Benjamin Fogel on the attempt by the South African Communist Party to take over the trade union movement in South Africa.
1994 text by Stephen Ellis in African Affairs about events in the African National Congress, particularly the 1984 mutiny in ANC camps in Angola. Ellis has since written a book on this topic, which includes invaluable new material from the Stasi archives. He writes from a liberal perspective, but the facts that he has uncovered are very important for understanding the political culture of the ANC.
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 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.
This is an edited version of a talk given by veteran communist Alan Lipman who participated in drawing up the Freedom Charter in 1955, about why he left the Communist Party and the ANC, subsequently becoming an anarchist. He was addressing a two-day workshop held by the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front at the invitation of the now defunct Anti-Privatisation Forum, on class, capitalism, apartheid, neo-liberalism and the ANC, which was held at the headquarters of the Orange Farm Crisis Committee on May 21 this year (2006). The talk was given in English and translated into seSotho.
For the second time in the last few months vineyard workers in the Western Cape Province, South Africa have clashed with bosses, scabs, private security goons, and the Police. They are demanding that their paltry wages are doubled, and an improvement in their working conditions. Countless injuries have been reported and at least 50 people have been arrested.
Uprising in the Cape Winelands - self-organised farmworkers reject union attempts to end their strike
Driving through the Hex River Valley after Wednesday’s chaotic protests feels like entering a ghost town. Yet when one manages to find residents and speak to them, it becomes crystal clear that the farm workers are planning to hold out for their wage demands – and that few of them know anything of the well-publicised promises that they would be back at work this week.
Two interesting new articles on the self-organised wave of strikes in South Africa that has now spread from the mines to the farms (self-organised militancy began in the shack settlements in 2004). With militant mass strikes organised outside of the unions many sense that new political possibilities are in the air.
Ben Fogel on South Africa after the Marikana Massacre. The article also provides a critique of left strategy that orientates towards COSATU, the SACP and the state rathering than popular struggles.