The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) was formed in 1959 as a breakaway from the ANC. Influenced by the Africanist ideals of Kwame Nkrumah. It promotes the return of the land to the indigenous people.
The PAC was outlawed with the ANC in 1960 after the Sharpeville massacre. Its leaders were exiled or detained for long periods. These included Robert Sobukwe, its founder and leader, who was incarcerated in Robben Island until 1969 and then placed under house arrest until his death in 1978.
The party’s support has been steadily eroded since 1994, with voters favouring the ANC.
Analysts are predicting an uphill battle for the Pan African Congress that will be fighting for survival in the upcoming elections. The party has been rocked by leadership squabbles that have split it into two – one faction is led by Letlapa Mphahlele and another by Alton Mpheti.
Mphahlele was expelled in 2013 after he was found guilty for failing to account for parliamentary and Independent Electoral Commission funds, not respecting national executive committee (NEC) decisions and appointing a chief administrator even though the position was not catered for in the PAC constitution.
He had also been accused of creating a bogus NEC, appointing a publicity secretary, suspending deputy secretary general, Bennett Joko, without due process, failing to abide by a court order preventing him from holding a PAC meeting, and promoting factionalism within the party’s ranks.
In the 2009 general elections, the party won just a single seat in parliament with just over 48000 people voting for the party – a situation some experts and some concerned members of the party expect to get even worse.
The PAC recalls leader, Letlhapa Mphahlele:
– By Southafrica.info