Party name breaks BCM unity talks

Eric Naki

Eric Naki

The unity talks between the components of the Black Consciousness Movement [BCM] have broken down - and the Socialist Party of Azania [Sopa] and Black People's Convention [BPC] have decided to go it alone without the Azanian People's Organisation [Azapo].

Sopa and BPC believe that Azapo is playing delaying tactics by putting conditions to the unity of the three organisations. Now the two are forging ahead with the launch of the new organisation without Azapo.

Unity negotiations had been going on for the past few months and the three were on the brink of merging when they could not agree on the name of the new organisation.

Both Sopa, led by Lybon Mabasa, pictured, and BPC led by Nkosi Molala, broke away from Azapo over leadership, policies and personal differences. This is the second time that attempts to unify BCM had failed.

Yesterday, Azapo secretary-general Strike Thokoane distanced Azapo from the launch of a new party.

"We are definitely not part of the process. We disapprove of it, but they are free to do what they like. As Azapo, we are busy preparing for next year's elections."

Thokoane said the process of unity talks had to be fully exhausted so that the end results are totally democratic. Azapo believes that the issue of name could have been resolved.

"Our three negotiating teams agreed on everything but disagreed only on a name. We agreed on the constitution, policies on Black Consciousness and Socialism and colours of the organisation.

"The problem arose when we came to the name that we must have," said Thokoane.

However, Molala said: "It is strange that Azapo is saying this because as the three presidents we had agreed that we should move forward with the unity of BPC and Sopa to reduce the number of the groups, and that Azapo would engage us after the process.

"The door is open for Azapo, but we cannot halt the process."