By Oyintari Ben
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a red berets group have said they don’t feel like celebrating Heritage Day, as black people still lack access to land, the economy, and the means of production.
In a statement, the EFF claimed that people in charge of determining what was deemed deserving of remembrance and observation shaped heritage, which speaks to a country’s social fabric and history.
“It is evident that South Africa has an inherent culture of conquest, and the murderous racists who robbed Africans of their dignity and rightful position in our country have been turned into monuments. We have encouraged the names of those who loot this nation and colonize this continent to occupy places of prominence like street names and statues as part of our culture, the party charged. We have also made our National Anthem an anthem of racists,” it said.
In a critical statement, the EFF stated that the efforts made today to bring together heritages and cultures that are fundamentally opposed to one another and have a conflicting past, failed because they did not improve the socio-economic conditions of these contending civilizations.
“On the one hand, there is the culture and legacy of the African people, which is characterized by their resistance to colonization. On the other, there is the culture and heritage of genocidal racists, whose identity and history in this country are characterized by their disregard for and dispossessed of African life.
“As we commemorate this year’s Heritage Day, we must consider if indigenous people’s historical, social, and economic positions in the region now known as South Africa have evolved. The party asked, what then is our heritage if it hasn’t?”
The EFF claimed that the battle for liberation has always been about reclaiming land, African culture, and history, uprooting European greed. “SA has utterly failed to rethink and reposition indigenous people in the country’s post-1994 imagination.”
The party claimed that despite colonialism and apartheid, native people still lacked access to land and lived as beggars in their own country, while at the same time, European settlers enjoyed all of their material advantages.
The party also claimed that the ruling African elite was directly to blame for the failure to reorganize the South African society and that the country’s current heritage was not African but that of oppressors who had come to steal and kill.
According to the party, landless people cannot celebrate heritage. The aim was to complete the generational mission of land return to truly honour ancestors.