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africa meridionale / repressione / prigionieri / comunicato stampa Sunday October 25, 2015 20:24 by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front   image 2 images
Sud Africa, 16 ottobre 2015: la sera del 9 ottobre un militante dello Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front nel quartiere proletario nero di Khutsong (Johannesburg ovest), è stato minacciato con violenza d parte di un gruppo di giovani per il suo lavoro politico. [English] read full story / add a comment
région sud de l'afrique / répression / prisonniers et prisonnières / communiqué de presse Saturday October 24, 2015 06:30 by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front
Traduction française du communiqué de Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF), organisation sud-africaine qui subit la répression. [English] read full story / add a comment
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southern africa / repression / prisoners / feature Friday October 16, 2015 16:18 by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front   text 44 comments (last - tuesday december 15, 2015 15:06)   image 2 images
South Africa, 16 October 2015: On the evening of Friday 9 October 2015, a militant of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front in the impoverished black township of Khutsong (west of Johannesburg), was threatened with violence for his political work by a group of youths. The next morning, a political school that he and another member run in the area, was forcibly disrupted by an even larger mob. [Français] [Italiano] read full story / add a comment
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southern africa / community struggles / feature Thursday September 03, 2015 19:24 by Sifuna Zonke   text 1 comment (last - wednesday march 09, 2016 21:35)   image 1 image
On 3 September 1984, the Vaal Triangle, which is located southeast of Johannesburg and was part of the industrial heartland of South Africa, exploded into unrest. A general stay-away from work was called, schools were closed, buses and taxis stood idle and militant protest spread across the country. It was the most significant and large-scale rebellion of the black working class since the Soweto Uprising of June, 1976, and signified one of the final nails in the coffin of apartheid and white minority rule.

For the black working class living in the townships across the Vaal Triangle, such as Sharpeville, Sebokeng, Evaton, Bophelong, Boiketlong, Zamdela and others the conditions were very similar to those of today. A slump in the steel industry had led to many workers being retrenched, there were evictions of rent defaulters and bribery, corruption and self-enrichment of local councillors was rife. Councillors’ election promises went unfulfilled and township residents demanded their resignation.

Thirty-one years later, on 21 April 2015, the Sebokeng Magistrate’s Court in the Vaal sentenced four community activists from Boiketlong to sixteen years in prison each for allegedly setting fire to the local ward councillor’s house and cars during a protest action. read full story / add a comment
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southern africa / the left / opinion / analysis Wednesday September 02, 2015 16:48 by Jakes Factoria and Tina Sizovuka   image 2 images
Will the United Front (UF) address the crises we are currently facing in South Africa? I am concerned about how the UF works and who leads it. In my own view we don’t need a leader, we need to all have equal voice. How can we build the UF as a basis for a stateless, socialist, South Africa? read full story / add a comment
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southern africa / miscellaneous / opinion / analysis Wednesday August 26, 2015 17:56 by Lucien 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 16:02 by Philip 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 15:19 by Leroy 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 23:20 by Tina 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 23:16 by Zabalaza 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 22:19 by Jonathan 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 16:50 by Jonathan 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 17:54 by Sian 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 19:45 by S. 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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Image by: STRINGER / REUTERS
southern africa / the left / feature Tuesday March 24, 2015 23:06 by Shawn 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 15:43 by Lucien 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 16:38 by Lucien 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 07:49 by Zabalaza 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 15:41 by Warren 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 23:58 by Bongani 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
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