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By Eric Naki

Political Editor


Pallo Jordan’s analysis of ANC policy ‘flawed’

The former minister implied that taking land from whites was justified as 'the ANC’s support continues to be predominantly African'.


Former ANC cabinet minister Pallo Jordan has come under criticism within the organisation for presenting a flawed interpretation of ANC historical policy positions to oppose former president Thabo Mbeki’s paper on ANC land policy.

Former Umkhonto weSizwe member Ike Moroe said Jordan, in his response to Mbeki’s pamphlet in which he criticised the ANC’s deviation from its non-racialism in its current policy of land expropriation without compensation, said in fact Jordan’s response had no “discernible argument” to refute Mbeki’s pamphlet. He said instead of differing with Mbeki’s pamphlet, Jordan had actually supported it except to misrepresent the ANC’s historical position.

In his criticism of Mbeki, that the ANC deviated from its non-racialism policy, Jordan wrote that all white-led minority parties that had governed or aspired to govern never concealed that they were pursuing the sectional interests of the white minority. Jordan further implied that taking land from whites and giving it to Africans was justified as he claimed that “the ANC’s support continues to be predominantly African”.

But Moroe took Jordan head-on, saying unless he mistakenly felt that the ANC should do exactly what the white racist minority parties did and continued to do, he was wrong. Moroe said “the strategic perspective” of the ANC as a liberation movement had always been to unite South Africans against racism, for democracy, development and prosperity.

The liberation struggle led by the ANC since its founding in 1912 to date had always been about recognising and accepting other racial populations.

He said the Freedom Charter preamble was instructive when it said that “South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white”. All people of South Africa were the motive forces for the revolution and development, regardless of race, colour or creed and “any policy assumption or amendment can only consciously occur through the will of the people”.

“Therefore, one supports the submissions made in the recommendations of Comrade Thabo Mbeki’s pamphlet, namely that all decisions of the ANC about the Land Question must respond simultaneously to the national question, with these considered together.”

He also agreed with Mbeki’s argument that whatever decisions the ANC took must never negate its historical responsibility to unite the people of South Africa to build a common non-racial society, as well as address the grievances of those disadvantaged by the colonialist and apartheid systems.

“At all times, as was the case in the past, the ANC must exercise its leadership understanding that it has to deal with a dialectically interconnected and complex social reality,” Mbeki said.

Moroe said the manner in which Jordan made his claim bordered on the rejection that the ANC needed to be serious about its policy position on non-racialism.

“It portends that the ANC uses non-racialism as a tactic rather than as a principled policy position. Now this coming from a veteran and former longstanding member of the NEC of the ANC puts in question our political clarity and ideological depth as a movement,” Moroe said.

“That assertion by Comrade Pallo might as well serve to unscramble the omelette, rather quicker and much more deeply than the apartheid regime itself could dream of succeeding. One holds that unlike others who view Comrade Pallo’s response as a deliberate personal attack on Comrade Thabo, I would rather view it as a flawed interpretation of the ANC’s historical policy positions,” Moroe said.

“That flawed interpretation of the ANC position on non-racialism is nothing new. It is a blindside that could easily overwhelm even the best brains when social strife paralyses us into racial thinking cocoons,” Moroe said.

“It is a historical reality that at no stage were the ANC policy positions formulated in a frame that rejected the presence of other racial populations, or even called for resolutions that motivated, even scantily, their expulsion or vengeful oppression as a form of redress for the oppression of the historical natives,” he said.

Moroe said the ANC from the beginning formulated its positions within the context of diversity and not African exclusivism.

“Therefore, our non-racial society objective is not a tactic, it is a strategic reality that all members of the ANC should work for, and continually strive to resolve the complex challenges of a society from that basis. These include the difficult historical Land Question,” Moroe said.

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