Black South Africans are being oppressed by a black government, the Black Consciousness Movement said on Monday.
“The oppression of our people at this point in time is not by white people,” Professor Itumeleng Mosala said at Kgosi Mampuru prison in Pretoria.
“We are oppressed and exploited by a government of black people, led by you, President Zuma.”
The BCM was commemorating anti-apartheid activist Stephen Biko’s death at the prison, where it laid a wreath in his cell. Biko died in police custody on September 12 1977.
Those attending the event got to see the tiny cell Biko was confined to. With clenched fists in the air, they walked through the cell one by one, singing.
Mosala said if Biko was still alive he would have called for an end to the corruption plaguing the country.
“We are tired of blaming white people for the things that black people do to black people,” he said.
Mosala said President Jacob Zuma should remember why people elected him into office.
“We did not send you there to misrepresent the values of black people. We did not send you there to misrepresent what we meant by freedom. We died for this freedom, we went to prison for this freedom. We lost brothers and sisters. We lost Steve Biko for this freedom,” he said.
Mosala said they were prepared to die for the freedom and return to prison for it.
“We are declaring war on poverty; we are declaring war on corruption, lies to our people and misrepresentation of what black people want,” he said.
One man who attended Monday’s commemoration, Lybon Mabasa, said they went to the prison because they needed to rejuvenate their souls and understand the struggle for which Biko died. He echoed Mosala’s sentiments and accused the government of not being black enough.
“We have a government of people who are not white, not that it’s a black government. A black government would take care of black business, give black people houses. A black government would not be involved in the corruption that is taking place. A black government will defend black people,” he said.