Mangope considers move to PAC

Jaspreet Kindra Former homeland leader Lucas Mangope is considering abandoning his alliance with the Democratic Party in favour of a partnership with the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania ahead of the local government elections. PAC sources said this week that Mangope, the leader of the United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP), has been in exploratory discussions with the PAC about forging a new alliance. Mangope is believed to be unhappy about the way in which the DP struck an alliance with the New National Party without consulting the UCDP. The UCDP is the official opposition in the North West legislature and, like the PAC, has three MPs in the National Assembly. The DP sealed an alliance with the UCDP in January in an effort to broaden its black support base. The PAC, meanwhile, has hired one of the organisers of Louis Farrakhan-led Nation of Islam’s One Million March in 1995 to head its local government election campaign. The organiser, Bob Brown, managed Reverend Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign in 1984.

Brown is also a member of the All African People’s Revolutionary Party, which was founded by prominent black power activist and former prime minister of the Black Panther Party Stokely Carmichael in the Sixties.

PAC sources said the party already had a good working relationship with the North West province-based UCDP through the traditional leaders in the area, many of whom are Pan Africanists. A senior UCDP source said of the DP’s alliance with the NNP: “We would have expected any party to at least inform and consult with its allies before taking such a major step.” Mangope was convicted in 1988 on 88 counts of theft for stealing R2,6-million in royalties from his tribe, on three counts of fraud for illegally transferring R1,3- million to an offshore banking account and on another 13 charges of theft for stealing R907 000 in state funds. UCDP secretary Mavis Matladi said it was “too early” to comment on its talks with the PAC. PAC general secretary Thami ka Plaatjie said he was unable to comment at this stage.

The PAC is also in talks with the Azanian People’s Organisation and the Socialist Party of South Africa to build a united Azanian front to fight the ANC.

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