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southern africa / miscellaneous / opinion / analysis Wednesday August 26, 2015 16:56 byLucien van der Walt   image 1 image
NOTE: Heritage Day is a post-apartheid South African national holiday; unlike most, it has no clear link to major struggles in the past, although there are efforts to position it as a more “political” day. The talk below was given by Lucien van der Walt at an event organised by Sakhaluntu Cultural Group in Grahamstown, for black youth. Thank you all for coming. Thank you, chair, for the invitation. Thank you, organisers, for the event today. Today looks like a great day, a great day to look forward. But before we look forward, we must look back as well. Unless you know where you come from, you will never know where you can go. read full story / add a comment
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southern africa / migration / racism / opinion / analysis Wednesday August 26, 2015 15:02 byPhilip Nyalungu   image 1 image
Those in power don’t want to confront the status quo of hatred against immigrants, or South Africa’s imperialist role in the region. They have a narrow set of interests: getting votes, accumulating wealth and power. However, the recent wave of attacks on immigrants and the ruptures of relations with other African countries – especially where South African corporations are operating – have touched the most delicate nerves of the established political powers, who have vowed to advance corporate interests in making profits.
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southern africa / miscellaneous / opinion / analysis Wednesday August 19, 2015 14:19 byLeroy Maisiri   image 1 image
Slogans like “Erase Rhodes”, “Rhodes so White,” and Rhodes must Fall,” emerging from student groups at South Africa’s elite universities, recently monopolised social media. These have taken off, because South Africa is in need of great structural change; 20 years after the important 1994 transition, many black people remain trapped in oppressive conditions.

No one would deny that during apartheid blacks, Coloureds and Indians were racially oppressed, abused, and as workers, exploited. If removing statues and changing place names can help solve the problems, and form part of a meaningful redress of past and present injustices, then such actions must be supported.

But can such demands really do so?
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southern africa / anarchist movement / opinion / analysis Monday August 17, 2015 22:20 byTina Sizovuka   image 1 image
Editorial from issue number 14 of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front's journal, Zabalaza: A Journal of Southern African Revolutionary Anarchism. read full story / add a comment
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southern africa / anarchist movement / link to pdf Monday August 17, 2015 22:16 byZabalaza Anarchist Communist Front   image 1 image
Issue number 14 of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front's journal, Zabalaza: A Journal of Southern African Revolutionary Anarchism, published August 2015, is now available online read full story / add a comment
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southern africa / migration / racism / opinion / analysis Tuesday June 02, 2015 21:19 byJonathan Payn   image 1 image
Like in 2008, the recent wave of anti-immigrant violence and looting of foreign-owned stores that followed King Zwelithini’s statement that foreigners must “pack their bags and leave” quickly spread to cities and townships across the country. Unlike other places in Johannesburg, however, there were no reports of xenophobic violence in Thembelihle and, although the violence spread to numerous parts of Soweto in 2008, this adjacent township was unaffected then too. This article, based on an interview with an activist from the Thembelihle Crisis Committee (TCC), looks at how working class self-organisation and solidarity helped curb or prevent the outbreak of xenophobic attacks and attempts to draw lessons for preventing future attacks.
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Photo by Jacob Potlaki (Casual Workers Advice Office)
southern africa / community struggles / opinion / analysis Thursday May 21, 2015 15:50 byJonathan Payn   image 1 image
The xenophobic violence and looting following King Zwelithini’s statement that foreigners “pack their bags and leave” spread to cities and townships across the country. However, the recent attacks are not an isolated incident; nor is Zwelithini solely responsible for fomenting it. Local elites – particularly those linked to the ruling party – also encourage anti-immigrant attitudes and actions. This article, based on discussions with Abahlali baseFreedom Park activists, looks at how local elites stimulate ‘xenophobia’ to protect their class interests, as well as how progressive working class activists have responded.
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southern africa / miscellaneous / opinion / analysis Tuesday May 05, 2015 16:54 bySian Byrne, Warren McGregor, Lucien van der Walt   image 1 image
May Day – a call to build an international movement of working class and poor people across lines of race, nation and religion for workers’ control and democracy from below, social justice and freedom from political and economic oppression – remains critical. In a country racked by anti-immigrant violence, racial and ethnic tensions, the fragmentation of the labour federation Cosatu, corporate scandals and political corruption, it is time to remember May Day’s roots and aspirations.
**A version of this appeared in the South African weekly, "Mail & Guardian" (30 Apr 2015).

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southern africa / workplace struggles / opinion / analysis Friday April 24, 2015 18:45 byS. Byrne, P. Chinguwo, W. Mcgregor, L. van der Walt   image 1 image
When we celebrate May Day we rarely reflect on why it is a public holiday in Botswana or elsewhere. Sian Byrne, Paliani Chinguwo, Warren Mcgregor and Lucien van der Walt tell of the powerful struggles that lie behind its existence, and the organisations that created it and kept its meaning alive, including its roots in the radical working class struggles.
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southern africa / repression / prisoners / non-anarchist press Tuesday March 31, 2015 20:58 byTCC, R2K, UF, DLF   image 1 image
The Thembelihle Crisis Committee, the United Front (UF), the Right to Know (R2K) Campaign and the Democratic Left Front call on all people of good conscience in South Africa to endorse the call for an end to the security siege of Thembelihle. Since the 25th of February 2015, Thembelihle has faced a de facto State of Emergency at the hands of the South African Police Services (SAPS) and other security agents. This undeclared, unofficial State of Emergency in Thembelihle is an attack on all our constitutionally guaranteed rights to and freedoms to organise, associate and freely express ourselves. We call for urgent action to put pressure on the SAPS to end the siege. We call for the creation of conducive conditions for free, open and democratic political activity in which the people of Thembelihle may express and exercise their right to protest, and have their demands for a decent life of dignity met.
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Image by: STRINGER / REUTERS
southern africa / the left / feature Tuesday March 24, 2015 22:06 byShawn Hattingh   image 1 image
Karl Marx once said that history repeats itself, first as a tragedy then as a farce. A case in point is that in South Africa sections of the left are once again calling for a mass workers’ party (MWP) to be formed to contest elections – this they believe will bring us closer to revolution. History says otherwise.

Of course the new calls for a MWP stem from the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) breaking from the African National Congress (ANC). As an outcome NUMSA is exploring the possibility of setting up a MWP to contest elections. Many Marxist and leftist influenced organisations, but also cadres within NUMSA, are therefore providing reasons why activists should be interested in such a party. read full story / add a comment
Bernard Sigamoney (1888-1963)
africa meridionale / storia dell'anarchismo / opinione / analisi Wednesday December 24, 2014 14:43 byLucien van der Walt   image 1 image
Un movimento globale, quello della tradizione anarchica e sindacalista rivoluzionaria, ha influenzato persone di tutti i ceti sociali. Una delle figure più rappresentative fu Bernard L.E. Sigamoney, nato nel 1888. Il nipote di braccianti indiani a contratto, che emigrarono in Sud Africa nel 1870, divenne un maestro di scuola con una impostazione da classe operaia. [English] read full story / add a comment
Bernard Sigamoney (1888-1963)
southern africa / history of anarchism / opinion / analysis Friday December 12, 2014 15:38 byLucien van der Walt   image 1 image
A global movement, the anarchist and syndicalist tradition has influenced people from all walks of life. A notable figure was Bernard L.E. Sigamoney, born in 1888. The grandson of indentured Indian labourers, who arrived in South Africa in the 1870s, he became a school teacher with a working class outlook. [Italiano] read full story / add a comment
région sud de l'afrique / mouvement anarchiste / communiqué de presse Friday December 12, 2014 06:49 byZabalaza Anarchist Communist Front
Le Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front [Ndt. Organisation communiste libertaire d’Afrique du Sud] est profondément attristé d’apprendre la mort d’un grand être humain, un frère africain et un camarade de lutte – Sam Mbah. Nous voudrions envoyer nos plus sincères sympathies à ceux et celles qui ont connu Sam. Nous espérons que vous puissiez vous consoler par le fait qu’il a fait le plus pleinement usage du temps passé avec nous. read full story / add a comment
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southern africa / history / opinion / analysis Tuesday December 09, 2014 14:41 byWarren McGregor   image 1 image
Today the terms “populism” and “workerism” are widely thrown about in South African political circles. Often, these terms and others (“syndicalism,” “ultra-left,” “counter-revolutionary,” “anti-majoritarian” …) have no meaning: they are just labels used to silence critics. SA Communist Party (SACP) leaders do this often. But in the 1980s, “populism” and “workerism” referred to two rival positions battling for the soul of the militant unions.

These debates, thirty years on, remain very relevant: let us revisit them, and learn. Today’s radical National Union of Metalworkers of SA (NUMSA) was part of the “workerist” camp, while its key rival, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was identified with “populism.” The early battles over the direction of the Congress of SA Trade Unions (COSATU) still echo today, although there is no longer a clear “workerist” camp. read full story / add a comment
Hector Pieterson (1964 – June 16, 1976). Killed at age 12 when the police opened fire on protesting students. 16 June stands as a symbol of resistance to the brutality of the apartheid government.
southern africa / history / opinion / analysis Saturday December 06, 2014 22:58 byBongani Maponyane   image 1 image
The massacre of South African school children in 1976 – for protesting for instruction in their native languages and for a proper curriculum – continues to be remembered and to influence us today. It showed the brutality of the apartheid state and it left scars still felt by people today.

The challenges faced by youth today are different to that experienced in 1976. This does not mean everything has changed. We need to look to history to learn about and not to repeat mistakes made. But we also look to history to provide us with inspiration. We need to revisit the spirit of the youth of 1976 and copy their courage – to overcome these issues facing our young people today. We need to be the change that we want to see. read full story / add a comment
Ayanda Kota, chairperson of the Unemployed People's Movement. Photo by Jon Pienaar.
southern africa / the left / non-anarchist press Friday December 05, 2014 15:14 byAyanda Kota   image 1 image
Some NGOs with no membership that cast themselves as "radical" misuse grassroots organisations for their own purposes, writes Ayanda Kota. read full story / add a comment
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southern africa / miscellaneous / opinion / analysis Wednesday December 03, 2014 14:03 bySiyabulela Hulu-Hulu   image 1 image
It is said we live in a democratic country; but, believe me it is for the chosen few. Current Deputy President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, was once widely considered a hero of the working class. Today he is a hypocrite and traitor to us, the majority.
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Picture credit: Numsa
southern africa / the left / non-anarchist press Monday December 01, 2014 18:46 byJane Duncan   image 1 image
The country’s largest trade union federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), has expelled the National Union of Metalworkers’ of South Africa (Numsa), for not supporting the African National Congress (ANC). Anyone in South Africa who doesn’t know this news must have been living under a rock for the past week.
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southern africa / workplace struggles / opinion / analysis Monday December 01, 2014 17:38 byMzee   image 1 image
Workers in the Public Safety department of the West Rand District Municipality, Gauteng, are experiencing extremely stressful times. This is mainly due to management’s actions. There have been many cases of resignations and stress-related illnesses – and some workers have been affected badly enough to commit suicide.
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Employees at the Zarfati Garage in Mishur Adumim vote to strike on July 22, 2014. (Photo courtesy of Ma’an workers union)

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