Abahlali: We were promised homes for all, not just for ANC party members

South African shack dwellers' direct action movement Abahlali baseMjondolo on the death and legacy of Nelson Mandela.

“If the ANC does to you what the Apartheid government did to you, then you must do to the ANC what you did to the Apartheid government.”
- Nelson Mandela, Cosatu1 Conference, 1993
  • 1. Main South African trade union federation

Why we should not vote

This looks at why the working class should not vote in the upcoming elections in South Africa.

In the run up to the 2014 elections in South Africa, politicians from across the spectrum – whether from the Democratic Alliance (DA), the African National Congress (ANC), the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), or Pan-African Congress (PAC) – have been calling on us to vote.

Footsoldiers in a social war: the police, crime and inequality in South Africa - Christopher McMichael

Christopher McMichael on policing, the 'war on crime' and state repression in South Africa.

With allegations ranging from torture of suspects to involvement in extrajudicial executions, endemic violence has increasingly characterised the reputation of the national South African Police Service (SAPS), and the various supporting Metropolitan departments organised at the city level.

South Africa: The state's brutality

The article looks at recent notable acts of repression by the South African state directed at protestors and strikers. Linked to this it looks at what this says about the nature of the South African state, the basis of its economy and the ruling class

In the last year and a half in South Africa, approximately 40 people involved in protests and strikes have been killed at the hands of the police, including at Marikana. Many more people were beaten, tear gassed, shot with rubber bullets, arrested and some even tortured.

Another Abahlali baseMjondolo activist murdered in Durban, this time by the police

Nqobile Nzuza

Nqobile Nzuza, 17 years, old was shot dead by the police yesterday morning on a road blockade. She was shot in the back, twice. This is the statement from Abahlali baseMjondolo.

Nqobile Nzuza a 17 year old girl, a grade 9 learner at Bonella High School and an Abahlali baseMjondolo supporter was gunned down at around 5:00 a.m. on 30 September. Nqobile was shot twice from behind with live ammunition. Luleka Makhwenkwana was also shot in her arm with live ammunition and she is in King Edward Hospital. Thulisile Zide fainted and went unconscious, she is also in hospital.

Uproar about legal costs for Marikana workers reflects a political retreat

A short article arguing that the debate around the state's refusal to carry the legal costs of Marikana mine workers reflects a retreat into the politics of reconciliation.

In a recent article Jackie Dugard defends Dali Mpofu against accusations of greed and self-promotion made by Nathan Geffen and Jack Lewis among others. Mpofu is an advocate representing mine workers injured and arrested last year during the strikes associated with the Marikana massacre.

Labour in South Africa: A sleeping giant?

A chapter by Lucien van der Walt providing a brief overview of the union movement in South Africa, black and white, its achievements and its challenges.This includes a discussion of all the main union federations and their background, including the Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA).

It is also critical of the corporatist strategy of the largest federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), arguing that COSATU efforts to shape state policy through corporatist structures bureaucratise unions and require unions to co-manage the capitalist/ state system that they were founded to fight.

South Africa: the partial reemergence of workers autonomy - Mouvement Communiste and Kolektivně proti Kapitălu

Marikana miners on a hill

A text about the wave of strikes which swept South Africa starting in late 2012, focusing on the role of the miners. Also published as PDF, MOBI and EPUB files.

Mouvement Communiste and Kolektivně proti Kapitălu, Letter number 37, May 2013


Abahlali baseMjondolo activist Nkululeko Gwala assassinated in Durban, South Africa

Abahlali baseMjondolo activists

Nkululeko Gwala was assassinated on 26 June 2013. He is the third Abahlali baseMjondolo activist to be murdered this year and the fourth housing activist to be murdered in Durban this year.

The “Brand Mandela” steamtrain rolls on

Artist Ayanda Mabulu's painting depicts a scarred face of Nelson Mandela.

Tina Sizovuka on the ANC's promotion of Mandela into a personality cult, epitomised by the 'Randela' banknotes, to diffuse dissent and opposition. One of many articles in the first newsletter of Tokologo African Anarchist Collective (attached).

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”).