OF EMPTIED SACKS AND WHITE MONOPOLY CAPITAL
During the exile years, umgwenya (members of the MK Luthuli Detachment) used to regale us the young recruits with all manner of stories about experiences in the Tanzanian camps, in the Rhodesia Wankie Campaign and before the banning of liberation organisations. Some of the stories were true, and others were urban legends.
As policy debates rage in the build-up to the ANC’s 54th National Conference, including on the issue of ‘white monopoly capital’, one such story comes to mind.
It is claimed that as repression mounted in the early 1960s, one of the organisations tended to go to extremes. In one meeting of its underground cell in Cape Town, the group leader agitated that, to prove their commitment to hitting back at the ‘white settlers’, cell members should each come to the next meeting with the head of a settler. One member took this rather literally, and indeed arrived at the meeting with a sack in hand. As the meeting was about to start, he turned the sack over and out rolled a head as instructed. To his surprise, one by one, cell members quietly stood up and shuffled out of the meeting. The gullible militant was left alone wondering what he had done wrong.
An edited version of this article was published in the Sunday Independent on the 06 August 2017.