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Recent Articles about Southern Africa Repression / prisoners

Desde Uruguay, solidaridad con los cuatro de Boiketlong Aug 16 17 by Resistencia Obrero Estudiantil

Solidarity with the Boiketlong 4 from Uruguay Aug 16 17 by Resistencia Obrero Estudiantil

[Appel à solidarité] Les « Quatre de Boiketlong » et la criminalisatio... Aug 04 17 by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front

SWAZILAND: Zabalaza’s claims of bombing police van

category southern africa | repression / prisoners | non-anarchist press author Wednesday January 18, 2006 22:58author by Mduduzi Magagula - The Times of Swaziland Report this post to the editors

MBABANE—While many might have been forgiven for breathing a sigh of relief over the arrest of suspects in the cases of spate of petrol bombings, people will be alarmed to learn that there is an underground political organisation that claims to be even mightier than PUDEMO or SWAYOCO.

MBABANE—While many might have been forgiven for breathing a sigh of relief over the arrest of suspects in the cases of spate of petrol bombings, people will be alarmed to learn that there is an underground political organisation that claims to be even mightier than PUDEMO or SWAYOCO.

Even more alarmingly, this organisation has sensationally claimed to have petrol-bombed a police van. However, the police vehemently denied this last night, saying this was far from the truth as no police vehicle was ever petrol bombed, and there are no records of this having happened.

The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (ZACF) of Southern Africa has its headquarters in South Africa and claims to the international community to be operating in the country. The formation has a website where it publishes its propaganda. In some of its writings, the formation appears to claim responsibility for some of the petrol bombing incidents that have terrorised the country recently. Again, this seems to be a smoke screen and the police have denied knowledge of this. Just a quick read through the website is enough to tell that the organization is out to paint a bad picture about Swaziland. Also shocking in the claims is that they stoned and petrol bombed a police vehicle in Manzini during a PUDEMO organised demonstration recently. Such was not observed by the local media.

Claims

The party claims that one of its underground operative who was together with the PUDEMO/SWAYOCO cadres was arrested for this incident. However, it further claims that he was later released on bail by the courts. According to the website, this incident happened in October last year. “Our organisation together with PUDEMO comrades took control of a certain territory around Manzini and it is then that an armoured police “hippo” wandered into comrade controlled territory, was stoned and petrol bombed,” reads part of the writings on the website. The comrade who was arrested is referred to with his code name “MK” and the party claims that he was arrested together with seven comrades and charged with ‘disturbing peace’. On this day, the party claims that it was police who provoked them by firing the first shot at them. The party claims that comrade MK was detained at Zakhele detention centre and he was an ill man who was on medication, which he had to take regularly. The party claims that MK was not allowed to take his regular medication. The party also calls itself the ‘Zabalaza Federation’ and it claims to be in alliance with the country’s banned political formations in destabilising the country. It further claims to have participated in various political motivated activities that have been carried out in the country.

Mission

The party claims to have one mission in the country, “we the ZACF organise in Swaziland and support the pro democracy movement, but agitate it to go beyond the usual bourgeois betrayal and involve a destruction of the Swazi capitalist state and its replacement by decentralised popular assemblies of communities and producers.” The party claims to have members in most parts of the country. In its mission here, the party claims to have had several of their members arrested for their involvement in the struggle in the country.(source:http://www.anarkismo.net/) The party seems to be well organised with lots of links and resources. It has its own website where its articles celebrating their successes and failures are published. The articles on the site are published in various languages, among which is English, Italian and many others. The party also claims that, “ZACF has popularised class struggle ideas among politically conscious youth.”

author by Jonathan - ZACFpublication date Wed Jan 18, 2006 23:05author email international at zabalaza dot netReport this post to the editors

It seems to us that the journalist responsible for this article has misread the report when he says "Also shocking in the claims is that they stoned and petrol bombed a police vehicle in Manzini during a PUDEMO organised demonstration recently."

The newspaper quotes our website as saying “Our organisation together with PUDEMO comrades took control of a certain territory around Manzini and it is then that an armored police “hippo” wandered into comrade controlled territory, was stoned and petrol bombed,”

What Zabalaza actually said can be read at
http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=1462 :

"Countering Saturday's SWAYOCO demonstration in which the ZACF participated, the Royal Swazi Police fired warning shots and in the resulting chaos, arrested "MK" and seven SWAYOCO comrades. Last month, however, the shoe was on the other foot, when an armored police "hippo" that wandered into comrade-controlled territory found itself stoned and petrol-bombed."

Nowhere did we claim, nor have we ever done so, to have stoned or petrol bombed a police vehicle, or any other symbol of oppression for that matter. In fact the ZACF has consistently been against terrorism in favour of mass popular mobilisation. Which can be seen in our public statements on the September 11 WTC attacks (found online here: http://www.zabalaza.net/recent/wtc_911_attacks.htm), the bombings in Madrid (found online here: http://www.zabalaza.net/news/news02.htm) and in London (found online here: http://www.zabalaza.net/news/news03.htm).

Please note also that we have never claimed, “to be even mightier than PUDEMO or SWAYOCO” nor have we claimed “to have members in most parts of the country".

Therefore, in defense of our organisation, which we feel has been misrepresented; we declare the following:

1) The ZACF, which operates in both South Africa and Swaziland, supports the pro-democracy movement in Swaziland, but it does so realising that the Swazi political system can only be changed democratically by the bulk of the Swazi popular classes organising en masse to change it at grassroots level into a form acceptable to themselves. A few people running around with petrol-bombs is both insufficient to change the system and is an anti-democratic substitution of shadowy unaccountable individuals for democratic mass action.
2) Therefore, the ZACF as a whole has no policy of petrol-bombing state or capitalist targets, and its membership in Swaziland have denied to our annual regional congress in December 2005 to having taken part in any such bombings. The report carried on our website of the attack on the hippo has been misread to suggest that ZACF members participated in the attack. The reference to "comrade-controlled" territory simply implies territory controlled, at least at the time, by comrades of the pro-democratic movement, not necessarily ZACF members.
3) The ZACF remains committed to the struggle for mass participatory democracy for all people resident in Swaziland (and more broadly in southern Africa) but, as The Times of Swaziland article correctly reported, "agitates to go beyond the usual bourgeois betrayal and involve a destruction of the Swazi capitalist state and its replacement by decentralised popular assemblies" of the working class, poor and peasantry.

In solidarity with the struggling Swazis,
Jonathan
International Secretary, Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (southern Africa)

 
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