Mar 14, 2006

Vhavenda: Manifesto of the Dabalorivhuwa Patriotic Front

19 points Menifesto issued by UNPO member, the Dabalorivhuwa Patriotic Front (DPF), covering the Civil Pension case and rights of indigenous peoples. The organization joined UNPO in 2003


19 Points Manifesto of the Dabalorivhuwa Patriotic Front (DPF)

1. To remain active in our demand for Civil Pension Payout that has been defrauded by the government.

2. To be persistent against ethnocide (acculturation, assimilation etc)

3. To see to it that Sacred sites are protected.

4. We are committed to removing obstacles that hinder progress in service delivery, such as ethnicity or ethnocentrism, corruption, fraud, irresponsible political governance etc.

5. Recognition of the resurgent peoples and their territories. Protection of the isolated peoples territories against invasion.

6. Respect for the Indigenous peoples’ exclusive right to the usufruct of all natural resources contained in the indigenous areas. (for economic development)

7. That the true history of Vendaland be acknowledged and taught in State Schools, taking into consideration the thousands of years the indigenous population have occupied the diverse lands called Venda.

8. Traditional authorities in the countryside should be empowered to act as local government and not to duplicate authorities and bounderies of such local areas.

9. No other bounderies should be deliminated for local government purpose because traditional lands have existing bounderies.

10. To fight for the overhauling of the whole local government system.

11. Traditional affairs are more local than so-called national and provincial and therefore deserve our attention at local level, and this would mean that all problems pertaining to Indigenous affairs and their traditional authorities shall be entertained.

12. Civic Associations must be free from (forced) political affiliation, as they are not supposed to act as a branch of any political party nor to act as a mouthpiece for any political government.

13. DPF shall stand firm against all forms of political bribery, intimidation, muzzling, cheque book politics etc.

14. Indigenous values must be respected and preserved.

15. The name Venda must be regarded as our intellectual property and must be left intact and statutorily recognised.

16. The name Limpopo should be done away with as it is obliterating the name Venda.

17. Land claims are to be scrutinised because the Act that governs land claims is devoid of collective land rights, which is the most crucial aspect for Indigenous peoples.

18. It is of utmost importance to mention Vhangona as the Indigenous peoples in the so-called Limpopo Province and that indigenous peoples are local people.

19. The Roman-Dutch law lives much to be desired in our justice system and also creates grey areas and undermines our traditional courts at local level.

According to African tradition, witches are tried in traditional courts and also sentenced there. We cannot allow a situation that forbid people to talk about witchcraft, let alone to try witches, yet witchcraft is alive and kicking and many people are dying of it.

ANNEXURE I (Linked to paragraph 8)

8, The main question is whether there is an intention to phase out traditional authorities in the long run or not, but it would seem as if forces are at work to get rid of them.

If we are intending to phase them out, a referendum must be held in order to establish the will of the people. If the will of the people is that traditional authorities must be left intact, then we have to utilise these institutions at local level for proper governance.

The reason why this issue comes to picture in our manifesto is that traditional rulers are remunerated every month yet they are not allowed to work for their salaries, which is ridiculous.

We would therefore, as a political party, demand for constitutional recognition of traditional authorities, most particularly kingship form of traditional authorities.

The government must also statutorily recognise indigenous peoples for instance, Vhangona.
The government must tell us why they dilly-dally around the fact that Mapungubwe Kingdom was a kingdom of the Vhangona peoples, of Venda of yore.

ANNEXURE II (Linked to paragraph I)

1, Justice and our right to social security.

Unjust behaviour and decisions of the government makes mockery of justice.

Justice is not higher than local as it is the people at local level who make use of courts of this land.

It is not very long ago when the South African government decided that R80 billion of pension surplus be paid out to the employees and ex-employees of private sector companies and a law was passed in parliament to authorise and regulate such payout. The question here is that “when did such surplus occur?” did somebody demanded such a payout? If yes when was it?

All in all, the decision to payout the surplus is fine and good, but the decision to oppress the Vhavenda people in their claim for their civil pension surplus is unjust and therefore undermine the justice system of this country and makes a court judgement on this issue a mockery of justice. Such a decision affects people at local level of government.

It is also unjust for the South African Human Rights Commission to decide that they cannot work on this issue because it has nothing to do with a “right to social security”, (mentioned in the constitution of this country). What does the concept “Social Security” mean? This question and other questions tend to come to mind. The South African Human Rights Commission and Courts of this country appear to receive instructions from the ruling political party as to how to handle certain issues, even if such instructions compromise the rights of other segments of our society.

This is a kind of problem that we are prepared to deal with at local level of government.

It is against this background that one would say on the one hand, that we have the Department of Justice in South Africa but injustice prevails in all spheres of life be it political, economic or social, and on the other hand we have a commission on Human Rights but human rights are grossly violated by the so-called democratic government of South Africa.

One can rightly conclude that a country can be free but without freedom of the people concerned.

Source: The Dabalorivhuwa Patriotic Front