Cde Serame Mokgakala

Last Saturday evening I listened to a jazz programme on SAfm dedicated to the 
memory of Ezra Ngcukana.  They also played one of his powerful compositions 
titled "We Will Win".  These are your words in reference to the internal PAC 
struggles for change.   As you would know, high creativity and art is 
inspirational - and I was not immune to this infectious spell from the great 
artistry of Bra Ezra.  He is little known in local jazz media promotions, 
however ardent followers of avant garde idiom of jazz hold him in high esteem.  
Those who suppress the promotion of his products, do so on the basis that he 
has unflinchingly flown the flag of Pan Africanists, and they prefer the status 
qou.  Cultural imperialism is one of the tools to control colonial subjects and 
convert them them into willing participants in the nefarious scheme of human 
inequality where African in particular are regarded as inferior.  They say 
Africans have not contributed to the civilisation of the modern world.  Those 
of us who refute these reactionary positions are sidelined by the established 


Ezra used his music to spread the ideas of Pan Africanism.  In fact the 
Brothers Ncgukana have contributed immensely, through their various skills, to 
the awakening and sustenance of the PAC politics in South Africa.  I remember 
one of the brothers - who lived in Pimville and was a copywriter for a 
advertising agency - briefed the PAC leadership in early 1992 about media 
strategies to advance the Party in the eyes and minds of the masses.  He coined 
the statement "The African People Deserve Better".  This proposal was supposed 
to be a theme for the PAC to run its programmes throughout the negotiations 
phase and the first general elections.   Sadly we did not, and the programme 
advised and promoted by the US State Department to the ANC leadership under the 
theme "We Have a Plan" took over the imagination of the  people.  "We Have a 
Plan" was also Bill Clinton's electoral campaign theme in 1992.  The DA used 
"South Africa Deserves Better" in their 2004 election campaign.  Ifa le 
zithutha lidliwa a ba hlakanephileyo - so said Letta Mbulu in her popular song 
"Not Yet Uhuru".   Bra Ezra composed the tune "Sobukwe" in the album "You Think 
You Know Me", which was produced in 1984.  Fitzroy Ngcukana has always  rallied 
the arts community to work with the PAC's broad structures.  The 
counter-revolutionaries inside the Party often sabotage these attempts - 
however, we will also say victory is certain on the cultural front.


The struggle has many disciplines and it is up to the leadership to harness 
them into one.  The collective leadership vision must act like what one of my 
Charterist friends (who is one of the top leaders) described Uncle Zeph, in a 
conversation he held with me on the quality of leaders:  "Mothopeng's 
leadership style was like that of a conductor in a philharmonic orchestra.  
Different sounds and qualities of contributions to the same song, by different 
artists using various instruments, in unison at times and solos in some 
instances, but all focused on the instructions and cues of the instructor."  
That is leadership in symbolic terms.  Uncle Zeph mastered his music. 


We Will Win was used as a catchphrase of the Vietnamese in their struggle 
against imperialism, and to keep up the spirits of the fighting forces in their 
war against the US and the French armies until final victory in the mid 
seventies.  The Vietnamese revolutionaries distributed a poster showing a 
photograph with a slightly built Vietnamese woman leading a captured American 
soldier who was big and strong and at the bottom simply stated in bold: "We 
Will Win". The leaders of the revolution in Vietnam believed in their cause, 
and they had the courage of their convictions.  They aligned their vanguard 
movement with the wishes and aspirations of the people.  Ho Chi Minh was on the 
ground doing mass work during the war.  When they took over, the masses already 
knew him as the old man who gave sound advice and participated with them in 
their daily struggles.  He refused to step into the shoes of the overthrown 
authorities when he was president of a liberated Vietnam, and symbolically 
chose to live in a humble and modest home rather than the mansions of the 
French colonialists.  That is why I don't understand why anyone in their right 
mind would see progress in the unity of Cecil Rhodes and Nelson Mandela forming 
a foundation to symbolically drive the new changes in Africa.  Cecil Rhodes 
said natives are intrinsically indolent and stupid.  


Cecil Rhodes was an arch imperialist. The Grahamstown Festival of the Arts held 
every year in July at Rhodes university has smuggled itself to the fore as a 
national festival to celebrate the emergence of a new nation in South Africa.  
In actual fact, it is a continuation of the Festival to celebrate the 1820 
Settlers who set up Grahamstown as a launch pad to take over Africa 
economically, spiritually and intellectually.  The Standard Bank, with its 
British background, is the sole financial supporter of this shameful colonial 
programme.  In fact, South Africa does not have a truly national festival to 
appreciate its own African arts programmes.  Oppikoppi Festival is a modernised 
version of Afrikaner cultural celebration.  There are various attempts to 
gather the different national groups, a la homeland-style, to exposed their 
'diverse' dances, languages and music.  This is what the PAC in its Basic 
Documents calls apartheid multiplied and another way to keep white domination 
in place but without frills and trappings.  Discussions over the National 
Question are always side stepped and completely avoided by the authorities.  It 
is as if the country is living a lie.  It does not know itself and cannot 
reflect itself truly through a national culture.  


I am writing this note to say to you that we must all draw inspiration from 
those we regard as our patriotic heroes.  Including the unknown personalities 
we live with, who are not covered by the popular media.  Ezra Ngcukana died 
last week.  He is certainly one of my national patriotic heroes.  He was not 
honoured by the state during his lifetime.  His contributions to a cultural 
heritage are immense.  I go along with him (and yourself) that We Will Win.


Izwe lethu iAfrika.


Jaki Seroke


> Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2010 10:35:29 -0700
> Subject: Re: [PAYCO]
> From:
> To:
> I Salute you Noble Son Of Africa!! I am one of those embroiled in the
> controversies around the PAC. I have decided to contribute at a
> distance, without any wish for compensation. My reward will be rebuilt
> PAC. Keep your head high. We will win!!
> On Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 4:12 AM, Jaki Seroke <> wrote:
> > Mduduzi
> >
> > I'm glad that you've met with positive responses in the streets from your
> > open support for the PAC.  The masses - the working people made up of
> > workers, poor peasants, the unemployable (the underclass) and the jobless,
> > students, youth, women and the aged - have living experience of the heat of
> > the struggle, and they know their organisations and their patriotic heroes.
> > The PAC definitely belongs to this category.  It is not a figment of the
> > imagination to say the masses relate to the thoughts and activities of
> > Sharpeville and Langa (1960), the Poqo Insurrection (1961 -1967),  the
> > re-emergence of struggle ethos with involvement of the PAC in the Black
> > Consciousness movement (1968 -1977), the PAC underground network and the
> > armed struggle (1978 -1994), and the rise of young braves from the crucible
> > of direct confrontation with the settler colonial powers.  That the PAC did
> > not emerge victorious from the successive national general elections is in
> > itself a reflection of the objective conditions and the predominance of the
> > global power play, and that the African masses are themselves not in
> > power.  I would expect the sigh of relief and positive response from those
> > who believe that, given a chance, the true liberation forces will re-emerge
> > and reclaim their positions in society rather than this dominance of
> > selfish, corrupt, and reactionary spirit prevailing in the corridors of
> > power.
> >
> > The contradictions inside the PAC are however a different matter
> > altogether: now that career politics pays a living wage and a decent salary,
> > all the different characters with a mission put up a fight to assume
> > positions of control and influence inside the Party for personal benefit.
> > They distort the purpose for which the PAC exist and use its platforms for
> > self-aggrandisement and self-enrichment.  They prefer short cuts to power
> > before it is too late.  Each time the doors are opened for everybody to come
> > back to the PAC - such as when Uncle Zeph was released in 1990 and at the
> > Mamelodi Convention of Africanists in 1996 -  the opportunists with
> > questionable credentials and funny backgrounds worm themselves up
> > to influential positions and to take authority, but they then go out to
> > settle old scores and mete out vendettas.  They say when you open doors for
> > fresh air you should also accept that flies will also come in.  If we are
> > all serious about resolving these contradictions we would then create a
> > conducive atmosphere and a common platform to discuss and map the road going
> > forward in a united PAC.  What you are saying is correct.  Those who believe
> > they own the PAC as some kind of personal fiefdom are obviously
> > delusionary.  Those who form cliques and tribal fraternities are
> > reactionary.  Those who keep silent and fear consequences for doing the
> > right thing are cowards. And soon we should label the ones who obstruct the
> > path to the re-emergence of the PAC as sell-outs.  I believe that all that
> > the African people expect from us - we who are committed to the PAC's
> > objectives and are in the Africanist school of thought - is to get our house
> > in order. No stupid rantings and no flies.
> >
> > Izwe lethu iAfrika.
> >
> > Jaki Seroke
> >
> >
> >
> > ________________________________
> > Subject: [PAYCO]
> > Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2010 10:26:20 +0200
> > From:
> > To:
> > CC:
> >
> > Hi Jackie: Mawande/ Cunningham/  Sebenzile
> >
> >
> >
> > The PAC doesn’t seem to have fallen on a political oblivion
> >
> >
> >
> > Last weekend I put on my PAC t-shirt, (I had not worn PAC things for many
> > years), despite the unfavorable climate these days. as it was month end, a
> > lot of people were thronging to town for varied reasons. It was very much
> > intrigued that I can count approximately 10 people who greeted me in open
> > palm salute of PAC. They would shout or acclaim “izwe lethu”. Typically was
> > an old woman, who must have been at her eighties, this woman was very
> > thrilled. She recounted to me how police raided PAC camps in Lesotho, and
> > she expressed her profound sadness at the untimely passing away of Prof
> > Sobukwe. She continued to express her very deep sense of disappointment with
> > the current antecedents making a continued history of internal rivalry in
> > the PAC. Comrade:
> >
> > In your previous email you argued that there was no schism in this
> > organization, except people taking over the PAC, probably to amass accruals
> > through this organization. Be what this concerns maybe, their controversy
> > and so on. Without taking any side, I was elated that ten people on Saturday
> > gave PAC recognition. However, we fail to exploit these opportunities. I
> > understand there were two separate PAC events celebrating hero’s day. Can’t
> > we be pragmatic? Let’s face reality and engage each other, let us dialog on
> > the differences. Some time ago, I refrained from entering the fray between
> > these groupings. I think now I can put my points very clear, let us unite.
> > People ay to us izwe lethu when they greet us, but we say amongst ourselves
> > my enemy when we greet one another.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Kind Regards
> >
> > Mduduzi Sibeko
> >
> > 011-724-9298/49
> >
> > 071-101-2595
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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> -- 
> Ezrom Serame Mokgakala
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