Guerrillas in the Mystic

Andrew Donaldson writes on the ANCYL and the Black Centric Forum's armed camps



WORD has reached us here at the Slaughtered Lamb (“Finest Ales & Pies”) of silly buggers back home once more playing at soldiers and, no, we’re not talking about Comrade Camo Carl Niehaus and his curious dancing moves.

The Johannesburg branch of the ANC Youth League, for example, is reportedly forging ahead with plans to hold a “spring weekend camp” later this month where participants can expect a programme packed with all the thrills and spills of basic infantry square-bashing, weapons included.

Elsewhere, the Black Centric Forum, a new lunatic fringe group on the fringe of the lunatic fringe, has called on its followers to meet up for a fun day at an undisclosed rifle range this weekend as part of a “corrective justice” programme. More of this below.  

But first: the youth league’s coming jamboree, on August 30. It was originally planned to be held at a Heidelberg holiday resort — not exactly the sort of venue, you’d imagine, for rigorous military training — but this has now changed. 

Organisers had not bothered to make a booking at Camp Zenith. In fact, the resort’s aghast management only learned of the ANCYL’s plans when they were shown a poster advertising the event. 

As it turns out, the resort was already booked for that weekend. As a “peace-loving campsite”, they were opposed to the use of its facilities “to train citizens for warfare”, management said on its Facebook page. 

“We are a Christian campsite and our goal and mission is purely for the good of the people of South Africa, and we have never, nor will ever, promote violence or hate speech towards any race in our beautiful land.”

Which is perhaps fair enough. Still, there is a suggestion from the organisers that the youth league is in dire need of some pep and vim. The camp is therefore going ahead and a new venue is being sought.

The organisation lost its way in recent years under the pudgy guidance of the beleaguered Collen “Middle Aged” Maine. As a result, it’s being outflanked in the militancy stakes by the likes of Andile Mngxitima’s Black Land, Black First movement and some of the more radical elements of the EFF.

To be fair, Maine has had a lot on his plate. Figuratively speaking, that is. Otherwise he often has a lot on his plate. About two or three minutes after the buffet opens. But then not for long.

Early last month, and just six weeks after being sworn in as a member of parliament, Maine resigned his seat “for private reasons”. However, it appears there were “expectations” that, because of his position as ANCYL president, Maine would be somehow squeezed into Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet or, at the very least, be given some important position in parliament.

Fat chance. The ANC instead assigned Maine some menial role on the public service and administration portfolio committee. So he quit. He has yet to elaborate on future plans, but as he told TimesLIVE: “I’m going nowhere.” 

Which is perhaps not as enigmatic or as cryptic as that sounds. 

Youth leaguers have for some time been urging Maine and his executive to step down, but he’s digging in his heels and wants to hang around and report back on his team’s achievements, and even offer advice to a new leadership before waddling off.

One new leader is “General” Bheki Nkutha, an organiser of the weekend camp. No slouch in the grey matter, he has disingenuously expressed surprise at the outcry that members would be trained in guerrilla warfare and the handling of firearms as the league was “known” for being a militant youth political organisation.

The camp, Nkutha told the Citizen, was a “team-building exercise” aimed at empowering the youth. 

“We are not saying take up arms,” he said. “All we want is to teach the youth and empower them with skills such as gun handling so that they can protect themselves. We live in a society where guns are everywhere, so they need to know how to handle situations involving guns.”

No-one was making a fuss, he continued, about the military training that Afrikaner children underwent at Orania. “Why is nobody talking about the military camps there? Why is it so bad for black children to be taught discipline, because that is what the military is all about.”

In addition to handling guns, rookies at Nkutha’s camp would also go hiking and be put through their paces on an obstacle course. According to flyers, there will also be “flag pole raising and lowering”, which is perhaps not as (sic) as some commentators have suggested.

Older readers will recall the Ciskei’s independence ceremony in Bisho in 1981. During the flag-raising, the flag staff fell over. In the struggle to raise the flag again, soldiers actually broke the staff. Frontline magazine later reported the Ciskei government’s explanation for the debacle: the flagman was drunk, and he wasn’t even from the Ciskei. 

Such embarrassments will now hopefully be a thing of the past.

There will probably be no larking about with flagpoles, meanwhile, when supporters of the Black Centric Forum gather at an undisclosed shooting range tomorrow morning [Saturday, August 3] for weapons training.

According to the organisation’s Facebook page, this “shooting range session” is open to all members and “external volunteers”. The R400 admission includes “hiring of ammunition, 30 rounds, safety induction, ears and eyes protection kit and range hire”. 

Forum president Vukulu Sizwe Maphindani has explained the need for such training: black people are victims in an ongoing war and are doing nothing about it. 

“Blacks,” he told Radio 702’s Clement Manyathela, “have been victims of unpunished, unprovoked violence. Part of our programme is what we call corrective justice. 

“The shooting range [training] is also preparing our people for the military strength of the race because we have been selfless for a long period of time… White people have been training all along on the basis of the military. We are defending ourselves against unknown politically motivated assassinations.”

If that sounds like nonsense, you should try reading Maphindani. Or perhaps not. He is the author of a number of self-published books which pander perhaps to the more extreme identity politics element. And, it turns out, the more esoteric and mystic guerrilla.

One work, “a doctrine of the African social insurgency”, is titled Message to a Blackman in Africa: If my yesterday offends my today it means that there is something wrong with my yesterday. Which is quite a mouthful and a bit self-defeating as it kind of reveals the “message” in the title. 

Another is Understanding the Mind of Malcolm X. It got a single, one-star customer review on Amazon: “…there was no need to waste good money on this book. A perusal of the first few pages shows that the manuscript is riddled with typos, spelling and grammatical errors and poor writing … Malcolm deserves much better than this.”

However, it is Maphindani’s latest work, I’m Still a Kaffir, published in March last year, that caught my attention. I realise that the book is perhaps not aimed at readers like me, but I did have a quick rummage through its contents, thanks to Amazon’s “Look inside” function. 

The back cover blurb makes clear it is a manifesto of sorts:

 “[The book], besides being a letter, is a call to the indoctrinated black nation that is plagued in an era of psychological remote control. Sharing this letter, according to the author, is a panic button in response to the psychologically disguised imperialism in the form of debt, mind control, divide and rule, information control, Trends, Social Media, biological weapons (AIDS, Ebola, Swine Flu, cancer, etc), sexual confinement (conceptualization of feminism to divide the Blackman and woman), Music, war on drugs, police brutality, blacklist, black inferiority complex, prison industrial complex, Video games, internet and mis-education.” (sic)

There’s more of the dreary same old, same old once you’re inside — but, admittedly, one rather interesting, if hysterical chapter on marshalling the hidden force of the pineal gland as a weapon for the coming revolution. 

I josh not. Scientists may still be uncertain as to its exact function, but Maphindani appears to have the inside skinny on this pea-sized thingy in the brain. Not for “just any random reason”, he writes, is it known as the “third eye”. 

The gland is apparently under some threat from various man-made chemicals and toxins and Maphindani suggests that “black people … should install a carbon shower filter, which works to remove chlorine, fluoride, used toilet paper particles and other impurities from tap water that can enter our bodies through the skin, pores and lungs when we shower”.

Once in reasonable shape the gland can be then activated. This, apparently, is done through meditation. As Maphindani explains:

“The act of meditating works to stimulate the chakra system of our brain and body that’s responsible for conducting and generating life force energy. Meditating, specifically guides bioelectric and zero-point energy, to the pineal gland, allowing for greater states of clarity and intuition to come into our conscious life.” (sic)

And who would not agree that that greater states of clarity and intuition are much needed in so many of the conscious lives around us? 

Sadly, at the time of writing, only six people had apparently signed up for the Black Centric Forum’s shooting party. Perhaps if they’d thrown in some chakra realignment, yoga cushions and sandalwood joss sticks, the response would have been more enthusiastic. 

Kundalini with Kalashnikovs? It has a certain ring.


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