Ka Plaatjie says his group is the real PAC

Eric Naki

Eric Naki

Marginalised PAC leaders have revived what they call the "real PAC" that founder Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe would be proud of.

After a three-day special national congress held at Botshabelo in Free State at the weekend, the group elected an interim leadership and reinstated the party's abandoned constitution.

The gathering was attended by about 800 delegates who included party veterans and former members of the Azanian People's Liberation Army (Apla) high command. But the party's head office disputed the figure, saying only 72 people attended.

The interim leadership is Thami Ka Plaatjie as president, Dudu Phama as deputy president, Babini Tame as chairman, Clarence Mayekiso as secretary-general, Zamikhaya Gxabe as deputy secretary and Chardin Mabaso as treasurer. Former president Clarence Makwetu and Poqo activist Philemon Tefo, the first political life-prisoner on Robben Island, and Junior Ntabeni and Ntsiki Mbete, former members of Apla's high command, also attended.

Yesterday, Ka Plaatjie said the congress resolved to work for unity among African organisations. They will meet Azanian People's Organisation, Socialist Party of Azania, Black Peoples Convention, UDM and the IFP.

Asked why Makwetu was not elected, Ka Plaatjie said since the leadership was temporary, it was agreed that Makwetu should not take a position. He will be available when a permanent leadership is elected at the next meeting scheduled for November.

The meeting also reinstated its sole MP and former president, Motsoko Pheko.

"We felt that his case was not fairly and objectively handled. We will ask him to continue representing the PAC," he said.

Ka Plaatjie said they decided to revive the PAC after current president Letlapa Mphahlele disbanded the national executive committee, suspended the constitution and declared himself the sole leader in August last year.

He said: "Mphahlele imposed the new constitution on members. He didn't discussed it with branches."

Responding, PAC national spokesman Maivha Mudini said the group was "disgruntled former members who did not want to review their PAC memberships.

"Ka Plaatjie and his followers are agents provocateurs. It's a sustained programme by people who don't want the PAC to establish itself as a formidable player in the politics of this country," he said.