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southern africa / migration / racism / feature Sunday December 15, 2013 23:39 byShawn Hattingh and Lucien van der Walt 1 image
Mandela, the ANC and the 1994 Breakthrough: Anarchist / syndicalist reflections on national liberation and South Africa’s transition
Shawn Hattingh and Lucien van der Walt
The destruction of the apartheid state form, with its odious policies of coercion and racism, was a major triumph for the working class in South Africa and elsewhere, showing that ordinary people can challenge and defeat systems that seem quite unbreakable. Mandela did play a heroic role, but was also the first to admit that “It is not the kings and generals that make history but the masses of the people, the workers, the peasants, the doctors, the clergy." And indeed, it was the black working class, above all, that through struggle tore down many features of apartheid by the late 1980s, such as the pass law system, the Group Areas Act and numerous other odious laws and policies.
The 1994 transition in South Africa was a political revolution, a break with the apartheid and colonial periods of state-sanctioned white supremacy, a “massive advance” in the conditions of the majority. It introduced a new state, based on non-racialism, in which South Africa was to be a multi-racial, multi-cultural but unified country, founded on human rights; welfare and social policy and legislation was transformed; capitalism was kept in place, but despite this, there were very massive and very real changes, political and material, that made qualitative differences in the daily lives of millions of black and working class people. And for millions, it is precisely the association of Mandela with that victory and with those changes that makes him so emotionally powerful.
Yet at the same time, Mandela’s policies and politics had important limitations that must be faced if the current quandary of South Africa, nearly 20 years later, is to be understood. Mandela never sold out: he was committed to a reformed capitalism, and a parliamentary democracy, and unified South Africa based on equal civil and political rights, a project in which black capitalists and black state elites would loom large. These goals have been achieved, but bring with them numerous problems that must be faced up if the final liberation – including national liberation – of South Africa’s working class is to be achieved.
The 1994 breakthrough was a major victory, but it was not the final one, for a final one requires a radical change in society, towards a libertarian and socialist order based on participatory democracy, human needs rather than profit and power, and social and economic justice, and attention to issues of culture and the psychological impact of apartheid.
As long as the basic legacy of apartheid remains, in education, incomes, housing and other spheres, and as long as the working class of all races is excluded from basic power and wealth by a black and white ruling class, so long will the national question – the deep racial / national divisions in South Africa, and the reality of ongoing racial/ national oppression for the black, Coloured and Indian working class – remain unresolved. And so long will it continue to generate antagonisms and conflicts, the breeding ground for rightwing populist demagogy, xenophobia and crime. By contrast, a powerful black elite, centred on the state and with a growing corporate presence, has achieved its national liberation.
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África austral / a esquerda / opinião / análise Sunday December 15, 2013 04:43 byBruno Lima Rocha 1 image
Ao superar o Apartheid, necessariamente o símbolo do território tinha de refletir a nova unidade pluriétnica read full story / add a comment
África austral / community struggles / opinião / análise Friday December 13, 2013 12:38 byLucien van der Walt 1 image
O nosso país está numa confusão. A fome, a pobreza, a exploração e a injustiça espreitam.
A classe trabalhadora e os pobres deparam, a cada passo, com os muros altos da injustiça, as cadeias do desemprego e as balas e os cassetetes da polícia.
Os conflitos agitam o país e as esperanças que brilhavam em 1994 estão a desaparecer, envelhecidas, enferrujando sob as águas da ganância, da opressão e da desigualdade; essas esperanças são como um sonho que desaparece quando se desperta para uma realidade sombria.
A questão nacional, as nossas profundas divisões de raça e nacionalidade, continuam sem solução: os políticos, pretos e brancos, pioram ainda a situação com o objectivo de obterem votos. read full story / add a comment
southern africa / the left / opinion / analysis Tuesday December 10, 2013 21:40 byMichael Schmidt 6 comments (last - saturday december 14, 2013 15:05) 2 images
A frail multimillionaire dies peacefully in bed at the grand old age of 95, surrounded by a coterie of those who love him and those with an eye on the inheritance, an event that would in the normal course of events be seen as natural—but the man concerned has been treated internationally as more of a supernatural entity than an ordinary man. The unsurpassed hagiography around Nelson Mandela, who died in the über-wealthy enclave of Houghton in Johannesburg last Thursday night, the famous prisoner turned global icon on a par with Mohandas Gandhi is upheld by most observers of South Africa as a necessary myth of national unity, and not least of the triumph of racial reconciliation of over the evils of segregation.
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África austral / la izquierda / opinión / análisis Tuesday December 10, 2013 18:23 byJosé Antonio Gutiérrez D. 1 image
Mandela hoy es un ícono polivalente, de muchas caras, con sus luces y sus sombras. Las luchas del pueblo sudafricano contra el apartheid son un patrimonio de la humanidad, un hito importante en el proceso de humanización de nuestra torturada especie. Pero también estas luchas encapsulan las contradicciones de su tiempo: animadas por los valores de la izquierda, terminan entrampadas en el estrecho horizonte ideológico del neoliberalismo, donde la igualdad de todos fue entendida apenas como libertad ante el omnipotente mercado. read full story / add a comment
southern africa / community struggles / opinion / analysis Tuesday December 10, 2013 14:12 byLucien van der Walt 1 image
Our country is in a mess. Hunger, poverty, exploitation and injustice stalk the land.
The working class and poor face, at every step, the high walls of injustice, the chains of unemployment, and the bullets and batons of the police.
Conflicts shake the country, and hopes that shone in 1994 are fading, rusting under the waters of greed, oppression, and inequality; those hopes seem like a dream that fades when you awake to a grim reality. read full story / add a comment
southern africa / community struggles / opinion / analysis Friday November 29, 2013 03:42 byPitso Mompe 1 image
Forced evictions are a violation of human rights that requires urgent global attention. In 2008 between 30 and 50 million people in 70 countries worldwide lived under constant threat of being forcibly evicted (according to the International Alliance of Inhabitants). Those that are most affected are working class people and peasants living in poverty. It’s always the poor who are evicted. read full story / add a comment
southern africa / anarchist movement / link to pdf Thursday November 28, 2013 04:23 byTokologo African Anarchist Collective 1 image
Welcome to the second issue of Tokologo, produced by the Tokologo African Anarchist Collective. Why do we publish this? We publish it because our country is crying out for an alternative. And that alternative is anarchism, which stands for a free and democratic society, run from the grassroots, in communities and workplaces, and based on equality and freedom. In such a society, wealth like land and factories would be collectively owned; production would be directed to meeting basic needs and ensuring environmental sustainability. In such a society, everyone would have a say in all matters that affect them; poverty and deprivation would be abolished; hatred and competition would be replaced by cooperation and mutual aid by all peoples. read full story / add a comment
This year  marks the 30th anniversary of the 1976 Soweto uprising in South Africa, which marked the start of the fall of apartheid, and inspired activists worldwide. African working youth played a leading role, and their sacrifices showed us that ordinary people can make a difference to the injustices of our world. Revolutionaries should commemorate this struggle, but also learn from its failings.
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southern africa / community struggles / opinion / analysis Sunday June 16, 2013 01:26 byLekhetho Mtetwa 1 image
It is clear that the rights of the working class and poor people on the ground are not recognised by those in power, and will never be. After the 1994 elections, ordinary people thought that they will feel and enjoy real democracy. But to their surprise, things didn’t work the way they thought. People are being demoralised, threatened and killed when they stand up. It is now difficult for people to exercise their democratic rights.
It’s clear that voting won’t bring any change in people’s lives. The whole system is run by a small ruling class. Voting does not change the system. By voting we are just fooling ourselves about our rights. People voted in 1994 because they thought their votes will bring complete changes in their lives. No one thought of suffering after voting in the first elections. Promises were made by so-called leaders in order to be voted into power. Their promises were a big lie.
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southern africa / miscellaneous / opinion / analysis Friday June 07, 2013 22:09 byTina Sizovuka 1 image
Nelson Mandela has become a brand, “Brand Mandela,” his image, name and prison number used to generate cash and to promote the legend of Mandela. In July 2012, for example, the 46664 clothing line was launched (all “Made in China”).
But “Brand Mandela” is more than just an opportunity to sell stupid trinkets to tourists and celebrities. It is also a dangerous myth, based on Mandela-worship, promoted daily in the public imagination to serve far more sinister interests. read full story / add a comment
southern africa / anarchist movement / link to pdf Thursday June 06, 2013 23:30 byTokologo African Anarchist Collective 1 image
The first issue of Tokologo, the newsletter of the South Africa-based Tokologo African Anarchist Collective is now available for download in PDF. read full story / add a comment
southern africa / community struggles / opinion / analysis Wednesday June 05, 2013 22:11 byBongi Motahane 1 image
On 22 August 2012, communities from in, and out, of Gauteng had a meeting at Khanya College, Johannesburg, on the Marikana massacre. More than half of the 50 people who participated, most of the delegates, came from the mine areas affected by the situation in the North West Province.
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southern africa / repression / prisoners / feature Thursday May 09, 2013 22:48 byTAAC, iWAC, ZACF 1 image
Umthetho sisekelo walelizwe uthembisa amalungelo epolitiki nokulingana kwabantu. Kucacile ukuthi osozimali nosomapolitiki bazenzela umathanda. Banyathela ubuso babantu baseMzansi. Isibonelo esidumile esamaphoyisa ebulala abasebenzi bezimayini zaseLonmin Marikana. read full story / add a comment
southern africa / repression / prisoners / press release Friday May 03, 2013 14:53 byTAAC, iWAC, ZACF 3 comments (last - sunday september 22, 2013 21:45) 1 image
Molaotheo o tshepisitse ditokelo tsa dipolotiki le tekatekano. Go a bonagala gore boradipolotiki le bathapi ba dira ka mo ba ratang ka teng. Ba tshameka ka batho. Seo se bonagetse ka nako eo mapodisi a bolaileng badiri bao ba neng ba dirile ditshupetso kwa moepong wa Lonmin Marikana.
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southern africa / community struggles / opinion / analysis Thursday March 28, 2013 16:05 byOliver Nathan 1 image
South Africa is an extremely unequal society. The post-apartheid dispensation has seen the situation of the majority poor black working class worsening. On the other side of the coin, a few elites have ‘made it’ in capitalism and through the state, often through the elitist forms of ‘Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment and corruption. Inequality in South Africa is easily illustrated when one observes the massive disparities in development, service delivery and wealth between townships and rural areas on the one hand, and suburban areas on the other. Should massive disparities in service delivery between wealthy and poor neighbourhoods be put down to corruption, mismanagement, administrative incapacity and a lack of consultation? Or is there something in how the state is structured and the way in which it rules which means that it can never give the majority of people what they need? read full story / add a comment
southern africa / history / opinion / analysis Wednesday March 06, 2013 00:50 byTina Sizovuka and Lucien van der Walt 1 image
This article aims to explain, from an anarchist / syndicalist perspective, the rapid rise and fall of Julius Malema, the controversial and corrupt multi-millionaire leader of South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress’s (ANC’s) “youth league” (ANCYL). It is demonstrated that Malema’s posturing as radical champion of the black poor was simply a means to an end: rising higher in the ranks of the ANC, in order to access bigger state tenders and higher paying political office. The larger political implications of the Malema affair are also considered, especially the role of the ANC – as a vehicle for the accumulation of wealth and power by the rising black elite, which is centred on the state. read full story / add a comment
southern africa / workplace struggles / opinion / analysis Thursday February 28, 2013 19:13 byTina Sizovuka and Lucien van der Walt 1 comment (last - sunday march 03, 2013 02:14) 1 image
Privatisation – the transfer of functions and industry to the private sector – is widely and correctly rejected on the left and in the working class. Privatisation leads only to higher prices, less and worse jobs, and worse services. Given this, some view nationalisation – the transfer of economic resources (e.g. mines, banks, and factories) to state ownership and control – as a rallying cry for a socialist alternative. This article argues that nationalisation has never removed capitalism, nor led to socialism, and it certainly does not have a demonstrable record of consistently improving wages, jobs, rights and safety. This article appeals to progressive working class forces to look instead to another way:collectivisation from below, where industry is placed under direct workers’ self-management, subject to worker-community participatory democratic planning and control to meet human needs and end oppression, in a universal human community. read full story / add a comment
southern africa / history of anarchism / opinion / analysis Tuesday February 19, 2013 06:30 byLucien van der Walt 1 image
The first installation in the Zabalaza's new series on Black Stars of Anarchism: The son of a Wesleyan minister, Thibedi William Thibedi was one of the most important black African revolutionary syndicalists in South African history. Thibedi was a leading figure in the International Socialist League (ISL) and in the Industrial Workers of Africa syndicalist union. Later he played an important role in the early Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA), particularly its union work. He was active in all of the key black unions from the 1910s to the 1940s. read full story / add a comment
southern africa / indigenous struggles / feature Thursday February 14, 2013 19:31 byLucien van der Walt 1 image
2012 is the centenary of the African National Congress (ANC). The party that started out as a small coterie of black businessmen, lawyers and chiefs is today the dominant political formation in South Africa. It was founded by the black elite who were marginalised by the united South Africa formed in 1910, and who appeared at its Bloemfontein inauguration “formally dressed in suits, frock coats, top hats and carrying umbrellas”. Today it is allied via the Tripartite Alliance to the SA Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu). Can the ANC be a vehicle for fundamental, progressive, social change in the interests of the black, Coloured and Indian working classes (proletariat), still mired in the legacy of apartheid and racial domination? This is what Cosatu (and the SACP) suggest. read full story / add a comment
Fri 18 Apr, 11:30
ANC e Latlhile Seaparwelwa Khemo Sa Sone! Ba Bolaile Babereki! 14:53 Fri 03 May 3 comments
Ο αγώνας των εργατώ&... 17:56 Wed 23 Jan 0 comments
Η νίκη των εργαζομέ&... 07:29 Thu 20 Sep 0 comments
Afrique du Sud: Sommet d’oppression politique après le massacre des mineurs 00:16 Sun 16 Sep 0 comments
Ανεξάρτητη απεργί ... 20:06 Wed 12 Sep 0 comments
Cai a máscara do ANC! Trabalhadores assassinados! 15:40 Wed 05 Sep 0 comments
L'ANC si toglie la maschera! Lavoratori uccisi! 16:59 Mon 03 Sep 0 comments
WSA Statement on Marikana Massacre 16:24 Sat 25 Aug 0 comments
L’ANC jette son masque! Travailleurs assassinés! 22:23 Mon 20 Aug 0 comments
Το ANC ρίχνει τη μάσκα ... 21:00 Mon 20 Aug 0 commentsmore >>
The Struggle at Kwa-Masisa Hostel in Sebokeng Jan 04 0 comments
Mandela e a lição para o Brasil Dec 15 0 comments
Nelson Mandela Dec 10 6 commentsmore >>
ANC e Latlhile Seaparwelwa Khemo Sa Sone! Ba Bolaile Babereki! May 03 3 comments
Afrique du Sud: Sommet d’oppression politique après le massacre des mineurs Sep 16 AL 0 comments
Cai a máscara do ANC! Trabalhadores assassinados! Sep 05 0 comments
L'ANC si toglie la maschera! Lavoratori uccisi! Sep 03 0 comments
WSA Statement on Marikana Massacre Aug 25 WSA 0 commentsmore >>