Dr Motsoko Pheko

Dr Motsoko Pheko



  On 3rd June 2012, a columnist of the City Press Newspaper wrote, “There are many ways of being African in South Africa…this Africanness is accessible to everyone who lives on the continent, whoever you are….It is not intuitively connected to descendants of Inkosi yamaXhosa uSandile or Shaka Zulu, but to Jan van Riebeeck too. This is what former President Thabo Mbeki defined it in his seminal speech, I am an African.”         

I will deal with the “I am an African” by former President Thabo Mbeki later. For now the question is are there many ways of being a British in Britain? Are there many ways of being a Chinese in China? Are the many ways of being a German in Germany or many ways of being a Russian in Russia whose minority dictates to the majority population? How would have the British or Russians reacted if the Nazis entered Britain and Russia declared themselves British or Russian on their Nazi terms, in their own many ways?

The delusion about national identity in South Africa stems from a falsified colonial history. It is exacerbated by the 1955 political manipulation by which a certain section of the leadership of colonised African people abandoned the anti-colonial struggle for a civil rights movement. They claimed that their country belongs equally to the colonisers and the colonised, the dispossessors and the dispossessed owners.

This is tantamount to saying that stolen goods can equally belong to armed thieves and their rightful owners. It is not magnanimity. It is betrayal of the dispossessed.

                                They Want “Africanness” On A Colonial Foundation

Where has this happened anywhere in the world, except where British imperialism seized this African country at gunpoint, consolidated its colonialism through the Union of South Africa Act 1909 and allocated its 349,837 colonial settlers 93% of the country and left five million Africans with 7% through the Native Land Act 1913 and additional 6% through the Native Trust Land Act 1936? This 13% has now been entrenched in section 25(7) of the present Eurocentric constitution misleadingly called “the best democratic constitution in the world.”

For people who are now equal partners to Africanness in their own ways; a British colonial official Earl Glen long made it clear that “The Africans are generally looked upon by Whites as an inferior race whose interests must be systematically disregarded when they come into competition with their own, and should be governed to the advantage of the superior race….For this reason two things must be afforded to white colonists obtaining LAND…the Kaffirs should be made to furnish as large and cheap labour as possible.” Continue reading


A Lecture At Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute, 22nd November 2018, Senate House Hall, 2nd Floor –Theo van Wyk Building, University Of South Africa Main Campus, Pretoria
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, It is an honour for me to speak to you at this important Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute.
Let me start by saying that life must be lived forward. But it can only be understood backward. As that Roman philosopher (Marcus Tillius) Cicero put it many years ago, “To remain ignorant of things before you were born is to remain a child.”
For his part Dr. John Henrik Clarke, an African American professor of history has written, “History is a clock that tells a people their historical time of the day. It is a compass that people use to locate where they have been, where they are now…more importantly where they still must go.”
Indeed, our own Dr. Muziwakhe Anthony Lembede that great philosopher and awakener of the African youth of his generation has written, “One who wants to create a future must not forget the past.”
An African proverb itself long said: “When you fall, do not look where you fell, look where you slipped.” Many people with regard to this country preach the gospel of “Forget the Past.” But where their own issues are involved, they not only remember the past, but they commemorate it. Continue reading


My beloved brothers and sisters,

Africa Liberation Day is a glorious history of the Sons and Daughters of Africa both at home and in the Diaspora. It came through much blood and sweat, suffering, sacrifice and matchless patriotic service.

Through the inhuman and barbaric European Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, Africans were sold like animals. In 1885 at the imperialist Berlin Conference, European colonialists heard Leopold a king of Belgium who was their chairman say: “We are here to see how we should divide among ourselves this magnificent African cake.”

Indeed, through their colonial terrorism, they turned Africa into “British Africa,” “French Africa,” “Italian Africa,” “German Africa,” “Portuguese Africa,” “Spanish Africa,” and “Belgian Africa.” They looted the riches of Africa except for Ethiopia whose Battle of Adwa later in 1896, taught the Italians the lesson they have not forgotten to this day. They decimated the Italian army and reduced it to dust.

Africa Liberation Day was set aside by that outstanding Pan Africanist Kwame Nkrumah on the occasion of the first conference of the then only eight independent states held in Accra Ghana on 15 April 1958. This historic act was later on 25th May 1963 adopted by the founding fathers of the Organisation of African Unity at Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

Of course, when we celebrate Africa Liberation Day we must not forget the tremendous contribution that has been made by our Pan Africanist brothers in the Diaspora, such as Henry Sylvester Williams, W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, George Padmore, C.L.R. James, Kwame Ture and many others. In fact, the first Pan African Congress was organised by Sylvester Williams in 1900. It also seems that as early as 1776 there was already much Pan African awakening in the Diaspora.

The Pan African vision was translated into action by Pan Africanist leaders at

the 5thPan African Congress in Manchester in 1945. It is here that the Pan African vision was unveiled to bring about the decolonisation of Africa.

These Pan Africanist heroes enabled us never to forget what the Pan African vision that gave birth to Africa Liberation Day was all about.

Yes, the African Union has replaced the Organisation of African Unity. But the speed at which Africa is uniting and controlling its economy and increasing its military power to look after the Pan African security of Africa is very slow, if not almost zero.

The glaring terrible example of this is the 2011 invasion and destruction of Libya under Muammar Gaddafi and the terrorist economic sanctions that were imposed on Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe by Western countries including imperialist America.

I agree with what some Pan Africanists who have now left this planet has warned: “If we want Africa to be really independent tomorrow, our people to look to the future with confidence; we who today have the responsibility for her destiny must have the will to renounce everything that might…compromise the success of policies or freedom of the African people.”

These words were spoken by President Modibo Keita of Mali. He, Kwame Nkrumah and Sekou Toure of Guinea played a very significant role towards the

founding of the OAU in 1963. They worked hard with Emperor Haile

Selassie I of Ethiopia; to unite what was Casablanca group and Monrovia group into the Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU).

However, I agree with Dr Kwame Nkrumah the first President of Ghana when he said, “There is no time to waste. We must unite now or perish….We have already reached a stage where we must unite or sink into the condition which made Latin America the unwilling and distressed prey of imperialism after one and half centuries of political independence……

We must recognise that our economic independence resides in our African Union and requires the same concentration ….We are learning now that political independence is not enough to rid us of the consequences of colonial rule.”

As early as 1959, in Azania (South Africa), the Pan Africanist Congress President, Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe envisaged that “…by the end of that 20th century the standard of living of our people will undoubtedly have risen dramatically.” This ideological brother of Dr Kwame Nkrumah spoke of “the giant monolithic state of Africa.”

Brothers and Sisters, We must use Liberation Day to speed up the Pan African world that serves the interests of Africans both at home and in the Diaspora economically and technologically.

Pan Africanism is the compass for restoring Africa’s dignity, power and prosperity. We must continue to sing:

“Unite, unite all you Africans unite

And rally to the banner

Of the African Nation…

A new social order

Original in conception

Pan Africanistic in orientation”

This song was composed by a Pan Africanist Congress leader Zephaniah Mothopeng. He was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment for the SOWETO UPRISING OF JUNE 16, 1976.

Long Live Africa Liberation Day!





Why South African Constitution must be ammended


1. How Colonialism Adversely Affected South Africa (Azania)
2. What happened four years after Union of South Africa Act 1909
3. Leaders Of South African Native National Congress Petition King George V On Land Dispossession
4. Justice Loving People Speak Against Land Dispossession Of African People
5.Prince Maqoma On Land Before Imprisoned In Robben Island
6. King Moshoeshoe Articulating Stealing Of Land By Whites
7. Perfidious Lies Told To Cover Crimes of Colonialism
8. South Africa “New” or Old Never Addressed Land Dispossession Justly
9. International Law On Valid Title To Land – Nemo Dat Quo Non Habet
10. South Africa The Only Colony Britain Never Decolonised
11. Drafters Of South African Constitution Ignored Nemo Dat Quod Non Habet
12. Long Settlement Does Not Transfer Indigenous Title
13. Comments ON Section 25 of South African Constitution
14. Africa Needs A New Breed Of Investors
15. CONCLUSION: Importance Of History To The Present

On the 27 April 1994 there was joy, dancing and jubilation in the streets of South Africa. They were celebrating the birth of what was called “New South Africa” or “Rainbow Nation” under Nelson Mandela. Many former colonisers of Africa too, and their allies were happy that it was the “moderates” that were going to rule this nation.
They proclaimed the constitution of South Africa as “the best and most democratic in the world.” But in 2018, almost 24 years after the creation of “New South Africa,” there are loud and angry voices that the constitution of this country must be amended. There is a strong demand that there be expropriation of land without compensation.
What has really gone wrong with the constitution that was so highly praised? It is important that another mistake is not made with regard to this country’s constitution on the fundamental issue such as land. Of course, the main problem is that the colonial disease that had been inflicted on the country was ignored. Largely it was intentional on the part of the colonialists. They wanted “change” on their colonial terms
But also, some African leaders supposedly involved in the African liberation struggle at one point; saw the struggle as no longer anti-colonial, but as mere civil rights movement. Thus they dealt with the symptoms of European colonialism and not with the colonial causes themselves.
The colonialists took advantage of this. They called those who fought against the symptoms of colonialism as “moderates,” “reasonable” and conservative.” They called fighters who fought against the real disease – colonialism, as “extremists” “radicals” “militants” and “anti-whites.”
For example, explaining the reason why the apartheid colonialist regime of South Africa should negotiate with the “moderates;” The Star newspaper in Johannesburg, on 18th June 1986 reported: Continue reading

First world heart transplant must

 The first world heart transplant occurred in South Africa on 3rd December 1967. The third of December 2017 was the 50th anniversary of this dramatic scientific invention. Unfortunately, as in 1967, an African person who contributed to this extra-ordinary scientific achievement is being excluded. This distorts this magnificent story and makes it incomplete.

I am now here reminding what is left out of this important scientific achievement. When it happened an observer of world events remarked, “When South African heart surgeon, Christiaan Barnard stunned the world by performing the first human heart transplant in the world at Groot Schuur Hospital on 3rd December 1967, little was said about Hamilton Naki, an unassuming laboratory assistant who was often on Barnard ‘s side.”

Naki was born at Ngcingane village in the rural area of the Eastern Cape of South Africa.This was on the 26t June 1926. He died on 29 May 2005. He was educated only to Standard Six level – an equivalent of today’s Grade Seven.

In 1940 he went to live in Langa Township and worked as a “garden boy” at the University of Cape Town. In 1954 a University’s medical doctor after noticing his extreme intelligence hired him to work with him in the animal laboratory. He soon progressed cleaning animal cages, to anaesthesia on dogs. He assisted also in operating a giraffe. This was to determine why giraffes did not faint when bending to drink water. Continue reading

Zimbabwe is a wake up call for Africa

The colonial destruction of Zimbabwe began in 1895. That was after that arch agent of British imperialism, Cecil Rhodes had said:
“The clearing of the land of savages could now be achieved in two to three years with the aid of a certain amount of machine guns. I contend that we are the first race in the world, that the more world we inhabit, the better it is for the human race.”
After Zimbabwe was seized through colonial terrorism and renamed Rhodesia, Britain offered to release its criminals in its prisons if they agreed to go to “Rhodesia” where they could have free land and gold mines for themselves and for the British Empire.
When that venerated patriotic woman, that heroic daughter of Africa “Ambuye” Nehanda organised the African resistance against British colonial terrorism, the imperialist invaders killed and hanged her. This was to demonstrate what happens to those Africans who opposed colonial terrorism.
In the 1960’s following the outlawing of their earlier liberation movements against British colonialism; Africans in Zimbabwe formed ZAPU and ZANU to intensify their liberation struggle. As it became stronger and included guerrilla warfare, the colonialists under Ian Smith, a colonial prime minister; declared their “independence” This was a rebellion against the British Crown. But Britain never crushed that rebellion of its European colonial settlers.
Thousands of Zimbabweans died in many battle fields until they won their liberation in 1979 through negotiations with Britain in which Robert Mugabe emerged as Prime Minister and later as President. There was also the Lancaster House Agreement through which Britain would buy land from its colonial farmers. The liberation movements were not prepared to buy their own land of their ancestors. It was taken from the Zimbabweans through the barrel of colonial guns. Continue reading

Why Africans have no land in South Africa

LAND! LAND! LAND! There is a lot of talk about land in South Africa today. It looks like some people have been asleep about this important national asset. Others who talk about land today in this country did their part in betraying the land question.

For the benefit of those who are genuinely concerned about this fundamental question I revisit the problem of land dispossession of Africans in South Africa. It stems from mutilated history, manipulation of international law and of course from those who betrayed the land question in South Africa in June 1955.

I will come to that later. But for now let me state that land dispossession of the African people did not fall from the sky. It formally started with the European Berlin General Act of 26 February 1885.This was at the Berlin Conference. It was when Belgium’s King Leopold reminded his fellow colonialists on the verge of stealing the whole Continent of Africa except modern Ethiopia that: “We are here to see how we should divide among ourselves this magnificent African cake.”

From that time seven Western European countries agreed to divide Africa among themselves into “Portuguese” Africa, “Spanish” Africa, “German” Africa, “French” Africa, “Belgian” Africa, “Italian” Africa, “British” Africa. South Africa (Azania) became part of “British” Africa. Somalia a tiny African country had the misfortune of becoming “French” Somaliland, “Italian” Somaliland, and “British” Somaliland.

Azania (South Africa) became a “British” territory with four colonies it renamed Cape colony, Natal, Orange Free State and Transvaal. All funny colonial names because Natal means “Christmas Day,” Vasco da Gama passed through there on 25 December 1497 “Orange Free State,” there are no oranges here. Moreover a colony could not be “free state” at the same time. Transvaal simply meant “across the Vaal.” – This was the name of an African river called Lekoa in the Sesotho language.

The British colonial law which created the union of these four colonies was cited as the Union South Africa Act 1909. It was passed directly by the British Parliament on 20th September 1909. It excluded and racially discriminated against Africans. Through the Native Land Act 1913, the Parliament of these colonial settlers allocated 93% of the African land to themselves. They were numbering 349,837 souls. This colonial parliament allocated the remaining 7% of land percent to over five million African owners of this African country.

Section 44 of this Union of South Africa Act 1909 stated the Qualifications of Members of the Assembly very clearly. “The Qualifications of Members of Assembly (Parliament)….He must be a British subject of European descent.”

The purpose of the four colonies of the Union of South Africa soon became clear. It was “to fight the native danger.” The Africans now became “danger” to the colonial invaders in their own African country. This is well documented by constitutional lawyers Gilbert Dold and C.P. Joubert in their book The British Commonwealth – The Development of Laws and Constitutions in South Africa pages 33, Stevens & Sons Ltd, London. See also Fowler and Smith in their book, History For The Senior Certificate and Matriculation page 428. Continue reading




It is wrong history to teach that Africa was named by Greeks or Romans when these colonialists illegally occupied this unique continent through aggression and invasion. This was in332 B.C. until the Roman invasion in 30 B.C.

Africa got its name from Africans. It is estimated that there are six thousand languages in the world. 3000 of them are in Africa. If languages that have faded away are counted Africa had more than the present number.

One of the oldest names of Africa is Alkebu-Lan. This name has been interpreted as meaning “Mother of Nations” or “Mother of Mankind.” Africa is also one of the oldest names of this Continent. Many theories about who named   Africa have been thrown about.

  1. That the name came from a Roman soldier called Skippio Africanus.
  2. That the name is from Arabic Afriqiyah.
  3. That the name for Africa came from Leo Africanus. (1495-1554 A.D.). This date is too late for him. The Romans and the Greeks were long gone. This African scholar was a youth who was taken to slavery and later made a gift to Pope Leo X. This Pope realising this young man’s brilliant mind released him from slavery.
  4. During his life Leo Africanus is said to have travelled in Timbuktu in Mali and Songhai in present Nigeria. He patriotically associated his name with the great continent of his ancestors –Afrika. The forces of European imperialism had begun to inflict the continent through the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade.

Continue reading

Effects of Colonialism


Programme Director, Comrades, Brothers and Sisters,

The effects of colonialism past and present are visible all over Africa. It is not an overstatement when Edem Kodjo, author of AFRICA TOMORROW describes the condition of African as “torn away from his past, propelled into a universe fashioned from outside that suppresses his values, and dumbfounded by a cultural invasion that marginalises him. The African,… is today the \deformed image of others. ”

On this year’s anniversary of Africa Liberation Day, African people all over Africa and wherever they may be on this planet, must reflect deeply on their history as it relates to their present life conditions and to their future. History is a clock that tells a people their historical time of the day. History is the compass that wise people use to locate themselves on the map of the world. A peoples’ history tells them who they are. What they have been, where they have been, where they are now, but most importantly, where they still must go. True African History is a powerful weapon against colonial history that has been used for mental enslavement and colonisation of the African people.

Programme Director,

Africa is the Mother of Humanity.  Africa is the cradle of the first human civilisation. The First Renaissance on this planet was the African Renaissance. Africa was “the first world” economically and technologically NOT the “third world” of paupers robbed of their lands and riches. Our ancestors built the pyramids which even in this 21st century no one can reproduce. Egyptian civilisation was a Black civilisation. The pharaohs were Black people. That is why that great African Egyptologist, Prof. Cheikh Anta Diop has written:

“The history of Black Africa will remain suspended in the air and will not be written correctly until African historians dare connect it with the history of Egypt. The African historian, who evades this, is neither modest nor objective or unruffled; he is ignorant, cowardly and neurotic.” Continue reading







Our ancestors were agriculturists and pastoral farmers. If they followed the European year calendar system whose year begins in January, they would not have survived and we might not be here today. But they were very wise. They knew how nature works. They knew what time rain comes.

They knew what time some parts of this country experience frost which destroys harvest that is not ready at the right time. Their year calendar began in August(Phato) not in January (Pherekhong). This year had four seasons, namely Selemo –Spring, Hlabula – Summer – Hoetla – Autumn, Winter – Mariha.

Our ancestors dug gold, copper and other minerals. They were Iron experts long before Europe. They had never gone to school to study geology, but even their ordinary herdsmen and shepherdswho had never studied geology at any university, could identify an iron stone (morallana). These ancestors had a furnace technology through which they melted this iron stone (morallana) and shaped it into tools of agriculture, hoes, axes, spears etc

.They knew also how to preserve food for long time and for bad times of harvest. They dried fruits (mangangajane), corn, vegetables by exposing them to the sun.They preserved meat in the same way and made dihwapa. Biltong is a dihwapa product that was copied from Africans. The Basotho had also disiu to preserve their harvest. Continue reading