iRobben Island: Utshintshi-tshintshi wePolitiki

Utshintsho Kulawulo Lwezopolitiko

©Tracey Derrick
Ngomnyaka ka 1948, umbutho we Nationalist Party wawina (omhlophe) unyulo lika zwelonke waze uSmuts wasuswa esihlalweni. Yabasisiqalo seminyaka engama 50 yocinezelo nenzonod-Ilixa elishwankathelwa lihlabathi ngegama elithi ‘apartheid’. Kumashumi ambalwa alandelayo uhrulumente waye wamane ukongeza imithetho emininzi neyayenzelwe ukunciphisa amathuba abemi abantsundu nabebala base Mzantsi Afrika. Nangona iimbangela yalemithetho isindayo yayisekelwe phezu kokujongela phantsi abantsundu nokwakuthathwe koo khokho babo bamabhulu, ungacingi ukuba olu cinezelo lwalungebala kuphela. Sasikhona nesinye isizathu sezi polisi zokujongela phantsi abantu: Isidingo sokuqinisekisa ukuba ilizwe elilawulwa ngabamhlophe kuphela lihlala linabantu abamnyama bokubasebenzela abahlawulwa imali encinci.

Ngokucacileyo, eli cebo lika rhulumente kwilizwe apho eline nani elininzi ngeyona ndlela labantu abamnyama kwakuzakudala inkani kunye noqhankqalazo. Abasemagunyeni baye babona ukuba bazakudinga indawo abazakubeka kuyo bonke abadala ingxushungxushu. Ngoko ke, ngomnyaka ka 1959, umphathiswa wezoluleko wabhengeza ukuba iRobben Island yayizakuba yintilongo kwakhona. Izixhobo zomkhosi zafuduselwa eKapa kunye nayo yonke indlela engena e Robben Island yayevalwa. Icwecwe elitsha nelinzima lembali yase Robben Island lwaqala.

Iminyaka Yocalu-calulo

©Eric Miller
Ngomnyaka ka 1958, indoda enamaphupha yaxhuzula imikhala njenge Prime Minister, uDr. H.F. Verwoerd. Kunye nobuciko bakhe, le nkokheli ikhohlakeleyo yatyabeka umfanekiso oyityhefu wo calu-calulo kunye nocalulo lwophuhliso, nalapho abantu abamnyama bazakujikwa benziwe ‘abageci bemithi kunye nabakhi bamanzi’. Njengembuyekezo yomsebenzi wabo kunye nokubangamakhoboka, uVerwoerd wabathembisa ukubakhathalela ngeyona ndlela kwenziwa ngayo yobuKrestu.

uVerwoerd wayesazi ukuba uzakuphikiswa ngama Afrika, kwaye isigqibo sathathwa ukuze kulungiswe iRobben Island njenge ntilongo yabo bonke abaphikisana nemithetho yesizwe. Ityala iTreason Trial, nalapho abamangalelwa abangama 150 babeka amatyala okungahambisani nomthetho, lalisele liqale kwango 1961, amabanjwa azizaphuli mthetho ayethunyelwa esiqithini ukunceda ukulungiselela inani elikhulu elizayo lamabanjwa ezopolitilko. iThe Treason Trail, yaphela emva kweminyaka emine kungakhange kubanjwe mntu.

Ngelixesha, umbutho we ANC wawusele uxhaswa kwizwe lonke kwaye nentshukumo yayisele ikhokele uninzi, ukuba luqale uqhankqalazo oluzolileyo lusilwa uhrulumente. Ukungabikho nkqubela phambili kwabacaphukisa abanye, kodwa omnye onesibindi obizwa ngokuba ngu Robert Sobukwe wazicebula kwi ANC ukuziqalela iqela elifana nomkhosi, walibiza nge Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), ngomnyaka ka 1959.

Amabanjwa Okuqala Ezopolitiko Athunyelwa eRobben Island

©Tracey Derrick
Ngomnyaka ka 1960, isininzi saqal imatshi sinyanzelisa ukupheliswa kwemithetho yama Pasi neyayithintela abantu abamnyama ukuba bahamba kwii ndawo zabamhlophe. Kwenye yezintshukumo zoqhankqalazo, ngaphandle kwesikhululo samapolisa e Sharpeville, kufutshane nase Vereeniging, amapolisa avulela imbumbulu kwinginginya yabantu. Babulala abantu abangama 69, uninzi lwabo lwadutyulwa emqolo ngethuba bebaleka. Esi siganeko sothusa isizwe kunye nehlabathi lonke liphela. Urhulumente woMzantsi Afrika waphendula ngokukhawuleza. Umbutho we ANC kunye nowe yachazwa ngokusemthethweni njengemibutho engekho semthethweni yaze yavalwa.

Kwapasiswa imithetho emitsha ukwenza kubelula ukubamba kuvalelwe iinkokheli zemibutho ephikisayo. Ekuhambeni kwexesha uVerwoerd washiya i British Commonwealth waze wabhengeza uMzantsi Afrika njenge Republic. Kwelabo icala, yomibini imibutho ye ANC kunye ne PAC yagqiba ekubeni ithathele ezandleni umlo womthetho wocalu-calulo, kwaye yomibini yaqulunqa amaphiko omkhosi, ayibiza ngo Mkhonto we Sizwe kunye no Poqo.

Emva kwesiganeko sase Sharpeville, amabanjwa okuqala ezopolitiko athunyelwa e Roben Island yayingamalungu ePAC kunye namalungu ka Poqo. Baqala ukufika ngomnyaka ka 1961 ukuya phambili, befikela kwisiqithi esirhabaxa nesisandula kushiywa ngumkhosi sabe singakulungelanga kwaphela ukuba singaba yintilongo ekwiqondo eliphezulu lokugadwa. Amabanjwa okuqala akhawuleza afakwa emsebenzini wokuqhekeza amatye nokuzakhela izisele zabo.

Translated by Zizipho Silwana