mostly penniless in London.
His Ugandan and Tanzanian diplomatic passports were revoked but he used
his Liberian passport to build up links with the Rwandan Tutsi and
Museveni's Ugandan resistance movements. After Pokela's sudden death in
1985 Leballo began to have success reuniting the PAC but died suddenly
in January 1986 in Greenwich, London. He was buried in Lifelakoaneng,
Lesotho. The Basutoland Congress Party, which he had co-founded and
whose military wing he had trained, acknowledged that Leballo had played
a major part in bringing down the regime of Leabua Jonathan Molapo in
1986. 

Although largely forgotten in South African politics, Leballo was
responsible for temporarily turning the PAC away in the years 1966 -
1979 from semi-fascism towards Maoism. He recognized the futility of the
Poqo slogan "drive the whites into the sea" (later revived by the
remnant PAC as "one settler one bullet" with disastrous electoral
consequences - 1.2% of the vote in 1994 and 0.7 % thereafter). Sibeko's
grab for power in 1979, the Chunya massacre, and Leballo's
peripheralization were not just the termination of one man's career but
the death of a credible left wing alternative to the ANC/SACP alliance.
[cite web|url=http://about-south-africa.com/html/pac.html
title=PAC - Pan African Congress of Azania
publisher=About South Africa] 

References 


* Leeman, Bernard (1992) Lesole la Mokhehle - Soldier for Mokhehle PAC
Office Canberra
* Leeman, Bernard (1999) Lesotho and the Struggle for Azania, "Roma,
Lesotho - updated 1985 Bremen University PhD Thesis
* Leeman, Bernard (1995) The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania,
"Australian National University, Canberra
* Mphanya, Ntsukunyane (2004) A Brief History of the Basutoland Congress
Party 1952 - 2002 "Morija, Lesotho," pp 95 - 98 

 

 

Kind Regards

Mduduzi Sibeko

011-724-9298/49

071-101-2595

msib...@randwater.co.za

 











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