Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe

Pogrund: Robert SobukweDer Population Registration Act von 1950 zielte darauf ab, jede einzelne Person in Südafrika rassisch/rassistisch zu klassifizieren. Die ersten beiden Zahlen der identity number verwiesen auf diese Klassifizierung (siehe “pencil test“): “00″ für “white South African”, 01 für für “coloureds”, 02 für “Malay” usw. In seiner Biographie über Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe, “How Can Man Die Better” (1990), schreibt Benjamin Pogrund:
“Those vital two digits were intended to, and did, affect life from birth to death, with every detail specified and fixed by law: in which hospital you could born; in which suburb you could live; which house you could buy; which farm you could buy; which nursery school and school you could attend and which university or technical college; which cinemas and theatres you could go; which buses, train compartments and taxis you could travel in; which bus stops, railway pedestrian bridges and platforms you could use; which beach you could swim from; which municipal swimming pool you could use; from which library you could get books; which park bench you could sit on; in which restaurants you could eat; which lavatories you could use; in which hotels you could stay; whether you allowed to enter a municipal hall; which jobs you could hold and how much you would earn; how much liquor you could buy and posses; who you could legally have sex with and who you could marry; how easily you could get a passport for travel abroad; how much your old age pension, disability or war veteran’s pension would be; which sportfields you could use, and the quality of the facilities available to you; whether you could vote; which hospital you could go if you fell ill and which doctors and nurses would attend to you; which hearse you would be carried in when you died; and in which graveyard you would be buried.”
(Benjamin Pogrund: How Can A Man Better Die. The life of Robert Sobukwe. London 2006 (Original: 1990). S. 79)
Sobukwe, Gründer des Pan African Congress, Vordenker des “black consciousness movement, leitete die Anti-Pass-Campaign 1960, die im Sharpeville-Massaker (und vielen anderen landesweiten, mehrheitlich von der Polizei niedergemetzelten Demonstrationen) endete. Der “Prisoner Nr. 1″ war während seiner Lebzeiten der vom Apartheids-Regimes meist gefürchtetste Widerstandskämpfer. “No crime, no punishment” – ein Grundsatz der Rechtssprechung wurde in der “Sobukwe Clause” über Bord geworfen.

Pogrund, Journalist bei “Rand Daily Mail”, lernte Sobukwe 1957 kennen; sie wurden enge Freunde. Sein Buch liefert dreierlei: Eine Biographie Sobukwes, eine Geschichte Südafrikas zu dessen Lebzeiten und den Bericht einer Freundschaft (v.a. Pogrunds Versuche, Sobukwe während der Jahre auf Robben Island zu unterstützen und mit ihm in Kontakt zu bleiben). Die stärksten Stellen sind jene (leider wenigen), in denen diese drei Teile ineinander fallen. Neben einem close reading des Sharpeville-Massakers 1960, bei dem Pogrund nicht zufällig als einziger Journalist dabei war, sind das etwa jene Diskussionen und Unstimmigkeiten zwischen den beiden über die Rolle der Bantustans. Sobukwe kann Pogrund letztendlich überzeugen, dass “non-collaboration was the only weapon which blacks should use and that it was the only way to block the government was trying to do. Blacks should simply refuse to be involved” (S. 331)

In einem kurzen Epilog, der sich mit dem “Erbe” und den Erinnerungsorten rund um Sobukwe beschäftigt, zitiert Pogrund aus einer 2004 gehaltenen “memorial leture” von Njongonkulu Ndungane, Archbishop von Cape Town: “In other words, I think that Robert Sobukwe would have mourned the continued economic injustice in South Africa today. Black Consciousness was not only about dignity and self-respect – though that was the personal, individual core of it. It was also about justice. I don’t think he would have thought it is enough to have a vote – though that is a basic human right and essential for our dignity. I think he would have tought a vote, to be useful, should be able to carry in its wake justice for those who were marginalised. I believe Sobukwe would have moved on from the emphasis upon equality and reconciliation between the races to an emphasis on economic justice. That indeed IS the struggle that lies ahead of us.” (S. 401).

Sobukwe: Krawatten: Graaff-ReinetDie Old Library von Graaff-Reinet, dem Geburtsort Sobukwes und dem Ort seines Grabes, installierte 2000 “The Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe Permanent Exhibition“. Hier Kopien von zwei dort aufliegenden Dokumenationsfoldern. Der Schwerpunkt liegt auf Zeitungsberichten rund um das konfliktreiche Begräbnis 1978. Mittendrin auch eine Rede Kurt Waldheims (Uno) anlässlich des Todes von Sobukwe:
Sobukwe: Graaff-Reinet: Materialien 01
Sobukwe: Graaff-Reinet: Materialien 02
Hier noch zu Fort Hare, Ort der Politisierung Sobukwes (und vieler anderer): Brown Mavusibe Maaba: The Archives of Pan Africanist Congress)

Exzerpt des Pogrund-Buches: Pogrund: Sobukwe. How can…: Exzerpt

Und hier zu einer SABC-Dokumentarserie von 2012 über Sobukwe: 

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