Times spur Ka Plaatjie

Poor Thami ka Plaatjie's dream of making a difference in the lives of south Africans slowly diminished with the influence of his party.

Poor Thami ka Plaatjie's dream of making a difference in the lives of south Africans slowly diminished with the influence of his party.

The political activist who tried to reinforce Pan Africanism in South Africa has at last thrown in the towel and embraced the hybrid African National Congress.

His defection to the ruling party has drawn the usual sour grapes response from the Pan Africanist organisations. Pan Africanism failed to sway civil society as a viable political home for those who disliked the ANC.

Blacks have moved on to other parties but scorned the policies and principles of his party.

Ka Plaatjie was a firebrand who tried to keep the movement alive but failed as it splintered into many parties.

When his enemies ousted him from the PAC he formed the Pan Africanist Movement which barely made ripples.

Now he has joined the ANC in a last ditch attempt to make an impact on the body politic. He is now that dreaded animal, the floor crosser.

We wonder how many will cross with him and how fervently he will embrace the loosely structured policies of the ANC.

The ANC is on a drive to raise its membership: that is possibly why they paraded Ka Plaatjie for the media.

Cynics snigger that it is Ka Plaatjie's desperate need to be in the history books which prompted his embracing the enemy. Others speculate that it is his lack of a pension plan.

More seriously, the defection has weakened the voice of opposition that would enrich the political debate.

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