This article appears in the May 18, 2018 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
TEXT OF SUPPRESSED ADDRESS
Zuma Exposes the History of British Imperial Evil in South Africa
May 14—In an hour-long lecture on April 21, South Africa’s former President, Jacob Zuma, reviewed the criminality and savagery of the British Empire, as visited upon South Africa in the first hundred years of British conquest. There is no precedent for such an address in South Africa.
For several years, the spokesman for the LaRouche movement in South Africa, Ramasimong Phillip Tsokolibane, has demanded that his nation break completely and decisively with the British Empire. Former President Zuma—in turning to the East, to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and to the BRICS initiative of both Russia’s President Putin and China’s President Xi—had effectively moved in that recommended direction, but without speaking directly of the evil of the Empire,—until April 21. Observers on both sides of the imperial divide cannot help but notice the new congruence between what the LaRouche movement had been proposing and the remarks of the former President on April 21.
Within this growing ferment against the British Empire, the attack on the LaRouche South Africa website—reported in this issue (page 28)—must be located as a sort of pathetic and obvious effort of the Empire to strike back.
Mr. Zuma’s remarks do not, however, bring the history forward to the present moment, in which a British puppet, Cyril Ramaphosa, has been installed in the Presidency. But as London and its thugs and pawns in South Africa fear, that is likely to come, as the global fight intensifies. In the meantime, anti-Empire patriots in South Africa—and everywhere—can turn to this journal for their ammunition.
Video of former President Zuma’s address, posted on the African News Network (ANN7) website, was suppressed within a few days of its appearance, and ANN7 itself has not survived, for related reasons. Here is EIR’s edited transcript, with subheads added, of the first 36 minutes of Mr. Zuma’s address—the portion in which he attacks the British Empire. EIR has now made the video of the entire address available, once again. Zuma was speaking at a “Blacks in Dialogue” event in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, under the sponsorship of Black First Land First (BLF).
Jacob Zuma: [video begins in mid-sentence] . . . was forced [by Governor Somerset in 1817] to cede land between the Great Fish and Keiskamma rivers to the British. As you hear, he [Xhosa chief Ngqika] was not asked, he was forced to do so. [applause] And they were doing it all over. One of the Zuma chiefs [had been situated] near Pietermaritzburg, the town called Howick,— all of that area belongs to the Zumas. We’re claiming it! [laughter, applause] We’re claiming it.
They came, the British, to say, “Look, we ask you to give a small portion; we want to establish a town.” He said, “No. I don’t want it.” They went away. They came a second time with weapons and soldiers and guns, and said, “We have come to ask for this piece of land.” [laughter] He realized this now was war, and said, “Well, you can just use that space only,” as if that was not enough.
Once they realized how fertile the ground was,—You know this big dam, Midmar Dam, it’s actually supposed to be Zuma Dam. [laughter, applause] After some time, they said, “No, can you just go to the other side of the mountain, so that here we will do something,” and they were establishing farming. All those farms there, the majority of them, are British owned [inaudible].
The critical point is that they had every power we didn’t have, to colonize us. We fought, though—seriously.
In 1818, the British invaded the Xhosa territory, by attacking Ndlambe, who was one of the leaders, and seized 23,000 cattle, marking the outbreak of the Fifth War of Dispossession. Subsequently, those Xhosas and those communities whose cattle had been seized, rallied behind Makhanda ka Nxele, who led an attack of 6,000 warriors on Grahamstown. They provoked us. They did everything.
In 1825, Landdrost [Cape Colony Magistrate] Andries Stockenström—or -room or -rome, I don’t know [laughter]—begins issuing temporary permits allowing white farmers to graze their livestock north of the Orange River, but they were not allowed to trade or erect buildings. This changes later in the decade, as farmers stop asking for permission and simply inform the magistrate.
1828: Ordinance 49 of 1828 is passed. The ordinance allows the government to source laborers from “frontier” communities. All black workers were given passes for the sole purpose of working, and all contracts over a month long were to be registered.
So, systematically, they began to want to know each and every one of us. You must carry a pass, you must be registered, you must be known. [That was] partly also to prevent us from fighting, because they can easily identify us.
Annexation after Annexation
In 1829, January, Maqoma raids Bawana, a Thembu chief, forcing the latter’s followers to flee across into territory seized by the colonialists. Stockenström got the expulsion of Maqoma from the Kat River Valley and establishes a settlement for landless Khoi, to create a buffer zone between the Xhosa community and white settler farmers, and to consolidate territories seized by the colonialists. Maqoma responds by increasing cattle raids on white farmers, forcing them to informally allow him to return to the territory.
In 1833 and 1835, in December, the Xhosa community launched an attack on the British after [Xhosa chief] Xhoxho was injured by a British patrol, sparking the Sixth War of Dispossession.
So you can count a number of incidents where we were provoked. They covered, in actual fact, the entire country. They moved throughout, they attacked, [inaudible]. There are these guys, like Sir Benjamin D’Urban—I don’t know why Durban was named after this fellow. [Inaudible] And there was annexation after annexation.
In 1837, voortrekkers [Afrikaners moving from Cape Colony to the interior to get free of British rule] under the leadership of Hendrick Potgieter defeated the Ndebele under Mzilikazi at the Marico River, and seized vast tracts of land between the Limpopo and Vaal rivers. It must be noted that Mzilikazi is one king who was effectively exiled by the Boers and seems to have been written out of South African history. He had to cross to Zimbabwe finally; he went to Botswana, then crossed to Zimbabwe. And he had had quite a big kingdom.
In 1838, in May, the voortrekkers led by Andries Pretorius fought and defeated the Zulu at the banks of the Ncome River, called the Blood River, and dispossessed them of their land. In fact, they took the whole area in the south of the Tugela [River], naming it Republic of Natalia. It only changed later, when the British took it, and they called it Natal.
It’s countless, the accounts where they went. They even went to the Sekwatis [royal family of the Pedi], particularly the Afrikaners went, Hendrick Potgieter. He also signed a treaty there.
So there is no corner of the land they did not touch. The point I’m stressing is that this was long before 1913. [applause] You can deal with many instances that will indicate that indeed, long before 1913, the land was taken—from everybody, to every community in South Africa. There are details that will always, in a sense, support this view. It is absolutely important for us to be aware of this, and I think we need, on this matter, to put our facts together, as the Black Caucus, instead of just demanding our land.
But let those among us who can put it together, and articulate it, present it everywhere. And I would be happy if you could go and address Parliament [applause] about those matters.
In 1848, in February, a government land commission established during the year, states that the extent of land recommended by the 1846-47 commission is excessive. The commission apportions land to white settlers.
This point about settlers is important for us to appreciate: Part of our difficulties in South Africa is because we have the biggest number of European settlers—in the whole world. [applause] And we’ve got to appreciate that therefore, the resistance to giving land is going to be very serious.
Many countries in Africa were colonies. Once they were decolonized, the administrators packed their bags and left. Here, we used to call it, Special—hmm? [audience responds, “Colonization of a Special Type”]. Exactly, Colonization of a Special Type, where the colonizer lives with the colonized.
That tells you how difficult our struggle is. In all other countries, they left, but the people remained, did whatever they wanted to do with their land, their everything. With us—different—we’re all here. [laughter]
Creating a Docile Workforce
In 1850, Sir George Grey confiscated land from black people, leaving them to search for work on farms.
The taking of the land—one of the things that encouraged it, was to force blacks, particularly after the discovery of diamonds and gold, to go and work. If they had land, they would not have had to leave, and so it was important to deliberately dispossess them. There were many things they introduced, in order to force us to go and work, so the taking of the land created the labor force. We were people, in our country, citizens [indistinct], working our land, everything. We’re then turned into laborers, because the land had been taken from us.
In 1852, the British under Sir George Cathcart attacked the BaSotho under King Moshoeshoe. And it was the same, until King Moshoeshoe asked the British to help.
There are many of the incidents that detail how the land was taken away from us, and I don’t know why people should pretend it never happened. [applause]
In November 1853, a resolution taken by the Volksraad [Afrikaner legislative assembly in the Transvaal] enabled District Commandants to grant land for occupation by Africans on condition of “good behavior.” [laughter] And “good behavior” was simple: be kind to them, don’t fight. However, under the resolution there was no individual title. Africans had to use the land communally. Chiefs were regarded as trustees of the tribe. However, power over the land still remained the hands of the white government. “Be kind, the land is not yours, it’s just that your chief is keeping it in trust.” So, all of that.
In 1855, in June, Resolution 159 is adopted by the Transvaal government. It prohibits anybody who was not a burger [citizen] from owning land and also prohibits Africans from having burger rights. So there were laws and regulations made just to keep you away from land.
1856, voortrekkers declare an independent Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek, and lay claim to the Transvaal,— You must not like my Afrikaans. My Afrikaans is prison Afrikaans. [laughter] It is very different.
They declare this republic, and lay claim to the Transvaal and the land up to the Limpopo River. [They] just say, “This is our land now. Move off.”
Still, Whites Should Have Some Land
In 1857, in April, Lieutenant General Scott issues a proclamation offering vacant Crown lands which are between 300 and 3,000 acres. This increases land speculation by white settlers who, in turn, after purchasing the land, lease it to Africans, at yearly rental of 5 shillings. So, with time, it becomes stronger and stronger.
In 1958, the First BaSotho-Boer War breaks out as a voortrekker commando attacks Thaba Bosiu. In response, the Sothos mobilize an army of 10,000 warriors who raid unprotected settler farms and defeat the voortrekkers and force them to retreat. This battle continued for some time, until Moshoeshoe asked for British protection, and then that’s how Lesotho becomes the British protectorate, protecting themselves from the Boers.
This happened in every other area, until they covered the whole country. Kingdoms fell; some disappeared. After pushing some people across rivers, they put on the other side, the line of soldiers that are waiting for people to cross.
The story of land is a sad story in our country. It’s a sad story that there was a deliberate decision to send a particular number of settlers in 1820-something, to come and settle and draw a border, to say, “This land at this site, now belongs to somebody.”
When people send their cattle across, if they cross their cattle too fast, they are called “thieves”: “They have come to steal our cattle.” And I don’t think they came with a single cow in the ship, when they landed. [applause]
The critical point is that the issue of the land needs to be discussed properly. We need to discuss it fairly. We are not saying these people should have no land. We say we can’t remain without land, when they have land. We must find a formula. We tried to work out on a formula, willing something and willing something. [laughter] Willing seller, willing buyer.
Audience member: Willing buyer, willing seller.
Zuma: Willing buyer, willing seller. It did not work in the 24 years [since majority rule began in 1994], sufficiently. And we need to agree, rather than to say, “No, no. This can’t happen; it’s wrong.” Because you make us think about this history, and to ask, then, what must we do? [applause]
In 1879, Zulu warriors defeated the British at the Battle of Isandlwana, January. The British forces are defeated by the Zulu impis [warrior formations], at the Battle of Isandlwana, indeed.
Africans Turn to Political Methods
In November, the Pedi under the leadership of Sekhukhune are defeated by British forces, leaving about 1,000 Pedi warriors dead. Sekhukhune is captured and imprisoned in Pretoria. Just look how the kingdoms,— which have been destroyed without any second thought.
In the Cape, the government annexes Fingoland (amaMfengu) and Griqualand West, which constitutes two-thirds of the territory between the Cape and Natal.
In 1882-83, white farmers lay a siege on Ndzundza (Ndebele) for nine months, who when faced with starvation, are forced to surrender. Their fertile lands are seized and divided among the voortrekkers. Each war participant is given five families to use as servants, who work for little or no pay on the farms.
So we’ve been turned into real proletariat, into almost slaves. You are sitting here with your land—suddenly it is taken away. Suddenly, your enemy says, “You are now my worker. I’ll pay you if I want. If I don’t—sorry.”
1885: Gcalekaland and Thembuland are incorporated into the Cape Colony. So anything that was remaining, is taken.
1887: After defeating the Zulu warriors at the Battle of Ulundi , the British formally annex Zululand to pre-empt the simmering threat of the Zulu people fighting back to recover the loss of their territory. The kingdom is broken up into thirteen chiefdoms by Garnet Wolseley and placed under different chiefs, each with a British resident. The chiefs are asked, and told, “The magistrate is your nkosi [master]. You report there.”
This is a story of the land, how it was taken, and how we became landless.
The last one—there are many—the last one was the introduction of poll tax, which made Chief Bambatha rebel. Chief Bambatha kaMancinza, on his own [applause] led a bloody revolt and defeated the advancing British law and forces who were trying to fight him. [He] dealt with them, but they organized; more reinforcements were sent in to try and capture him. He fled and operated from the Nkandla Forest and continued to build a resistance army and conducted a guerrilla warfare, together with Chakijana.
The white troops in the area were faced with that fight, including the leaders, chiefs who agreed to pay poll tax. Chakijana had formed the guerrillas. They dealt with them. That led to the arrest of King Dinizulu and indeed, Bambatha was defeated.
This was the last resistance from us, as Africans. It sent a very clear message that the methods we have been using so far did not work, to make us defend our land. And made our forebears take a decision to fight differently, to use the political methods to fight, because land had been taken. This was a very serious situation, because in a clash between the Afrikaners and the British that led to the Anglo-Boer War, as it was called then, the main thing is that the land had become a big issue for the British. They did not want Afrikaners to have what you call the republics [the South African Republic and the Orange Free State], without them controlling. And that’s why that war occurred.
No, Land Theft Did Not Start in 1913
And finally, the Afrikaners were defeated. They then put together a new country, the Union of South Africa. Now, if we say, by 1910, the whites, who were fighting among themselves, had reached an agreement to put together all four republics and make one Union: Why do we think, after 1910, the land was not taken away? [And that] it was only taken away in 1913 [by the Natives Land Act], and [that] that’s where we should claim.
I think it’s an issue that we need to deal with, logically. Because it is the 1910 Union establishment which put all of us blacks out; only whites [had rights]. We had no vote, we had no participation in Parliament, in localities, everywhere. That’s what made those who felt we now have to fight differently, to form an organization for the first time. And every, every community was represented in Bloemfontein [at the founding of the African National Congress in 1912].
And the issue was not alone just the land. The land, the country, in whatever form you call it, the authority, our rights—everything. In our country, we have been pushed out of administration. And this is what made us to say, “Let us fight.”
Now, what is interesting for me, is that, at that time, those people who lived more than a century ago, made a call, that this problem is facing us blacks, that we cannot defeat the colonialists, if we are not united. If we think we can fight it, in our different things,— by that time there were few organizations that each of the provinces had, and they were convinced, we need to form one organization. We must all be part of it. We use it to unite all of us. And they said, at the time, let us stop—let us stop fighting among ourselves; let us stop the animosity among ourselves. [applause]
And that shows, when we are feeling good, we say these were “old people,” who are not as bright as we are. We can now operate and manipulate high-tech things. Certainly we believe we are actually better than those. Hmm? [speaking in isiZulu:] “They couldn’t drive cars. Even riding a bike, they would fall off.” [laughter] We fly planes today—but we can’t see the sense that Africans must unite. [applause] That is my biggest problem. . . .