Text: The Black Power Front Statement
Photograph: The Black Power Front
Reacting to the murder of the 18-year-old Black boy, Michael Brown Jr, by a white police officer, Darren Dean Wilson in August 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, Michael Jeffries wrote:
“…anti-blackness more accurately captures the dehumanization and constant physical danger that black people face. The “anti” in “anti-blackness” is denial of black people’s right to life.’
Earlier this month, Black people in South Africa were once again reminded how violently anti-Black the white-criminal-settler colony called South Africa is. While one section of the Black population was preparing to engage in the annual farce of Freedom Day celebrations- far away in a small town called Coligny, in the North West province, there was an eruption of legitimate Black rage.
Hundreds of Black people took over the streets of Coligny to protest against the murder of one of their own, 16 year-old Mathlomola Jonas Mosweu.
Matlhomola died a brutal death in April of this year, in Coligny, in the North West province. The two European invaders, Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte (who are standing trial for his murder), claim he was stealing sunflower from the farm(where they work) and later fell off the back of a bakkie.
Their employer, Pieter Karsten (also a European invader and uncle to one of the accused), mobilised other European invaders in Coligny)to sign a bail application on behalf of the accused and got about 150 of them to do so. Unsurprisingly, this petition didn’t have a single Black signatory and in their first court appearance, the prosecutor made the same observation.Like that of Michael Brown, the death of Matlhomola should open the eyes of Black people to a number of realities.
One, in a twist of bloody irony, Matlhomola was killed by the European invaders in the same month that Black people in South Africa are supposed to ‘celebrate’ freedom. And he meets his death as a result of being on the stolen property of his ancestors (a farm that is now in the thieving hands of the European invaders).
So the BPF asks: what freedom did Matlhomola and his family have to ‘celebrate’ when they stay in a shack and are dependent on the enemies of their ancestors for their daily survival?
Two, like Andries Tatane, Nqobile Nzuza, Jan Rivombo, Mike Tshele, Osiah Rahube, Lerato Seema, Sikhosiphi Rhadebe, the mine workers of Marikana, Alem Dechasa, Micheal Brown, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland or Alton Sterling, Matlhomola’s Black skin guaranteed him one thing and one thing only: pre mature death.
Three, the fact that Matlhomola met his death as result of being on a farm that is ‘owned’ by European invaders,further confirms the BPF’s view that, the struggle of Black people in South Africa to take back their land is directly connected to the fight against white supremacy and related forms of anti-Black violence.
Four, Matlhomola’s death confirms once again how monumentally useless the world-acclaimed South African Constitution is to the landless Black majority. Not only does the South African Constitution legitimise the dispossession of the Black majority, but it also cannot stop the continued killing of Blacks by the European invaders.
Five, Matlhomola’s murder reopens the important question of the Black peoples’ capacity to defend themselves and their children against their enemies and those who collaborate their enemies. If truth be told, Matlhomola’s death exposes our continued vulnerability, defenceless and disorganisation as Black people-in the face of continued aggression and violence from the European invaders.
The BPF therefore realises that no amount of words or analysis will bring back our young Brother Matlhomola and that, there are many Black people (his age and older), who, purely because of their skin colour continue to be killed (by the European invades), not just in South Africa, but across the world.
One of the cardinal lessons that we as Black people must draw from Mathlomola’s murder is that, as a people, we are at war. And this war (which is not always obvious) is being waged against us by the same people who invaded our continent, captured, enslaved, raped and murdered our ancestors, principally, the European and pale-skinned Arab invaders.
It is therefore our firm belief as the BPF that, Black people, in South Africa and other parts of the world, must urgently come together and organise themselves, with the view to defend themselves against all the groups that are oppressing and killing them.
That is the most logical and intelligent thing that Black people must do and do without any apology. And it is perhaps the best tribute we can pay to Matlhomola and many other Black people who continue to be murdered by the enemies of our ancestors.