THE SDF DIASPORA STORY: THE SDF SOUTH AFRICA (SDF SA) STORY 18 YEARS AFTERWARDS: Blessings and Bruises
The leading opposition Social Democratic Front, SDF SA was formed barely seven years after the return of multiparty politics in Cameroon. The branch in SA was created with the blessings of the mother party home and with same objectives: To ensure that the struggle to achieve genuine democracy, the rule of law and the development of the country are achieved.
Creation, SDF SA
In 1997 some Cameroonians under the leadership of Comrade Balhiki Balhiki were the pioneer members of SDF SA. The party had a coordination committee which sought to ensure the implantation and day to day running of the party in SA.
“I was the one who received all the
letters of accreditation on the implantation of the party which I joined in
1991 back at home. I think the party could have achieved more if the militants
remained committed. The SDF remains a veritable force to reckon with in
Cameroon and I urged militants to continue to denounce impediments to democracy
and human rights violations. SDF SA’s contribution to democracy in Cameroon is
Other SDF SA members like Comrade
Francis Mbah joined in 1998. The following year, 1999 the first
elections were held and Comrade
“Within the same year, 1999 The SDF SA
as young as it was
Between 2000 and 2001, Douala and Cameroon
The firebrand SDF SA members could not remain indifferent to the violation of the fundamental rights of Cameroonians to a fair hearing. That is how the SDF SA regrouped itself again and gave its voice by carrying out protest at the Cameroon embassy in Pretoria, South Africa. Attempts by embassy officials to bribe SDF militants failed futilely.
Between 2001 and 2006, SDF SA functioned with the good will of Cameroonians who were eager to continue and bring change to Cameroon though out of the country. Women were not left out of the struggle and want it to continue.
Comrade Ngwa Dorothy Lem, who is
SDF SA gathered steam in 2007 when Comrade
Milton Taka then became Interim Regional Chairman. He has been at the helm of
the party in SA after his election in 2009 and 2013 as leader and thinks there is
“We are not just celebrating the 25
The many electoral challenges faced by
the home front are practiced here by agents of the CPDM. During the 2011
elections in South Africa for instance, the Focal Point represented by the
Deputy High Commissioner at the Cameroon High Commission in Pretoria ensured
that the SDF had no polling agents. We called the police and warned that the
embassy would be held accountable if violence erupted. We also called the attention
of the Chair of ELECAM, Dr Fonkam Azu, who ordered that SDF be represented.
Though the SDF did not emerge victorious due to the characteristic rigging of
elections before election day by agents of the CPDM government through
violating the electoral process from registration through to card distribution
every step of the way, our rights to be part of the electoral process were
To the second Regional Vice Chair SDF
SA, Paul Nkemakang who has been in the party since January 1999, SDF SA and as
a party has much to celebrate
His Chairman corroborates him. “As leader of SDF SA, we have contributed to the growth of the party and our focus has been on critical thinking. We are putting more effort to support in any circumstance that would help the SDF to be more strategic.
We have in place a technological
mechanism, (Whatsup groups, Twitter, Facebook accounts,
One of our biggest achievements was
getting the National Convention formally recognize and include the Social Youth
wing as a formal party organ within its structures after experimenting with an
SDF SA Youth League structure led by Comrade Jessy Itambi
Most of the SDF militants in South
Africa belief the party is to take power in Cameroon. “The SDF is Cameroon’s
government in waiting. The fact that the SDF has resisted bribes from joining a
corrupt government for 25 years only indicates our will to create a just and
democratic Cameroonian society. NESPROG as a framework of the new
Cameroon looks at Cameroon from the social, political and economic perspective.
A federal Cameroon under the SDF would bring power back to the people; encourage
regional development and economic growth. We believe that the
Despite Much talk about the leadership of the party, the SDF SA hierarchy thinks the party still has a bright future.
“The SDF has critical thinkers who are
officials captaining industries and companies all over the world. The SDF is
ready for leadership because we have all the capabilities, competencies and
experience to govern and time would prove us right. We would continue to fight
for the voice of the people to be heard and for change to come to Cameroon
through the ballot box. I am one of those who believes in transformational
Others are expecting a change of
leadership in 2016. “The situation of the party back home is intrinsically
linked to SDF SA and the other branches in the Diaspora. Negative sentiments
against the party back home definitely have knock on effects on militants and
Cameroonian participation in the Diaspora. This is still the case currently as
there are still so many unsettled frustrations with the mother party. Unless
the SDF makes ground breaking decisions on the succession debate, separation of
powers, inclusiveness and
The Regional Chair concluded that
OTHER ACHIEVEMENT OF SDF SA
At 18 years the SDF SA has contributed
immensely in denouncing the wrong
The SDF SA was also part of the Non Alliance Movement and took part in a protest against the Presence of President Biya in Durban. The protest made the president to make a premature departure from SA, after he watched SDF militants protesting on TV.
SDF SA made its voice head more than once at the French Embassy. Protests were held at their embassy in Pretoria and their consulate in Johannesburg against their somewhat grip and exploitation of Cameroon. The events had an impact because it took place when the French were celebrating their national day.
In 2010, SDF SA led massive protests at
the Cameroon High
Their protest has not been only at
The SDF SA in 2011 causes SA embassy
officials through petitions and meetings to get Cameroonians register for the
elections. Though the embassy did so half-heartedly their protest against their
non-participation in the entire process sent a strong message to Yaoundé
authorities. The SDF SA has been
The highlight of our political life in
SA was the visit of our Charismatic National Chairman, Comrade Ni Joh Fru Ndi
and the massively attended Press Conference
With its SDF SA patriotic project, the party was able to download Cameroon’s anthem which it distributed to Compatriots whom many could not sing our National Anthem after being out of Cameroon for long.
The SDF SA has always stood for the
parliament to adopt the Dual nationality bill and has never relented its
efforts in that. The SDF SA is already having a Procurement Bill, as its own
contribution to fight corruption, graft and embezzlement in Cameroon. It
believes a well-crafted and implemented Procurement bill and a functional and
Through a well crafted proposal by the
SDF SA, National party now has a Youth League, approved by NEC, which is doing
its best to
SDF SA is spearheading the creation of a School for Political Education and Training. It can boast of the pioneer SDF ward in Turfontein with Comrade Mokolo as Chair.
The SDF SA remains very vocal about the changes needed in the party and Cameroon, between 2016 and 2018. They are looking very closely on candidates to lead the party come SDF convention 2016 and have indicated that their support will strictly be based on key issues articulated and the message.
Investments and Social Achievements
The SDF SA
In March 2014, the SDF SA
The SDFSA has also assisted many
Cameroonian freedom fighters and rights activists to
In 2015, the SDF SA
During their last GA meeting, funds were raised to support the Cameroon army in its efforts to fight Boko Haram.
The SDF SA is battling tooth and nail
to make the party visible. It is
It is working with party leadership at
home to support the creation of the Ni John Fru Ndi
The SDF SA has released the first edition of its newspaper, the Cameroon Diaspora Voice.
It has not been a bed of roses for SDF
SA as the party struggles to implant itself in South Africa. The Cape Town
Branch of SDF is due to have elections while the Pretoria branch is still in
gestation. The SDF SA has some positive links with the ruling ANC of South
Africa. The link was further cemented when the SDF SA Chair and National Chair
Militants turning orphans as they
increasingly sit on the fence due to the slow pace of transformation in the
At 18, the SDF SA is