The national democratic revolution is diminished. A champion of economic freedom is no more. The revolutionary flag of the ANC bows to the tsunami of emotions as our hearts bleed for Comrade Sindiso Magaqa. The spirit of OR Tambo and Chris Hani offers a centre to our hysterical urge to implode.
Our brothers killing brothers, or has the unholy third force of pre-94 re-emerged in the despair stricken townships of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN)? Does the ANC or any perceived faction of the ANC benefit from the murder of our Magaqa? Can a political vacuum serve any faction or the progressive movement?
No, our 'hope' is consumed in the flames of despair. This onslaught is fundamental to the strategy of the forces of destruction. They will not rest until the ANC implodes. Personally, I feel gutted and broken. More than my leader and SG, we served in the national NEC of the youth league together and we are family. I witnessed first-hand the commander of truth to friend and power alike.
Cde Magaqa once articulated that we are slipping fast on the precipice of an abyss and yet insisted that we must never fall. We must instead continue our ascent to the tallest summit of economic freedom in our lifetime. The very foundation of economic emancipation is the unity of the revolutionary guard. We must honour Cde Magaqa by building structures rooted in unity and the shared values of none less than the Freedom Charter.
Will the death of Magaqa narrate the obituary of the ANC Youth League or will his blood nourish the soil that bears the fruit of economic freedom? We stop only to mourn. We owe it to Cde Magaqa to advance the struggle of the poor. In his death, we must choose to uphold the second phase of the National Democratic Revolution.
We must willfully choose to overcome the corruption of capitalism with the replacement virtues of a socialist revolution where we choose economic freedom ahead of a democratised poverty. A poverty of ideas. A poverty of lifestyle. A poverty of education and skills. A poverty of leadership.
Cde Magaqa epitomized the youthful vigour, enough to challenge power yet always subjecting himself to the discipline and love for the ANC.
We seek to advance a renewed commitment and vision to an inclusive growth strategy of radical economic transformation. We can only 'live' with revolutionary purpose when we honour the revolutionary 'fallen'. We cannot succumb to a political implosion. The progressive movement issues a clarion call for all revolutionaries to embrace the spirit of Magaqa and to resurrect a divided ANC into a dynamic people centred political home of both hope and development.
In 1982 Oliver Tambo spoke to us about children of South Africa: "The children of any nation are its future. A country, a movement, a person that does not value its youth and children does not deserve its future." Cde Magaqa epitomised the youthful vigour, enough to challenge power, yet always subjecting himself to the discipline and love for the ANC. Cde Magaqa is the product of the OR Tambo legacy.
He has been ripped and stolen from our midst. In spite of the many contradictions he felt, Cde Magaqa always believed that the ANC is the only vehicle for fundamental change. He lived and died to realise this revolutionary vision. He had a physical and moral bravery. His compassion and humanity made him a "popular hero".
Chris Hani reminded us of what the ANC stands for. Socialism, he argued, "is not about big concepts and heavy theory. Socialism is about decent shelter for those who are homeless. It is about water for those who have no safe drinking water. It is about healthcare, it is about a life of dignity for the old. It is about overcoming the huge divide between urban and rural areas. It is about a decent education for all our people. Socialism is about rolling back the tyranny of the market. As long as the economy is dominated by an unelected, privileged few, the case for socialism will exist."
It was Chris Hani that helped build a culture of internal criticism in the ANC. In 1969 he and six other commissars and commanders of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the ANC's military wing, signed what became known as the "Hani memorandum". The memorandum outlined the "frightening depth of the rot in the ANC", accusing its leadership of "careerism, corruption and persecution by the party's security".
I cannot help but see before me the parallel vision of Chris Hani and Cde Magaqa. Even in death, they mirror each other.
Cde Magaqa was also fearless in exposing what is wrong in the ANC. The greatest fear of the enemies of the revolution and of the ANC is that they fear credible and visionary leadership. Like Chris Hani, our Magaqa was shot and then possibly poisoned by faceless cowards who have infiltrated our movement with a single purpose to destroy it. For us to survive this onslaught we must listen more closely to these words of Cde Chris Hani.
"What we need in South Africa is for egos to be suppressed in favour of peace. We need to create a new breed of South Africans who love their country and love everybody, irrespective of their colour. We need to create the pathways to give hope to our youth so that they can have the opportunity through education and hard work to escape the trap of poverty. If you want peace then you must struggle for social justice. What I fear is that the liberators emerge as elitists, who drive around in Mercedes-Benzes and use the resources of this country to live in palaces and to gather riches."
Chris Hani had the wisdom to understand that humans normally fail themselves and succumb to the trappings of power. I cannot help but see before me the parallel vision of Chris Hani and Cde Magaqa. Even in death, they mirror each other.
I am humbled and inspired by my close proximity to our Cde Magaqa. I must commit to live the ideals for that he lived and died.
Hamba Kahle, Mhkonto... Forever a martyr of economic freedom in our lifetime.
May your spirit always dwell in the hearts of revolutionaries.