In the African National Congress’ Strategy and Tactics document, the National Democratic Revolution is saddled with the responsibility of unravelling three basic and inter-related contradictions. These are:-
- The reality of South Africa being a nation where the colonised and coloniser shares in the spoils of the country – what is commonly referred to as Colonialism of a Special Type;
- Racial oppression and super class super exploitation; and
- Patriarchal relations of power.
The 46th edition of Umrabulo Journal, themed “The National Question”, applies itself on what the answers to these contradictions might be considering that South Africa is in the midst of its 25th year of democratic governance. Issues explored includes explanation of the historical context of the concept of The National Question, how it must be understood in terms of present day South Africa and whether the ANC, as leader of society, is well-suited to enable South Africa on this course of self-discovery and repositioning.
In ABCs On What The National Question Entails, struggle and ANC veteran, Pallo Jordan provides an insightful description on how the concept of The National Question arose and came to gain prominence from the 19th century to date. Within this context he draws thread to the South African context and meaning. Seitebaleng Dikole’s The National Question As An Issue Of Workers’ and Class Struggle makes the argument that “Marxism remains the best and important doctrine to define society, its institutions and people’s relations within a context of classes, class antagonism as well as class struggle.”
Thobani Mzabalazo Matheza’s article titled Issues of Non-Racialism In South African Nationhood dwells into South Africa’s troublesome race issue whilst Sarah Mokwebo poses thought provoking questions about the inevitable, but yet ignored dynamics associated with gender relation in Gender Bias In The Construction Of Nationalism.
Still on the theme of those who tends to be forgotten in dogma around The National Question, in The National Question For The Coloured Community Dr Oscar Van Heerden points at realities for Western Cape’s historical working class communities who are primarily Coloured. Drawing attention to the ethnic conflicts in the Malumela area as a cautionary measure on how best to define The National Question, Ashley Nyiko writes about his impressions in Ethnic Consciousness In The Unresolved National Question.
In Languages As A Driving Force Behind The National Question Siphokazi Mbolo deals with language policies in higher education institutions and the education sector. The essence of her argument is premised on the belief that “the education sector has been influential instruments since colonization. This is because it is one of the primary agents of socialization which influence people’s thoughts, attitudes, and behaviours.”
In Afrikaner Capitalism and its Nationalism Pule Thulo puts a spotlight on how capitalism, underpinned by an anti-African racially skewed and exploitative regime, brewed Afrikaner Nationalism.
With the advancement of a post-Apartheid South Africa came the need to re-examine tenets which drove discourse, strategy and programmatic interventions. What is South Africa’s National Question twenty five years later into a democratic dispensation is one such critical subject needed to be unravelled. You stand invited to engage this 46th edition of Umrabulo as a tool that inspires some thoughts in this regard.