'BC unity the way forward for sa'

UNITED: The Azanian People's Organisation, Black People's Convention and the Socialist Party of Azania meet at a June 16 rally. Pic. Bafana Mahlangu. 16/06/08. © Sowetan.
UNITED: The Azanian People's Organisation, Black People's Convention and the Socialist Party of Azania meet at a June 16 rally. Pic. Bafana Mahlangu. 16/06/08. © Sowetan.

Ido Lekota

Ido Lekota

Unity among the three proponents of the black consciousness philosophy will serve as an alternative to the ANC-led government.

This was the message emphasised by speakers representing the Azanian People's Organisation (Azapo), Socialist Party of Azania (Sopa) and the Black People's Convention (BPC) at a June 16 rally at Regina Mundi in Soweto.

The three parties in the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) are currently involved in unity talks.

"Our unity passes judgment on the current system where our people are even poorer than they ever were under apartheid," said Sopa president Lybon Mabasa.

He told more than 2000 BCM supporters that the recent xenophobic attacks were a reflection of the state of poverty in South Africa.

"Extreme poverty sows disunity," he said. "We are not surprised things have turned [out] this way."

The BPC said South Africa faced a situation in which the middle class, which provided leadership during the antiapartheid struggle, had become "a go-between local and foreign capital".

Azapo general secretary Strike Thokoane said South Africa needed a united BCM force to revitalise the kind of activism that brought apartheid to an end.

He also blamed the government for failing to recognise the contribution of BCM leaders such as Tsietsi Mashinini and Khotso Seathlolo.

The two were leaders of the South African Student Movement. They led the student uprising in 1976.

Yesterday's joint rally is the first after the split of the BCM movement after 1994.

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