While many are coming to terms with the fact that as Africans we are not immune to the colonialvirus called COVID-19, the South African neocolonial government is forced to explain the reason why majority of black people are failing to adhere to the precautions and regulations it has set out for the public in response to what they have declared a global pandemic.
While the declaration of a pandemic raises alarm to the bourgeois classes, for us the colonized people the definition of a pandemic reminds us a lot of the brutal and pernicious colonialism that has since engulfed our lives everyday for the last several hundreds years.
Instead of dealing with the colonial parasitic relationship characterized by the wealth amassed by the colonizer white population, and the consequent material want of the colonized African population, the ANC government has resorted into more aggressive and hostile militaristic actions in dealing with the people in the townships.
As soon as the minister of health announced that there’s a debut recorded case of Coronavirus in South Africa, scores of white people went on a spree of emptying the food and hygiene products shelves in stores as a response. This is despite the reassurance from their government that the spread of the virus will be contained. And as expected, the neocolonial government could not contain the virus and as of April 9, 2020 there are 1,845 confirmed cases with a total of 18 deaths.
The rising lack of confidence in the government can be seen in the unwillingness of people to listen to the president and his cabinet who have proved themselves to be incompetent since the outbreak. On March 23, neocolonial president Cyril Ramaphosa made a live address announcing a 21 day lockdown that would commence three days from then.
The African People’s Socialist Party immediately went live to reiterate that the African working class does not have a government, thus we have launched The People’s War campaign to give the people the confidence in taking power into their own hands, and understand that all biological viruses in Africa are colonial viruses that are meant to further the continued oppression and exploitation of our people and continent.
There seems to be a general defiance across all sectors of society, albeit in different ways. While the colonizer population, and an assortment of middle class blacks are refusing to take the advice that they should not panic buy, the dispossessed working class Africans are breaking every newly introduced law that has been imposed on us by the neocolonial government. Even lawyers are being suspended for failing to abide by the ever-changing regulations of the colonial lockdown.
However, the neocolonialists have since been dealing with this defiance selectively according to the expected nature of the defiance, some of which is often exaggerated by those who occupy our land, and their middle class native ideological mimics. Considering that the majority of African workers, having been kept out of the formal structures of the colonial economy, survive from hand to mouth on a daily basis, the government anticipated serious resistance from these communities.
Consequently, the lockdown for the colonized communities would entail the deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), accompanied by the regular police into the streets to use brute force in keeping us indoors. Tens of videos of troops kicking African workers and forcing us to perform humiliating exercises have been making rounds on social media raising alarm to sensitive individuals. But as the African People’s Socialist Party we have not been alarmed at all because that is what we expect from an enemy State that was birthed through exerting violence on us and denying us our humanity.
The hypocrisy of the South African neocolonial government is such that when they address the public they speak as if their message is directed to a homogeneous society, but then in action they respond in accordance to the reality that this country is built atop the African population for the benefit of the white colonizer population.
26 years later since the African masses voted the ANC into government, hopeful that we will finally live dignified lives, the situation is actually worse with more shantytowns and high levels of poverty and unemployment for the downtrodden African masses. The great immiseration experienced by the colonized who are still locked in the townships is contradicted by the affluence that continues to be experienced by the settler colonizer population.
African people in the townships cannot afford to panic buy, let alone to self quarantine. They cannot ‘panic-buy’ because for you to have that luxury you need the resources to be able to do so, the resources which for the last plus-minus 300 years have been feeding and securing white people.
Today, South Africa, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu’s ‘rainbow nation’ is able to be rated the most unequal country in the whole world by the World Bank. White people are able to self-quarantine because they have big plots and houses with many rooms, whereas the average African worker is likely to be sharing a room with more than five people, all of which speaks to the unresolved question of land that was taken by brute and genocidal forces from the latter by the former.
Therefore, it is not a question of whether black people are careless with their lives and do not want to obey the government. It is a question of whether the ANC can take responsibility for the continued suffering and material want of African people in their own land while our colonizers, white people are becoming richer from the fruits of our labor.
The African working class needs to recognize that we do not have a government, nor a country and that our historical mission is to get rid of the colonizers who occupy our land and sum up neocolonialism by consolidating a borderless, unified, and independent socialist African State.
The African People’s Socialist Party, through The People’s War campaign is calling on all colonized workers and progressive forces to recognize that colonialism is the primary virus that must be fought to the death if we are to ever survive all these other secondary viruses imposed on us by imperialism.