Cash-strapped Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) will depend on donations from poor black communities to contest the forthcoming elections.
Azapo said despite its financial challenges, it has decided to contest the much-awaited elections because failing to do so would be a betrayal of the sacrifices made by “our forebears”, who lost their lives fighting to free black people from apartheid-era slavery.
Azapo said it doesn’t have the election war chest its rivals have because it has not received funding from big business or any international sources.
Nelvis Qekema, the president of Azapo, told Sunday World the party takes comfort and pride in the knowledge that it is self-sustaining and depends, for its existence, on the support of the struggling black masses.
The party denounced political organisations that receive “blood donations” from the Oppenheimers of the world.
“The right to free speech is protected by the constitution, but how this right is really exercised must be the main concern. The wealthy and powerful always come out on top; they are gregarious.
“Resources skew things in this way, continuously favouring white people economically. Unfortunately, without resources, your right to free speech is not sufficiently exercised. For this reason, organisations with plenty of resources, like the Democratic Alliance, can fully express their views in parliament, our courts and the media because 98% of the nation’s financial resources are held by white people.”
Qekema stated the reason organisations such as the ANC were successful was because they “actually start the race next to the finishing line, as we prepare for elections”.
“Not us. The media overwhelmingly supports the DA and ANC. For us in Azapo, media attention has turned into a luxury. We’re just taken for granted. But we’re not worried about it. We are going to take part in these elections. We’re not pleading for sympathy. We rely on the suffering black masses, our people, to stand with us.
“It is a lie to speak of the people’s will. Such a thing does not exist. The media is controlled by whom? Who oversees the financial resources? We must conclude from all this that black men and women are on their own.”
Qekema said Azapo’s manifesto, which will define what “this black consciousness-oriented organisation stands for”, will be unveiled in March. “We will run our race in our T-shirts, hoisting our posters to rekindle memories of black consciousness, and our black stalwarts who made a huge contribution towards the dismantling of the apartheid system.
“We went to prison, to the trenches, to exile, to fight oppression, white domination, and this battle is far from over.”
The white ruling class still controls resources, and since money talks louder than words, it determines who has more parliamentary power. This obviously influences what occurs in parliament.”