Last week Fadiel Adams, president of the Cape Coloured Congress together with Sakeena Frenchman, (secretary-general) and Joe Cooper (Treasurer) arrived in Durban to address the KZN branch.
Fadiel Adams needs no introduction. He is a modest man from very humble beginnings. His advocacy for equality and freedom has been heard in every province in South Africa and a few other countries. His passion for highlighting struggles is evident in his actions, as he not only just talks but actually goes out and deals with the issue head-on. From exposing corruption, going on hunger strikes to securing employment for his people, and being more than just vocal about the daily injustices we face, he has made the people aware that they can make a difference, and to be unapologetically proud of who they are.
On Sunday 15 November at the Austerville community hall about 200 people attended a meeting held by the Cape Coloured Congress-KZN branch. The mission of the Cape Coloured Congress is to work for a fair, free and open future for all, not just some. Their stand is against the marginalization of the Coloured/Khoisan people nationwide, and injustices, and inequalities that plague our country.
One of the most difficult feelings to rid oneself of is the emotional turmoil associated with being marginalized by a group in a position of power. Feelings of anger and confusion are often followed by those of inferiority. The internal struggle is exacerbated when it seems obvious that the perpetrators have ill intent in conveying the denigrating message. Our society is replete with these microaggressions that more often than not go unnoticed but have a lasting impact on the recipients.
Despite living in a post-apartheid nation, the Coloured/Khoisan community continues to face discrimination, and complaints of exclusion are common.
The Cape Coloured Congress feels that it is their responsibility to use their platform to elevate marginalized voices and take action against rampant corruption. This sentiment was echoed by all who attended the meeting.
Fadiel Adams articulated; “It is hard to accept the current inequality, injustice, affirmative action. In order to move ahead, we first have to overcome our differences. We are a fractured nation. You have to understand that we are one. I am you, and you are me. We cannot be separated. We are experiencing the same struggle. We used to be brothers and comrades, with our black African counterparts, but now we’re on our own. Only we can do it. Only we can end this systemic oppression. We must come together, and unite, as we did in the 80s. Always remember; that we are victors and not victims. We Coloureds need to unite. Let us be a party that acts and not just talks. The absence of our youth here today is so apparent and also daunting. Where are they? They are being enslaved by drugs and alcohol-fed to them by the enemy, who will not allow them to progress. Enough is enough. Let us leave a legacy that our children will be proud of”
In response to a question posed to him by Andrew David, as to whether the indigenous Khoisan people will be included in his fight for justice for the ‘Brown’ people, he replied; “As a proud descendant of the Khoisan, I cannot deny my heritage and the indigenous blood that flows through my veins”
Interim Provincial Chairperson of CCC, KZN, and programs director, Gerald Ferror, announced that the fight against marginalization is not a lonely fight, but a joint effort of Coloured/Khoisan nationwide.
Selwyn Anderson, Wentworth branch chairperson stated; “Time has come for talks to end. We are no longer part of that rainbow that Nelson Mandela dreamed of. We have been relegated to a marginalized minority”
Interim National Organiser, and provincial secretary, Gavin Jood, declared; ” We’re embarking on unity nationwide. Herein lies a solution to our own leadership”
Interim Deputy Provincial chairperson, and one of the two remaining founding members of CCC – KZN, Lenny Joseph asserted; “Now is the time for the rejuvenation of our people. Since 1994 nothing has been done. For 45-years, there have been zero improvements in Wentworth. All the government has been doing is misleading our senior citizens with high levies and sectional title schemes. Further, officials from the human settlement are known to intimidate our senior citizens, after hours. They are being coerced into signing documents of which they do not understand, under duress. Our health system is one of the worst in the world and people have been blatantly excluded from the job market. BBBEE is hurting our people where it hurts most, in our homes, pockets, and hearts.
Wrong diagnosis, botched operations, botched amputations, anesthetic deaths, uninformed consent, and large amounts of obstetrics, gynecology, and maternity issues. I personally experienced this when I was dosed with penicillin when it clearly stated on my file that I was allergic to this drug. I would like to be informed, together with our councilor, when the MEC of health visits Wentworth hospital so that we can divulge our grievances.
Wentworth’s high unemployment rate is fuelling a culture of drug use among the youth. This trend is responsible for acts of violent crime, while loved ones are concerned about serious health repercussions for long-term users, which the government is poorly equipped to address.
I live right opposite the Engen Oil Refinery, and every morning I observe workers from surrounding townships making their way to Engen, where they are employed, while the youth of Wentworth are unemployed. How demoralizing is that, for our unemployed youth to experience.
Corruption, poverty, high unemployment, and violent crime have significantly restricted our people’s enjoyment of their rights. Cuts to health and education services have also compromised quality and access of the ‘Brown’ minority to these rights”
Joseph is most instrumental in hosting the leadership in KZN and is from a family of political activists, who fought against the apartheid regime. His late brother, Keith Joseph, was an uMkhonto we Sizwe cadre. This was the armed wing of the African National Congress(ANC), who actively fought in the trenches in the 80s. Before his death, Keith Joseph voiced his dissatisfaction about the injustices still experienced by the Coloured/Khoisan people in post-apartheid South Africa.
Vivienne Perrett stated; “The education system has deteriorated. Please secure your children’s educational future”
Allan Holmes remarked; “It is time to unite. Where there’s unity, God commands a blessing”
Monica Brown said; “It is about our youth. Please save them from an uncertain future. It has taken someone from the mother-city, where we originated from, to preserve our birthright. Thank you Fadiel Adams.”
Rowan King said; ” It all begins with good leadership. Great leaders should lead by example and fight against the current rampant corruption that is crippling our beloved country “
Social exclusion goes well beyond the inadequacy of material resources and also includes the inadequacy or total lack of participation in social, economic, political, and cultural life. Social exclusion is an offense against human dignity and denies people their fundamental human rights.
Lenny Joseph can be contacted at:+27 79 741 6250
Rafika Joseph. +27 84 626 6642
By: Lorraine Richards