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Anatomy of Low Intensity Warfare In South Africa: Economical Oppression-Dehumanization in the Neo-Post Apartheid Rule


The Poor Against The Gendarme ANC Government In South Africa

The government's Assault on the Poor is Ongoing and intensifying as in the case of Ayanda Kota who has been Arrested,tortured, assaulted

The government's Assault on the Poor is Ongoing and intensifying as in the case of Ayanda Kota who has been Arrested,tortured, assaulted

Economic Apartheid in South Africa

Economic Apartheid in South Africa

Chinese investments in Africa

Chinese investments in Africa

World Comparative Stats Globally including South Africa

World Comparative Stats Globally including South Africa

Murders all over the world including South Africa

Murders all over the world including South Africa

Recorded crime levels varies between cities

Recorded crime levels varies between cities

Gauteng is the most urbanized (97%) in South Africa, an gated communities are an urban phenomenon because of high crime

Gauteng is the most urbanized (97%) in South Africa, an gated communities are an urban phenomenon because of high crime

Makgosimang Matsuwoni lives in a tiny makeshift shack while another person occupies her RDP house

Makgosimang Matsuwoni lives in a tiny makeshift shack while another person occupies her RDP house

A remodeled hostel turned into a double-storey flat. The contractor reused old roof which are now falling off

A remodeled hostel turned into a double-storey flat. The contractor reused old roof which are now falling off

The shoddily made staircase inside one of the renovated flats

The shoddily made staircase inside one of the renovated flats

Number 2024 has been vandalized. It is not clear if it is an invader or the rightful owner who now lives in the RDP house

Number 2024 has been vandalized. It is not clear if it is an invader or the rightful owner who now lives in the RDP house

Some of the houses have been vandalized by members of the community

Some of the houses have been vandalized by members of the community

Sobongiseni Ngcobo show Corruption Watch the "happy letter" he signed confirming the number 2549 is his house - but someone else is living in it

Sobongiseni Ngcobo show Corruption Watch the "happy letter" he signed confirming the number 2549 is his house - but someone else is living in it

Abhlali baseMjondolo(AbM) during "Unfreedom Day March, Durban, 27th April 2012

Abhlali baseMjondolo(AbM) during "Unfreedom Day March, Durban, 27th April 2012

No Land! No House! No Vote" The Banners of the Abahlali baseMjondolo blazon on red and Black and white print as they march to make their case

No Land! No House! No Vote" The Banners of the Abahlali baseMjondolo blazon on red and Black and white print as they march to make their case

Abahlali basMjondol March on "Unfreedom Day March, Durban, 27 April 2012

Abahlali basMjondol March on "Unfreedom Day March, Durban, 27 April 2012

Abahlali baseMjondolo displaying their posters which depict their grievances and demands

Abahlali baseMjondolo displaying their posters which depict their grievances and demands

The Abahlali baseMjodolo craftily and skillfully use Posters to voice and disseminate their discontent and demands.. See Posters in this Picture

The Abahlali baseMjodolo craftily and skillfully use Posters to voice and disseminate their discontent and demands.. See Posters in this Picture

Unfinished housing stuck from those who own tenders not completing the job the money they have is allocated for

Unfinished housing stuck from those who own tenders not completing the job the money they have is allocated for

South Africa hit by one-day labor strikes -  March 2012

South Africa hit by one-day labor strikes - March 2012

This is caption surmises the conundrum plaguing South Africa today

This is caption surmises the conundrum plaguing South Africa today

Life in 'Tin Can Town' for the South Africans evicted ahead of World Cup. Campaigners say conditions in Blikkiesdorp or 'Tin Can Town' are worse than in the townships created during apartheid

Life in 'Tin Can Town' for the South Africans evicted ahead of World Cup. Campaigners say conditions in Blikkiesdorp or 'Tin Can Town' are worse than in the townships created during apartheid

These are some of the Shacks as they were being set up to house(incarcerate) poor people inside

These are some of the Shacks as they were being set up to house(incarcerate) poor people inside

The Place was now being fenced-up

The Place was now being fenced-up

A view of these tin shacks being line-up for the dwelling of the poor

A view of these tin shacks being line-up for the dwelling of the poor

A view of the Tin Shacks being developed

A view of the Tin Shacks being developed

The shoddy corrugated ceiling with half-cut planks for support

The shoddy corrugated ceiling with half-cut planks for support

An outside toilet(hole dug in the ground and covered with zincs

An outside toilet(hole dug in the ground and covered with zincs

The corrugated tin shack roo which is bitteerlycold in summer and boiling hot in the summer

The corrugated tin shack roo which is bitteerlycold in summer and boiling hot in the summer

Some people try to make it a home despite the horrid conditions they are forced to live in' Cardboard boxes act as the wall...

Some people try to make it a home despite the horrid conditions they are forced to live in' Cardboard boxes act as the wall...

The lining up of and making of the tin shacks row of corrugated structures which were mostly one room(so to speak) and were finally enclosed in barbed wire forming the Blikkiesdorp Tin Shack Town

The lining up of and making of the tin shacks row of corrugated structures which were mostly one room(so to speak) and were finally enclosed in barbed wire forming the Blikkiesdorp Tin Shack Town

Back section of the tin shacks as they were being lined up

Back section of the tin shacks as they were being lined up

The massacre of 45 people, including 34 miners, at Marikana in the North West province is an inevitable outcome of a system of production and exploitation that has historically treated human life as cheap and disposable.

The massacre of 45 people, including 34 miners, at Marikana in the North West province is an inevitable outcome of a system of production and exploitation that has historically treated human life as cheap and disposable.

"Kudlalwa Ngathi"("We Are Being Played and Abused")

The ANC Must Eradicate and Reverse Patronage and Corruption

As we reflect on this critical statement, "We must be mindful of the prescient observation by Fanon that the post-colonial reality provides ample evidence that national liberation movements ultimately became transformed into their opposites and often replicated the style and practice of their oppressors. The neocolonial socio-economic trajectory that they adopted for their liberated countries degenerated into a patronage-based and corrupt system that progressively eschewed freedom of expression and human rights and also marginalized the poor," that in the end we get a perfect characterization of the ruling ANC-led government in South Africa today.

Post 1994, the ANC was virtually forced to adopt a neocolonial socio-economic paradigm that was propagated by the World Bank and the IMF. It also adopted its values of selfish individualism and wealth creation. The outcome was never in doubt and African South Africans have now achieved the unenviable status of being the 'most unequal society in the world.'

Without doubt there have been great changes in South Africa since the ANC took power in 1994. Millions of poor people have been lifted out of the poverty trap, thanks to welfare support payments. But contemporary South Africa manifests the shortcomings envisaged by Fanon and there is a dark underbelly because the socio-economic situation has worsened for the majority of the poor. South Africa’s Human Development Index ranks below that of many comparable developing countries with much lower levels of GDP. Life expectancy has deteriorated and child mortality has risen in comparative terms. This has substituted the rigid, racially classified apartheid social structure with a stratified class society by the present Ruling ANC-led government.

Given the fact that unemployment, especially among young people, that has stayed at crisis levels for the past three years and poverty remains pervasive for the majority of the poor, there's a need to seriously rethink about the development strategy that must adopted going forward. Under President Zuma there are indications that the ANC is seriously considering a new development paradigm that will put the poor at the centre of development policies. The work of the National Planning Commission is an inspirational bit and one hopes it will focus the attention of the whole nation and be concluded speedily.

For the ANC, as the party in government, this moment calls for visionary leadership and decision making. Patronage has become a systemic political tool that promotes corruption. It is undergirded by an electoral law and the system of governance that flows from it because it gives power to the political parties.

In this situation, the political party chiefs decide on the selection of public representatives. It is this centralized control that has spawned the patronage that is now tearing the ANC apart and inhibiting progress in national development. The electoral law is the most critical source and cause for the patronage, corruption and faction fighting that is at the heart of the instability within the ANC in all regions.

The call for change is loud and immediate, today as we speak or write. What then must be done to arrest this untenable situation? Patronage and corruption have been condemned by all in the top leadership of the ANC but it continues to grow, especially as Mangaung political shindig draws nearer[This will discussed as an update post Mangaung]. The time has come to accept and implement the recommendations of the 2003 Frederik van Zyl Slabbert report on a hybrid proportional and direct electoral system.

The goodwill that would flow from this decision would also enhance the ANC brand value as a party that is sensitive to the mood and desire of the electorate. The quality of the representative would also improve as well as the standard of accountability. Another decision that would improve the image of the ANC, especially among rural women, is to pull back the Traditional Courts Bill. In its current form it entrenches traditional feudal authority practiced by traditional leaders.

It has no place in contemporary South Africa as envisaged in the liberation struggle and vision. A vast majority of the women of South Africa(Africans) are oppressed, repressed and violated physically and murdered in more ways than one. A nation whose women are subjugated by dumb men will never give birth to a strong and future nation

Unification Of Leadership Is A Dire Need

It isn’t the most prudent thing one can do and it isn’t encouraged. Of course you will hear those in the ANC say it is, but we know it is not. When one does so, one is often attacked and comments like “Polokwane-griever” and “enemy of the national democratic revolution” abound. But I will do such a thing because, as my main man Drake puts it, “YOLO! You only live once.” So YOLO you ninjas!

We have a very insecure ANC leadership at the moment and nothing weakens a movement more rapidly than poorly conceived indecisive decisions, weakness and corruption at the top. Everything said that might be constructive — said without being sycophantic — is seen as an attack and a broadside. The ANC 'exile laager' mentality sets in and imaginary enemies are set out. Those who criticize for want of a better ANC are bullied into silence through the loud bully pulpit of the powerful and vicious deadly raw force.

To quote the man who would be the Yoda of the ANC, Nelson Mandela, “It is a grave error for any leader to be oversensitive in the face of criticism. I know he wouldn’t be sensitive over being called a Yoda, for example. Again, those who dare speak out, often speak of the hunger and suffering that follows their outspokenness.Other speak of how business opportunities dry up.

So that, the intention of this Hub is to bring out the voices of the African people, splurge them on the Web and make them as viral as much as possible, because there is a pressing need for them to tell their story of the past 18+ years of ANC rule, in their own words, what they are really going trough in South Africa.

"Other people in the private sector who might agree with the sentiments become complicit in encouraging the weak leadership by stepping in to claim those business opportunities as they allow their morality to be guided by nothing other than the pursuit of money. Bravery in private but cowardice in public should be neither encouraged nor praised.

"We know that there are many in the ANC who lament the transformation the organization has undergone. No one is happy with the ANC, with the exception of those who worship at the altar of the 'Tender'. There are many who want to be happy with the ANC but are not given room to say how the ANC could be turned into a better place because there are too many big but fragile egos.

"There was a time when people were proud of the ANC. Yes, today they are still proud. But their pride always points to the past, never the present. The present pains and disappoints them and leaves them in despair. Yet in their despair they always leave room for hope because they know that the organization can do better. They cannot and will not allow it to be broken in their lifetime."

They can’t dishonor those who came before. What shall the people say when they see them in the afterlife? Will African South Africans be ashamed or will they be proud? Will they say, “Well done, good and faithful servants of the movement,” or will they say, “Away from us!” The latter answer and attitude seems to be percolating on the fringes of the political reality that characterizes the present reign of the discombobulated South Africa under ANC rule.

Of course there is no leadership in the world that can be proud of everything it has done. Even the great saints of the ANC such as Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu have regrets — but these are dwarfed by their achievements. In its 2001 document, Through the Eye of a Needle, [this has a ring of Davidson "In the Eye Of The Storm sense], that the ANC outlines the attributes that will help identify a true leader. Unfortunately, it would appear as though those guiding principles have been ignored, as has been demonstrated by the so-called “Anyone But Zuma” movement.

One of the points the document makes is this and I quote, “Those in leadership positions should unite and guide the movement to be at the head of the process of change. They should lead the movement in its mission to organize and inspire the masses to be their own liberators. They should lead the task of governance with diligence. And, together, they should reflect continuity of a revolutionary tradition and renewal which sustains the movement in the long-term.” Having observed the ANC-led government, they seem to be farther from the propositions above than at any other time now and in the foreseeable future.

From the one paragraph we can already see the many flaws in their leadership:

  • The people have not been inspired to be their own liberators; the state has made sure that the people are dependent on it. Thus, the party remains as their liberator and shackles them to itself.
  • Some areas of government have been led well and the task of governance has been done diligently, unfortunately there is less than desired.
  • The sustainability of the movement at this rate is questionable.

Point 35 of the document says, “A leader should constantly seek to improve his capacity to serve the people”. Unfortunately, many of our leaders are interested less in improving their capacity to serve, and more in increasing their chances to lead again and gaining materially for their inaction. There is a big difference between the two.

Point 37 of the document then goes on to say, “A leader should lead by example. He should be above reproach in his political and social conduct — as defined by our revolutionary morality. Through force of example, he should act as a role model to ANC members and non-members alike. Leading a life that reflects commitment to the strategic goals of the national democratic revolution includes not only being free of corrupt practices; it also means actively fighting against corruption.”

It hardly needs to be stressed that the cadre of the ANC is more for corruption, obfuscation and arrogance towards the cries, please and needs of the poor African masses

Having looked at all the points presented on the ANC document it is clear that the ANC does not apply this with rigor and forthrightness when selecting leaders. This document might as well be burned, for no one follows its guidelines.

In my estimation, the document was written to ensure that not just anyone could become a leader because they think they can lead the movement; they should lead because they have ticked all the boxes. Being an ANC leader was meant to be difficult, not easy — for leadership is not easy. But the present leaders are not making their task easier by permitting corruption and other social malaise to reign supreme.

The title of the document is taken from the Book of Matthew chapter 19 verse 24 in the Bible. A rich young ruler asks Jesus what he needs to do to get to heaven. Jesus tells him what to give up. The young man leaves because he is not prepared to give these things up, then Jesus says to the crowd, “And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

If we are to use this metaphor or biblical aphorism, the ANC are really not doing well, and they are at present fattened fat-cats who rule through ignoring the poor and using cronyism and crude nepotism to arrogantly and greedily enrich themselves with the nations coffers without any shame nor let-up.

The needle Jesus was speaking of is not the same as the one you think of. The “eye of a needle” Jesus spoke of was a gate in Jerusalem, which only opened after the main gate to the city was closed at night. A camel could only pass through a smaller gate if it was stooped and had its baggage removed and had to almost crawl to enter.

Therefore, a leader should be willing to let go of his baggage in order to be worthy of leading the ANC: in order for them to get through to the people be one with them. This is what is hard for the ANC to let go off-the Gravy Train and all what it has to offer them-personal wealth and self-arrogated power. They behave as if their voting polity had not sense nor consciousness to speak of or realized or to be respected. On top of that, they are unwavering when it comes to using brute force to crush dissent.


There is a serious need to have a realization that the Poor masses are human beings and that their humanity needs to be restored and respected. Acknowledging that Humans are humans, not Blacks, Whites and other disrespectful references to others, needs to be weaned away from the psyche and consciousness of a people who, as human beings understand and realize and know what "Ubuntu" and consciousness is all about-if humans on this planet can do it in other lands, so too can Africans in Africa and South Africa exercise the same human nature, capability and ability to know and consciously deal with their environment and existential reality.

Julian Jaynes helps put this perspectives about human consciousness and their knowing and being aware of consciousness as being consciousness, thus making them "be" Umuntu/Motho(Human). Jaynes informs us thus:

"Some concepts need to be nailed down perfectly in order to begin the process of understanding a few things: the fact that Africans are not unconscious: which is a fiction and fallacy is what I am about to write about is what we need to have a serious understanding about consciousness and Ubuntu, or we will forever dwell in the La-la-land. What am I talking about? For example, when asked the question, what is 'consciousness'? And most of us take this 'consciousness of consciousness' to be what consciousness is. This is not true. In being conscious of consciousness, we feel it is the most self-evident thing imaginable.

"We feel it is the defining attribute of all our waking states, our moods and affections, our memories, our thoughts, attentions, and volitions. We feel comfortably certain that consciousness is the basis of concepts,of learning and reasoning, of thought and judgement, and that it is so because it records and stores our experience as they happen, allowing us to introspect them and learn from them at will. We are also quite conscious that all this wonderful set of operations and contents that we call consciousness is located somewhere in the head.

On critical examination, all of these statements are false. They are the costume that consciousness has been masquerading in for centuries. They are the misconceptions that have prevented a solution to the problem of the origin of consciousness; to demonstrate these errors and show what consciousness is not, is a gargantuan and humongous task, which will be culled into a précis for expediency.

For example the phrase, "To loose consciousness" after receiving a blow on the head. But if this were correct, we would then have no word for those somnambulistic states known in the clinical literature, where an individual is clearly not conscious and yet is responsive to things in a way in which a knocked-out person is not. Therefore, in the first instance we should say that the person suffering a severe blow on the head loses both consciousness and what I am calling 'reactivity,' and they are therefore different things.

This distinction is also important in normal everyday life. We are constantly reacting to things without being 'conscious' of them at the time. Sitting against a tree, I am always reacting to the tree and to the ground and to my own posture, since if I wish to walk, I will quite unconsciously stand up from the ground to do so. I am rarely conscious even from where I am. In writing, I am reacting to the pencil(keyboard) in my hand(Fingertips) since I hold on to it(am pressing the keys), and am reacting to my writing pad(or keyboard).

Since I hold it on my knees(as I do my keyboard) and its lines(the scrawling on the screen), since I write upon them, but am only conscious of what I am trying to say and whether or not I am being clear to you. In this case, you can replace writing pad with screen and pencil with the keyboard. If a bird burst up from the copse nearby and flies crying to the horizon, I may turn to watch and hear it, and then turn back to this page without being conscious that I had done so. In other words, 'reactivity' covers all stimuli my behavior takes account of in any way, while consciousness is something quite distinct and a far less ubiquitous phenomenon. We are conscious of what we are reacting to only from time to time. And whereas reactivity can be defined behaviorally and neurologically, consciousness at the present state of knowledge cannot.

But let us go further. Consciousness is a much smaller part of our mental life than we are conscious of, because we cannot be conscious of what we are not conscious of. How simple that is to say; how difficult to appreciate! It is like asking a flashlight in a dark room to search around for something that does not have any light shining upon it. The flashlight, since there is light in whatever direction it turns, would have to conclude that there is light everywhere. And so, consciousness can seem to pervade all mentality when actually it does not.

The timing of 'consciousness' is also an interesting question. When we are awake, are we conscious all the time? We think so, in fact, we are sure so! I shut my eyes and even if I try not to think, consciousness still streams on, a great river of contents in a succession of different conditions which I have been taught to call thoughts, images, memories, interior dialogue, regrets, wishes, resolves, all interweaving with the constantly changing pageant of exterior sensations of which I am selectively aware. Always the continuity. Certainly this is the feeling. And whatever we're doing, we feel that our very "Self," our deepest of deep identity, is indeed this continuing flow that only ceases in sleep between remembered dreams. This is our experience. And many thinkers have taken this spirit of continuity to be the place to start from in philosophy, the very ground of certainty which no one can doubt. "Cogito, ergo sum"(I Think, Therefore I am)..."

This is clearly understood by the Poor people of South Africa and they are acutely aware of their consciousness about consciousness which in the final analysis allow them to "Be": "we think, therefore they are aware that the Are". Ignoring the beingness and consciousness of the collective poor is arrogance unbridled, which is not good governance nor true and real leadership, and will finally lead to the fall of the present ruling African petit-bourgeois African vulture, predatory elite. Lying to the people is one of the most gave errors that can be committed by any leadership of any country; worse, to think of the masses as being unconscious, dumb and illiterate and stupid, is to commit leadership suicide… That is why Democracy is still not function to full effect nor any effect, for that matter.

Critical Consciousness-Naive Consciousness: Literacy and Ignorance

"In a Democracy, no one ignores everything, just as no one knows everything"

Mannheim says that "as democratic processes become widespread, it becomes more and more difficult to permit the masses to remain in a state of ignorance," and Mannheim would not restrict his definition of ignorance to illiteracy, but would include the masses' lack of experience' in participating and intervening in the historical process...

We began with the conviction that the role of men and women was not only to 'be' in the world, but also to engage in relations with the world, but to engage in relations with the world that through acts of creation and recreation, we make cultural reality and thereby add to the natural world, which we did not make. We were certain that the people's relation to reality, expressed as a Subject to an Object, results in knowledge, which men and women could express through language.

This 'relation,' as it is already clear, is carried out by men whether or not they are literate. It is sufficient to be a person to perceive the data of reality, to be capable of knowing, even if this knowledge is mere opinion. There is no such thing as absolute ignorance or absolute wisdom (No one ignores everything, just as no one knows everything). The dominating consciousness absolutizes ignorance in order to manipulate the so-called 'uncultured.' If some men are totally ignorant," they will be incapable of managing themselves, and will need the orientation, "direction," i.e., the "leadership" of those who consider themselves to be "cultured" and "superior (Alvaro Pinto). And to find these men, one has often look for them amongst and in the midst of the masses of those thought to be 'dumb' and 'illiterate' in more instances than not.

But men and women do not perceive those data in a pure form. As they apprehend a phenomenon or a problem, they also apprehend it's causal links. The more accurately men and women grasp true causality,the more critical their understanding of reality will be. Their understanding will be magical to the degree that they fail to grasp causality. Further, 'critical consciousness' always submits that causality to analysis; what is true today may not be so tomorrow. 'Naive consciousness' sees causality as a static, established fact,and thus is deceived in its perception.

This is what the present rulers or leaders of South Africa want to see instilled in the masses, not in a way the uplifts them or upgrades their sordid condition, but dumbs them up and down. Oppression, depression and all techniques-of controlling and misleading and misdirecting the masses, often leads them go begin to develop their own skills of critical thinking, along with self-criticism (a la Mao)

Critical Consciousness

Critical consciousness represents things and facts as they exist empirically, in their causal and circumstantial correlations ... barren consciousness considers itself superior to fact, in control of facts, and thus free to understand them as it pleases. Magic consciousness, in contrast, simply apprehends facts and attributes to them a superior power by which it is controlled and to which it must therefore submit. Magic consciousness is characterized by fatalism, which leads men to fold their arms, resigned to the impossibility of resisting the power of facts.

Critical consciousness is integrated with reality; bland consciousness superimposes itself on reality; and fanatical consciousness, whose pathological naïveté leads to the irrational, adapts to reality. ... Once man perceives a challenge, understands it, and recognizes the possibilities of response, he acts. The nature of that action corresponds to the nature of his understanding. Critical understanding leads to critical action; magic understanding to magic response.

From being aware of consciousness of consciousness to critical, unknowing and magical consciousness, we know that these states of evolving consciousness is what we will read about below in the Hub when the Abahlali and other poor peoples challenge the ANC behemoth and try to gain basic human rights and dignity of the poor had to interrogate in their opposition of the present government to their, economical depression and oppression, their state of poverty, abuse, and dehumanization in post-Apartheid South Africa.

We will just peruse at Power and what it really means, specifically for Africans in South Africa, and what it means to their leaders, too. In the process of observing these, we also see a picture of 'Low Intensity Warfare' emerge when the people begin to resist their tormentors , detractors, oppressors and putrid present-day leadership.

Those Who Lead and Those Who Follow

It is the contention of this Hub that, "Power is essential for all living things. If we neglect the factor of power, as is the tendency in our day of reaction against the destructive effects of the misuse of power, we shall lose values that are essential to our existence as humans. James McGregor Burns defines the primary basis of social power thus: "Power is a relationship among persons.

To define power not as a property or entity or possession but as a relationship in which two or more persons tap motivational bases in one another and bring varying resources to bear in the process is to perceive power as drawing a vast range of human behavior into its orbit. The arena of power is not longer the exclusive preserve of a power elite or an establishment or persons cloth with legitimacy.

Power is ubiquitous; it permeates human relationships. It exists whether or not it is quested for. It is the glory and burden of most humanity. It is the self-assertion of the oppressed in quest for their humanity. This brings us within the purview the war that is being waged against the poor in post-Apartheid South Africa.

The transition from Apartheid
Over the ensuing period, the leadership of the ANC, COSATU and the South African Communist Party (SACP) worked overtime to convince white capitalists they were capable of taking over the political reigns and becoming responsible managers of South Africa.
This process was far from smooth. Conservative forces in South African politics attempted to stifle the transition.

And the black masses consistently renewed mobilization, taking the transition into their own hands and demanding it deliver an end to crippling oppression.
1992-3 saw a return to the streets as negotiations broke down. In August of 1992, a four million strong general strike crippled the country. In April 1993, general strikes again broke out in response to the assassination of the left-wing General Secretary of the SACP Chris Hani. Mandela appeared on television calling for calm—the ANC leadership had no control over the street fighting and stop work actions.

Here was a power capable, not just of toppling Apartheid, but of seizing the wealth held by white capitalists and putting it to work for the black majority. But the ANC were terrified of losing the support for transition amongst the white ruling class. And the leaders of the SACP and COSATU kept insisting that, "Socialism would have to wait until some distant future."
The ANC abandoned all former commitments to nationalization.

They began talking about “redistribution of wealth through growth” —not from rich to poor, or from white to black-but amongst and within the whites and the African gendarme and predatory, vulture elite and ruling elite. Through 1993, COSATU began to be incorporated into state economic planning boards, sitting alongside corporate leaders and publicly supporting the need for wage restraint to support economic growth. In the lead up to the 1994 elections,

68 out of South Africa’s top 100 businessmen backed Mandela’s campaign for President.
In South Africa’s first democratic elections, held in May 1994, the ANC received 63 per cent of the vote. But despite the jubilation that greeted this historic victory, the commitment of the ANC to running South African capitalism brought it into conflict with the black masses almost immediately. This conflict will dealt with below in-depth. This Hub may appear to be long, but it is time that story is 'outed' and let-loose onto the viral stream.

For example:
The ANC government savagely repressed nurses and municipal workers striking for higher wages in 1995—using the same police units and same weaponry as the Apartheid regime.
Some public spending programs gestured towards the ANC’s former promises of economic equality. Perhaps one of the most significant of these was the delivery of free health care to all infants. A reconstruction and development program promised 125,000 houses in the first year of the ANC government—but delivered less than 11,000.

Overwhelmingly it was the politics of neoliberalism, the same policies being implemented by ruling classes around the world, which came to characterize the approach of the ANC. They implemented massive cuts to company tax, waves of privatization and attacks on union rights.
A strategy of “black empowerment," lifted from the Mugabe dictatorship in Zimbabwe, was employed in an attempt to change the face of economic power. A number of big companies recruited blacks into the boardrooms. A handful of powerful black enterprises, incubated by the state, have become major players within the ruling class.

But white settler and foreign capital still control more than 80 per cent of South Africa’s economy. A tiny minority of blacks may have joined the ruling class in their opulent suburbs. But these still sit alongside massive squalid slums inhabited by the black majority. This extreme class segregation is a product of capitalism and a characteristic of all former colonial societies, no matter the color of the regime.

South Africa today
Despite the betrayals of the ANC leadership, the spirit of the anti-Apartheid struggle has remained very much alive. Privatization has been fought both with mass strikes and direct action at the township level. For example, a massive community-union campaign defeated attempts to patent AIDS medication over 1999-2003.

In the 21 century, South Africa has registered the highest level of protest actions per person in the world. And in recent years, splits have emerged in the ANC between leadership figures continuing to preach wage restraint and “redistribution through growth” and grassroots militants furious at worsening poverty, have been striking right up to until now as of the writing of this Hub…

In 2007, more than a million public sector workers undertook weeks of strike action against wage restraint and led the biggest general strike since the end of Apartheid. More mass strikes in mid-2009 provided the background to the ousting of president Mbeki for Jacob Zuma, who had promised to break with neoliberalism. COSATU and the SACP have begun discussions about breaking their tripartite alliance with the ANC—the bedrock of post-Apartheid rule.

But in over the long haul of the nearly 20 years of their tripartite rule, Cosatu has become one with their former masters and the new slave-driver-The ANC and the SACP.
These were not promising signs, and the lesson of these last two decades is that Black(African) oppression and crippling poverty cannot be reformed away—they lie at the heart of South African capitalism. A very Strong political organization is needed to take the explosive struggles of the exploited black majority beyond reformism and nationalism—towards revolution, empowerment, freedom and self-rule of the armies of the African poor…

Freedom and Self Rule: Dejavu All Over Again

'The Ecology Of Fear and Uncertainty'

When Tutu poignantly and pointedly called on the ANC and told them that he is going to pray for them because their governance is worse than that of the Apartheid regime, this caused me to write this Hub and try and list all the possibilities and not-so-possible realities of what he was saying and in the process, look into the possible existence of a "type" of 'Low Intensity' Warfare is being waged on Africans in South Africa and by whom, who, why, where and what the ultimate goal is or was or still being contemplated to date.

This is a loaded statement and assertion, and I am going to attempt to tabulate all the variable possibilities in order to see if TuTu is right or wrong in accusing the ANC of gross mismanagement, poor and inept governance, murder and arrest of the striking and discontent Africans in South Africa: in a word, that they have been carrying on oppression, repression, depression, suppression, abuse and the whole bit, of the poor people; in fact, who else is involved, How and Why? How, Where, When, and to what extend and end?

In fact, the word on the street, since the conclusion of the provincial elections, polls have influenced the view of people that the saw some serious minuses in terms of the ANC electorate and that they have been deserting ranks and either not voted or went-over to other parties. Confidence in the ANC has plummeted to the extent that even the elected officials are beginning, albeit slowly, to consider the possibilities of a loss in the near election.

Given the state of euphoria that ANC ascended into power, what has really happened here: the deterioration of relations between the ANC(pronounced ENK) and its voting polity-the loss of confidence of the people in the capabilities and abilities of the ANC-led governance of the country is more widespread now . This is what this Hub will try to trace and delineate with hope light might be gleaned on this entropic reality.

When the Gravy Train took off, it is unconscionable that up to date the feast and fiesta of the Gravy Train is in is in full effect and swing without abating. What is happening now and today in South Africa is not new, but has worsened and bludgeoning on its path the African South Africans and other ethnic group's newly found democracy and freedom. The wild dreams and speculations and hopes and dreams have been shattered, trampled and stumped, scorned upon with sheer, raw hate and impunity without remorse, empathy and consideration-with an arrogance and mien not matched since.

This is still going on now. No one is reporting the details that come from the actual African community itself, but the ruling party(ANC), only talk about themselves and their elite and celebrity crews statuses and life-styles. If one were to talk to the inhabitants of South Africa, more specifically, the poor African population, there's a lot many people do not know; What I am talking about is the day-to-day existence and lived lives and experiences of Africans under the Apartheid government and the present African ANC-led government, there is a consensus, the new government has failed the suffering masses and that Tutu had to at least holler out in desperation(maybe for his failed bid to Bring in the Dalai Lama for his birthday-or maybe decrying the inconclusive TRC).

Tutu was in effect echoing the murmurings of the wretched African masses of the earth in South Africa. It should be noted that the transition of the oppressed peoples to free people left its marks and continues to be part of their lived experiences that remain unchanged: inadequate social services, poverty, diseases(those from the dark days of Apartheid to those of the mixture of malingering and permanent diseases added to by the social and economic conditions and encouraged by a predator ruler-class of post and neo-Apartheid South Africa) along with their entrenched cabals, thuggerism, terrorism, lack of job and employment opportunities}.

And perpetuated under that ANC government-wherein we'll be able to learn how the local Shebeen(Tavern) kings and queens tried to block the poor peoples movement who wanted to put a curfew on their Shebeens(Taverns) not to operate 24 hours a day because they raised a lot of domestic abuses and fights which destabilized the local communities, as would be clearly elaborated on down further into the Hub by The Abahlali baseMjondolo).

Unemployed armies of the poor; alcoholism(which was designed and promoted by the Apartheid regime, drugs (of all sorts), and cheap liquor and fake cigarettes foisted on the poor and imbibed by them, mostly, the youth, decimating households, families, communities and the whole society-add in onto that the state of drug abuse and drug dealing that has gripped the country like never before; insecurity, ignorance, meanness, opportunism, jealousies, rat race, an attitude of "everyone for Themselves", and the spirit of "Dog eats Dog" spirit reigned supreme, and is still the norm and mores up to the point of writing this Hub and beyond.

The voice of the voiceless and powerless needs to be put in the forefront about any dialogue concerning anything South African. From 1652 to 2012 and beyond, Africans have not received any respite from their slave-bonded maldeveloped economic, material, political, social, spiritual, cultural, customary and traditional subjugation and national humiliation and annihilation and all sorts and forms of genocide.

Paging Through Edges of Hell

South Africa's relative wealth to the rest of Africa is acting as a magnet for the poverty-stricken of sub-Saharan Africa is massive. It is worth noting that both poverty and inequality are South African hallmarks(from the Dark Days of Apartheid in the case of Africans in South Africa, specifically). The present ANC-led government is caught in an unenviable position of balancing the needs of market stability (in a world dominated by free market economics of yesteryear) and appeasing domestic and international capital with trying to undo the damage of 400 years of colonialism, and a disgruntled polity.

The meaning of poverty in South Africa takes on different tacks within the present ruling government governing philosophy, and it is affecting development programs and contributing to a hollow and meaningless debate about the progress that the need African people to upgrade their lot becomes even more dire. It is a fact that poverty is a defining reality in South Africa, and has a clear racial, gender and spatial dimension. And whenever many definitions are used to measure poverty, one thing remains constant and common: the majority of African South Africans exist below any acceptable minimum poverty level (Seekings; Nattrass, 2005).

Looking at the low-intensity warfare we will be using the perspective and words and lives of the Africans Of South Africa(Nguni/Bakone (Africans and Colored, the Khoi and Bushmen's) and lived and experienced reality to try and bring serious attention to this tragedy that is now hanging like a dark cloud over the heads of the African South African people.

Poverty, Diseases and Ignorance are the Achilles-heel Of the Poor

Living in poverty has its effects on a people. This in turn conforms them to that state of existence, and ignorance and depression stress, oppression, repression by the state(ANC) and its functionaries collude and forge a confluence upon the lives of the poor and who are lacking in privileges to the extent that this creates maladjustments and psychiatric cases: normalcy is scorned-whilst madness becomes the ideal to be realized and achieved: the norm.

The way of life a people becomes meaningless whilst the pursuit of material ends becomes the way of life of a motley crew of the elite — that is, it becomes a new culture of the have mores and have little: the rich become richer-the poor, poorer. The old ways of the Africans are cast aside and scorned, riled and ridiculed. The customs, culture, practices and languages are trampled upon and seen as unsophisticated and barren- and also labelled as backward and infantile; the common humanity that glued the society together(Ubuntu) is perceived as outmoded and a throw-back into the stone-age.

What is immediate is the constant gnawing hunger which beckons constantly, non-stop and intensely tortures and grips the poor people's stomachs with vicious pangs that need to be satisfied immediately in the reality and existence of the poor constant shortage of food-if there is any food, questionable as to whether it is of real good quality. All the social mores and norms are blown away like one would when clearing one's nose of snuff-filled mucous-or like mist when the sun comes up.

Others aver that things have gotten better, and point out to the overland infrastructure initiated during the country's run to hosting the 2010 World Cup. The magnificent stadiums and new roads which are more or less showcase than being streamlined along an economic boom-but people are not seeing and feeling the bust. The political, social, media and economic play-books embedded within the national landscape, along with the reality and collective national psyche are those aping if not being commandeered by foreign powers and their cultures, rather than by the local people.

The Arts, Sports, Religion, Society and the whole bit is being controlled and dictated to by foreign powers and multi-corporations along with their armies and security spooks and other vested interests. The present Ruling ANC-government is in all this hook and sink-they are in cahoots with Conglomerate multi-trillion Dollar/Pound/Yen and so forth magnates and their bullies-with the country's currency controlled, i.e., the local Rand, being dictated to by International finance9along with the local white big capital. Corruption is rampant, nepotism, kickbacks, ahistorical and apolitical mind-set the daily babble spearheaded by a gaggle of willing and compliant new and old petty bourgeois of Grand Apartheid days and the one that has gelled during the first and present contemporary 'democratic' government of the ANC.

The cacophony that has been raised by the atrophied social hell is given scant consideration by anyone within the embattled country presently imprisoned by the present ANC ruling government, and is rapidly eating away at the cadaver that is the African polity(alongside many other poor minorities). The transformation a whole of the people's leadership has been made the puppet doll of the monied international potentate, and this has eroded most of the "Ubuntu" which is the fulcrum of African culture, customs and traditions. This has put the indigene at the brink of a genocide, which will be discussed in another Hub

Bantu Biko writes: [In our history] …"We are concerned with that curious bunch of nonconformists who explain their participation in negative terms: that bunch of do-gooders that goes under all sorts of names — liberals, leftists, etc. These are the people who claim that they too feel the oppression just as acutely as the Blacks and therefore should be jointly involved in the Black man's struggle for a place under the sun. In short, these are the people who say that they have Black souls wrapped in White skins. The role of the white liberal in the Black man's history in South Africa is a curious one. Very few Black organizations were not under White direction.

"True to their image, the White liberals always knew what was good for the Blacks and told them so. The wonder of it all is that the Black people have believed them for so long. It was only at the end of the '50s that the Black started demanding to be their own guardians. Nowhere is the arrogance of the liberal ideology demonstrated so well as in the insistence that the problems of the country can only be solved by a bilateral approach involving both Black and White.

"This has, by and large, come to be taken in all seriousness as the modus operandi in South Africa by all those who claim they would like a change in the status quo. Hence the multiracial political organizations, all of which insist on integration not only as end but also as a means. The ANC has arrogated to itself the right to be cantankerous and belligerent towards their own country-men and flaunt their ill-begotten wealth"

Bantu continues: "The integration they talk about is first of all artificial in that it is a response to conscious maneuver rather than to the dictates of the inner soul. In other words, the people forming the integrated complex have been extracted from various segregated societies with their in-built complexes of superiority and inferiority and these continue to manifest themselves even in the "nonracial" set up of the integrated complex. As a result, the integration so achieved is a one-way course, with Whites doing all the talking and the Blacks the listening.

"Given the situation and the facts where a group experiences privilege at the expense of others, then it becomes obvious that a hastily arranged integration cannot be the solution to the problem. It is rather like expecting the slave to work together with the slave-master's son to remove all the conditions leading to the former's enslavement. ...Once the various groups within a given community have asserted themselves to the point that mutual respect has to be shown then you have the ingredient for a true and meaningful integration.

Each group must be able to attain its style of existence without encroaching on or being thwarted by another. Out of this mutual respect for each other and complete freedom of self-determination, there will obviously arise a genuine fusion for the life-styles of the various groups. This is true integration."

We also learn from Bantu that: "From this it becomes clear that as long as Blacks are suffering from inferiority complex — as a result of 300+ years of deliberate oppression, denigration and derision — they will be useless as co-architects of a normal society where man is nothing else but man for his own sake(Ubuntu-my two cents). Hence, what is necessary as a prelude to anything else that may come is a very strong grass-roots build up of Black consciousness such that Blacks can learn to assert themselves and stake their rightful claim."

It is important to read into Bantu and what he is saying as relevant to contemporary society. Bantu was an astute observer of the Apartheid colonial/Imperial system and mind-set and how it dehumanizes Africans, who in turn end up assisting in their own dehumanization. What Bantu was talking about in the 1970s is what is actually happening today despite his warnings.

There is a permanent Gendarme cabal of semi-African vulture capitalists within the ruling government that does not have any vested interest in the "plight" and "postulations" of Bantu despite that being their real reality today in contemporary South Africa. Confusion begins, for African South Africans, when they immerse themselves in the world of liberals, who Bantu understood and explained their modus operandi as follows:

"Thus, in adopting the line of a nonracial approach, the liberals are playing their old game. They are claiming "monopoly on intelligence and moral judgement" and setting the pattern and pace for the realization of the Black man's aspirations. They want to remain in the good books with both the Black and White worlds. They want to shy away from all forms of "extremisms," condemning "white supremacy" as being just as bad as "Black Power!".

They vacillate between the two worlds, verbalizing all complaints of the Blacks beautifully while skillfully extracting what suits them from the exclusive pool of White privileges. But ask them for a moment to give a concrete meaningful program that they intend adopting, then you will see on whose side they really are. Their protests are directed at and appeal to White conscience, everything they do is directed at finally convincing the White electorate that the Black man is also a man and that at some future time he should be given a place at the White Man's table."

This is what has happened today. Africans have been given a place in parliament and living spaces, jobs, albeit they be paltry in number. A lot of African leaders and activists of all stripes are tripping over themselves, rushing pell-mell into the white world, espousing white values in expectant hopes of being accepted into the white 'life-style'. These Africans go to the extent of discarding the 'irrelevant carcasses' of their 'outdated' and 'backwards' culture, in favor of changing their languages, importing modes of behavior, lifestyles and modus operandi amongst and as a show-off against their unfortunate, poor and forgotten African voting polity and brethren.

Warfare may be viewed through the prism of armies, bombs and soldiers. The war I am writing about is severe and very deadly for the Africans of South Africa. They are still being mistreated and warred with by their own elected government, and this has left the voting African nation befuddled and bamboozled. In order for us to appreciate this, we will take an article from the Mail&Guardianonline which has this article on the comments made by the Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi in Johannesburg on Thursday December 2011.

Corruption As Part Of Low Intensity Warfare

Vavi says: "South Africa was 'in trouble' on many levels. There can be no denial that we are fighting ourselves the moment...and there is an attempt by the powerful elite group to shut up everybody: including shutting them permanently. Comrades are beefing up on private security. It's not the AWB [Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging] and it's not all the right-wing white extremists. It's one another. Some government officials are too preoccupied with power games to care about the poor and unemployed.

We are in trouble politically...in 2014 we 'will not be able to offer answers when our people ask what have we done [to eradicate unemployment and poverty]. Many people were living in fear of their reputations being destroyed, their political standing being jeopardized, and fear for their own safety. Corruption is the elite's way to steal from the poor. It has become a matter of life and death. Corruption is the biggest threat to the realization of our dreams and Self-enrichment will unravel the fabric of society."

This comes on the heels of the anti-corruption summit wherein this summit was told that as many as 1273 public service officials were charged with misconduct for corrupt activities between September 2004 and June 2011. During this time, 603 officials were dismissed from public service, 226 were suspended, 134 were fined and 16 demoted; another 330 officials were given final written warnings, and 190 prosecuted (national Anti-Corruption Forum chair Futhi Mtoba) Vavi added that up to 20% of government procurement was lost to corruption as officials exploited gaps in the system to procure government tenders.

"We are facing a nightmare future in South Africa...people are systematically using their power to secure ... parts of society. If the current economic system of capitalism continued with the "me first" mentality, it would be difficult to root out corruption. The culture of "me first" accumulates and accumulates that one person in this country earns R627-million per year... while workers earn less than R1,500 per month."

The very nature of the corruption described above tells one that it is used for self gain and enrichment, and at the same time it is a form of warfare against the poor by taking or mismanaging their monies to deny them their humanity and human basic needs-impoverishing them and turning a deaf ear to their please and protestations..." We learn more and in-depth presentation of corruption in South Africa today from Tolsi

Niren Tolsi wrote the following article in the Mail&Guardianonline on October 29, 2010, that:

"State Departments to respond to 90% of government corruption cases reported by the public on hotlines during the past financial year, according to Public service Commission's [PSC] 2010 report on the state of public services. The report, released on Thursday, also points to a twelve fold rise in fruitless and wasteful expenditure by government in 2008/9 compared with the previous year — from R2,8-million to R35.2-million.

"Noting a "sharp decline" in the government's responsiveness to corruption cases, the commission said that 1,430 cases were reported in 2009/10 but there was feedback on only 150, compared with 507 responses (25%) to 1,857 cases in 2008/09. the commission evaluated the government and public service on a range of issues, including transparency, service delivery and the creation of a more egalitarian society, according to the implementation of policies and programs.

"The report also evaluated the average feedback from the government on reported corruption cases from the 2005/05 financial year to 2009/10, finding that of every 100 cases reported, whistle-blowers or the commission received no feedback to 64. Corruption is an increasingly insidious problem in South Africa, as reflected in the latest Transparency International corruption perception index report, also released this week. South Africa scored 4.5 out of 10 on the index and was placed 54 out of 146 countries. In 2007 it was placed 43 out of 170 countries, with a score of 5.1. It scored 4.9 in 2008 and 4.7 in 2009. The commission's report found that "capacity to follow up on these cases and investigate them is lacking" in departments. It painted a bleak picture of the effectiveness of structures created to fight corruption."

Tolsi adds: "It is said the Anti-Corruption Coordinating Committee [ACCC], formed n 2002 and convened by the public service department with representative from 18 key department and agencies, including the National Intelligence, National Treasury and revenue service, still had to prioritize the coordination of 'measures to build the minimum anti-corruption capacity of departments.' This is a pressing priority for the government, which will undoubtedly require resources and close monitoring. The report found that the 'synergy' between structures such as the ACCC and the National Anti-Corruption Forum (NACF) "needs improvement.

The NACF, established in 2001 to facilitate a national consensus on combating corruption had been debilitated by "not always having its own budget and capacity". Low levels of attendance and participation by government representatives and departments and poor recording of meetings. The commission said 1,024 cases of financial misconduct were reported to in 2008/09, compared with 868 in 2007/08. A "key challenge," it said, is "Some public servants ... implicated in acts of financial misconduct resign before disciplinary hearings can be concluded and then accept appointments in other departments".

"The report found that this was often difficult to detect because departments operated 'in silos'. It said that of the 868 officials reported to the commission in 2007/08 (or 6%) left the public service before disciplinary hearings can be held. In 2008/09, 17 implicated employees resigned after the charges of misconduct were leveled against them. The report blamed "highly unsatisfactory" evaluation of the performances of government heads of departments for the sharp rise in wasteful and fruitless government expenditure.

"As of March this year just half [51%] of these had undergone performance evaluation, a drop from 56% in the previous year. The report said that, "In financial terms this means that roughly half of the national budget [including transfers to provinces and municipalities], which was in the order of R500-billion - [excluding the state debt costs] in 2007/08 financial year, was controlled by accounting officers who were not subjected to a proper evaluation."

We are further informed by Tolsi that: "The report is forthright on what the government needs to do to improve service delivery — communicate with itself. It called for greater coherence within the government and between departments or spheres of government exacerbates the challenge even further. The report observed that national planning at the departmental cluster level is a "collection of special projects pursuing the joint objectives of cluster" rather than an integrated process.

Only 332% of directors general attended cluster meetings, no planning decisions were taken there and there was no holistic planning around outcomes. At provincial level "there is very limited evidence of actual implementation of projects and budget items flowing out of the provincial growth and development strategies" The report also found that integrated development plans (IDPs) in municipalities were "drawn up for compliance reasons and municipal activities carried on in spite of, and no on the basis of, the IDP. Forty percent of the municipal IDPs 'lacked financial strategies' and "most lacked budgets."

The incoherent government malfunctioning structures show no discipline of ideas and action necessarily for the outcome that moves the people's needs and agendas that so desperate;y need to be addressed. In fact, whenever the community itself intervened within the cracks of the malfunctioning structures, they are met with part of the corrupters on the system that protect a vested interest they have, as already been pointed out by Vavi and Tolsi above.

Whenever the enriched and governing elite feel their livelihood threatened, images and the power they wield over the poor being challenged and questioned, they resort to violence, death-threats and organizing agitators to pacify the masses and root out 'thugs, criminals, and destabilizers' of the government and the society by using and unleashing their spooks and thugs onto the poor and resisting masses.

This constitutes what this Hub aims to demonstrate, a 'low intensity warfare' which flares up from time to time when raw force is used by those elements in the state who are charged with protecting the people and at the same time are the ones who facilitate the murders, tortures, detention and intimidation of the public in order to make them conform and be loyal to the ruling regime in power today in South Africa. This will be discussed below within the hub how this was being done and carried out, and the actual narrating of events will be done by the oppressed and suppressed victims themselves in their own words.

Critique and anti-Critique: From The African, By The African

It often bothers me that up to date, we still have to read and learn about ourselves from other people, and yet that whole idea does not jive with us African people. The problem is that we are not supposed to think or have ideas originally our own. We have to operate and exist within a prescribed and proscribed Europeans social mosaic matrix, and anything that is outside that cave and mind-set, one cannot and must not talk of nor is free to speak about.

If we use History as our guiding light, we will glean facts like that Africans, consistently within the historiography of South Africa, have never been regarded as persons who can articulate their 'Ubuntu/Botho' and because it still "exist as a word, and its actual manifestation never recognized nor known, and it still has to be foreigners who validate or reject it it. Africans have not yet been able to elaborate and act out the concept of 'Ubuntu/Botho' within a setting determined and controlled by them; yet, it is still present and functioning within their milieu.

Even when Biko has already given Africans their signposts on how to navigate this murky trap-ridden and one-sidedness of the lives Africans have to live through, and there are still questions about this being valid or not. Biko lives in the minds and lives of the Africans of South Africa-he is their product, and is one with them; he was able to mediate an articulate this without no need for any theorist nor philosopher lest he has to talk about him/her-wherein he rejects, critiques or clarifies his conception of 'Black Consciousness.'

But What Bantu was trying to do here was to capture the mind of the oppressed and compel them to express their thought and lives, whilst giving body and soul to the aspiration of the army of the oppressed reminding them who they are and how to go about asserting and establishing their being humans("Ubuntu"). What I learn from Bantu is that we should come from the experiences of the African collective masses in all the manifestations and beingness and realities.

It is not for us to provide the language which the Masses have ample to offer-we are to really be the voice of the voiceless masses and see if whatever comes out of their minds, writing saying what the masses are saying, so that it may be heard by the masses. If the leaders speak with one eye and half of their minds based on what the world or the former or present-day African people are able to speak for themselves, they have to be helped to do so-what they want to say about themselves, not what the "others" will want to hear-as in being "Politically Correct" will be one story for the ages.

At this point, I want to point out that Africans spoken and written about in this Hub are not anybody but South African Africans. The problem here when you look at Mandela's quote below, and the quotes of the many "Knowing a lot about Africans," none is saying as to what Africans are saying. The point is this, if you do not live with and among the masses, how are you going to speak for them or about them, when they are saying something or experiencing something else; yet, these experts who give their 'expert' analysis and opinion, have not really lived with Africans.

When African people speak for themselves, it is a lot different from what these 'so-called pros' are trumpeting. When people talk about Biko's Black Consciousness philosophies, they are ignoring the origins of its root and voice that he was using was not that of his own but the voice of the African people-and he was using their voices to expound and expand the concept of Black Consciousness-Africans Awareness of their Awareness about Awareness that it is their awareness of their self-awareness-their knowing of the consciousness of the consciousness-as explained above… If we base our perceptions[way of life, really] with that of the South America and Latin Americans, we conveniently forget about the origin of South African African conscious derives from the African masses, just as the people of the continents and countries mentioned above.

I have said that Bantu speaks for himself very clearly and does not necessarily need an interpretation by outsiders because the voice of Biko is still prevalent amongst their Africans of South Africa today-because his ideas were culled from their collective consciousness which was their consciousness and being consciously aware that they were conscious of their consciousness about their consciousness and reality. Bantu simply called this 'Black Consciousness.' This will be explored later, but emphasis is made as to the genius and originality of the Africans of South Africa in having a consciousness that was progressive under the oppressive raw force and laws of Apartheid that tightly controlled every aspect of the their lives.

This is why I am asking as to why should people always talk about African South Africans and on behalf of Africans, and yet have not lived with them and do not absolutely know them. Yes, they cannot talk for themselves because from the days of Apartheid, books were censored, pages taken out, blackened or newspapers glued on certain information(especially about Black Consciousness). In fact, I have one such book published by the "South African Institute of Race Relations: A Survey Of Race Relations in South Africa 1972 and it cost R3.00"*. The book has 470 pages and covers all aspects of Race relations in South Africa, which Bantu has criticized as to their prescribing and describing African ways of life in a patronizing and wrong way.

This leads me to one aspect of the quotations I have listed below, that, Apartheidization and Americanization and the Europeanization of Africans has been done in many ways that have affected African South Africans adversely,

The most ambiguous section in the Freedom Charter is its preamble, “South Africa belongs to all who live in it.” This is not only ahistorical, it is illogical. The very claim that the country belongs to all removes all claim of the African people's struggle itself. It is illogical to wage a struggle, call it a national liberation struggle, and yet deny or ignore the simple question about the very existence of the conquerors and the conquered, of the victors and the vanquished.

The struggle in South Africa was not simply for equality between human beings. Nor was it simply, as others within our ranks want to argue, only about class. Failure on the side of certain sections of the liberation movement, especially the left, has led to a false analysis of the South African question where class has been privileged over race. It must be stated that this is an inverse of the same mistake committed by nationalists, who deny the existence of class. In the South African situation, then and now, race and class became intertwined as capitalistic development took a racial form and combined, wherein class became mediated through race. (Console Tleane.)

This will be made much more clearer when we write about the stories that are told by the Africans of South Africa in their struggles, today, against the ANC government. We learn from Mandela below, how, they having been incarcerated in Robben Island, came to know about Black Consciousness, wherein he writes that:

The Changing of the Second Guard: Black/African Consciousness

Some Notes On Black Consciousness

"These fellows refused to conform to even basic prison regulations. One day I was at head office conferring with the commanding officer. As I was walking out with the major, we came upon a young prisoner being interviewed by a prison official. The young man, who was no more than eighteen, was wearing his prison cap in the presence of senior officers, a violation of regulations. Nor did he stand up when the major entered the room, another violation. The major looked at him and said, “Please take off your cap.” The prisoner ignored him.

Then in an irritated tone, the major said, “Take off your cap.” The prisoner turned and looked at the major and said, “What for?” I could hardly believe what I had just heard. It was a revolutionary question: What for? The major also seemed taken aback, but managed a reply. “It is against regulations,” he said. The young prisoner responded, “Why do you have this regulation? What is the purpose of it?”

This questioning on the part of the prisoner was too much for the major, and he stomped out of the room, saying, “Mandela, you talk to him.” But I would not intervene on his behalf, and simply bowed in the direction of the prisoner to let him know that I was on his side. This was our first exposure to the Black Consciousness Movement. (Nelson Mandela)

What you’ll find about Biko is that he was a thinker who was very much alive. His method with its “heterogeneous rhythms” makes him very much open to the here and now (see Naidoo and Veriava). As a work that seeks to critically reclaim Biko as a living thinker there are three areas of contestation that are central to this Hub. Firstly, it shows and talks about a challenge to the increasingly standardized and orthodox history of the apartheid struggle, which includes contestations over historical memory and the activity of critical remembrance.

Secondly, it has cited discussion of the largely ignored consideration of Biko as a philosopher, as an original thinker. Third, there is Biko as cultural theorist and the importance of Black Consciousness to artistic productions- and also, that Black Consciousness is a product of the collective experiences of Africans of South Africa. All these have been somewhat discussed above in relation to Biko, who was enabling and exhorting Africans to stand up and fight for themselves, no matter what the conditions they face hurl at them.

So that, Black Consciousness is thus an anathema to the BEE approach. Gordon writes, “Black liberation, the project that emerges as a consequence of Black Consciousness, calls for changing both the material conditions of poverty and the concepts by which such poverty is structured.” ... To this, the ANC has replied with vicious violence and arrest of those it deemed to threaten their status quo, as will be clearly talked about below. Moodley offered a surprising rebuttal to those who lament BC’s disappearance from the historical record: "From my point of view it’s good BC has been written out of the struggle.

"Because if it was written in then we’re part of the problem. Now we’re still part of the solution. The thesis is in fact a strong white racism and therefore, the antithesis to this must, ipso facto, be a strong solidarity amongst the blacks on whom this white racism seeks to prey. Yet he also rejects Sartre’s idea that that black solidarity is a priori insufficient by itself. Indeed, rather than “class” as an external unifier, it is already embedded in the dialectic of negativity: They tell us that the situation is a class struggle, rather than a racial one. Let them go to van Tonder in the Free State and tell him this.”

Black Consciousness set in motion a new dialectic, argues Lou Turner, based on the truth that the only vehicles for change are those people who have lost their humanity. To speak of a new humanism is radical and Black Consciousness transcends the former (analytical moment) in order to achieve a new form of self-consciousness or new humanity. And yet, Frank B. Wilderson III argues, this presence—based on absence—puts into question the very idea of liberal humanism.

In a racist society human relations are unethical because the Black is positioned below humanity. To speak of a “Black Human,” Wilderson argues, is an oxymoron. Wilderson locates the source of this absence in an inability to recognize that the “register of black suffering” goes beyond the “the political subject [as] imagined to be dispossessed of citizenship and access to civil society.” It also goes beyond the SACP’s formulation, which imagines the political subject as being dispossessed of labor power. Wilderson argues that, “[N]either formulation rises to the temperature of the Black’s grammar of suffering.”

BC on the other hand, he argues, accessed and articulated the possibility of speaking such a grammar. Different understandings and viewpoints of Fanon’s critique of Sartre and Hegel and dialectical thought directly affect approaches to Biko. Turner notes a shortcoming in his own work, Frantz Fanon, Soweto and American Black Thought, written with John Alan in 1978. In it he argues that he emphasized Fanon’s “deepening of the Hegelian concept of self-consciousness” but did not fully see the duality that Fanon posits in the dialectic of Black Consciousness, namely that alongside a will to freedom is a will to power that ends up emulating the white master.

Gordon, at another register, argues that because anti-black racism structures blacks outside of the dialectics of recognition, contradictions are not only of the dialectical kind. I contest that they are embedded and within what I will call 'Apartheid's dialect.

Does Biko’s writings on Negritude, culture, and black communalism contain tensions and insights that have often been overlooked and might be of value to the present generation? Biko is critical of Blacks(Africans) who, mimicking white liberals, take an elitist attitude toward African cultures and thus fail to understand that the criticism of apartheid education coming out of rural areas is based on a fundamental truth: an elemental resistance to the destruction of African ways of life.

In rejecting the “tribal" cocoons...called ‘homelands’ [which] are nothing else but sophisticated concentration camps where black people are allowed to ‘suffer peacefully,’ Biko was considering the experiences of people impoverished by apartheid as the ground of Black Consciousness philosophy. He articulated this in a grammar that was understood by all the poor and suffering into a coherent argument that Black Consciousness, if was mutually respected by other ethnic groups and given space to function would lead to proper integration, as he punctuated this point cited above.

For Biko, the liberation of the poor in South Africa was grounded in African cultural concepts of collectivity and sharing that resituates the human being at the center. Andries Oliphant relates Biko’s idea of culture to Fanon and to Cabral’s notion that anti colonial struggles are “acts of culture.” Based on a number of fundamental aspects—human centeredness, intimacy, trust, cooperativeness, and sharing.

Biko’s conception of African culture is essentially anti colonialist and anticapitalist. In contrast to the possessive individualism of liberal humanism, the stress of Biko’s humanism is not anti-individual but egalitarian. Like South American liberation theologians, Biko rejected the Christian homily that the poor are always among us.

Because of its gendered language, Biko’s thought has been considered oblivious to gender politics, if not outright sexist. Barney Pityana’s statement “Black man you are on your own” is offered as proof that women were not included in the BC conception of liberation. Desiree Lewis has argued that the language of emasculation used to describe black men’s condition under apartheid meant the marginalizing of women. Because of its gendered language, Biko’s thought has been considered oblivious to gender politics, if not outright sexist.

Pumla Dineo Gqola has argued that BC discourse failed to recognize points of variation among blacks. She writes, “Due to its emphasis on racial solidarity as the only means towards the liberation of Black people, it promised complete freedom at the end from all oppressive forces despite its reluctance to acknowledge their existence. The experiences of gender, class, age, geographical location, and sexual orientation were not perceived as consequential enough to warrant inclusion into the discourse of the doctrine.”

In addition to discursive problems, the experiences of women in BC organizations have been characterized by sexism. Akin to women’s involvement in other nationalist movements in Africa (and in South Africa), it is argued that women in the movement were regarded mainly as supporters of the struggle with more assertive women becoming “honorary men.” Perhaps the most famous woman in BC, Mamphela Ramphele, maintains that during the 1970s, the specificity of experience of sexism was utterly absent from the movement: “Women were important as wives, mothers, girlfriends and sisters, in fighting a common struggle against a common enemy.”

Scant regard was given to their position as individuals in their own right. As leaders in BC, women had to face the apartheid regime and the sexism of their comrades. As Ramphele states, “I soon learnt to be aggressive toward men who undermined women, both at social and political levels . . . A major part of the process of being socialized into activist ranks was becoming ‘one of the boys.’”

Into this dialogue, Oshadi Mangena and Deborah Matshoba offer a complicated and contradictory picture of gender politics in the Black Consciousness movement of the 1970s and 1980s. Their accounts and analyses add to a small but significant body of scholarship in this area, but much work certainly remains to be done. Mangena highlights the fact that Winnie Kgware was elected the first president of the Black People’s Convention when it was formed in 1972, making her the first black woman to lead a national political organization.

But as we know, the presence of one person in a position of power hardly indicates the experience of a group within an organization as a whole. Matshoba also describes the objections to a proposal for a women’s organization within SASO, on the argument that the contributions of women were essential to the main body, which would suffer if drained of their inputs.

Matshoba recalls, “I remember we came with a name, made a proposal. We called it WSO—Women’s Students Organization. They said down with WSO, they voted us down. And Steve blamed me and said ‘Debs, you’re coming with your YWCA mentality.’

"I worked at the YWCA office which was downstairs and the SASO office was upstairs . . . ‘You guys have to admit you are very powerful,’ that’s how Steve would put it. ‘You are very powerful.’ And we asserted ourselves in the organization.” As Matshoba explains, women asserted themselves by smoking, wearing hot pants and heels, speaking loudly, and adopting a tough walk.

Becoming 'one of the boys—asserting oneself on a patriarchal pattern and through a male gaze—was undoubtedly both liberating in some ways and profoundly restricting in others. Matshoba describes how they began to take pride in themselves as black women, but simultaneously started to look down upon other women who chose not to adopt their dress, appearance, and attitudes.

Mangena argues, however, that far from recognizing women as “honorary men,” the Black Consciousness movement leadership acknowledged that, “a greater effort needed to be made to mobilize women’s active participation.” This led to the “launching of the Black Women’s Federation [BWF] in Durban in December 1975...A total of 210 women attended the launching conference.

People such as Fatima Meer, Winnie Mandela, Deborah Matshoba, Nomsisi Kraai, Oshadi Phakathi, Jeanne Noel and other prominent mature women from established groups such as YWCA, Zanele and church bodies were key participants in this conference. Mangena thus argues that Black Consciousness philosophy recognized women as equal participants and 'colleagues' but not on the basis of “gender” considerations. There was a tacit recognition and acceptance of the idea, she argues, that women could be leaders in their own right.

The question of the link between women’s emancipation and human liberation was being framed and debated in anti colonial struggles and post-colonial societies the world over and the Black Consciousness movement of the 1970s and 1980s did not articulate many answers in this regard. As Mangena writes, the question continued to haunt all factions of the anti-apartheid struggle: “Does the transition to the ‘new’ South Africa warrant ‘gender’ acquiescence to patriarchal capitalism?”

Biko’s philosophy would reject such an acquiescence, but in engaging with Biko’s thought in the present, it is vital to determine how it might help us understand the contours of patriarchal capitalism and sexism, and where and how it falls short. Africans should also examine the status of women in contemporary South Africa to see if whether the absence of Black Consciousness has in any way advanced the women's cause- I doubt it and have many reasons for my statement.

The changing of the guard in the body politick and real politick and national conversation and perceptions were evolving from those of the days of Mandela, and what we are seeing today are the manifestation of this reality of the evolution of Black women's status in the absence of Black Consciousness movement, but in thede times it is sparse and wherever t exists, is on steroids.


Lessons to Be Learned: Looking At the Mirror and What's Looking back

Permanent War In the Diaspora Against Africans-Same Old, Same Old

In America, pro-White socialization is primarily anti-Black.Ideas of White superiority are embedded in every aspect of American society. For example, educational, religious, and mass media institutions all play a major role in the projection and dissemination of ideas and images that convey the innate superiority of Whites and the innate inferiority of Blacks (Boggle, 1974; Cogdell and Wilson, 1980; Staples and Jones, 1985).

Throughout the world, all societies have established sets of ideas by which life is made understandable by their members (Vander Zanden,1986: 136). Ideas such as these are generally referred to as an ideology. A society’s ideology tells people about the nature of their society and about its place in the world (Vander Zanden, 1966:136). In this sense, a society’s ideology gives structure to how group members define themselves and their experiences and also provides impetus for group action.

Thus the most important function of a society’s ideology is that it forms the spiritual and intellectual foundation of group solidarity (Vander Zanden, 1966: 136). A major aspect of the EuroAmerican cultural ideology is that people of European descent are inherently more intelligent, beautiful, industrious, and just than are non-White people(Jordan, 1969; Froman, 1972). All Americans (Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, and others) are exposed to pro-White socialization messages disseminated by the school system, mass media, and religious institutions.

American media perpetuating negative images of Blacks by portraying them as descendants of savages and people who have failed to make a significant contribution to America or world civilization (Woodson, 1933; Baldwin, 1979; Perkins, 1986). The superiority of Whites over Blacks has also been perpetuated by American religious philosophy and symbolism through the projection of White images of Christ and God (Welsing, 1980; Cogdell and Wilson, 1980; Akbar, 1983).

This has had a devastating impact on the psychological development of Blacks. For example, to embrace a White God is to reject the Black self (Cogdell and Wilson, 1980: 115). Moreover, being socialized to perceive God as White creates the idea in the Black mind that people who look like them White image of God are superior and people who are non-White. The most significant problem emerging from the projection of God as White is summarized best in the comments of Welsing(1980:28); Therefore it can be said that all Blacks and other non-White Christians worship the White man as God-not as God but as 'the God'. So the White man is perfect, good, supreme, and the only source of blessing.

Hence, as a result of their religious socialization in America, in the Black religious mind, a White man is their creator, protector, and salvation (Cogdell and Wilson, 1980: 117). For example, American cultural ideology promotes a specific set of values and images that define what is and what is not beautiful. Constant exposure to beauty standards that are antithetical to their racial characteristics causes generation after generation of Blacks to experience low self-esteem and self-hatred (Clark and Clark, 1947, 1980; Cogdell and Wilson, 1980: 1-16).

Consequently, Black self-hatred has been a major factor that has historically contributed to the lack of unity among Blacks as well as a pervasive low evaluation of Blacks by Blacks. Hence, the failure of Blacks to develop an Afrocentric cultural ideology has prevented Blacks from developing the sort of collective philosophy, definitions, cultural traditions, and institutions that other American racial and ethnic groups have established in order to facilitate their survival and progress in American society. It is as if one is reading about South African Africans above, and yet it is about African Americans-The same suffering, and the same racism and underdevelopment in all cases

America’s cultural ideology has been deliberately designed to glorify whiteness and to denigrate blackness. Consequently, this process has led to the cultural annihilation of Black Americans (Mahubuti, 1978: 41, 118; Karenga, 1986). Unlike other American racial and ethnic groups, Blacks have failed to develop a distinct cultural tradition that contributes to the psychological, spiritual, cultural, and economic development of most Blacks. The Americanization of Africans in America has resulted in Blacks being locked into the role of America’s permanent outsiders.

The failure of Blacks to develop an Afrocentric cultural ideology is a major source of psychological, social, political, and economic dysfunction among Black Americans (Williams, 1974; Mahubuti, 1978). Afrocentricity as defined by Asante is the centering of one’s analysis and perceptions from the groundedness of the African perspectives. The same dysfunction can be found amongst Africans in south Africa, today, and the same techniques of underdevelopment and oppression of Africans in America is the same as that which has been done to African South Africans.


This encompasses a specific set of expectations and responsibilities (Perruci and Knudsen, 1983) within American society the traditional, the tendency of lower-class Blacks to tolerate the tough guy, and the player of women images as acceptable alternatives to traditional definitions of manhood is another major dysfunctional cultural adaptation to White racism. In all societies men and women have distinctive sex roles that masculine role prescribes that men be tough,emotionally unexpressive, self-reliant, economically successful, and oriented toward protecting and providing for a family (Brenton, 1966; Fasteau, 1975). Successful enactment of the traditional male role is generally dependent on a male’s access to educational and employment opportunities.

However, due to their membership in a racial group that has been systematically denied equal access to political and economic power, as well as educational and employment opportunities, a substantial number of Black males lack the skills and resources that are necessary to successfully enact the traditional male role (Welsing, 1974; Stewart and Scott, 1978; Staples, 1982). Although all Blacks are subject to systematic attacks designed to have an adverse effect on their ability to survive and progress, Black males are its primary target because it is they that most Whites fear and who also represent the greatest threat to the continued political and economic subjugation of Blacks (Welsing, 1974; Kunjufu, 1983).

The high rates of academic failure, unemployment, and imprisonment among Black males are dramatic examples of what Welsing (1974, 1978) has described as the inferiorization process, that is, a systematic stress attack (involving the entire complex of political, legal, educational, economic, religious, military, and mass media institutions controlled by Whites) designed to produce dysfunctional patterns of behavior among Blacks in all areas of life.

Through the inferiorization process, Blacks are conditioned to play the role of functional inferiors. That is, Blacks are socialized to be incapable of solving or helping to produce solutions to problems posed by the environment. However, for Whites, the inferiorization process is designed to facilitate their development as functional superiors. Thus, under the system of White supremacy, Whites are conditioned to solve or help to provide solutions to problems posed by the environment.

There is a great deal of evidence that indicates the adverse impact of the inferiorization process on Black males (Stewart and Scott,1978; McGhee, 1984). For example, 44% of Black males are estimated to be functional illiterates (Kozol, 1985). Much of the responsibility for these high rates may be attributed to the public school system which promotes these students without their having obtained reading and writing skills (Staples, 1982: 3).

Moreover, in some of the nation’s largest cities, high school drop-out rates among Black males are 60 to 70% (Poussaint, 1983: 50). Consequently, as a result of their lack of marketable skills and discriminatory hiring practices, almost half (46 percent) of the 8.8 million working-age Blackmen are unemployed(U.S.NewsandWorldReport,1986).

Black males are also disproportionately represented among persons incarcerated. For example, in 1985, Black males represented 47% of the US prison population. Between 1978 and 1982, Black males were eight times more likely to be in prison than White males (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1985b). As a result of their exposure to institutional racism and the inferiorization process, a substantial number of Black males have opted to re-define manhood in terms of toughness, sexual conquest, and thrill-seeking (Perkins, 1975; Staples, 1982). Reading about the plight of African Americans in America is like oneself looking at the mirror, only to see the same Black(African) face looking back at oneself


Black males’ adherence to the tough guy image is a major factor contributing to the high rates of interpersonal violence among Blacks. Hence, the leading cause of death for Black males 15 to 34 years of age is homicide (Centers for Disease Control, 1985). The tough guy image is also a major factor contributing to the high rates of wife-beating among Blacks. For example, Strauss and his colleagues (1980), found that wife-beating was 400% more common among Black families than White families.Another problem that has emerged from Black males’ adherence to the tough guy image is the fear of Blacks by Blacks (Mahubuti,1978: 233; Oliver, 1984).

In many Black communities throughout the nation, Black people are becoming increasingly polarized as a result of the fear caused by Black males who terrorize the Black community. Their disproportionate involvement in lifestyles revolved around idleness, alcohol and drug abuse, drug trafficking, and other acts of criminality is a major source of this fear.


Black males’ adherence to the player of women image is another major factor precipitating social problems among Blacks. In his classic ethnographic study of Black males residing in a Washington, DC ghetto, Liebow (1967: 142-143) observed that many lower-class Black males see themselves as users of women and are overtly concerned with presenting themselves as exploiters of women and expect other men to do the same.

Hence, attempts to enact the player of women role is a major factor contributing to the fact that 25% of all Black babies are born to teenage mothers, 55% of Black babies are born out of wedlock and nearly 50% of Black families are headed by unmarried females (US Bureau of the Census, 1983; Ebony,1986) Moreover, Black males’ adherence to the player of women image is responsible for the high rates of divorce among Blacks. According to the US Bureau of the Census (1983), in 1982 Blacks had a divorce rate (220 per 100,000) that was two times that of Whites (107 per100,000).

Wilson (1987) has argued that these conditions are primarily products of structural pressures, that is, historical patterns of racial discrimination and social dislocation due to technological transformations in the economy. I acknowledge the power of structural pressures to impose constraints on the lives of uneducated, low-income Blacks. However, I also believe that these problems are products of a cultural context in which the Black community has allowed too many of its males to make the passage from boyhood to manhood by internalizing and acting out definitions of themselves as users of women.

The remaining sections of this article are devoted to describing an alternative model for reducing the occurrence of social problems among Blacks. Although the model is applicable to Black males and females, I have limited discussion of its application to Black males, primarily because I believe that the most critical factor contributing to the high rates of social problems among Blacks is the dysfunctional cultural adaptation of Blacks males to White racism.


In recent years, an increasing number of Black scholars have begun to promote Afrocentricity as an intervention paradigm to facilitate the transformation of Blacks from a state of dependence to a state of independence and self-reliance (Asante, 1980, 1987; Karenga, 1980, 1987, 1988). The Afrocentric cultural ideology is a world view based on the values of classical African civilizations. Advocates of Afrocentricity argue that the high rates of social problems among Blacks are a direct result of the imposition of a Eurocentric world view on African Americans (Asante, 1980; Akbar, 1983; R. Karenga, 1986).

According to Karenga (1988: 407), Eurocentric socialization has had an adverse impact on Blacks, including:(1) the internalization of a EuroAmerican mode of assessing the self, other Blacks, American society, and the world; (2) the loss of historical memory of their African cultural heritage; and (3) self-hatred and depreciation of their people and culture. Thus, the failure of Blacks to develop an Afrocentric cultural ideology and world view has made Blacks vulnerable to structural pressures that promote definitions of Blacks as being innately inferior to Whites, ignorant, lazy, dependent, promiscuous, and violent.

An Afrocentric cultural ideology would encourage Black Americans to transcend cultural crisis and confusion by reclaiming traditional African values that emphasize mankind’s oneness with nature, spirituality, and collectivism. The cultural emphasis of Afrocentricity is in contrast to the Eurocentric world view which encourages controlling nature, materialism, and individualism (Mbiti, 1969).

The Afrocentric world view is not anti-White. Rather, its primary objective is to facilitate a critical reconstruction that dares to restore missing and hidden parts of our [Black peoples’] self-formation and pose the African experience as a significant paradigm for human liberation and a higher level of human life. (Karenga, 1988: 404). It is as if one is reading about the interpretation and articulation of Black Consciousness by Steven Bantu Biko.

In addition to the collective oriented values that formed the foundation of classical African civilizations, the resurrection of the African world view in America must also incorporate definitions and meanings that reflect the historical and contemporary experiences of African Americans in an alien context. Hence, there are two specific American definitional realities that must be incorporated in an African world view resurrected out of the American experience of displaced Africans.


The Afrocentric cultural ideology must acknowledge the omnipresence of White racism throughout American society and the adverse impact it has had on the psychological, cultural, political, and economic development of Black people. Incorporating these facts in a collective Afrocentric cultural ideology will facilitate among Blacks a world view that offers a realistic interpretation of African Americans in terms of their unique cultural heritage and role in American society.


The Afrocentric cultural ideology must recognize that terms such as colored, Negro, and Black do not define the essence or depth of Black/Black American history, cultural heritage, or identity. Hence, it is critical that Black Americans re-define themselves as African Americans.

Every racial and ethnic subgroup in America, except for Blacks, describes themselves in terms of the lands of their origin. By redefining themselves as African-Americans, Blacks can begin to repair the psychic damage that has been inflicted upon them as a result of their exposure to Eurocentric values. Moreover, by re-defining themselves as African Americans, Blacks will initiate the development of a cultural context in which Black youth will be guided toward identification with the Blacks of the classical African civilizations of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Nubia.

It is critically important that Black/African children know that there is a great deal of archaeological, anthropological, and historical evidence that indicates that their native-born African ancestors were the first human beings to populate the earth, domesticate animals, engage in agriculture, develop a system of writing, establish universities, and practice monotheistic religion (James, 1954; Davidson, 1959; Jackson, 1970; Ben-Jochannan, 1970; Diop, 1974; Williams, 1974; Van Sertima, 1983, 1984). In order to incorporate the African world view in the lives of African Americans, African American adults must begin to engage in Afrocentric socialization.

This might be an article about the Lives of Africans in America, it might as well have been or is still a story of the Africans in South Africa today... Many lessons can be gleaned from the article above, and South Africans should at this point begin to look at and understand that their situation is not unique, and if attention is not paid to the issues discussed above, they will(and are already) adversely affecting and effect in the African society and making it dysfunctional in the process.

By looking at and closely studying the African American Experience in America, Africans in South Africa will readily see themselves in the same boat as African Americans. This is important since we just discussed Black Consciousness espoused and expounded upon by Biko from the African South African's collective Conscious experience. More or less the same issue exist in both peoples experiences with Imperialism, Capitalism and it concomitants as dictated and disseminated by Americanism, in America, South Africa and the Third World settled by Africans and other people of color.


Erudite African Mass Potential Leadership

There is a pervasive sense of foreboding and impending doom among Africans who let themselves look reality "dead in the face". In the face of the tremendous deterioration of their quality of life — mounting unemployment, increasing poverty, crime, moral degradation; devastating miseducation and the even more devastating lack of education; overwhelming drug addiction and insensate violence, homicide, terror, prostitution, disease and corruption. In the face of children having children, social incivility, a youth culture whose raucous music speaks of nihilism, rape, robbery and murder.

The degradation and venal hatred of Black(African) women, of everything Black(African); in the face of unfulfilled longings for the satisfaction of basic needs in the midst of the "affluent" — the need for food, for physical safety and security, for belonging, love, acceptance, higher self-esteem. knowledge and understanding, freedom and autonomy, achievement, creativity and self-realization; in the face of all these unfulfilled dreams and wishes, the African community in ever-rising crescendos emits a heart-rending cry for new leadership.

Even the old leaders are calling for new leadership. The persistent call for leadership in the Black(African) community is a call for help, a call for a set of leading persons, organizations and ideas that can provide the community with a sense of unity, definition, direction, power, with a developmental plan and the wherewithal to realize its abundant human potential.

The most persistent complaints the community makes concerning it current leadership are that they have either been co-opted by the past apartheid White ruling regime; are outdated in terms of values, goals and techniques; are not truly and deeply committed to the welfare of the people; are self-centered, self serving, egocentric, 'corrupt', out of touch with the current and future realities; timid and cannot recognize the needs of the people or articulate those needs in ways which move the people toward their satisfaction; are intellectually inept and are not effectively educating the masses and inspiring them to realize the enormous power which lies dormant within themselves; are co-opted and put into strategic position by the ANC government even if they had been rejected by the communities and the African voting polity.

I won't debate or critically go into nor evaluate these complaints. I believe that even if the contemporary Black(African) leadership accurately gauged and articulated the needs of African people and their communities, this would not necessarily empower the masses. The generation of social power requires appropriate 'organization,' 'tactics' and 'strategies' — and a unifying vision or sense of mission. It requires a guiding set of ideas or an ideology whose attempted realization defines the social attitudes, relations and institutions which together can empower a people.

A people are empowered or disempowered by the guiding ideologies of their leaders to whom they pledge allegiance. Though leaders recognize the needs of their followers and are at one with them in terms of their own needs, their choice of inappropriate social-political ideologies and goals may bring both themselves and their followers to despair. This is the kind of poor, weak and tired leadership that the poor masses have to deal with.

This then means that as we're evolving in our understanding of this decrepit situation, we need to shine a brighter light on the problems that have been listed above and find out why is it so. It is here in this article I turn to Sankara for a much more sober and focused laser-like analysis to our these problem and what he has to say about it that will make our lack of understanding of these issues much more clearer, and poor people can mull on them and think them through much more clearly in a speech he gave on March 26, 1983....

Sankara runs the revolutionary rap thus:

"Who are these enemies of the people?
They are to be found here at home and abroad. At this very moment they are trembling, but you must expose them. You must drive them back into their holes. The enemies of the people are here inside the country are all those who have illicitly taken advantage of their social position and their place in the bureaucracy to enrich themselves. By means of bribery,maneuvers, and forged documents they have become shareholders in different companies. They are now involved in financing business and obtaining approval for this or that enterprise — in the guise of helping Upper Volta. These are the enemies of the people. They must be exposed. This section of the bourgeoisie must be fought against, and we will fight against it.

"Who are the enemies of the people? They are the men in politics who travel through the countryside exclusively at election time. These politicians are convinced that only they can make our country work. These enemies of the people must be exposed and combated. We will combat them with you. The enemies of are likewise those who keep us in ignorance. Under the over of spiritual guidance and tradition, they exploit the people instead of serving their real spiritual needs and their real social interests. They must be fought against and we will fight them.

"The enemies of the people are also beyond our borders. Their base is among unpatriotic people here in our midst at every level of our society — civilian and military men, men and women, old and young, in town and country alike. These enemies from abroad — neocolonialism — are among us. From its base among these stateless men, those who have rejected their homeland,who have, in fact rejected their own people(the people Of Upper Volta [Mzantsi]? This enemy abroad is organizing a series of attacks. First will come the none-violent and the violent stage. At this stage we are living through the non-violent stage [in the case of present-day South Africa, violence has become the norm]. This is the enemy abroad — imperialism, neocolonialism — is attempting to sow confusion in the minds of the Voltaic people. According to their newspapers,radios,and television, Upper Volta is all fire and blood.

"You see, imperialism is wrong. But Imperialism is a bad student. Even though its been defeated,though it's been sent out of the classroom, it come back again. It's a bad student. Imperialism never draws lessons from its failures. Its down in South Africa cutting African throats — just because Africans there are thinking about freedom, as you are today

"Imperialism is everywhere, making us think like it, submit to it, and go along with its maneuvers by spreading it culture [cultural Imperialism], far and wide with the he;p of misinformation. We must bar the road to this imperialism. As I said,it will proceed to a violent stage. It is imperialism that landed troops in certain countries we know. Imperialism armed those who are killing our brothers in South Africa. Imperialism again is the assassin of the Lumumbas, Cabrals, Kwame Nkumahs, Machels..." Need I say more."

All I can add at this point is that practical application is needed, after writing such a pieces about ideas of 'Leadership' and What its made of and is doing at present, will be added on. The readers can make up their own mind about they have read here-the fact this remans an ongoing research project from which we will be posting ideas that are practical and helpful for Africans of South Africa. The piece above gives and intelligent view of the mass mind in a simple form, the second part are the ideas of Sankara reinforcing the call for action, practice and tactics.

The next post will put all these in a digestible context for all to use. We need to talk about these issue of leadership so as to sharpen our Critique and Anti-Critique of it... Is strange how power, society and leadership are still an on going conversation in the African communities on the Continent and in the Diaspora, and Sankara, in 1983, captured its essence and was evolving ideas how to really deal with it. What we can do as South Africans with this material is to make sure we read it, and pass it on to as many people as people.

An updated and educated masses is the most feared weapon by imperialism. The task of Africans in South Africa today is to see to it that they educate and inform the masses. This is the leader we should be looking forward and toward in the future tactics, strategies and social engineering using, implanting and embedding new formations, attitudes and ways of doing for the poor like has never been done before… I will be adding to this topic at length in the near future....

Oppression of African Americans in America-A Case In Point

Same Old, Same Old-The Same Oppression - Mzantsi or America-Same

Race Matters: Black(African) Youth Left Behind in the US and in Africa (and the so called Third word) Technological Society - Reforming Africans' Contemporary History and the African World View

Demographers predict that nonwhite youth (80 percent of whom will be Black(African) will constitute 20 percent of the youth population under the age 17 by the year 2000 and 23 percent by 2020 [Ozawa]. Similarly, 16 percent of the labor force in the 16-24-year-old age group will be nonwhite by 2020. In fact, in the labor force between 1985 and 2020 will come primarily from nonwhites, immigrants, and women with native nonwhite males constituting 10 percent of the labor force in 2020. Moreover, an increasing proportion of these nonwhite workers,p particularly Blacks(Africans) and Hispanic, will be recruited from disadvantaged backgrounds from which they have experienced poverty, school failure, and minimal work experience (US Dept. of Labor).

At the same time, the economy is moving from an industrial/manufacturing-based economy to a service/technology-based economy, which 90 percent of the newer jobs will be found in those latter occupations by 2020 (Marshall) Since many of the Black(African) youth will not have adequate education or work skills to compete for high-tech jobs, they will not be employable. Since they will be unable to earn income, they will also be unable to contribute to the economy and to support the social security program, which will be expanding as the proportion of elderly retired people increases rapidly during this same period.

Thus, Black(African) youth will not only be locked out of an increasingly technological labor market, but will also create a major drain on an economy with a shrinking population base to support ever-expanding social insurance and social welfare programs for the elderly. Just thought one should make note of what is happening in the diaspora on many fronts, especially as it affects and effects people of African descent-particularly, the Youth.

The same complains of the South African Middle Class are the same all over the world, and this article below makes my point that there are various and different types of warfare that are taking place in different communities throughout South Africa. This is a story, in the article below, about a community of different ethnic groups that are facing the problems that are part of life in places like Soweto and the other African Townships. The notion of the town of Mayfair being middle class, is a carry-over from Apartheid, and now under the ANC they are being gentrified. This is what Ferial Haffajee has to say about this issue:

Tjatjarag: The middle class is not second class

This is probably the toughest column I’ve written because it runs counter to my founding ideology of working class hegemony and supremacy.

I come from a home where a trade union, then the Garment Workers’ Union, filled many gaps. It gave me a student bursary and gave my dad medical care — a union filled the gaps for caring in an apartheid state.

As an adult South African, I understand today’s gaps — they are mapped on to our landscape and the areas of need run deep. We write about them almost every week in City Press.

Meeting the needs of a rural and urban underclass must be the priority of any democratic government. How can it be otherwise? But, of late, I am finding a different citizen’s voice. It clamors: “What about me?” My pay slip has a huge chunk cut out of it. It’s called the “Pravin gap” — named after Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan – it’s my tax dollar.

Until now, I haven’t minded the gap. Every month I give Gordhan what amounts to a welfare payment. If you’re like me, you pay for your own health, education, security and pension — all of which should ideally be funded by the state through taxes.

I’m happy to pay for a stable and largely peaceful country.

Stuff works, as my colleague Mondli Makhanya says when people whinge too much.

But now I want it to work better for me as a middle class person. That’s the scary part.

Until now, I’ve felt for political reasons and the commitment to social solidarity that us middle class people — with our smart cars, nice houses, medical aid and all our stuff — must just put up and shut up.

Or maybe that’s the message you get from the state. My mum lives in Mayfair, which is wonderful with its mix of new immigrant Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Somali communities.

But it’s a mess — too many people, terrible services and a councillor who lives elsewhere. The entire area I grew up in looks like a Pikitup tip.

When a group of us from our community visited the Jo'burg council offices, an arrogant young planner said it would not be “gentrified”. All we wanted was for it to be cleaned up and made safe.

But for him (and, I guess, his comrades in office) providing efficient service levels is equated with gentrification, middle class problems that count for nought.

This attitude is apparent across Jo'burg, where the city and its surrounds that create the largest chunk of our gross domestic product suffer from intolerable neglect.

How did it happen that almost no traffic lights work and we don’t complain? We treat intersections like four-way stops as if we are in downtown Baghdad or Juba in South Sudan.

We pay the people in charge of traffic lights salaries of more than R2 million a year and expect no service. And what about the potholes? We scoot around them and when they’re too big to miss, we burst our tires and buy another set.

Storm water drains create havoc because they have suffered a decade of neglect.

What a tolerant bunch we are. That’s why the state thinks it can pile it on. The defiance campaign against e-tolls is a sign of a middle class that’s tired of being squeezed dry by a rapacious state.

On holiday in December, I noticed a tourism levy added to my hotel account (another tax), on top of the big fuel levy I pay to fill my car, on top of the VAT I pay on every purchase I make.

And there’s more to come when the national health insurance kicks in.

Only about five million South Africans pay tax and a relatively small proportion of those pay the lion’s share. You can squeeze a relatively small middle class only so much before it squeals and expects something in return. I’m going to start squealing.

I want decent municipal services, good roads, efficient call centers, hospitals that don’t carry health warnings and more excellent public schools. I’d love to know if you think this is a want too far. Or do you agree?"

Well, I do not know if I agree for the sake of Mayfair or not, or whether I care for their suffering class, but one thing remains the same, so long as they think(In Mayfield still think of themselves in terms terms of the Mayfair of White privilege and opportunity), the places we used to call the "Kitchens" because our mothers from the Townships were 'servants' there and had to sleep there, except on Thursday(Sheila's day-because the Zulu pronunciation spake it so), it is not as drastic as what we face in the Township of Soweto.

If those in the Cape Town Suburb alluded to above are having it good, it is because the denizens of that enclave are mostly White, as the author also pointed out that in the outlying areas of the suburbs, the people are suffering, but better, because the informer said better in those hovels of Cape Town than those in Johannesburg. Well, well said, and it is precisely this point that some see and find to be the case, not only in South Africa, but also around the World.

Below are some of the responses to the article above which enable us to have a much more in-depth peek into the lives of other South Africans and what is they have to say.

South African Speak:

-Donn Edwards:

"Thanks for a well considered piece. Add to that your brilliant cartoon in today's paper, and I couldn't agree more.

"What makes all the taxes even more unbearable is not only that we are expected to 'shut up and pay', but when the taxes are squandered on bad tenders, corrupt politicians and conspicuous consumption by out-of-touch and lazy civil 'servants', we are still told to shut up.Since when was it OK for those in power to plunder money from the poor? It was one of the biggest evils of Apartheid, and it still continues today. *Thank you* City Press for exposing the plunder where you can. You are not only serving the middle class by doing so, but giving a voice to the voiceless, including those too poor to buy your paper.


"The numbers are scary. About 2 million tax payers pay 85% of personal income tax collected, or thereabouts.
The NHI is totally unaffordable. Britain's NHS is the model.
The Brits spend 2 thousand pounds per head of population on the NHS. That is R34,000 per head,
We have 55 million people
55 million times R34,000 is R1.8 trillion. Per year.
Total tax currently collected is around R1 trillion.
The NHI is a cornerstone of ANC manifesto.
No wonder Pravin is quitting!"


"Spend some time in the Western Cape - the upper and middle class suburbs, to be more specific — and you will see that traffic lights are fixed within a few hours; potholes are practically non-existent; faulty water pipes and electrical connections and other municipal problems can be logged via polite, efficient call centers or SMS lines, and are dealt with the prompt efficiency that we all deserve; that city and metro police are present and generally reliable; the functioning CBD streets are cleaned daily and are generally a joy to walk along; major events and functions run with clockwork efficiency and with amazing spirit; and a public transport system that still has some way to go, but is logical, reliable, and alarmingly advanced and well managed.

And when this isn't the case, many ward councillors and local politicians are present and accessible, and though often arrogant, unforgiving and hard-lined, the sense of accountability and respect for the public's interest is there.

"The conflict, of course, is that this is not the case throughout the Western Cape - a visit outside of the upper and middle class suburbs will quickly reveal this. And so in many liberal circles — whether the members of the circles are enjoying these benefits of a functioning local government or not — to celebrate these successes of the local government is tantamount to celebrating a divided and imbalanced society. In a country successfully polarized by immature and inexperienced politicians motivated primarily by self-gain, celebrating the successes of an opposition-run province is still a very difficult and conflicting thing to do."

-marco polo:

"Well said indeed.
The problem you articulate is one felt around the world at various times and places
It is called "taxation without representation."
Who represents the middle class in a list-determined parliamentary democracy?
Our founding fathers (mostly fathers) fixed the system to guarantee their perks going forward. They do not represent you.
Once on top of the dung heap they are there for life, if not in parliament or the top level of the state, then through cushy deployments to places like Kuala Lumpur or Hamburg
The most recent twist of the Pravin knife ensures that the top will keep its privileges in spite or, or because of Treasury rules
As in all catastrophes there is no single cause for the disaster — it takes a number of near simultaneous acts to bring such about
Proportional representation and then AA: BEE; LRA; BCES; ESTA. Eish. All so well intentioned.
They do not represent me either
The Greeks had a word for this: "metic" — someone with limited rights. Welcome, sister."


'Hear, Hear!
I increasingly wonder why I pay tax. Especially when I see some fat cat politician spending R1.5m on a car. My hard earned tax is squandered by the few while the country becomes poorer.

The only way to remedy this is to vote with our heads not with our hearts. Vote for service delivery. For a party that does not ignore its electorate. Vote for those we can trust.

If we want decent services, roads, hospitals give the ANC a wake-up call. Vote anyone but Zuma."


"You know, i think that's why i'm not broken up that my plan to live in jo'burg hasn't worked out. i like that even my downmarket working class suburb has largely functional services down here. [if you don't pay your rates, the city will cut you off. quickly. in return, you do get largely functional services, even in most of the informal settlements -- i'm not a fan of Helen Zille because of her general tone towards people, but i've been in informal settlements in cape town and informal settlements in jo'burg and port Elizabeth.... and i'll take cape town's any day.]

Would you suggest a middle-class tax revolt [to the extent that this is possible] until you get these things you want?

While you'd still have to pay for water, for example, you could get a *good* solar power system for your house, for example. [a *good* solar power system, still works at night, due to the battery storage]."

I'm sure there are other various ways to starve the city until they finally have to listen."

-Halvor Rosholt:

"Ferial - the concept of citizen activist/anarchist was knocked out of us long ago by the Nat government, and has never recovered, which suits the current rapacious bums just fine. We're all, or most of us, comfortably passive citizens, consumers, voters, you name it. Nothing will change, I fear, until, to quote that wonderful line from Peter Finch in "Network" (1976), we're ALL prepared to stand up and tell them, regularly and strongly that, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take it anymore!". We all need to raise our voices, and DO something, other than moan. The e-toll protests MAY be a start, but we HAVE to support OUTA, and not stand back and expect everyone else to do so instead. And lots of other important initiatives too......."

-Quentin Du Plooy:

"Absolutely, Jo'burg is a wall to wall mess. From Mayfair to Malvern to Melville to Craighallbladdypark and Alexandria. Roads are cracked and potholed drains are blocked and water meters leak water across pavements. The streets are littered, parks and public libraries are dilapidated, maintenance is non existent. City departments perform erratically and randomly without any sense of planning, a casual drive across the city reveals this.
Democracy is visible only in that the entire city is equally neglected."


"The middle class is shrinking and decreasing and the burden of credit [both personal and that of government / public] have become a very large load on the shoulders and knees of the working slave, so called workers and professionals.

The credit which were made by both the private citizen and government, in the name of the voter, need to be repaid by the working middle class which is suffering to survive and barely progress in a social economics sense in the land of milk and honey.

Now it is evident that inflation is greater than annual salary increase and that the economical decrease is greater than the growth generated by the working and professional classes in the country during the last 6 years or so.

The solution lies in the possibility to either jump towards the political elite who have both their hands on all the money of the taxpayer or slide into the gutter of the ever increasing working class which fail to survive the financial and economical burdens in South Africa.

A very interesting reflection and demonstration of a failed adult generation is shown on Al Jazeera and recorded in 2013 called "Up 28 South Africa".
I wonder if it is the people who have failed, or whether it is the socio-political structures and environment, which are designed in such a manner, to result in full failure of the people, and on a medium term, the collapse of the political system.

It is therefore not strange, that utilitarianism is preached by young competitive political parties, to the current one-party state. (Red Barets....)
In the medium term say 15 - 35 years, South Africa will remain where it is, and just look around, that is the best that this country will perform and do for the next 40 years or so.

Either adapt the system, to serve the people, or have this card house, which is built on quicksand, to fully collapse.
In Africa there are many current and historical examples.

Open your eyes and look around!

At least we still have Eskom, Telkom, Bafana and Home Affairs / Dept. of Health on the one side and on the other side sunshine, beer, rugby, braai and Chevrolet.
The answer is blowing in the wind!"

-Shabnam Palesa Mohamed:

"Evolutionary Peace.

I was sharing an impassioned response only for the browser close. [I've also had my Facebook accounts and our organizational pages hacked, so be vigilant comrades, the NSA has many friendly accomplices.]

In summary of eternal Truth. The Power of the People is Stronger Than The People In Power. And any silence to any injustice equals consent, and betrayal. We cannot say and do things that insult our souls.

Which is why I have a special hatred for toxic, divisive, and manipulative racism exhibited by Mazibuye, Imbumbo, Malema; and the tender lender bastards that live off our blood, sweat and tears taxes or not. I say we challenge them to a public debate.

Read this Civil War profits filth [while you let it sink in why Zuma has a BOMB BUNKER. The bombs and drones are in our country, look around Africa and our bleeding World!.


-Ubuntu be Afrika:

"...We law abiding citizens are tired of being drained dry with little or no more cash to further improve our lives. For now, I will still commit to being tax compliant BUT I refuse to pay for e-tolls and have no intention to ever popping out any cent for this 'tax' system. Frankly, our fuel levy can pay off whatever debt created by SANRAL/ANC government, but next time they dare not decide on our behalf without allowing us to be part of the decision-making process / conversations. Amandla ngawethu[Power Is Ours] - This government is for the people and not solely for individual politicians and their families..."

Why I posted the article above and its responses, the article is by one author and the responses provide an added perspective that the article might omit or miss. I think also, I am trying to point out that the problems of Mayfair, are no different from those in the Soweto's of South Africa. The responses speak for themselves and give the reader an added or whatever perspective. At the same time, it should be noted that the problems of the poor in south Africa are similar to those poorAfricans in European, America, Canada and South America/Caribbean.

But, what is lacking, are informants from the Townships and their own particular experiences. I think that if the author of the article above were to get to know better issues faced by those poor people in the Townships, her existence would seem like a cake-walk. The author will realize that we are all being played, and there is no one better poor than the next poor wretch in Mzantsi

Africans Under Siege-The Importance Of An African-centered Approach

Most Americans are aware of the high rates of social problems among Black Americans. For example, Blacks are disproportionately represented among Americans experiencing academic failure, teenage pregnancy, female-headed families, chronic unemployment, poverty, alcoholism, drug addiction, and criminal victimization (Poussaint, 1983; US News and World Report,1986). Consequently, there is a great deal of debate among politicians, journalists, academics, and ordinary citizens concerning the etiology of these problems.

Those who attempt to explain the prevalence of these conditions among Blacks tend to argue one of three positions: genetic inferiority, culture of poverty, or racial oppression. Advocates of the genetic inferiority perspective argue that the high rates of social problems among Blacks is a product or expression of Black peoples’ innate inferiority to Caucasians and other racial groups. Moreover, advocates of this perspective argue that Blacks possess genetic traits and characteristics that predispose them to engage in problematic behavior at higher rates than White (Garrett, 1961; Jensen, 1973).

A major problem with genetic inferiority theories is that advocates of this perspective tend to differentially apply it in explaining the causes of social problems among various racial and ethnic groups. For example, White Americans have higher rates of academic failure, teenage pregnancy, female-headed families, drug addiction, and criminal involvement than do Europeans (Archer and Gartner, 1983; Time Magazine, 1985). However, the rate differences between White Americans and Europeans are almost always explained in terms of differences in environmental and cultural conditions.

The genetic inferiority perspective is also criticized for failing to provide evidence of a specific genetic trait that causes crime or any other major social problem (Montagu, 1941). For example, the genetic inferiority of Blacks is often based on the results of culturally biased intelligence tests (Clark, 1975; Hilliard, 1981). Advocates of the genetic inferiority perspective also tend to disregard the role of systematic racial discrimination in generating social problems among Blacks.

The culture of poverty perspective is another body of assumptions designed and often used to explain the etiology of social problems among Blacks. Advocates of this perspective argue that poverty, social disorganization (i.e., the breakdown of basic community institutions, including the family, church, and school), and inadequate socialization of children are the primary causes of the high rates of social problems among Blacks (Banfield, 1970; Moynihan, 1965). Moreover, advocates of this perspective have suggested that lower-class Blacks adhere to a distinctive set of cultural values and traditions that lead to or directly condone involvement in problematic behavior (Miller, 1958; Banfield, 1970).

A major criticism of the culture of poverty perspective as an explanation of the high rates of social problems among Blacks is that this perspective fails to explain why only a small percentage of Blacks who experience poverty and exposure to community social disorganization engage in behavioral patterns that suggest the internalization of values and norms in conflict with mainstream values and norms (Hill, 1972).

The third and probably the most popular explanation of social problems among Blacks is the racial oppression theory. Advocates of this perspective argue that the majority of Blacks, like the majority of other Americans, support mainstream values and goals (Cloward and Ohlin, 1960). However, historical patterns of political disenfranchisement and systematic deprivation of equal access to educational and employment opportunities have induced a disproportionate number of Blacks to engage in illegitimate means (e.g., robbery, drug dealing, and prostitution) to attain mainstream values and goals (Cloward and Ohlin, 1960).

In a more recent formulation of the racial oppression theory Wilson (1987) argues that historical patterns of racial discrimination and the technological transformation of the economy have produced disproportionately high rates of joblessness, female-headed families, poverty, drug abuse, and crime among Blacks. A major criticism of racial oppression theories is that they tend to over predict the number of Blacks who are likely to become involved in problematic behavior.

For example, all Blacks are directly or indirectly affected by American racism [just like in South Africa]; however, only a minority actively participate in activities that cause social problems. Given the inadequacies of the genetic inferiority, culture of poverty, and racial oppression perspectives of Blacks and social problems,I would like to offer an alternative theoretical perspective based on the interrelationship between structural pressures and cultural adaptations.

The most fundamental assumption of the structural-cultural perspective is that the high rate of social problems among Blacks is the result of structural pressures and dysfunctional cultural adaptations to those pressures. The term structural pressures is used to refer to patterns of American political, economic, social, and cultural organization designed to perpetuate White superiority and Black inferiority. Thus, I argue that White racism and various patterns of racial discrimination are the predominant environmental pressures adversely impacting on the survival and progress of Black people.

Another major assumption of the structural-cultural perspective is that Blacks have failed to adequately respond to White racism. The term dysfunctional cultural adaptation refers to specific styles of group adjustment that Blacks have adopted in response to structurally induced social pressures. The piece below by John Perkings gives us just a glimpse as to how and by whom are these structural pressures created in the world by American Imperialism.


It is strange how some people try very hard on FB to make you notice that they are following, stalking you and hiding in plain sight. Well, Those in power who think that it is permanent, sometimes expose themselves believing that those who are weaker than them will never hurt them nor touch them with a reach of a toothpick. Well, maybe the government people in South Africa are the Untouchables. For now, the ball is in their courts. But there will come a day when the shit will hit the fan, when power disappears like the mist does when the sun comes out.

I still recall the Poem of Solomon Mahlangu of which its gist was that he was looking at his murderous, but was able to tell them of the futility of their torture and destroying him because they will eventually lose lower and that whatever they are doing will be for naught. Why is this pice important that I write? Well, as a media Blogger and a person who is a communication and everything Geek, I notice stalkers and trolls on my Wall, and they never say anything nor post a comment. Well, it is good for them that they do this, but in time they might find it not so advisable, but by then it will be too late. For now, those in government wield power that they have lackeys do the dirty work for them.

But those of us who are trolled and stalked by government and other cabals in government with interest of lining their pockets with handsome pay, well, with the masses crying and groaning and straining under the yoke of poverty and terror and abuse, they get used to it, and they soon, in turn, turn to be just like their detractors.

These hireling and quisling for pieces of silver live their lives searching constantly for enemies amongst their sheeples, underlings, lackeys and and cabals(who do the vulture work). This reality is captured in a way only he could stay it-John Perkings-in the excerpt below gives us the extant of this operation which is much like how the cover intrigue works in Mzantsi:

AMY GOODMAN: John Perkins joins us now in our firehouse studio. Welcome to Democracy Now!

JOHN PERKINS: Thank you, Amy. It’s great to be here.

AMY GOODMAN: It’s good to have you with us. Okay, explain this term, "Economic Hit Man," e.h.m., as you call it.

JOHN PERKINS: Basically what we were trained to do and what our job is to do is to build up the American empire. To bring — to create situations where as many resources as possible flow into this country, to our corporations, and our government, and in fact we’ve been very successful. We’ve built the largest empire in the history of the world. It’s been done over the last 50 years since World War II with very little military might, actually. It’s only in rare instances like Iraq where the military comes in as a last resort. This empire, unlike any other in the history of the world, has been built primarily through economic manipulation, through cheating, through fraud, through seducing people into our way of life, through the economic hit men. I was very much a part of that.

AMY GOODMAN: How did you become one? Who did you work for?

JOHN PERKINS: Well, I was initially recruited while I was in business school back in the late sixties by the National Security Agency, the nation’s largest and least understood spy organization; but ultimately I worked for private corporations. The first real economic hit man was back in the early 1950s, Kermit Roosevelt, the grandson of Teddy, who overthrew of government of Iran, a democratically elected government,

Mossadegh’s government who was Times magazine person of the year; and he was so successful at doing this without any bloodshed — well, there was a little bloodshed, but no military intervention, just spending millions of dollars and replaced Mossadegh with the Shah of Iran. At that point, we understood that this idea of economic hit man was an extremely good one. We didn’t have to worry about the threat of war with Russia when we did it this way.

The problem with that was that Roosevelt was a CIA agent. He was a government employee. Had he been caught, we would have been in a lot of trouble. It would have been very embarrassing. So, at that point, the decision was made to use organizations like the CIA and the NSA to recruit potential economic hit men like me and then send us to work for private consulting companies, engineering firms, construction companies, so that if we were caught, there would be no connection with the government.

AMY GOODMAN: Okay. Explain the company you worked for.

JOHN PERKINS: Well, the company I worked for was a company named Chas. T. Main in Boston, Massachusetts. We were about 2,000 employees, and I became its chief economist. I ended up having fifty people working for me. But my real job was deal-making. It was giving loans to other countries, huge loans, much bigger than they could possibly repay. One of the conditions of the loan — let’s say a $1 billion to a country like Indonesia or Ecuador — and this country would then have to give ninety percent of that loan back to a US company, or US companies, to build the infrastructure — a Halliburton or a Bechtel. These were big ones.

Those companies would then go in and build an electrical system or ports or highways, and these would basically serve just a few of the very wealthiest families in those countries. The poor people in those countries would be stuck ultimately with this amazing debt that they couldn’t possibly repay. A country today like Ecuador owes over fifty percent of its national budget just to pay down its debt. And in really can’t do it.

So, we literally have them over a barrel. So, when we want more oil, we go to Ecuador and say, "Look, you’re not able to repay your debts, therefore give our oil companies your Amazon rain forest, which are filled with oil." And today we’re going in and destroying Amazonian rain forests, forcing Ecuador to give them to us because they’ve accumulated all this debt. So we make this big loan, most of it comes back to the United States, the country is left with the debt plus lots of interest, and they basically become our servants, our slaves. It’s an empire. There’s no two ways about it. It’s a huge empire. It’s been extremely successful.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. You say because of bribes and other reason you didn’t write this book for a long time. What do you mean? Who tried to bribe you, or who — what are the bribes you accepted?

JOHN PERKINS: Well, I accepted a half a million dollar bribe in the nineties not to write the book.


JOHN PERKINS: From a major construction engineering company.

AMY GOODMAN: Which one?

JOHN PERKINS: Legally speaking, it wasn’t — Stoner-Webster. Legally speaking it wasn’t a bribe, it was — I was being paid as a consultant. This is all very legal. But I essentially did nothing. It was a very understood, as I explained in Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, that it was — I was — it was understood when I accepted this money as a consultant to them I wouldn’t have to do much work, but I mustn’t write any books about the subject, which they were aware that I was in the process of writing this book, which at the time I called "Conscience of an Economic Hit Man." And I have to tell you, Amy, that, you know, it’s an extraordinary story from the standpoint of —- It’s almost James Bondish, truly, and I mean-

AMY GOODMAN: Well that’s certainly how the book reads.

JOHN PERKINS: Yeah, and it was, you know? And when the National Security Agency recruited me, they put me through a day of lie detector tests. They found out all my weaknesses and immediately seduced me. They used the strongest drugs in our culture, sex, power and money, to win me over. I come from a very old New England family, Calvinist, steeped in amazingly strong moral values. I think I, you know, I’m a good person overall, and I think my story really shows how this system and these powerful drugs of sex, money and power can seduce people, because I certainly was seduced.

And if I hadn’t lived this life as an economic hit man, I think I’d have a hard time believing that anybody does these things. And that’s why I wrote the book, because our country really needs to understand, if people in this nation understood what our foreign policy is really about, what foreign aid is about, how our corporations work, where our tax money goes, I know we will demand change.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to John Perkins. In your book, you talk about how you helped to implement a secret scheme that funneled billions of dollars of Saudi Arabian petrol dollars back into the US economy, and that further cemented the intimate relationship between the House of Saud and successive US administrations. Explain.

JOHN PERKINS: Yes, it was a fascinating time. I remember well, you’re probably too young to remember, but I remember well in the early seventies how OPEC exercised this power it had, and cut back on oil supplies. We had cars lined up at gas stations. The country was afraid that it was facing another 1929-type of crash — depression; and this was unacceptable. So, they —— the Treasury Department hired me and a few other economic hit men. We went to Saudi Arabia. We-—

AMY GOODMAN: You’re actually called economic hit men —e.h.m.’s?

JOHN PERKINS: Yeah, it was a tongue-in-cheek term that we called ourselves. Officially, I was a chief economist. We called ourselves e.h.m.'s. It was tongue-in-cheek. It was like, nobody will believe us if we say this, you know? And, so, we went to Saudi Arabia in the early seventies. We knew Saudi Arabia was the key to dropping our dependency, or to controlling the situation. And we worked out this deal whereby the Royal House of Saud agreed to send most of their petrodollars back to the United States and invest them in US government securities.

The Treasury Department would use the interest from these securities to hire US companies to build Saudi Arabia — new cities, new infrastructure — which we've done. And the House of Saud would agree to maintain the price of oil within acceptable limits to us, which they’ve done all of these years, and we would agree to keep the House of Saud in power as long as they did this, which we’ve done, which is one of the reasons we went to war with Iraq in the first place. And in Iraq we tried to implement the same policy that was so successful in Saudi Arabia, but Saddam Hussein didn’t buy.

"When the economic hit men fail in this scenario, the next step is what we call the jackals. Jackals are CIA-sanctioned people that come in and try to foment a coup or revolution. If that doesn’t work, they perform assassinations. Or try to. In the case of Iraq, they weren’t able to get through to Saddam Hussein. He had — His bodyguards were too good. He had doubles. They couldn’t get through to him. So the third line of defense, if the economic hit men and the jackals fail, the next line of defense is our young men and women, who are sent in to die and kill, which is what we’ve obviously done in Iraq.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain how Torrijos died?

JOHN PERKINS: "Omar Torrijos, the President of Panama. Omar Torrijos had signed the Canal Treaty with Carter much — and, you know, it passed our congress by only one vote. It was a highly contended issue. And Torrijos then also went ahead and negotiated with the Japanese to build a sea-level canal. The Japanese wanted to finance and construct a sea-level canal in Panama. Torrijos talked to them about this which very much upset Bechtel Corporation, whose president was George Schultz and senior council was Casper Weinberger.

"When Carter was thrown out (and that’s an interesting story) — how that actually happened), when he lost the election, and Reagan came in and Schultz came in as Secretary of State from Bechtel, and Weinberger came from Bechtel to be Secretary of Defense, they were extremely angry at Torrijos — tried to get him to renegotiate the Canal Treaty and not to talk to the Japanese. He adamantly refused. He was a very principled man. He had his problem, but he was a very principled man.

"He was an amazing man, Torrijos. And so, he died in a fiery airplane crash, which was connected to a tape recorder with explosives in it, which — I was there. I had been working with him. I knew that we economic hit men had failed. I knew the jackals were closing in on him, and the next thing, his plane exploded with a tape recorder with a bomb in it. There’s no question in my mind that it was CIA sanctioned, and most — many Latin American investigators have come to the same conclusion. Of course, we never heard about that in our country.

AMY GOODMAN: So, where — when did your change your heart happen?

JOHN PERKINS: I felt guilty throughout the whole time, but I was seduced. The power of these drugs, sex, power, and money, was extremely strong for me. And, of course, I was doing things I was being patted on the back for. I was chief economist. I was doing things that Robert McNamara liked and so on.

AMY GOODMAN: How closely did you work with the World Bank?

JOHN PERKINS: Very, very closely with the World Bank. The World Bank provides most of the money that’s used by economic hit men, it and the IMF But when 9/11 struck, I had a change of heart. I knew the story had to be told because what happened at 9/11 is a direct result of what the economic hit men are doing. And the only way that we’re going to feel secure in this country again and that we’re going to feel good about ourselves is if we use these systems we’ve put into place to create positive change around the world. I really believe we can do that. I believe the World Bank and other institutions can be turned around and do what they were originally intended to do, which is help reconstruct devastated parts of the world. Help — genuinely help poor people. There are twenty-four thousand people starving to death every day. We can change that.

AMY GOODMAN: John Perkins, I want to thank you very much for being with us. John Perkins’ book is called, 'Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.'

The spooks in the machine are posted in their positions, lurking[day and night] to stifle life out of somebody, because the passage of the Press and media gag that was passed into law, empowers them to kill, terrorize, maim and kill their opposition and those who threaten them with the loss of their three pieces of silver-in fact for more, they will go over and beyond their stated mission to show that they obey the monied potentates who are not willing to let go of the gravy change, even if they know what they are doing is wrong. The arrogance that the present people in power display, shows that they believe that they will be in power forever.

Yes, the masses are scared stiff, they are made ignorant and hungry, left sick and given no help(in many cases); given poor services and not represented properly; lied to and opportunism being. Yes, for now, the belief that masses are cowed may seem to be permanent, but it is not knowing the revolutionary democratic fire that embers in the tired and huddled masses, that, one stupid day, they will explode(remember the days of the guillotine-Mary Antoinette and her crew) was Robespierre in the guillotined motley crew... will be the day of reckoning- and the masses and be very vicious.

My sin is trying to help All poor people deal with the cumbersome imposed state of annihilation. That, then, I can stand and be accused of. Woe it be unto them who swirl in the cesspool of opulence at the expense of the mud-eating, water drinking and air-swallowing hungry masses who imbibe these just so that they could go to sleep in their cold-heater driven houses.

It is really important to note that People like Perkings ended up confessing their errant-because as they built the Empire for the USA, they made the rulers and all their followers their underling and operatives in service of Imperialism. Our leaders are under the tutelage of the Western Invested and deep-pocketed Capitalist.

And, they and their sidekicks will out-do themselves to please the Conglomerates and imperial government in oppressing, patrolling and controlling the masses… In the end, the Hunters and stalkers/Trolls, end up being hunted and stalked themselves. That will be when the shit hits the fan, and the chicken come home to roost... .


We must recall that when African people's invaders sounded their attack and our proud rulers sallied forth to throw them back, they did manage on few occasions to repel them. But at the testing point of arms against arms, or organization against organization, Africans, failed utterly. They could not muster the kind of organization that could deliver the right weapons in sufficient qualities to defeat the invaders and chase them back to the sea.

At Burmi, Omdurman, Segu, Tabora, Ijebu, Kumasi, Arochukwu and countless other battlefields we met defeat. The Ethiopian victory at Adowa was the exception that proved the point of our weakness. We had long been pathetically weak; finally our weakness stood exposed.

And all because, for the four preceding centuries,African leaders had been preoccupied with exporting, with inadequate compensations or none at all, African human and material resources, but they had been too busy organizing our continent for the exploitative advantage of Europe, had been busy too busy with slaving raids upon one another, and too busy decorating themselves with trinkets imported from Europe and throwing away invaluable manhood, our irreplaceable Gold, Diamonds and Ivory.

And too busy, under various European inducements, impoverishing and disorganizing the land to take thought and long range action to protect our sovereignty. An at the end of those misused centuries, when our ancestors had sown ruinous gain, we, their descendants, reaped conquest and humbling indignities. We must keep before us the pivotal and importance of that conquest. (Chinweizu)

Since the fifteenth century, ethnocentrism, and xenophobia have permeated, fashioned, and conditioned the policy, attitude/mind-set of Europeans toward African peoples. Europeans believed then, as they do now, that it is their Divine Right to rule and govern African peoples, ad infinitum.

And as part of 'the manifestation' of the evil genius of Europe, Europeans not only proceeded to colonize the world, but more importantly, they also colonized information about the world. ... Eurocentric history, therefore, has deliberately promulgated the myth that Africa was a "Dark Continent" replete with cannibals, savages, and inferior, uncivilized, backward, primitive peoples, devoid of knowledge and culture and possessing evil traits and desires.

The erudite Historian, Dr. John Hendrik Clarke correctly asserted that:

"Civilization did not start in European countries and the rest of the world did not wait in darkness for the Europeans to bring light. ... most of the history books in the last five hundred years have been written to glorify Europeans at the expense of other peoples... Most Western historians have not been willing to admit that there is an African history to be written about and that this history predates the emergence of Europe by thousands of years.

It is not possible for the world to have waited in darkness for the Europeans to bring the light because, for most of the early history of man, The Europeans themselves were in darkness. When the light of culture came for the first time to the people who would later call themselves Europeans, it came from Africa and Middle Eastern Asia...

It is too often forgotten that when the Europeans emerged and began to extend themselves into the broader world of Africa and Asia during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, they went on to colonize most of mankind.

Later, they would colonize world scholarship, mainly to show or imply that Europeans were the only creators of what could be called civilization. In order to accomplish tis, the Europeans had to forget, or pretend to forget, all they previously knew about Africa."

Joel Cotton further elongates what Professor Clarke had already stated in this manner:

"... Europeans were by no means the pioneers of human civilization. Half of man's recorded history had passed before anyone in Europe could read or write. The priests of Egypt began to keep written records between 4000 and 3000 BC While the Pharaohs were building the first pyramids, Europeans were creating nothing more distinguished than garbage heaps ..."

"In looking toward the twenty-first century and the troubling transitional aspect of Pan Africanism, Dr. Clarke opines that, "It is ironic that the concept of PanAfricanism was a Caribbean creation and the Caribbean people have made the least use of it." He recalls that such Pan-Africanist pioneers as Henry Sylvester Williams, a lawyer from Trinidad, who called a protest conference in London, England in 1900 on the conviction that the Problems of Black(African folk in England were largely based on racism."

"It was Williams who coined the term Pan-Africanism. Other pioneers include C. L. R. James and George Padmore, both also from Trinidad. Along with W. E. B. Du Bois, these individuals 'gave the concept of Pan-Africanism form and substance."

Dr. Clarke defines Pan Africanism "as any effort on the part of African people to reclaim any portion of Africa that has been taken away, mutilated, misunderstood, or misinterpreted by a non-African to the detriment of Africa.

"Euro-colonial was designed to produce people who would participate in the process of colonial rule; who would participate in the process of their own oppression in the oppression of their fellow colonized people [neocolonialism]; moreover, 'colonized school was education for subordination, exploitation, the creation of mental confusion, and the development of underdevelopment, powerlessness and dependency.'

"It also reinforced the 'notion of alienation' [divide and conquer]. In other words, colonial and neocolonial education ossified the psychological dependency complex of the African colonized/oppressed to the extent that in the era of what Dr. Clarke terms "Flag Independence," the African 'wasn't to be a sovereign nation' but instead was only "preparing to imitate his slave master's ruling a nation."

Ipso facto, Africans not only: ...take for granted the validity, truth and superiority of the culture of the (European) colonizer but (also) assume that the behaviors, culture, values, lifestyles, moral preferences, and definitions of morality of the colonized as invalid, wrong, false, or inferior. .. (Moreover, they) have been infected and conditioned to invalidate and reject their own being and own culture, value and philosophical individuality ...

(They) tend to evaluate their behaviors in terms of whether or not they are acceptable to the (European) colonizer. (They accept) the colonizer as the standard..(and) crave to be like their colonizers ...)

Putting in the mix of how it is done today is the interview by John Perkings as he was being interviewed by Amy Good, that one begins to see how modern colonialism, as opposed to the way old colonialism, functions. These two ways of ruling over people and their resources, over time, is what we should begin to link as process of African incarceration, abuse and debasement that knows no bounds.

The mannerism through which Africans were colonized as explained by Dr Clarke, and the way it is being done today, explained by John Perkings, one begins to see the patterns that have been used to enslave people, yesteryear, and contemporaneously today, shows not only the process itself, but the violence and how it's being escalated and evolved over time from the British to the present-day Americans, Africans in Africa, African Americans and the poor people in the so-called Third World.

In contemporary South Africa, Africans are experiencing the same thing although operationally different, but still the procrastination we saw described today, but in today's Mafia-like way...

I think it is time to take the advices and knowledge for people like Amilcar Cabral, maybe some of us who are not familiar with his works will find hid him very useful and instructive: his Revolutionary Experiences. On FB, I had this to offer and add on to Tshikosi's statement, and cited Amilcar Cabral, whose experiences with party members took this the form I cited!

Mr. Tshikosi... I took some time off the FF to take care of some other matters. Your statement that 'the state of the Party, is the reflection of membership quality/commitment' brought Amilcar Cabral to my mind and I would like to cite some few things from his Sub-title - "Revolutionary Democracy" and I think there are many teachable moments in what he has to say, that most of us will do well to begin to learn from.

Cabral writes thus: "In the context of the principle of 'revolutionary democracy', to which we have already referred to several times, each responsible worker must bear his responsibility bravely, must demand respect from others for his activities and must show respect for the activities of others. However, we must not hide anything from our people, we must not deceive our people.

Deceiving our people is to build a foundation of calamity for our Party. We must combat this in some comrades vigorously. We cannot allow the population to come to the frontier to fetch merchandize for the people's stores, for example, and once they have arrived find themselves obliged to load up with war material.

Doing this is behaving worse than the colonialists, it is abusing our authority, abusing the good faith and good will of our people. It is preferable to say frankly to elements of the population they should prepare themselves to go and fetch war material, because the war is for our land, and if they do not want to go, they will be arrested and taken by force.

If necessary they can be arrested, but they must know where they are going. This is better than lying, cheating and looking small in the people's eye, for they, however wretched and suffering, are like any people, and they know the difference between the truth and a lie, justice and injustice, good and evil, and they are wise enough to lose respect for anyone who has lied to them. ...

We must put an end to lying, we must be able not to deceive anyone about the difficulties of the struggle, about the mistakes we make, the defeats we may suffer, and we cannot believe that victory is easy. Nor can we believe in evasions like "I thought that".This is one of the great defects of some comrades. 'Comrade, how did this happen?' — 'It seems that...' This is of no use for those who are making a revolution, who seek the progress and happiness of their people through liberation struggle. We must be aware of this. ...

There are comrades who are not able to make a clear report on what is happening in the area where they are. Happily there are other who are capable. I am focusing on the negative aspects, but you all know that there are any positive aspects. That is exactly why we are seated here and it would be disastrous for us if there were only negative aspects.

But my duty is to point out what is not going well, so that we can improve and go forward. We must trust appearances, our imagination; we have a tendency to trust our imagination. ... Revolutionary democracy demands that we combat all opportunism, as I have already told you, and that we combat as well the attitude comrades have being too hasty in forgiving mistakes.

I am a responsible worker, you make a mistake, and I forgive you with the following intention: that now you know you are in my hands. This is not acceptable. No one has the right to forgive mistakes without first discussing the mistakes in front of everyone. Because the Party is ours, for all of us, not for each of us, but for all of us. We find it too easy to excuse quickly, we must fight this.

The time has come to stop finding excuses. There is work to be done; it should be done well without excuses." If we can begin to read, seriously, learn and recall/execute what we have read and learn again from the people within whom we work amongst and with, we will further develop a language that is borne out of that struggle experience, and learning and applying these advices from Cabral, we will at least avoid the anarchy of ignorance that is threatening to engulf us.

I cannot stress this more than I have done through my pieces here on FB, we need to read, know, control, disseminate and own our intelligence, information and knowledge, because all of them signify power and lead the Africans to one nation and emancipation....

Present-day oppression and repression of Africans has taken many forms- and these tactics have merely morphed, added and tried to refine their oppressive and repressive techniques foisted upon the Africans of South Africa.

There are all kinds of 'chatter' on the FB amongst the Africans of South Africa who can afford phones that are hooked up on the Internet, and can thus talk to each other and deal with one about everything and anything.

Some people are calling for a revolution; the ruling ANC-led government is calling for an educated cadre to come and handle the teetering ship; the masses are dumbfounded and caught up in the calamity that Cabral is talking about above-being lied to and watching people become very opportunistic and materialistic, whilst the armies of the poor masses spiral deeper into poverty and death.

At this point, it is quite clear that Africans of South Africa are under siege on all fronts imaginable… What I call "anarchy of ignorance" his being used with a laissez faire carte blanche attitude that even the masses are struggling to wrap their minds around.

Of course what I have just stated in the preceding paragraph is being denied by the powers that be as being implausible, "preposterous" and "wrongfully and willingly being blasphemous and besmirching" of the legacy of the movement(ANC-ism) that has withstood other tumultuous calamities of the magnitude greater than the one we are all experiencing today in South Africa.

The only disadvantage Africans have is having to live with "imposed" ignorance, which defeats everything Africans of South Africa tried to do-in trying to change from Apartheidized design-and control or get off, at the same time, the tiger that they are riding with regards to their present-day African rulers.

Apartheid mortgaged their future [for itself] by making sure that Africans 'will not reach certain levels of academic competency through many bogus and rigged governmental apparatuses and institutions. The Afrikaners institutionalized and "Culturized 'Ignorance' amongst Africans of South Africa".

The ANC, in taking power, did not dismantle the Apartheid style, and introduced "Education of Dependency" lying to the Africans that everything is now free and open-but they(ANC) reneged on the "free" education and now we have seen sown in past two generations, Africans who are well orientated by the new "Education of Confusion", so that, in the end, we end up with no education taking place, but Africans being "Educated Into Ignorance".

The present-day African Leaders in South Africa must really figure it out that they have everything loose end tied up and a cinch when it comes to the education of the children of African people-their children-in a way.

This harkens back to what Bantu Biko addresses when he was pointing out to the fact that the children of Africans in South Africa, were being christianized and taken to these christian school, where they were marinated into the "Western Civilization" that in turn, the children turned around had such scorn and low opinion of the "Primitive" culture of their parents, relatives and African people in general.

What are we witnessing today, we see the same technique, now refined and morphed into 'taking children to better white private schools', which has resulted in the children of the African people not really cognizant with the mother tongue, culture, customs, traditions.

And in fact, end up bullying their 'ignorant' parents (who did not go to these "private and expensive) White schools in the White suburbs-disrespecting their own people, talking them down and talking down to them-rude and callous-using the English medium of their 'self expression-abusive, confused, mean spirited, materialistically hooked and acclimatized...

Fleecing their poor parents, and in general, causing confusion, dis-organization-allowing near suicidal and bad/rough treatment of their families and societies, that in the end, the youth, those 'edumacated' in these White schools, end up Black skinned and White Masked- a la Fanon.

Fanon informs us thus: "What is the origin of this personality change? What is the source of this new way of being? Every 'dialect' is a way of thinking. ... And the fact that the newly returned Negro(African) adopts a language different from that of the group into which he was born is evidence of a dislocation, a separation."

Prof. D. Westermann says that the "Negroes'(Africans') inferiority complex is particularly intensified among the most educated, who might struggle with it unceasingly. Their way of doing so, he adds, is frequently naive: The wearing of European clothes, whether rags or the most up-to-date style; using European furniture and European forms of social intercourse; adorning the Native language with European Expressions; using bombastic(grandiloquent) phrases in speaking of and writing a European language; all these contribute, for them, to a feeling of equality with the European and his achievements."

This is what I call false consciousness, which I have described at length above, in this Hub

In order to focus on the children of Africans and what is being done to them, I still prefer Fanon, because what we see today in Mzantsi (South Africa) is the very same thing, I use Fanon to point out to the fact that it is not for the first time happening to South Africans-It's a colonial thingy... Nothing of the sort in Antilles.

The language spoken officially is French [English/Afrikaans]; teachers keep a close watch over the children to make sure they do not use creole(African children today in South Africa have to deal with Afrikaans and English-not their mother tongues) Let us not mention the ostensible reasons. It would seem then, that the problem is this: In the Antilles, as in Brittany, there is a dialect and there is the French language.

But this is false, for the Bretons do not consider themselves inferior to the French people. The Bretons have not been civilized by the White man [I would hastily add that they were civilized by the African Moors who conquered Spain and went on to also civilize the rest of Europe) See my Hub "The History and the Age of The Moors in Spain: How the Moors Civilized Europe - The History of Africa" for a more in-depth narrative of this saga].

In order to wipe out a people and their historical memory from human history you destroy their History and culture , language, tradition, rites and practices-keeping them ignorant of the death-blow brought upon them, they have to be kept ignorant- and made to believe that they are not the people they are supposed to be, but remain a poor copy of their rulers.

This is caused by what Fanon calls "an arsenal of complexes" that have been developed by the colonial environment. When the ANC-led government took over the reigns of governing South Africa, these complexes were neither stopped nor changed, instead, the traumatized Africans were left on to their own accords. It does not matter if one were to build cheap houses for the Africans, give them poor health and social services, ignore them, miseducate them do anything to them, but as Cabral noted, "To not lie to them".

You’d be wrong to portray the ANC as a hard-headed organization that is stuck in the past and unwilling to see the error of its ways. It may not take kindly to external or public criticism, as evidenced by its response to businessman Reuel Khoza’s comments, but the recently released organizational renewal policy document reveals an organization engaged in honest self-reflection in a desperate attempt to avoid the mistakes made by other liberation movements on the continent.

Parts of the document are reminiscent ofHarvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig's book, Republic, Lost, albeit with less vivid imagery and more turgid language. In the book, Lessig warns about how campaign financing and lobby groups have usurped America’s democracy. So dastardly has been the sleight of hand that it has happened within the rules of democracy, mostly.

In calling “for the rebirth of the ANC," the document — one of several others to be discussed at the party’s June policy conference and possibly adopted at the December national conference — warns that the ANC may be in the throes of a similar evil threatening its internal processes(Democracy). It suggests the ANC is engaged in a battle for its soul against “new tendencies” and a “shadow culture which co-exists alongside the movement’s own organizational culture."

These tendencies draw on ANC history and symbolism and like a parasite, use the membership, and the very democratic structures and processes of the movement to its own end. This will be further clarified below when we discuss the struggle of the poor peoples movements(Abahali BaseMjondolo for one) who clearly make the reader much more aware how and why the ANC-led government is at war with them, and what is their modus operandi and modus vivendi.

One of the ways these tendencies have usurped the ANC’s democratic processes is in the influence of money in lobbying for position within the party. The influence ranges from creating secretive structures parallel to those of the party by funding lobby groups’ organizing activities to bribing members and manipulating membership systems to influence the outcome of leadership contests.

TheThe ANC Youth League in the Western Cape, for example, alleged during its chaotic elective conference in December 2011 that leaders within the party’s provincial executive and certain wealthy businessmen had been in cahoots to create Youth League “ghost branches”. It costs R10 to join the league and 100 members constitute a branch.

Once formed, these ghost branches became eligible to influence elective conferences, a league NEC member said. Regardless of the veracity of the claims, they illustrate why the document cites money, lobbying and these secretive parallel structures as a subset of the internal strife and factional battles for power that have come to dominate political life within the ANC.

This domination of factional battles in turn has become one of three organizational weaknesses the party faces. By implication, the country faces the same weaknesses, too, for as long as the party maintains its dominant position in politics.

The Western Cape ANCYL’s allegations were not the first time the notion of ghost members and branches arose within the party. In his report to the party’s 2002 national congress, then secretary-general Kgalema Motlanthe said an audit had revealed problems with 'ghost members'.

But despite the further audits and safeguards the party put in place, the subversion of the party’s internal democracy through “buying” leadership positions continues today. The 2010 national general council leadership renewal document asks: “What about monies raised by candidates and lobby groups, with no accountability and disclosure about the sources [and legality] of such resources, nor how these monies are being used? Are we already in the trap of vested interests and those with money having more influence about the direction of the ANC than its membership?”

After much reluctance and handwringing, the party has in recent years taken on the issue of funding, not only of internal contestations, but also how it finances its own operations and how the country’s political organizations fund themselves."

When one reads the oppression alleged by the Abahlali baseMjondolo, one begins to see how these"operations work and the country's organizations fund themselves", as reported in the shows us the methodical subversion of the party's internal democracy through buying leadership positions, co-optation, anointment, cronyism, cabal-affiliations and based specifically on the comradeship of Exile(this gave form to relations between those who went to exile(getting better preferences), and those who never went into exile but stayed inside South Africa("Inziles").

This dividing of people into these two specific groups people being divided into "Exiles" and "Inziles" is one of the determining realities as to whether one get preferential treatment of not. So, the ghost members of the ANCYL that are operating within the ANC Party, have been used in another way described by the Abahlali basMjondolo. This will be made clearer below when we look at the story of the Poor Peoples movement “

We need to develop new methods of achieving financial sustainability that are transparent, ethical, lawful and predictable, the renewal document says, presumably because this has not been always the case. The Party’s investment arm, Chancellor House, has hardly been a bastion of transparency, nor have the methods the party used to finance itself been above reproach.

Most recently, it was revealed that the Batho Trust, of which the ANC is the sole beneficiary, held a 51% interest in Thebe Investments, Shell SA’s empowerment partner in its controversial proposal to “frack” for shale gas in the Karoo. As the decision of whether fracking would go ahead effectively lay in ANC hands, the opposition DA has raised the flag on the credibility and ethics of the proposal.

However, whether coming from within or from civil society and opposition parties, the warnings so far have been blighted by the Cassandra syndrome. Either disbelieved or perceived as not as significant as suggested, the threats have not been met by effective proposals to counter them, until now.

The organizational renewal document proposes developing guidelines on lobbying and structures to enforce the guidelines, adding criteria for leadership into its electoral rules to weed out unsuitable candidates, and having all electoral conferences operate on a set of standardized rules and guidelines.

It also proposes establishing a permanent electoral commission to oversee the election process, from screening nominees to managing elections. The commission would be manned by party veterans not vying for leadership positions and whose conduct has been above reproach. None of the proposals is particularly groundbreaking but, if implemented, could be a victory on the party’s path to reclaim its soul.

On the ANC’s financing, the relevant NEC committee has been given the task of convening a strategy session to discuss a comprehensive plan to ensure the party’s financial sustainability. As has been the case, the party is partial to growing (for itself and other parties) funding sourced from public sources to obviate dependence on mysterious private sources, who usually return for their pound of flesh.

The document says the success of these plans rests on a resilient, courageous and principled leadership — a potentially worrying prospect because some, including the ANC’s alliance partners, have found the ANC sorely lacking in this regard.

Whilst the ANC-led government has been involved with all these shenanigans listed above, the rioting and spontaneous rebellion are on the sharp increase within the land. It the pieces that follow below, we let the poor people give the version of their sufferings and struggles in contemporary South

The Rebellion of the Poor: In their Own Words

Municipal Revolts or the Ring of Fire

(There has been a major wave of popular protest since 2004.)

These protests are usually referred to as service delivery protests in the media but although there is evidence of growing unhappiness with service delivery most analysts argue that this description is overly narrow and misleading. A number of poor people's movements have insisted that their protests should not be referred to as 'service delivery protests'. But others have termed the rapidly increasing wave of protest sine 2004 as a 'rebellion of the poor', or a series of 'municipal revolts'. Zwelinzima Vavi, COSATU Secretary General, has described the increasing rate of popular protest as a "ring of fire" closing in on major cities that could result in a Tunisia style revolution.

Some of the most notable protests during this period occurred in Harrismith, Kennedy Road, Durban, Diepsloot, Balfour, Thokoza, Khutsong,Macassar Village, Lansdowne Road and Mandela Park in Khayelitsha, KwaZakhele, downtown Durban, Masiphumelele, Ermelo, Grahamstown.and Thembelihle (Lenasia).

Protests continue and some analysts take the view that protests are becoming increasingly radical.Some commentators have concluded that, "A large majority of South Africans feel that conventional mechanisms of engaging the state are failing, and that alternatives may be more effective."
A number of community organizations and movements have emerged from this wave of protest some of which organize outside of party politics.

According to Professor Peter Alexander:
"As many commentators and activists now accept, service delivery protests are part of a broader Rebellion of the Poor. This rebellion is massive. I have not yet found any other country where there is a similar level of ongoing urban unrest. South Africa can reasonably be described as the ‘protest capital of the world.'" This has given rise to Lower Intensity Warfare that is the running theme of this Hub, that is, we begin to see the reaction of the ANC and its abuse of power and killing anyone who dares question their brand of leadership…

Who Are These Security People?

We see them everywhere; from car guard to cash in transit units; they guard our homes, our cars our families and property. Who are these people, these companies with whom we feel so safe, in whom we place our blind trust. At the sound of a strange noise in your home you trigger an alarm and they arrive, with body armor, guns, mace and radios; they arrive before the police and are parked all over with a more visible presence than the police. Are they the second tier of law enforcement? Another arm of the state? Where to then in ten years time is the question? Is this the privatization of the state and beyond that a privatization of the armed forces?

What one doesn’t see is that this is an industrial complex that covers the entire range of what constitutes safety from the private to global arenas. Some companies are transnational and have a presence in almost every country in the world. Security is now big business. But the question arises: Are they as benevolent as they appear to be? Do they solely guard our families our assets our cars?

The answer is no these have become private contractors to imperialist forces and are the informal arm of regime changers. They are accountable to no one and can be used as the oppressors will. One sees their presence in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and now Syria. Wherever there is violence and regime change there are contractors. The dangerous part is they are fluid, unknown, carry no flag, belong to no government, have no allegiance and thus no accountability. Is this good for a world one might ask?

The answer is no!
Security services are selling their services to the highest bidder and this not governed by legality or morality. Security companies have become nothing more than organized hit men; mobsters in the pay of imperialist and other grubby governments. The American government is brazen in its use of contractors and this has had negative effects in all places where the contractors have been or are still present. It is now being uncovered that the “contractors” who had a hand in killing Gaddafi are also heading for Syria.

To whom do they account; this silent invisible unaccountable hoard of killers and regime changers who are fast becoming the destabilizing third force in global politics of organized violence. The question is; how do we the people hold them accountable if not how do we arm ourselves against these thugs who seem to have more power than our governments or are in the pay of our governments?

From the way things seem to work right here in South Africa, the security Industrial Complex comprises of the very people who were a part of the notorious SANDF. Our government instead of limiting the power of those purveyors of organized violence are by silence giving them consent to engage in regime change around the world. We hear of mercenaries from South Africa being involved in operations in Iraq, Libya and now Syria. This means we, a newly liberated country are now outsourcing destabilization to other countries and our government is silent. How can we be claiming to build another unified, secure Africa when in the very same breath we export terror and violence to the rest of continent?

We need to get our priorities right and not become the destabilizing force in Africa; the very force that consciously or unconsciously kills the dream of a Pan African renaissance that we all dream of. Africa will not be free if its enemies are given a free rein through silence or a wink and a nod that is detrimental to the well being of the continent and its people. Lest we forget that these were the very people who murdered our people in our historical struggle and now for the sake of petty power we are prepared to throw the continent and its struggle for Pan Africanism into the dustbin of history.

This is a betrayal of the greatest magnitude and I can see those who dreamt of a new, free, secure, independent Africa turning in their graves. If the governments of Africa do not have the political will then we, the sons and daughters of Africa, must ensure that we liberate the dream from those who seek to kill it in the name of their ambition and subscription to imperialism. Africa demands that and we the peoples of Africa must respond to this sustained and consistent virulent attacks. Hired guns through the Security Industrial Complex must be stopped and held to account if we are to have a new, people centered, order based on the rule of law and accountability to the people.

Outlaws, no matter the name tag, have no place in a world built on peace and order. We cannot and must not, in the name of fear and security, or this or that bogeyman, trade our freedom and democracy just to feel secure to feel safe. Rather we must seek the means ourselves to make our world safe and secure. That is Pan Africanism; that is the new Africa! The alternative is: corporations will be our governments and mercenaries our law enforcement agencies who serve the Corporations and not the people-or the people themselves will take the initiative and free themselves, by any means necessary.


The story and history of the struggles of Poor Africans in South Africa fills many volumes, and the interpretations of what it means to those suffering has been well tabulated. Below I have chosen to use the people who are struggling against the inequities and dehumanization that is taking place today in South Africa, to tell us their stories and experiences.

South Africa: Democracy’s Everyday Death -- The ANC's Coup in Kennedy Road; Shack Dwellers: `Our movement is under attack!'

Protest in iRhini against attacks on Kennedy Road shack dwellers.

By Nigel Gibson and Raj Patel

You don’t need presidential palaces, or generals riding in tanks, or even the CIA to make a coup happen. Democracy can be overthrown with far less pomp, fewer props and smaller bursts of state violence. But these quieter coups are no less deadly for democracy.

At the end of September 2009, just such a coup took place in South Africa. It wasn’t the kind involving parliament or the inept and corrupt head of the African National Congress (ANC) Jacob Zuma. Quite the opposite. It involved a genuinely democratic and respected social movement, the freely elected governing committee of the shack settlement at Kennedy Road in Durban. And this peaceful democracy was overthrown by the South African government.

First, some background. As South Africa prepares to host the 2010 soccer World Cup, the poorest South Africans are still waiting for the end of apartheid’s predations. The country is spending US$ 1.1 billion just to build new stadiums, while those who fought apartheid wait in shack settlements for running water and electricity. Levels of human development are now lower than in 1994, and South Africa has overtaken Brazil as the country with the widest gap between rich and poor.

But not everyone is waiting patiently, hands outstretched, for the government to drop something into their palms. Some people, particularly those living in shack communities, have organized to bring the dividends of housing, water, education, healthcare, employment and food to their communities. When some communities organized to protest against their government, using the freedoms enshrined in one of the most open and supportive constitutions to be found in any modern democracy, the government responded by initiating its bloody coup.

In the middle of the night on September 26, men armed with guns, knives and even a sword, descended on Kennedy Road, a shack settlement housing about 7000 people. These men chanted slogans of ethnic cleansing, pitting Zulu against Pondo. With these words, they summoned an ethnic politics that was unthinkable even in apartheid’s darkest days. Even the 1980s battles between the Inkatha Freedom Party and the ANC were political rather than ethnic clashes. But under Jacob Zuma’s South Africa, the Zulu nationalism that was once anathema to the ANC has now become its standard operating procedure.

Four people were killed. The violence continued under the eyes of the police and local ANC officials. Once it was over, the democratic leaders of the Kennedy Road Development Committee were arrested (even though many weren’t in the settlement at the time of the attacks). Thousands of shack dwellers have now fled the settlement and many shacks have been destroyed.

It has now become clear that the thugs were backed by the local branch of the ANC and its leaders. Jackson Gumede, the chairperson of the branch executive committee of the ANC in the electoral ward containing Kennedy Road, has now taken over the settlement where those remaining live in a state of fear. The ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial government has also become a willing partner.

It has also become clear that the target of the attacks is the autonomous and grassroots democratic shack dweller organization – Abahlali baseMjondolo — which has grown over the past four years into the largest poor people’s movement in South Africa. Abahlali has become a significant thorn in the side of the ANC provincial government in KwaZulu-Natal.

What particularly irks the ANC is Abahlali’s refusal to let the shack dwellers continue to be a vote bank for the ANC at election time. Rather than supporting any political party, Abahlali has promoted a "No house, No land, No vote'' policy. As well as rejecting the legitimacy of the local ANC councillor, Yacoob Baig. Abahlali has taken the provincial government to court over the constitutionality of the government’s Elimination of Slums Act and spoken out against the forced relocation of shack dwellers to transit or temporary camps outside the urban areas.

Abahlali have also had successes, which have annoyed local politicians. Through their activism, Abahlali activists have forced the Durban municipality to agree to upgrade some of their settlements. Controls over the settlement means control over the disbursement of funds. This is the prize that Yakoob Baig and Jackson Gumede covet.

The ANC’s decision to destroy a grassroots poor people’s movement has been condemned around the world. The South Africa Council of Churches (SACC) has called the incident "an attack on democracy'' and has issued a statement of alarm at how community leaders are being criminalised.

Bishop Rubin Phillip, the chairperson of the KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council and Anglican Bishop of Natal, who had visited Kennedy Road, was "torn with anguish'' by the attack and spoke of the real social hope that Abahlali was creating. Around the world and in South Africa statements of solidarity and outrage continue to pour in and while these pressures may give the ANC pause in its actions against Abahlali, it is also clear that the ANC is not in control of the violence that it has unleashed. This pattern can be discerned in the killing of the Miners in Marikana in September 2012.

At the settlement anyone associated with Abahlali has been threatened with violence and forced to leave. Already 2000 people have been left homeless. S’bu Zikode, the elected chair of Abahlali, is now in hiding after receiving a number of death threats. Writing on September 29, Zikode understood that the attack was an attack on the voice of ordinary poor people: "This attack is an attempt to "terrorize that voice back into the dark corners". It is an attempt to turn the frustration and anger of the poor onto the poor so that we will miss the real enemy.'

He ends by not only calling for solidarity but asking "for close and careful scrutiny into the nature of democracy in South Africa''.

Zikode is right, of course. This is why he has been targeted by the militia, and why his safety must be guaranteed. And the attack augurs ill for South Africa’s future. The demons of ethnic hatred had no harbor in South Africa. But once unleashed, they could very well tear the "Rainbow Nation'' apart. Without swift and transparent justice to right this grave wrong, the future looks grim. History makes one thing very clear: small coups beget bigger ones.

[This article first appeared in Phambazuka News. Nigel Gibson is a visiting research fellow at the School of Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and the author, Raj Patel is an honorary research fellow at the School of Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa].

The nature of low-level intensity warfare against the poor in South Africa, as described in the piece above by Raj Patel, is one of the many ways through which the poor are intimidated and attacked and are now bound within suspended uncertainty and helplessness, that at the writing of this Hub, there is a tense atmosphere prevailing in South Africa that it could be cut with a knife.

The locals have described this tense situation that, "Even the air that is blowing it is full of sad, full of tension, evil and uncertainty for us who breath it". It should also be noted that other forms of this low-intensity warfare amongst the poor in South Africa are obfuscated in such a way there is a picture of normalcy being projected by the government and big business.

But it is the subdued discontent and bitter mumblings that undergird the people's existence and reality that are slowly becoming realized and uttered by the poor that are really the outcome of this new-style repression visited upon them: that is why the article above by Nigel and Raj, gives a much more clearer picture of what is really happening in South Africa.

The raising of ethnic/'tribal' clashes that has already been instigated spells of doom and long time and term infighting that will decimate the African people-akin to the Mfecane Destabilizing time (Scatterings)-of the era of Shaka- and will be a death-blow to Africans as they are now known. As the article above reports, this is done because at the point where the funds are supposed to be disbursed to locals, that is the frenzy feeding range of the vultures who prey upon the poor. It is important to note this issue and keep a heads up on it very closely...

Abahlali baseMjondolo: `Our movement is under attack'

By the Kennedy Road Development Committee, Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) and the Poor People’s Alliances

Abahlali baseMjondolo have reported that: "We are under attack. We have been attacked physically with all kinds of weapons -- guns and knives, even a sword. We have been driven from our homes and community The police did nothing to stop the attacks on us despite our calls for help. Four people were killed. The attacks, which began on the night of Saturday September 26, were carried out by local ANC members together with Shebeen(Tavern) [sly grog shops] owners from the Kennedy Road settlement."

They were saying that our movement was "selling them'' to the AmaMpondo. It is a fact that our movement, at the local branch level and at the movement level, has no concern for where people were born or where their ancestors were born. We are a movement of the poor and that means that we do not make divisions between the poor. We have always been clear about this. This is our politics and we will stick to it. We have been told that earlier in the day the local ANC branch had a meeting.

"We were told that there they decided to take up a new operation – Siyabangena [we are entering or infiltrating them]. And they also told us that there they decided to kill Mashumi Figlan, chairperson of the Kennedy Road Development Committee (KRDC) and deputy chairperson of our movement and they said that they decided to cut off his head and leave it in the community hall so that everyone would see that he was dead and not missing."

"When the police did arrive they only came with one car and one van. They only took statements from our attackers and they arrested eight people linked to the KRDC. They took no statements from us and to this day none of our attackers have been arrested. Some of the people that they arrested had in fact been performing the imfene(Monkey) dance at a public performance in Claremont on Saturday night.

"The arrests were clearly political and aimed at destabilizing the movement in Kennedy Road. This is not the first time that most of the Kennedy Road leadership have been arrested for clearly political reasons. In 2007 the Kennedy Six, five of whom were elected members of the KRDC, were arrested on false charges and only released on bail after a Hunger Strike. All charges against them were later dropped because the state had no evidence."

"On the morning after the attack ANC officials arrived in the settlement. There were no police to protect us while we were being attacked but many, many police came with them. While the police and the officials were there the same people who had attacked us the night before demolished our homes and looted them. At least 27 houses were destroyed and many more were looted.

"They all belonged to people elected to positions in the KRDC or Abahlali baseMjondolo [AbM]. The police did nothing to stop the destruction of houses and the looting from houses. Supt. Glen Nayager and ANC ward councillor Yakoob Baig were personally at Kennedy while our homes were destroyed. Baig said, on record, that 'harmony' has been restored now that the 'Abahlali criminals' were gone.

"After the politicians and the police departed from Kennedy Road the settlement was left in the hands of the local ANC – armed young men patrolled and made it clear, via death threats, that AbM was now banned from Kennedy Road. They also made it clear that independent media were also banned. Looting and various kinds of intimidation continued. The eviction of some of our leaders and the arrest of others was followed by the destruction of our office leaving us without access to email and telephone. When our members arrived from other settlements to try and save our records and banners in the office they were threatened with death.

To this day none of our attackers have been arrested. The ANC has installed them in authority in Kennedy Road (without holding any elections) and is presenting them to the media as "the community'' or as "community representatives''. Many of the ANC leaders who have spoken in the community or to the media have attacked us and lied about us while not condemning our attackers."

On September 28 Bhekisisa Stalin Mncube, spokesperson for the provincial minister for safety and security Willies Mchunu, sent out a press release on behalf of Mchunu and the provincial police commissioner Hamilton Ngidi saying that, “The provincial government has moved swiftly to liberate a Durban community [Kennedy Road]”. Mncube added a note to his email threatening that AbM president S’bu Zikode may soon be arrested. In this statement it is quite clear that at least some people in the police and the provincial ANC have enthusiastically endorsed the violent attack on our movement.

Following the attacks on our movement Nigel Gumede, head of housing in the eThekwini Municipality, has said, on record, that the government has 'a plan to eradicate shacks,' that “anyone coming into informal settlements must accept that plan” and that it will be necessary to “jail people to get development going”. He is clearly trying to criminalize debate about government policy. How can debate about government policy be banned in a democracy?

He has also said that the imfene(Monkey) dance is part of the problem and must be investigated. How can the cultural expression of a group of people be considered a problem in this way?
Since then there have been all kinds of other attacks on our movements — we have been lied about, slandered and defamed by various people within the ANC. We consider these lies to be a way of trying to justify what was done to us and to our movement. We consider these lies to be a way of trying to make the victims of a terrible attack look as if they are themselves the problem. We consider these lies to be a way to encourage further attacks.

A coup

What happened in Kennedy Road was a coup — a violent replacement of a democratically elected community organization. The ANC has taken over everything that we built in Kennedy Road.

"We always allowed free political activity in Kennedy and all settlements in which AbM candidates have been elected to leadership. Now we are banned.We do not use violence to build support. We use open discussion. Now we are violently banned. Our members continue to receive death threats in and outside of Kennedy Road. Everyone knows that if you speak for Zikode or AbM in Kennedy Road you will be attacked.

"And S’bu has received a number of death threats and threats to his family, including his children, via anonymous calls since he was evicted from the settlement by the ANC and Shebeen(Tavern) owner’s mob. Last night five men in a white car arrived at his sister’s place looking for S’bu and his family. They asked where S’bu and his wife and children are staying now. We don’t know who they were but they were clearly hostile."

The ANC continues to attack Zikode by all means. They say that he doesn’t follow the ANC code of conduct, that he is stopping development, that he has a big house in Umhlanga. The first one is true — that is his right. That is the right of all of us. We make no apology for this. The rest is just wild defamation.

On Sunday Willies Mchunu, Nigel Gumde and others held a big meeting in the Kennedy Road Hall. Our attackers were all sitting there. People from the ANC in Sydenham Heights and the Foreman Road settlement were sitting there pretending to be from Kennedy Road. All kinds of lies were told.The Kennedy 8 are currently being held in the Sydenham Police station and will appear in court again on Thursday.

We are told that the ANC is organizing across all wards to get their members to the court to demand that the Kennedy 8 do not receive bail. This is not the behavior of an organization committed to truth and justice. They should, instead, be asking for a fair and credible investigation into all the acts of violence, theft, destruction and intimidation that have occurred. This is our demand. They should make it their demand too.

`We are all Abahlali baseMjondolo'

At a time when the Kennedy Road settlement is being targeted all the settlements affiliated to our movement across the country say, "We are all Kennedy Road – if Kennedy Road has committed the crime of organizing independently from the ANC and speaking out for justice then we are all criminals''.

At a time when Abahlali baseMjondolo is under attack all the movements that we work with in the Poor People’s Alliance, and others too, say ,"We are all Abahlali baseMjondolo – if Abahlali baseMjondolo has committed the crime of allowing the poor to organize the poor for justice then we are all criminals''. At a time when threats are being made on the life of S’bu Zikode, and his family (including his children) and when the ANC are waging campaign of slander and vilification against him we say, "We are all S’bu Zikode – if S’bu Zikode has committed the crime of telling the truth about the lives of the poor and the realities of democracy in South Africa then we are all criminals''.

We want to make some comments about the ongoing and all out attacks on S’bu Zikode from the ANC.

We elected S’bu to represent us. He did not want to be our leader. He never calls himself a leader — people call him a leader. He doesn’t live in a fancy house and drive a fancy car to talk about the poor on stages and in hotels. He lives in a shack and works in the community with the community to give us courage to speak for ourselves. Last year he wanted to step down from the presidency of the movement. We mobilized for two weeks to persuade him to remain as the president.

We know that two weeks before the attack Jackson Gumede, chairperson of the branch executive committee of the ANC in Ward 25, had said that the Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) office would soon be an ANC office. We know that at the same time John Mchunu, chairperson of the ANC in eThekwini, accused us of trying to destabilize the country.

We are not a political party. We have never been a political party. We are a poor people’s movement — we are looking for justice, not political power. We have never stood in elections. We don’t even vote because we don’t care about that kind of power. We care about building the power of the community to reduce the gap between ordinary people on the one side and the rich and the politicians on the other side. But the politicians are ignorant. They don’t know what a social movement is.

They don’t understand that there can be a politics outside of party politics. In eShowe, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) recently attacked us for being ANC. When we first started our movement in Durban in 2005 the ANC attacked us for being IFP. Now the ANC is claiming that we are COPE [Congress of the People, a recent split from the ANC led by those loyal to former South African president Thabo Mbeki]. The ANC has seen the huge support that we have and they fear that S’bu will stand in the local government elections.

They also fear us because we have exposed so much corruption in places like Foreman road, Motala Heights, Mpola, Siyanda, eShowe and Howick. They also fear us because we have stood with many other communities who are opposing injustice, such as people in Umlazi and in eMacambini. They are embarrassed that shack dwellers, ordinary people like us, took the ANC government to the constitutional court. And the judgment is coming this week.

The sad thing is that if we find that we have won we will have no place to slaughter a cow. They see the good relationship that we have developed with city officials during our long negotiations from late 2007 as a threat. They see our good relationship with the provincial HOD for housing as a threat.

We Are Wondering If Democracy Still Exists

This is not the first time that we have asked ourselves this question. We asked this question when our march was illegally banned and we were attacked in Foreman Road in 2005. We asked ourselves this question when people who challenged the ANC in local government elections in E-Section of Umlazi were assassinated in 2006. We asked this question in 2006 when S'bu Zikode and Philani Zungu were arrested, beaten and tortured while trying to attend a radio interview. We were still asking ourselves this question when our peaceful march was shot at by the police in 2007.

The ANC is about "Comradeism". It is about order and protocol. You must follow the mandate and the mandate always comes from above. AbM can just say "No!''. The new ANC committee members that has been put in place in Kennedy Road will find that they are just expected to be puppets. They will find that they are just expected to take orders from above. Zikode had the strength to take the side of the people. They will not have that strength. "Even they will realize the value of the river when drought comes."

Our movement is growing. When the time is right we will go back to Kennedy Road. We are prepared to go toe to toe with the ANC but we will not use violence. We will use open and free discussion on the realities of our country. We will counter lies with truth. We will counter a living politics with politician’s politics. People who belong to prisons must go to prisons. People who belong to Kennedy must go to Kennedy. (Those Who work on behalf of the poor have a right to speak truth to power, and they also deserve respect whenever they tell the people the truth-my addition)

Accusations Against The Movement

At a time when we are being attacked our attackers, and those who support them, should be subject to intense public scrutiny. However the politicians are doing everything in their power to make us, the victims of this attack, subject to very critical public scrutiny. The most incredible lies are being told about us and our movement. At the same time our attackers are being installed in power in Kennedy Road and introduced to the media as "the community''.

Many accusations have been made against the movement by the ANC in recent days. Each day new accusations are made. We will address the main accusations here but we request all journalists to please check with us before reporting any accusation made by the police or the ANC (or people presented by the ANC and the police as "community representatives'' -- these people may well be the ones that attacked us) as if it were a fact. We can answer any other questions at the press conference tomorrow.

1. The Safety and Security Committee. It has been said that this is an illegitimate structure that has no right to exist. The truth is that this committee was set up in partnership with the police at the time when the state stopped criminalizing our movement and we were successfully negotiating with the state on a whole range of demands. One of our long standing demands has been for equal and fair access to policing. In the past we were denied this and we were all treated as criminals.

However when the state began to negotiate with us, a process that began in late 2007, we were able to negotiate with the local police too. The committee came out of those talks. The committee is a sub-committee of the KRDC, which is an elected structure. The police were present at the launch of the committee. Supt. Glen Nayager was there personally, and police attended its meetings. Representatives from nearby settlements that are affiliated to the ANC also attended its meetings such as Majozi from Quarry Road and Simphiwe from Palmiet.

This is all detailed in our minutes of those meetings, and it can also be attested to by many witnesses. It was also covered in the local press — for instance there was an article in the Weekly Gazette of Overport with a picture of the committee and Supt. Nayager. There is nothing unusual about an elected community organization setting up an anti-crime committee with the police. The government has asked all communities to do this. In fact on the same day that we were attacked Willies Mchunu called for a "people’s war against crime''. The day after we were attacked he called the Safety and Security Committee an illegitimate and criminal structure. This was a lie.

2. The so-called "curfew''. It has been said that the Safety and Security Committee imposed a curfew on the settlement which meant that people could not watch TV or cook after 7pm at night. This is also a lie. The truth is that the committee did impose a closing time on shebeens[taverns]. They had previously been running 24 hours a day. There had been complaints about the noise for years and some of the women comrades in our movement had also argued that alcohol abuse is linked to domestic violence. Also, in a situation where there are so many fires, alcohol abuse can put the safety of the whole community at risk.

But the main reason for instituting closing times was that since the national election campaign, there have been ethnic tensions in Kennedy Road, and in other nearby settlements too. There have been fights and even murders. These fights were all alcohol related and so for the safety of the community we thought that it was necessary to put limits on shebeen/tavern hours. The police were present at the meeting where this decision was taken. They suggested that the closing time should be 8 pm. We suggested that it should be 10 pm and in the end it was set at 10 pm.

It is true that the shebeen/tavern owners did not like this. But anyone who did not like it could elect new people with different views to the KRDC in the next election in November, or call for an urgent general meeting and see if there was support to recall the people on the committee and have a new election or take up the issue with the police. Some of the ANC leaders have spoken as if setting closing times for Shebeens[Taverns] is some sort of terrible human rights violation that justified the attacks on us. They speak as though the shebeen/tavern owners rather than the people who have been attacked and driven from their homes are the real victims. They speak as though the right to drink all night is more important than basic political freedoms and basic safety.

3. AbM is Stopping Development. Our movement was formed to struggle for development. We struggle for development everyday. But development is not a neutral thing. Some kinds of development are in the interests of the rich and against the interests of the poor. Therefore our movement is specifically committed to struggling for development that is in the interests of the poor.

This means that we will oppose a forced removal from a well-located shack close to schools, work, health care and so on to a "transit camp’' (which is really just a government shack) in the middle of nowhere. This does not make us unique. Poor people’s organizations across South Africa, like the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign in Cape Town and the Landless People Movement in Johannesburg take exactly the same position. The Landless People's Movement (LPM) is an independent social movement in South Africa It represents rural people and people living in shack settlements in cities. The LPM boycotts parliamentary elections and has a history of conflict with the African National Congress The LPM is affiliated to Via Campesina internationally and its Johannesburg branches to the The Poor People's Alliance in South Africa.

Branches in Johannesburg

The Johannesburg Landless Peoples' Movement currently has branches in the following shack settlements:

  • Protea South
  • Harry Gwala
  • Freedom Park
  • Tembalihle
  • Precast
  • Lawley
  • Protea Glen

State repression

The movement claims to have been subject to severe repression in Johannesburg in 2010, including arrest, arson and murder.

In April 2004 57 members of the movement were arrested on election day for marching under the banner of 'No Land! No Vote!'. Some of the arrested activists were subject to torture and this was later taken up in court action against the police.

In September 2007 the Freedom of Expression Institute reported that at a peaceful protest by the Landless People's Movement:

"SAPS members fired at random towards the protesters, leaving the pavement covered with the blue casings of rubber bullets. Police also deployed a helicopter and water cannon, and we saw at least two officers using live ammunition. One Protea South resident, Mandisa Msewu, was shot in the mouth by a rubber bullet, and several other residents were attended to by paramedics due to police violence."

Poor people’s movements around the World take the same position. Academics and NGOs around the world take the same position.

Our achievements in the struggle for pro-poor development are a matter of record. In late 2007 the government stopped criminalizing our movement and began to negotiate with us. After more than a year of negotiations we signed a memorandum of understating with the eThekwini Municipality in February 2009. That MOU commits the city to provide services to 14 settlements affiliated to the movement and to explore the upgrading of three settlements where they currently are in terms of the government’s 2004 Breaking New Ground (BNG) policy. This MOU is not a secret — it has been covered in the media and we can make it available.

The MOU is a major breakthrough for pro-poor development in Kennedy Road, in Durban and in South Africa. It is a major breakthrough for Kennedy Road because in the late 1980s and early 1990s the Urban Foundation had agreed to upgrade the settlement where it was and even started the work — this is when the hall was built. But in 1995 the then Durban City Council cancelled the upgrade and the plan for Kennedy Road was changed to forced removal to a human dumping ground. We won the right to the city for the residents of Kennedy Road.

The MOU is also a major breakthrough for Durban because is commits the city to developing settlements in the city instead of forcing people out to rural human dumping grounds. It is a major breakthrough for the country because if followed up it would be the first time that the BNG policy would actually have been implemented.

Negotiations on implementing this deal were continuing right up to the attacks and in fact have continued after the attacks. We have also been negotiating for people who cannot be included in the upgrade to be voluntarily relocated to Cornubia which, because it is near Umhlanga Rocks, will have good access to work, schools, clinics , etc. We have worked incredibly hard to achieve all these victories for the development of the people of Kennedy Road. The KRDC and AbM signed that MOU. The victory is ours. It came from our blood (when we were being repressed) and our sweat (when we were negotiating).

4. AbM Has Taken The Government To Court. This is true. We have often taken the government to court. We have taken the government to court to protect our basic political freedoms such as the right to march, we have taken the government to court to prevent them from illegally evicting us and we have also taken the government to court to have the Slums Act declared unconstitutional. It is being said that this is an attempt to stop development. When the Slums Bill came out we read it together, line by line, and we developed a clear critique of it. We are not alone in our critique of the Slums Act.

The Act has been widely criticized as anti-poor, even by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Housing and our actions against it has been widely supported. We have the same right as everyone else to form opinions about government policy and legislation and to take our views before the courts for their consideration. Taking the government to court is a basic democratic right. It is not a crime — but killing people, chasing people from their homes and their community, destroying their homes and looting their goods and using death threats to ban a democratic political organization from an area are all crimes.

5. We Have Travelled Overseas. We do not hide about these discussions. We have gone overseas recently. We have been invited by churches to visit England and North America. We go there to speak the truth. That is our right.

6. We Have International Support. It is true that we have supporters in other countries. Most of these people are the same people who supported the struggle against apartheid. They are supporting our struggle because our struggle is clearly just. There are also some young people who see that there is injustice in our world, see that we are standing up for justice and want to work with us. Some have come to live in our settlements for a while to see how we make our homemade politics.

7. We Have Money. When we started our movement we had no money. We had nothing but our will. In recent years we have got a little support, mostly from churches. We have always refused money when we have felt that people were trying to buy over movement. We have never been paid to struggle. We are elected to positions and we serve as volunteers. We still have to work for a living. Our movement is not professionalized. The money that we have got in recent years is very small — before the attack we had an office but the phone was often cut off because we couldn’t pay the bill. All our records were kept in the office. Anyone could see them at any time. We also have a list of all the people who have supported us materially on our website. We note that unlike us the ANC refuses to be open about its funders.

8. We Did Not Attend The Meeting At Kennedy On Sunday. Of course we didn’t attend the meeting at Kennedy on Sunday. We received no proper invitation to it. And who in their right mind would attend a meeting after receiving death threats from the same people that would be at the meeting? Who in their right mind would attend a meeting where the people who had just destroyed their home would be presented as "the community''? Who in their right mind would attend a meeting where their supporters would be too scared to attend with them and too scared to speak if they were there.

That meeting was like an ANC rally and it would have been used as a kangaroo court if we had gone there. There were people there from Sydenham Heights and Foreman Road who were speaking as if they were from Kennedy! At this meeting the ANC announced all the victories that we have struggled for, and worked for over so many years, as if they were theirs! The ANC has a long history of hijacking people’s struggles and claiming them as their own.

Our demands

1. There needs to be an immediate restoration of democracy in Kennedy Road. This includes:

• The right of everyone who was chased out of the settlement or displaced by the violence to return to the settlement and to be safe in the settlement.
• The right of Abahlali baseMjondolo to work in the settlement without fear of attack or intimidation or slander.
• The restoration of our office to us and a guarantee that the office will be safe.
• The disbanding of the unelected structures that the ANC has instituted in the settlement and the return to authority of the democratically elected organization that was running the settlement before the attacks or the holding of genuinely free and fair and safe elections in the settlement. If the democratically elected organization (the KRDC) that was displaced in the coup is returned to its rightful place the next election will be in November.

2. There needs to be a genuinely independent and credible investigation into the attacks at Kennedy Road (including the demolition of people’s houses, the looting, the banning of AbM from the settlement and the ongoing threats to AbM members in and out of the settlement) that includes an examination of the role played by everyone including the police, the local ANC and the comments and actions of senior ANC people in the Municipality and the Province after the attacks. It must include fairness and justice for the Kennedy 8.

3. There must be compensation and support for those who have been injured and traumatized, those who have had to flee the settlement, those whose homes and businesses have been destroyed and those who have lost everything that they own.

4. There must be a crystal clear commitment from the ANC, from the top to the bottom, to the right of all people to organize independently of the ANC, to protest against the ANC, to challenge the ANC’s understanding of development and to take the ANC government to court.

5. The ANC must make a public commitment backed up with real action to ensure the safety of S’bu Zikode and all other AbM leaders.

6. There must be genuine and safe negotiation on the way forward between the ANC and AbM. These negotiations should be mediated by someone that we all trust. We know that there are many democrats in the ANC and we hope that they will prevail over those who have cast us as enemies to be attacked and eradicated by all means. Kangaroo courts are not places for real negotiations.

7. In yesterday’s Isolezwe the provincial housing minister said that she will provide housing for those who have been displaced. We welcome this announcement but we demand that those who have had their homes destroyed and all their things stolen should be at the top of the list. This includes S’bu Zikode, Mashumi Figlan and the KRDC.

Solidarity actions

Many people have contacted us asking what they can do to support us. We want to thank all those who are supporting us — especially The church and all those comrades who organized protests in London and in iRhini. We are making the following suggestions:

1. Affirm our right to exist and our right to be critical of the government.
2. Organize in support of our demands.
3. Support those of us who have lost their homes and all their possessions with material support.
4. Support those of us who are traumatized, including the children, with counseling and spiritual support.
5. Organize serious discussions about the nature of democracy in our country — and include delegates from poor people’s organizations in those discussions on the basis of equality.

Contact details for further information and comment

The Kennedy Road Development Committee

Mzwake Mdlalose
Anton Zamisa
Bheki Simelane
Nokutula Manyawo

Abahlali baseMjondolo leaders from other settlements in Durban

Alson Mkhize
Shamita Naidoo
Mnikelo Ndabankulu
Zodwa Nsibande
Mazwi Nzimande
Ma Shezi

The Poor People’s Alliance

Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape – Mzonke Poni
The Landless People’s Movement (Gauteng) – Maureen Mnisi
The Rural Network (KZN) – Reverend Mavuso
The Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign – Ashraf Cassiem

Anti-Privatization Forum: `In Defense Of Democracy'

The first few months of the Zuma Presidency has not interrupted the war on the poor. What took place last week in Kennedy Road, Durban, is rather signaling that the violence deployed against organizations of the poor is being escalated. A meeting of the Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) affiliate, Kennedy Road Development Committee (KRDC), on Sunday, September 27, was attacked by a militia, killing comrades Mthokozisi Ndlovu and Ndumiso Mnguni.

The office of Abahlali and fifteen homes belonging to leading members of the movement were demolished before the attack and several of the ABM’s leaders remain in hiding. Over a thousand, mostly Xhosa-speaking residents, were also forced to flee their homes.

According to eyewitness reports, when the police arrived on the morning after the attack started, they arrested none of the perpetrators of the violence. Instead, they arrested eight members of Abahlali who were in Claremont at the time of the attack, for the murder of the two comrades in Kennedy Road. It was further reported that the police then watched passively over the next several days as the militia, shouting things like "Kennedy Road is for Zulus," targeted amaPondo and particularly Abahlali members.

The lives of four more people were claimed during this organized pogrom and many more residents forced to flee. By the time the police eventually responded to the crisis on Thursday (October 1) last week, the chairperson of the local ANC branch, Jackson Gumede, was in effective control of the Kennedy Road community, demanding that residents produce their ANC membership cards.

Now, over a week after the initial attack, the militia still holds Kennedy Road in the grip of terror. Over a thousand residents remain displaced and AbM's leadership is still in hiding. The police have made no progress on the charges laid against the attackers. The eight KRDC members arrested for murder will have their bail hearing this Thursday, October 8. AbM reports that their members will spend this week mobilizing support for the liberation of their falsely accused comrades. Returning children to school, rebuilding destroyed homes and assisting all those forced to flee will also be priorities.

It is clear to the APF that what has transpired at Kennedy Road is a patent case of politically and ethnically motivated violence designed to "clear out'' AbM and destroy the inclusive and active community that has been built over the last several years. As a movement that itself has experienced the cold hand of party and state-sponsored violence and injustice, the APF admires the strength and resilience of AbM to continue the struggle and resolutely face up to their oppressors.

The support that AbM has received from academics, the Anti-Eviction Campaign in Cape Town, the Unemployed Movement, the Rural Network and various churches shows clearly that the shack dwellers are not the criminals the police and ANC councillors have so pathetically tried to portray them as. We share the conviction that the attempts to dislodge AbM will fail.

In joining the calls already made for a complete end to the violence and intimidation as well as the exposure and prosecution of the attackers and their handlers, the APF further demands that Abahlali, along with all residents forced to flee, be allowed to return to Kennedy Road without hindrance to reconstruct their homes and lives as well as to organize freely. Democracy is not the preserve of self-appointed elites and their lackeys. Alongside the AbM, the APF will continue to practice and defend our democratic freedoms and fight against reactionary attempts to divide the poor and sow terror and fear. The APF pledges its full solidarity with Abahlali.

From The Sunday Times

November 1, 2009

Homeless Carted Out Of Cape Town and Johannesburg For World Cup

Dan McDougall in Johannesburg

South African cities are planning to create “concentration camps” to house thousands of poor people well away from the football stadiums where next year’s World Cup will be staged, charities say.

Human rights groups in Cape Town and Johannesburg have expressed outrage at leaked plans to clear the streets of the homeless during the tournament. Councils in Johannesburg and Durban have told charities that street children and the destitute will be “compassionately” relocated out of city centers from next month.

Bill Rogers, from the Addiction Action Campaign, which helps thousands of drug abusers in Johannesburg, said the city had asked charities for assistance with the scheme.

He said: “We’ve been made aware of the city’s plans to move thousands of homeless people to shelters away from the city.”

Fifa, world football’s governing body, insists stadiums have smart surroundings. One rule states that no cranes or building sites should be visible around stadium skylines during the World Cup.

The clean-up is also expected to target street hawkers, unofficial security guards and thousands of immigrant traders from Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Somalia.

In Cape Town the move to rehouse the poor has been met with fury by members of a newly established group called Stop Concentration Camps for Homeless People, whose supporters compare the move to the apartheid era, when black people were cleared from “whites only” districts.

Linzi Thomas, from MyLife, a Cape Town charity for street children, said the policy would damage children’s prospects. “Proposals to move them out of sight and out of mind are not only absurd and counter-productive but a gross violation of basic human rights,” she said. “What happens to these people beyond 2010?”

Violet Modise from Johannesburg’s displaced persons unit defended the plans. She claimed they were aimed at restoring “the dignity of the homeless”.

Mon, 10/12/2009 - 22:48 — John - Prostate Cancer Survivor (not verified)

Ha-ha-ha, even if there are hiccups with the democracy in South Africa, it still has among the best democracies in all of Africa, with the exception of Ghana. Thanks for sharing this, though.

Mzonke Poni leader of Abahlali base Mjondolo in the Western Cape, and accused on a charge of ‘public violence’ had his case discharged in court on Tuesday 29 September for ‘lack of reliable evidence’. Mzonke conducted his own defense and he did so brilliantly. He led the three witnesses, one from the Metro Police and two from Cape Town’s anti-land-invasion unit, into contradicting themselves and each other.

In reality Mzonke was scapegoated for his political leadership of Abahlali baseMjondolo. The organization supported an occupation of municipal land in Macassar, outlying suburb of Cape Town, in May by backyard dwellers. The city’s anti-land-invasion unit spearheaded the illegal destruction of dwellings that had been erected on the land — illegal because once dwellings are occupied, under the PIE act they cannot be demolished without an order of court. An interdict was obtained in court declaring the illegality, but was overtaken by an interdict procured by the city prohibiting erection of structures on the land. In these ways the poor are denied justice by those with the resources.

However this case resulted in a bit of a comeback for the masses. Under Poni’s questioning, the three law enforcement witnesses could not even agree what he had done to warrant a charge of 'public violence.'

The first said that Poni was a leader (“voorbok”) but could not really say why. The second claimed that he had been policing the demonstration which was “rustig” (quiet) and then Poni arrived and spoke to the people and then there was “chaos” — stones thrown, fires lit, tires burnt, etc. The third claimed that he had seen Poni lighting a fire (and though it was elicited that he was a few steps away could not recall whether it was lit with petrol or paraffin). In reality, neither of these witnesses (nor any police) had been there when the fires were lit, and only arrived later on to put them out and clear the road of tires and stones!

Mzonke stated that he had merely observed the demonstration and had taken photos of it, including when law enforcement arrived late to try to clear the road. The first witness admitted that he had approached Mzonke twice while he was taking photos, to tell him to stop. He however denied Mzonke’s claim that he had said to him “Motherfucker, we are going to motherfucking arrest you.” He said that with women and children present he would never have used such language. Mzonke said he had responded to the officer by saying “then arrest me”. The magistrate asked the officer why, if he had told Mzonke to stop taking photos, he had not confiscated his cellphone camera, or arrested him then. The witness could not reply to this.

The police witnesses were equally unclear about the circumstances of Mzonke’s arrest. In reality Mzonke was arrested after he left the area of the demonstration in order to go home. He was standing next to a road at least 500 meters from the demonstration talking to two people when police cars arrived. The other two fled, but Mzonke stood his ground. “Arrest me if you like” he claimed that he said. He stated that the police then fired pepper gas at him, dragged him into a law enforcement private car, and drove him around Macassar, beating and abusing him, before transferring him into a regular police car and taking him to the police station.

The officer who arrested him admitted that this had taken place away from the scene of the disturbance. He claimed, as did the second witness, that “minimum force” had been used. But neither of these witnesses, when asked by Mzonke, was very clear on what actual force had been used in this case.

The third witness claimed initially that Mzonke had been arrested on the scene of the disturbance surrounded by people who were singing freedom songs (while Mzonke was not singing). He could not respond adequately when Mzonke asked him why the people singing had not been arrested with him. Later Mzonke asked him whether he had seen him (Mzonke) running away when there was the attempt to arrest him. “Yes” the witness replied. “Did you chase me?” asked Mzonke. “Yes” replied the witness. “But earlier you said I was standing with people singing when you arrested me” Mzonke said. “Yes, we chased you round the block and you ended up back in the demonstration” was the implausible reply.

The magistrate had closely questioned the first witness on elements of his testimony to try to get a clear picture of events and resolve the contradictions in his evidence. She was particularly concerned as to why, if Poni had been so much an instigator, they had waited so long to arrest him. By the time the third witness was on the stand, however, the magistrate and even the prosecutor were dissolving into fits of laughter at the evidence! The comedy was better than the Keystone Cops. Dryly, the magistrate told the third witness before dismissing him “What you just said contradicts the testimony of the previous witness.”

Without any pause, she immediately declared that due to lack of reliable evidence, Mzonke was discharged and was free to go. Mzonke and I celebrated outside the courtroom with high fives. It was a small victory in the fight for justice and homes for all.

Patrick Bond

ECONOMIC dislocation is a big part of the anger that ordinary people feel about pathetic state service delivery.

And although South Africa has one of the world's highest rates of protest, per person, nothing is being done to change matters. So 2010 could be an explosive year, if uprisings in the past few day are any indication — such as at Nelspruit's new stadium on Monday, where children tried to stop construction because they still lacked a decent school building. Some protests eventually lead to profound socio-economic change, most notably the Treatment Action Campaign's 1998-2003 street pressure and legal strategy aimed at acquiring antiretroviral drugs for HIV-positive people.

Subsequently, angry about water disconnections, Soweto activists' protests helped drive the controversial privatizer, Suez, out of Johannesburg. Last week's lamentable Constitutional Court ruling against the Sowetan's' water rights will probably compel them to return to illegal connections. Whether durable, democratic and campaign-oriented, or just momentarily explosive in character, civil society discontent was also a contributing factor in the 2007-08 transfer of power within the ANC. Can community and labour activists reverse South Africa's long economic decline? Here are some crucial markers:

- The post-apartheid rise in income inequality, slightly tempered after 2001 by increased welfare payments, but so bad that the main measure (the Gini coefficient) soared from below 0.6 in 1994 to 0.72 by 2006.

- The official unemployment rate doubled (the realistic rate is about 40 percent) as a result of imported East Asian goods in relatively labour-intensive sectors (clothing, textiles, footwear, appliances and electronics) and capital-intensive production techniques elsewhere (especially mining and metals).

- The provision of housing to several million people was marred by the units being far smaller than apartheid "matchboxes," and located further away from jobs and community amenities.

- While tokenistic amounts of free water and electricity are now provided, the overall price rose dramatically, leading to millions of disconnections each year when they could not afford the second block of water consumption (Durban is second-worst after Pietermaritzburg according the Centre for Applied Legal Studies).

- With respect to macro-economic stability, the value of the rand in fact crashed (against a basket of trading currencies) by more than a quarter in 1996, 1998, 2001, 2006 and 2008, the worst record of any major economy.

- The problem of "capital strike" — large-scale firms' failure to invest — continues, as gross fixed-capital formation is hardly enough to cover wear-and-tear on equipment.

- Where corporate profits were reinvested, they sought returns from speculative real estate and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange: there was a 50 percent increase in share prices during the first half of the 2000s, and the property boom that began in 1999 had by 2008 sent house prices up by 400 percent (US markets rose only by 60 percent over the same period).

- Businesses also invested their South African profits, but not mainly in South Africa. Dating from the time of political and economic liberalization, most of the largest local corporations - Anglo American, DeBeers, Old Mutual, SA Breweries, Investec, Liberty Life, Gencor (now the core of BHP Billiton), Didata, Mondi and others — shifted their funding flows and primary share listings to overseas markets.

- The outflow of profits and dividends due these firms is the main reason that since 2001, South Africa's "current account deficit" soared to among the highest in the world.

-Ecological problems have become far worse, according to the government's own commissioned research in the 2006 Environmental Outlook report, which, according to the leading state official, "outlined a general decline in the state of the environment".

Some did well by these disasters. By 2001, the rate of profit for large South African capital was ninth-highest among the world's major national economies (far ahead of the US and China), according to one British government study. Countervailing claims of a "developmental state" under construction hinge upon a series of vast white elephants:

- The Coega "ghost on the coast" industrial complex aimed at attracting a persistently elusive aluminum smelter.

- The Lesotho Highlands Water Project mega-dams, which permit excessive water consumption in Johannesburg while raising prices for township residents.

- Several new or reconstructed stadiums for the 2010 soccer World Cup (notably Durban's unnecessary Moses Mabhida Stadium).

- The R60 billion arms deal.

- Pebble-bed nuclear reactors potentially costing tens of billions of dollars, alongside tens of billions more on coal-fired power plants,notwithstanding South Africa's world-leading CO2 emissions rate.

- A R25b fast-rail network allowing wealthy travelers easy albeit expensive access between Johannesburg, Pretoria and the OR Tambo airport. To finance state infrastructure spending and steady tax cuts for corporations (down from a rate of nearly 50 percent in 1994 to less than 30 percent today), the Finance Ministry engineered a growth process that looked impressive at surface level. But South Africa's current account deficit is so great (reaching a peak of -9 percent of GDP in June 2008, although declining in 2009 as profit outflows slowed and a small trade surplus emerged) that The Economist this year rated the country as the world's riskiest emerging market.

None of these economic processes are tenable. Extremely high price inflation in electricity (due to rise by 200 percent in coming years), petrol and food will fuel yet more social unrest. The question is whether the state will ignore the protest — as Tito Mboweni tried in May at the Reserve Bank, when several thousand metalworkers demanded he receive their memorandum calling for lower interest rates — or repress it, or make concessions.

If concessions are made, will that lead to capital flight and a bigger crisis? And will the National Union of Metalworkers' calls for deeper reforms such as exchange controls be heeded? But if Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's Keynesian fiscal stimulus — a substantial budget deficit — can't restore growth, will angry protesters compel the Zuma government to adopt a new post-capitalist economic policy? Only very big changes can divert the society from even bigger confrontations in coming months.

Marchers Blockade 2010 Stadium

The situation in Sakhile township resembles a state of emergency

More than 30 South Africans have been arrested after a violent protest near a 2010 World Cup stadium in Mpumalanga Province, police say.

The protesters are demanding that the government honor its promise to build a new school if they made way for the construction of the Mbombela stadium. Police told the BBC that the situation was "tense but under control". A BBC correspondent says there are fears that the recent spate of violent protests could disrupt the World Cup. Many residents of South Africa's townships are angry at what they see as the slow pace at which the government is providing basic services such as housing, water and electricity.

The BBC's Mpho Lakaje says the situation in Sakhile township in Mpumalanga resembles a state of emergency, with burning tires in the roads, schools closed and local government buildings destroyed. They become unruly and started throwing stones at police who used rubber bullets to disperse them Superintendent Malcolm Makomene. The government has sent two ministers to the area to try to calm tensions. There have also been similar protests near the capital, Pretoria. About 100 protesters gathered near the Mbombela stadium in the provincial capital Nelspruit.

The demonstrators from Mathafeni village said the schools in the area are in a bad condition and accused the government of reneging on its promise to build a new school if they agreed to move. The unrest started on Monday with students taking to the streets and blockading the entrance to the stadium, forcing workers to down tools, reports say.The stadium is almost finished. Later in the week the demonstration become violent leading to three police officers being injured, two of them seriously. Police say the protests were initially staged by students but later escalated into a community affair.

"They become unruly and started throwing stones at police who used rubber bullets to disperse them," Mpumalanga police spokesperson Superintendent Malcolm Makomene told the BBC. One civilian was injured during the demonstrations while trying to dodge rubber bullets, police said. Police said although the demonstrators protested in the vicinity of the stadium, there were no attempts to enter the ground. "

There have been no attempts to go into the stadium or destroy the property around it but police are monitoring the situation," the police spokesperson said. Work has now resumed at the 30,000 capacity Mbombela Stadium, which is to host four first-round matches. When President Jacob Zuma was inaugurated in May he promised to speed up delivery of services and improve the lives of the poor but the country's first recession in 17 years has reduced his scope for action.

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

28 October 2009

The Kennedy Road 13 returned to the Durban Magistrate's Court on Monday 26 October to hear the verdict on their application for bail. The Kennedy 13 were not given bail and remain in Westville Prison. The magistrate will take a final decision on their application for bail on Monday next week.

Once again the ANC mob had been bussed in and there was a further escalation of threats against us. New people were targeted and threatened with death. Even at the Durban Magistrate's Court, in full public view, we are not safe and our basic democratic rights to speak and associate freely are being denied.

The threats of death and harm from the mouths and at the hands of self-proclaimed ANC members and officials, which started at the Kennedy Road settlement, has followed us into the Court. The violence and intimidation, which started at Kennedy Road, is not over. It is far from over. It continues. Our movement is still under attack, and our members — in Kennedy Road, and now also in other settlements, continue to be scattered by threats of violence. Even as we declare to ourselves and the world that we will not be silenced by the ANC we continue to live in fear that free speech, free movement and free association could get us killed.

The Secretary of our Youth League has now been forced into hiding after receiving public death threats. Armed young thugs followed her from the Court, to the street, to the taxis, to her home (which is not in the Kennedy Road settlement). This is in spite of the fact that the world is watching the ongoing attack on our movement. In spite of the world watching — in spite of protests at South African embassies, on university campuses, in spite of statements by respected church leaders, the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Housing, and various human rights organizations, many of us cannot return to our homes, many of us remain in hiding and we must still must hold our meetings in secret. In spite of the world watching, we cannot go to the court without facing young men threatening us with words or weapons. They bring knobkerries and bushknives to court, and openly boast that they are armed and will kill.

In spite of all this, we hear the ANC at top levels talking about militarizing the police, the same police who have already so often used their weapons against us. In spite of all of this, we hear the ANC at top levels talking about silencing "enemies of the ANC." We know exactly what they mean as their self-proclaimed members have already tried to silence us. In spite of all this, the ANC at top levels have not condemned the violence and intimidation against our movement.

There has not been one statement from the ANC about the fact that we were attacked that night, not one statement about the fact that our leaders have had their homes destroyed and been chased from their community, not one statement about the fact that freely elected community structures have been declared illegitimate because they are not ANC structures, not one statement about the fact that our movement has been banned from Kennedy Road, not one statement about the fact that our leaders, including those outside of Kennedy Road, continue to be targeted. We have not seen one statement from the ANC condemning Willies Mchunu for claiming to have 'liberated' Kennedy Road.

We are again calling on the honest and democratic members of the ANC not to be silenced, but to oppose those who corrupt their movement with lies, intimidation and oppression. Honest and democratic members of the ANC are the defenders of their movement, not its enemies. If the honest and democratic members of the ANC do not prevail at this time the organization will become an enemy of our democracy. We are asking the honest and democratic members of the ANC to support our right to organize independently. We are asking them to defend democracy. We are asking them to defend us.

Yesterday at Court, the ANC again sent two hired buses with people to intimidate us. Most of the self-proclaimed ANC members on the buses were not from Kennedy Road.

Inside the Court yesterday, there was pushing, shouting and shoving — once again, Abahlali members were physically prevented from entering the courtroom.

Inside the Court yesterday, when the judge came in, those from the ANC buses held up signs on big flowchart paper with different color slogans such as "Asikufuni Zikode Nababulali" (We don't want [Abahlali President S'bu] Zikode and the killers).

Outside the Court, those from the ANC buses were toyi-toying outside a gate. When our members stood together quietly, far from the gate, to be briefed about the result of the bail hearing, a group from the ANC buses, mostly young men, moved toward us, shouting and threatening us. They came very close. We just stood quietly.

A Reverend from the Diakonia Council of Churches tried to calmly step between us and the young men. He asked them to please be calm and stand back. Some of the young men began shouting at him in English and isiZulu: "You are just an umlungu!", "You are supporting the killers!" and "We can kill you!"

A woman, who identified herself to the Reverend as a local councilor, was leading the young men. She was dressed in ANC garb head-to-toe. She shouted at the Reverend, and told him it was not a matter of the ANC, but a matter of the community. But she is not Yacoob Baig, the local ANC councilor of Ward 25, where the community of Kennedy Road is located.

If this is 'just a matter for the community' what is an ANC councilor from another ward doing with bussed-in ANC members from outside of Kennedy Road and issuing death threats to respected church leaders at Court? What are Jackson Gumede, Yacoob Baig and other ANC officials doing at Court, watching, as men — visibly armed and wearing ANC t-shirts — openly threaten us, calling for the death of the Secretary of our Youth League, our Women's League Chairperson, and our other leaders? Why are AbM leaders from outside of Kennedy Road being threatened? Why is S'bu Zikode being targeted when he was not even in Durban on the night of the attack on our movement? It is completely obvious that the ANC is waging a political attack on our movement.

Mr. Mchunu we need an urgent and genuinely independent and credible investigation into this attack. Our demand is for openness and fairness. How can you deny this demand? If you continue to deny this demand how can you expect people to not conclude that you have something to hide? It is obvious that the ANC cannot investigate themselves. There has to be a genuinely independent and credible investigation into this attack. Mr. Mchunu, if you want to be the Minister for the Safety and Security of all people and not the Minister in charge of attacking the people who have embarrassed the ANC then we need you to start calling for an independent and credible investigation into this attack as soon as possible.


Reverend Mavuso

Shamita Naidoo

Mama Nxumalo

Notes on the Police Attack on the Pemary Ridge Settlement

14 November 2009

The Sydenham police arrived at Pemary Ridge at around 8pm on Friday night in one private car.Three police officers first went to a woman's tuck shop. They found that the shop was closed, and proceeded to kick down the front door. The woman, hearing the police and fearing they would damage her shop, entered through the back door. When she entered, they arrested her for having bottles of beer in her shop.

In the hours that followed, the police tore through the settlement, kicking down doors, issuing beatings with fists, batons, and even household items. The police shot, at random, with live ammunition, within close range of people and their homes. They assaulted both women and men.

Before the shooting began, one man, who was walking by the tuck shop of the arrested woman, was beaten by police, without explanation. Another man, who was walking home from work, unaware of what was happening in the settlement, was beaten on the street. He was told by police officers that, "It was to teach you people a lesson," and so that when he returned home injured from work, "that lesson would be brought back to the community."

Other people were beaten by police inside their homes. One man from the Arnett Drive settlement was visiting friends, sitting inside and talking, after work. The police kicked down the door, shouting that they were "looking for ganja." He, the two other men and two women inside, said they did not have any ganja. The police said, "Don't make us look stupid" and that they "smelled ganja." The man said whatever the police thought they were smelling was not ganja; he drinks alcohol, but does not smoke ganja. A police officer then hit him, repeatedly, for "talking back," and for "trying to make them look stupid." The officers then began beating all 5 people inside the home, including the two women. Blood covered the floor of the home, and the door remains off its hinges.

The police were not finished. Shortly thereafter, once another police van had arrived, the officers returned to the home, and pulled the man that they had already assaulted outside. They dragged him to the street that runs along the top of the settlement, and then beat him bloody again with batons and fists all over his body — injuring especially, his back and knees. The police said that they were "teaching him a lesson." With difficulty, the man managed to escape, and ran to the bush to hide.

Some people gathered outside to see what was happening: while standing and talking, both women and men were beaten by police. An estimated two men and three women were arrested. Other police officers began shooting, with live ammunition, at random, in close range of people and their homes. People ran, and hid in the bush.

Many women in the settlement then began to form a barricade in the street at the top of the settlement. At first, the women put stones and a log in the street, and then they put tires and set the barricade alight. Later, the police forced some of the people they arrested to remove the smoldering remnants of the barricade with their bare hands. Again, the police returned to settlement, with an estimated additional 14 or 15 officers. The police, again, shot live ammunition at random, while most people hid in the bush.

11 women and men were arrested. It is difficult to estimate how many people have been injured at this stage. However, the 11 people arrested apparently were assaulted, their friends and families members, who witnessed the beatings, say. Another 6 people, among those who remained at the settlement overnight, had visible injuries, swollen wounds and bleeding. There have been no reported bullet wounds, despite that police, on two separate occasions, fired live ammunition inside the settlement.

Philani Zungu is the former Vice President of Abahlali and the current chairperson of Abahlali baseMjondolo in Pemary Ridge. Philani's home was shot through with at least one bullet. The police were using live ammunition that night, as the community confirmed when they found the bullet casings the following day.

At the time, people were fearful that this was a shoot-to-kill scenario. Many fled the settlement when the first round of shooting began. Some hid in the bush down near the river while the police fired. After the second round of police shooting, some people left the settlement entirely for the night, as they feared the police would return. Residents went to the Arnett Drive settlement (also affiliated to Abahlali baseMjondolo) for the night, or to friend and family homes elsewhere.

At 11:30pm, residents themselves called an ambulance. The ambulance arrived at around 12:30am. The ambulance took one man to the hospital, with head injuries from police beatings. The others, who were also injured and bleeding, were not taken to hospital, as the ambulance attendants said their injuries were not serious enough.

Several Abahlali members from Pemary Ridge went to the Sydenham police station around 2:30am to inquire about those who had been arrested. A police officer told them that 11 people were arrested. He said they could not see the arrested, and that visiting hours were at 12pm on Saturday. He said that the arrested had not been charged yet, but that they would appear in the Pinetown Magistrate's Court on Monday. When asked if those arrested had received medical attention, he denied that they were injured. He said that the 11 arrested were not injured, and so have not received any medical attention.

The local Abahlali baseMjondolo branch organised a small press conference in the settlement this morning. About 60 residents attended the press conference. Later on an Abahlali baseMjondolo delegation went to the Sydenham Police station to demand a meeting with the police. The officers on duty used the excuse that they could not speak for those on duty last night. However a few members of the delegation were allowed to visit the prisoners. The prisoners said that four of them are seriously injured and that their requests for medical attention had been refused. Medical attention for the four was requested by the visitors but the police told them that, 'we know when to call a doctor and when not to. Who the hell are you to tell us how to do our job?' The detainees have still not been charged. It was confirmed that they are scheduled to appear in the Pinetown Magistrate's court on Monday.

This is the third time, since the attacks in Kennedy Road, that the Sydenham police have brutally harassed and arrested residents of Pemary Ridge. The last two times, the police said it was for the self-connection of electricity. Everyone knows that the police attacks on Pemary Ridge are part of the wider ongoing attack on Abahlali baseMjondolo.

Emergency Press Update from Abahlali basePemary Ridge

14 November 2009

Police Attack on Pemary Ridge - 11 arrested, at least 15 injured

The attack on Abahlali baseMjondolo continues.

The first van from the Sydenham Police Station arrived at the Pemary Ridge settlement at 8:00 p.m. last night. The police officers went to a woman's tuck shop and kicked down the door saying that they were looking for alcohol. At the time, a man was walking by, and the police assaulted him — they struck him, and swore at him. His sister, who saw the attack, screamed in terror.

When members of the community gathered around to see what was happening, the police opened fire, and started shooting people at random. Some residents ran to the river to hide fearing a shoot to kill operation. Others assembled at the top of the road, and began burning tires in protest. More police arrived and they attacked the people protesting on the road opening fire several times. They then went from shack to shack kicking down the doors of residents' homes and assaulting people in their homes. People were beaten bloody with fists and batons. Some were also pistol whipped. The police fired several rounds into Philani Zungu's shack.

At least 15 people have been badly injured but we can't give the final figure yet as many people scattered into the bush down by the river and some are too scared to return to the settlement.

11 people were arrested and are being held without charge in the notorious Sydenham Police station where many Abahlali baseMjondolo members, and other poor African people, have been badly assaulted, and at times even tortured, over the years. Most recently the Kennedy Thirteen were severely assaulted in the Sydenham Police Station. Many of the people who have been arrested were visibly injured when they were arrested and community members saw them being beaten further as they were arrested and put in the vans. But the police are denying that they are injured and have denied them medical attention.

The Pemary Ridge Eleven will appear in the Pinetown's Magistrate's court on Monday. It is not yet clear what they will be charged with. Visiting hours at the Sydenham Police station today start at 12:00.

This is the third attack on the Pemary Ridge settlement by the Sydenham Police since the attack on Abahlali baseMjondolo in Kennedy Road. The last two times they came and arrested people for connecting themselves to electricity. This was an attack on the whole community. Before they left the police said, "This is a lesson — tell the others."

The total number of people arrested since the attack on Abahlali baseMjondolo began on 26 September 2009 is now 32. There is no democracy for the poor in Durban. In this city if you are a poor person the police are dangerous criminals and you must fear them.

eThekwini kukhala abangcwele.



Pemary Ridge Under Police Attack Now; Shooting Continues

Abahlalibase Pemary Ridge

13 November

At 8pm this evening, a Sydenham police car arrived at the Pemary Ridge settlement in Reservoir Hills. The armed officers went to a home, and kicked down the door. At the time, a man was walking by, and the police assaulted him — they struck him, and swore at him. His sister who saw the attack screamed in terror. When members of the community gathered around to see what was happening, the police opened fire, and started shooting people at random. Some residents ran to the river to hide. They reassembled at the top of the road, and began burning tires. More police arrived and opened fire several times. The police are continuing to shoot at random now. They are kicking down the doors of residents' homes. All press are urged to rush to the scene.

The whole of this, and last month, is just reports of the police shooting. 2010 has arrived, and by the time the tournament comes, the stadium will be full bullets.




The Poor People's Alliance: Abahlali baseMjondolo, together with Landless People's Movement (Gauteng), the Rural Network (KwaZulu-Natal) and the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, is part of the Poor People's Alliance - a unfunded national network of democratic membership based poor people's movements.

The Left in South Africa threw in its lot with the 'African Nationalists' long ago [in the name of "The National Democratic Revolution"] — hoping for an 'entryist breakthrough' but got caught-up in the murky swamp of the ANC's State corruption, the gravy train handouts and personal self-enrichment!

The socialist libertarian tradition is carried forwards by the Abahlali baseMjondolo* movement, the grass-roots squatter-camp occupiers of unused land and only supported by independent academics like Pro. Martin Legassick (ex-MWT ANC, ex-UWC) but NOT by the 'traditional Left'.

Shame On Them!

There have been brutal police attacks on this movement [see also the articles in this journal on the Kennedy Road attacks in Durban by the police and the recent 'Police Attack on the Pemary Ridge Settlement] . It is here that a real 'Movement of the People' is to be found!

* Abahlali baseMjondolo, together with Landless People's Movement (Gauteng), the Rural Network (KwaZulu-Natal) and the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, is part of the Poor People's Alliance - a national network of democratic membership based poor people's movements

Village Sealed Off By Protest

May 9 2012
By Neo Maditla

Police at Sir Lowrys Pass Village, where protesters closed access to the N2. Photo: David Ritchie

Thousands of residents from Sir Lowry’s Pass Village burned tree trunks, plastic and bushes in a service delivery protest that blocked access to the town from the N2 on Wednesday morning.

Some protesters lobbed rocks at riot police and fire and rescue officers while others, carrying sticks, chanted, saying they were tired of empty promises from the authorities.

Tom Mti, 62, said he had been living in Sir Lowry’s Pass Village for over 30 years, yet he and his neighbours still lived in shacks.

Mti said there was a meeting with the City of Cape Town about a month ago at which it promised to move some residents but this had not yet happened.

“Yesterday(Tuesday) we had a community meeting and decided that we were going to strike this morning because we have had enough.”

At around 9am the police managed to move the crowd back to the village, where they were met by hundreds of other residents who had blocked the roads going in and out of the area.

George Cupido, chairman of a Sir Lowry’s Pass community group, said residents had complaints ranging from housing to drainage and sanitation. “Every meeting [with the City of Cape Town] is always the same. They make us promises they can’t keep,” he said.

Resident Phillip Jankies said he lived in an RDP house and had woken up at 3am to protest in “solidarity with people in the Rasta community” who live in the area that is primarily affected.

A 23-year-old Rastafarian known as “Blackface” who has lived in the area all his life said homes flooded badly in the rainy season. “Rain water seeps into our houses, the whole area is muddy and the electricity trips. We want proper houses.”

Ward 100 councillor Johan Middleton tried to address residents this morning but they refused to speak to him, saying they wanted to see mayor Patricia de Lille.

Middleton said the problem was that there were 200 people on the housing waiting list in the area and space to build only 140 houses.

He said they had meetings every Friday with residents to try to explain the situation but that some people did not understand.

He said the mayor would not be able to make it out to speak to residents but that the Western Cape MEC for community safety, Dan Plato, was expected there on Wednesday.

Cape Argus

Informal Settlers Homeless As Housing Dept Stalls

Wednesday, 09/05/2012

Makgosimang Matsuwoni lives in a tiny makeshift shack while another person occupies her RDP house.More than 300 informal settlers in Sol Plaatje squatter camp near Roodepoort are still waiting for RDP houses they were promised in 1999. Although most of the houses have been built, many have been made uninhabitable by vandalism and illegal occupation.

Despite this, officials from the regional housing department have persuaded the “owners” to sign documents, also referred to as "happy letters," confirming that they are satisfied with their houses. The residents say they signed the documents because they thought they were the title deeds to their homes.

Corruption Watch has copies of the documents.

Of the 2,558 units that have been built in Sol Plaatje, 2,200 were allocated to the rightful owners, but the remainder have been invaded or vandalized due to a lack of security. As a result, the residents who should rightfully be occupying them continue to live in cramped conditions in shacks and flats.

A remodeled hostel turned into a double-storey flat. The contractor re-used old roofs which are now falling off.According to Sol Plaatje housing development community liaison officer Joseph Letjoko, some of the houses were invaded because they were left empty for a long time without being allocated, while others have no toilets, pipes, windows or doors due to vandalism.

Fearing that if they wait for too long their vandalized houses will be further damaged and believing promises from the contractor that the existing damage will be repaired, some of the rightful owners have moved into the damaged homes, said Letjoko.

R104-million was allocated for the housing development, but, said Letjoko, “It look like they used R20 000. If you look at where our subsidies have gone you can’t see that much difference.” The houses are so shoddily built that many were flooded during the rainy season, he said.

Corruption Watch has a copy of the budget plans and has photographs showing the substandard work.

The shoddily made staircase inside one of the renovated flats.According to Letjoko, each successful housing applicant received a subsidy worth R40 000, which was ploughed into the development. The overall budget also included a R100 000 allocation for a playground and R75 000 for greening, both of which the community has yet to see, he said.

Residents also complain that stands have not been demarcated and fenced and roads have yet to be built, despite these being promised features of the development.


Located south of Roodeport around an abandoned mine hostel, Sol Plaatje was established in 1999 as a settlement for people who were evicted from three other informal settlements – Maraisburg, in 1999; Woerus, in the Honeydew area, in 2000; and Mandelaville, near Diepkloof, in 2001.

Number 2024 has been vandalized. It is not clear if it is an invader or the rightful owner who now lives in the RDP house.At the time the City of Johannesburg, which was responsible for the relocation, undertook to have houses built, but eventually residents were forced to go to court to compel the city to honor its undertaking. Not until the court’s decision, ordering the city to provide all applicants with formal housing within two years, was handed down in 2004 were any steps taken to provide housing.

The Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco), given the task of developing the Sol Plaatje settlement, contracted Motheo Construction Group to refurbish the existing single-storey mining hostels and turn them into double-storey blocks of flats, to build RDP units and new flats and to lay water and sewage pipes.

In a press statement issued in August 2007, Joshco stated that, “The entire redevelopment is expected to be completed in 2009”. Among the facilities Joshco was supposed to provide was street lighting and the company was also supposed to facilitate the township’s connection to the electricity grid. Now, in 2012, residents still do not have access to electricity.

Some of the houses have been vandalized by members of the community.Although a clinic has been built it cannot be opened because of the absence of electricity and the community has been given no indication of when power might be supplied, said Letjoko. “We haven’t been informed of anything,” he complained. “We are in the dark; we don’t know when we’ll get electricity.”

According to Tim Potter, the director of Motheo Construction, electricity is not the only element that is missing — the settlement has no roads or storm-water drains. “Normally we would have been asked to do that process, but there was no funding,” said Potter. Construction in the area began in February 2007 and was completed in July 2009, he said.

According to Potter, houses were approved for 2,200 people and 300 applications were rejected. “You can only give occupation to the people who have been approved for a subsidy. And there are lots of reasons why you cannot be approved … if you are not a South African citizen, you don’t have a dependent or you’ve already had a subsidy and have a house somewhere else.”

Sibongiseni Ngcobo shows Corruption Watch the “happy letter” he signed confirming that number 2549 is his house — but someone else is living in it.However, the City of Johannesburg and the Department of Human Settlements were working on putting those who had not been provided for through the system to enable them to get houses, he said.

Letjoko refuted this, saying only 15 applications had been rejected permanently and about 300 residents whose houses had been vandalized or invaded had already signed for them, which meant their subsidies had been approved. “You can’t sign for a house without being approved,” he said.

While Potter claimed Motheo has repaired 180 vandalized houses, Letjoko says only about 30 have been repaired so far.

“We sat with Joshco and then measured what had been stolen,” said Potter. “We said we would repair the vandalized houses and only ask for payment for material and labour.”

He added that houses were vandalized during and after construction and it had been difficult to get the community to self-police.

Letjoko, however, asserted that the community should not have been expected to self-police because an amount to the tune of R289 000 had been set aside for security.

Furthermore, the municipality should have acted on an order issued by the court in 2010 to evict the invaders. Instead, the mayoral committee had halted the process during the 2011 local elections, saying they could not evict people during elections, he said.

Referring to the renovated hostels, Letjoko told Corruption Watch that the contractor “just patched some houses, extended concrete slab houses with bricks and re-used old roofs”.

The two-room flats that were built do not meet the Gauteng department’s housing norms and specifications for low-cost housing for 2008/9, which stipulate that each unit must have two bedrooms.

The internal walls of the RDP houses have not been plastered or bag-washed and the internal walls of the renovated hostels have not been repainted. Potter said these deficiencies were due to financial restraints and that no paint had been specified for the walls, with the exception of the bathrooms, for waterproofing purposes. The specifications had been developed in conjunction with Joshco and the council and were a function of a limited budget.

According to the Housing Act of 1997, explained Potter, each South African is eligible to a certain amount as a housing subsidy. The amount was a combination of a fixed budget provided by the Department of Human Settlements and municipal grant funding. “Joshco had been allocated a certain amount and we were required to work within that budget,” he said.

“[The flats] were originally prefabricated concrete hostel dwellings and so the design of the new units was restrained by the original structure. This is the reason why two bedrooms were not designed. The free-standing units do have two bedrooms.”

Re-used roofs simply needed to be replaced if roof tiles came off, said Potter.

Another complaint from Sol Plaatje residents was that they had not yet received their title deeds and, said Letjoko, the informal settlement has not yet been declared a township.

Potter says the reason for residents not receiving title deeds was that the land transformation process is still ongoing.

“Often these land processes can take years,” he explained. “The land was owned by private individuals. Joshco had to then arrange for the gathering of those individual purchases and get their commitment in terms of deed of sales to actually combine ownership under the City of Johannesburg.”

He said a township registry will be opened this month and once the general town plan is approved individual title deeds will be registered. But this, said Potter, will depend on whether the council receives the necessary funding.

Back To Court

Letjoko said this information had not been communicated either to him or to members of the community and he had approached the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (Seri) to help him with the matter.

“We will meet them in court,” he said.

Seri attorney Osmond Mngomezulu confirmed that he had received the documents from Letjoko concerning the Sol Plaatje housing development but that nothing had yet been done because Seri was inundated with cases. However, Seri plans to hold a meeting with the Sol Plaatje community on Sunday May 19 to investigate the matter further.

“This matter is not a straightforward one, it’s complex and requires attention,” said Mngomezulu.

The Victims

Sibongiseni Ngcobo, 43, whose house has been invaded, has made repeated attempts to regain it, to no avail. Shortly after he signed the “happy letter” he had prepared to move into his new home, only to find that someone had already occupied it.

After a squabble with the invader during which he ended up breaking the door, the Roodeport police arrested him.

“I showed them the papers I had signed which [proved] I was the rightful owner and they still arrested me,” said Ngcobo. “Here the rightful owner is arrested and not the person who has invaded their house.”

He is now forced to live with his wife and four children in a two-room flat belonging to a relative.

Another resident, Gogo Makgosimang Matsuwoni, 71, signed a letter of satisfaction in July 2010, but still lives in a one-room shack while another person has taken over her house.

“I can’t apply for a house and then someone else gets it,” said Matsuwoni. “Is that right? [But] when it’s time for elections we’re all told to vote.”

No Response

When Corruption Watch approached the City of Johannesburg to respond to the complaints of the Sol Plaatjie residents, housing communications representative Bubu Xuba referred us to Joshco, saying it was responsible for the project.

Corruption Watch put forward a set of questions to Joshco, asking why the eviction process had been halted; what had happened to the money set aside for security, greening and a playground; why there were still no roads and electricity and when the residents would receive their title deeds.

Despite giving Joshco two weeks to respond, Corruption Watch has yet to receive a reply.


By Kerry Chance of the School Of Development Studies Research Report No. 83. July 2010

The Work of Violence:

If it is part of the work of violence to destroy toward a particular end, so too often is its work to erase the traces of both that destruction and its end. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela commented in A Human Being Died That Night that a bloody massacre scene she witnessed as a child was recorded as part of the ‘official’ record as a single death.Setting aside liberalist legal, psychological, or human rights discourses that would institutionalize “truth-telling” and “bearing witness,” with its own discrete forms of erasure, her point is rather simple. Namely, that these traces were only, if imperfectly, if never completely, rendered visible in the gap between the ‘official’ record and those who witnessed and by making it public.

On 26 September 2009, violent attacks by an armed group left two men dead and an estimated thousand displaced at the Kennedy Road shack settlement in the South African City of Durban.iiWhat has been made public about that night is that members of an armed group self-identified as ruling African National Congress (ANC) supporters, some, mobilizing ethnicity, chanted anti-amaMpondo slogans. The headquarters of Abahlali baseMjondolo, a poor peoples’ social movement claiming 10,000 members nationwide, was dismantled, then ransacked, elected movement leaders and their families, fifty-seven parents and children in total, their homes destroyed by armed men, went into “hiding.”

Movement activities operated “underground.” Thirteen Abahlali members were arrested. Until July 2010, five remained, ten months later, in Westville prison yet to see trial. In movement press statements, Abahlali alleged that the attacks were carried out by an “ANC militia” and were backed by police and “high level” officials.

Protesters gathered at local universities and at South African embassies from London to New York to Moscow under Abahlali banners. Church leaders and academics from the Archbishop of Cape Town to Noam Chomsky condemned the attacks, as did Amnesty International, as well as other social movements and civic groups.

In the days and weeks that followed 26 September 2009, state officials — local, municipal, and provincial – circulated public statements, however, which told another story, one claiming that the violence at Kennedy Road was an intensely localized criminal matter, perpetrated by a “vigilante group” with links to Abahlali.

That “vigilante group” – said to be the thirteen Abahlali members arrested, one since cleared of charges that ranged from murder to assault to malicious destruction of property to robbery – held Kennedy residents under a curfew, barring them, under threat of force, from watching television, cooking or walking outdoors after 7pm.

After the attacks, the Provincial Minister for Transport, Safety and Security announced the settlement “liberated,” and that a resolution had been taken “to dissolve Abahlali baseMjondolo.”viOfficials, on September 28 2010, hosted a meeting and press conference at the Kennedy Road Community Hall, with 88 “stakeholders,” all affiliates of the ANC or state bodies.viiIn an official press statement issued that day, the spokesperson for the Provincial Minister claimed: “for the records [sic] there are no xenophobic or ethnic politics at Kennedy Road.”

“Criminals,” he said, “would soon be brought to book, which may or may not include [Abahlali President S’bu] Zikode.” A representative of the eThekwini Housing Department at the meeting, mobilizing ethnicity, warned that the imfene choir – in which some of the thirteen arrested were performers – “In our culture is associated with muthi [witchcraft].” Citing a then-pending decision by a Constitutional Court challenge brought by Abahlali over the Slums Act, he stated that the movement stood in the way of “development” in Kennedy Road.

What follows is a timeline, an account of the attacks that began to unfold, in their most violent manifestations, on the night of 26 September 2009. This account is centered upon the Community Hall, a brick-and-mortar structure in Kennedy Road, a shack settlement of an estimated 7,000 households on the outskirts of the eThekwini metro.

The Hall was a locus of day-to-day activities in the community, the national headquarters of Abahlali, and, importantly, an expressed target of armed men. To this, a further note on method: the timeline draws from approximately 100 group and individual, structured and semi-structured interviews with those present during the attacks, both men and women, between the ages of 18 to 65, across a range of affiliations or lack thereof to Abahlali, to political parties, to various ethnic self-identifications, those remaining in Kennedy Road and those who fled.

Interviews were conducted from September, within the first days after the attacks began, to December 2009, with staggered follow-up in March and July 2010. Daily, intensive doctoral research was conducted from August 2008 to December 2009, Kennedy Road as the primary site, and regular visits from 2006 to 2010.xi Colleagues provided 30 additional transcribed or recorded testimonies.xii

This timeline proposes three meaningful dimensions of the attacks:

(1) the mobilization of political party affiliation and the specter of an ethnic-other tied to material relations, especially employment and state resources;

(2) new modes of policing in an ensuing social drama over a state-backed crackdown on criminal gangs and shebeens/taverns;

(3) contested claims to political sovereignty articulated through election-time “development” projects. In proposing these three dimensions, this timeline, amid happenings of that day, sketches in broad strokes, shifts in relevant interactions between Abahlali and officials, between 2008 and 2009, at the local, municipal, and provincial level.

These dimensions, entailing both articulations during the attacks by armed men, as well as post-facto in public statements by officials, coalesced to displace members of Abahlali from their homes and national headquarters.

This is an approximate timeline, neither fixed nor conclusive. Rather than with the precision of a ticking-clock, time-headings err on the side of sequence, as well as mean consistency between separate witnesses, although variation is also noted. It is not a close reading of individual testimonies — about which much could be said – but here, instead aims at temporally

moving, ‘thick’ description. Above all, the events, which began in their complexity that night, are still unfolding. They do not rest safely in a distant past. In the courts, those arrested still await trial, postponed until November 2010, the bail hearings for which have included attendance by ANC supporters, some carrying weapons.

In the Kennedy settlement, Abahlali members today continue to report intimidation. Outside, those who remain displaced Abahlali President S’bu Zikode said “have been made refugees in our own country, in our own province, in our own settlement.”

What is conclusive about 26 September is that worlds were shattered that night, and that the gap between those worlds and the ‘official’ record remains, at least to date, staggering.

II An Approximate Timeline:

9:00am – Heritage Weekend Begins: Starting at 9am, the Kennedy Road Development Committee – a committee elected in last year at a mass-based Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the Hall – hosted a weekend-long Heritage Day celebration.

Abahlali, to which the KRDC affiliates, held a similar celebration for all its regional branch areas a week earlier, at a Pinetown settlement called eMause. After 27 September, rumor circulated amongst Kennedy residents that the attacks were meant to unfold there.xvii

The weekend celebration, as KRDC members stated during the organizing stages, was aimed at building community solidarity, youth participation, and “anti-ethnicism.” Since the run-up to the national Presidential elections in 2009, tensions in Kennedy Road, as across the eThekwini region, were bubbling, articulated along fractured lines of ethnicity and rapidly reconfiguring political party affiliations, particularly amongst dispossessed youth.

At times, these intersected: in talk, for instance — within the settlement and more broadly in public discourse — which coded a post-Polokwane ANC as newly ethnically amaZulu, and breakaway party COPE (Congress of the People) as amaXhosa. Herein also lay a stereotypic material relation.

Namely, that better access and less legitimate claim to jobs, women, and other resources — especially of a developmental state such as houses and basic services — came to those of ostensibly exogenous language and origin.

In November 2008 – nationally, as COPE announced a breakaway from the ANC and locally, with the Annual General

Meetings (AGMs) looming to elect a new Abahlali and KRDC leadership — rumor spread amongst some residents of an ethnicized plot, a “Pondo plot,” to take over Kennedy Road.xxii The President of Abhalali, S’bu Zikode, was violently attacked at the entrance of the Hall in the middle of the day by three young men — two identified by their own relatives as from outside the settlement — with a knife and broken bottles.

He was beaten all over his body, hospitalized with smashed glass lodged in his face, ears, and head. His three-year old son, with him at the time, stood and watched the scene.

Weeks later, five young men, shouting ethnic slurs — identified as from outside the settlement by the bystanders who intervened — beat bloody then Abahlali Vice President, Lindela “Mashumi” Figland next to the Hall.xxivAt the Abahlali AGM, an ANC-BEC (Branch Executive Committee) member from another ward seized the microphone, reiterating warning of “a Pondo plot,” announced, “Now, is the time of the amaZulu.” Participants shouted him down, demanding he depart from the Hall.

While Abahlali, since 2005, officially maintained an election boycott position, it does not render its branches ‘no-go’ zones for political parties. The movement also does not bar members from voting, or from participating in other civic activities, such as unions, cultural associations, or church groups. In these months, party manifestos, t-shirts, posters, and other goods were distributed and meetings held in Abahlali settlements, including Kennedy Road. Local ANC branches hired buses for rallies in these areas.

In May and June 2009, two violent fights broke out at the Kennedy shebeenstaverns, where ethnic slurs were exchanged between groups of young men, leaving three hospitalized with serious injuries. Abahlali and KRDC members, in response, called meetings at the Hall, speaking against the danger of arbitrary divisions amongst “the poor” and held family mediations, drawing in mothers and grandmothers, to quell further violence.

As one Kennedy resident put it: “Apartheid told us we are Zulus or Xhosas...I grew up in the Eastern Cape, I speak isiZulu; my wife grew up in KwaZulu-Natal, she speaks isiXhosa...our children and us, we are South African, we are Black people, we are all living in this ghetto.”xxvi Ethnicity, as this suggests, was produced, unstably, its historical sediments fundamentally racist.

Heritage Day, according to KRDC members, was a Meetings (AGMs) looming to elect a new Abahlali and KRDC leadership – rumor spread amongst some residents of an ethnicized plot, a “Pondo plot,” to take over Kennedy Road. The President of Abhalali, S’bu Zikode, was violently attacked at the entrance of the Hall in the middle of the day by three young men – two identified by their own relatives as from outside the settlement – with a knife and broken bottles. He was beaten all over his body, hospitalized with smashed glass lodged in his face, ears, and head.

His three-year old son, with him at the time, stood and watched the scene. Weeks later, five young men, shouting ethnic slurs — identified as from outside the settlement by the bystanders who intervened — beat bloody then Abahlali Vice President, Lindela “Mashumi” Figland next to the Hall. At the Abahlali AGM, an ANC-BEC (Branch Executive Committee) member from another ward seized the microphone, reiterating warning of “a Pondo plot,” announced, “Now, is the time of the amaZulu.” Participants shouted him down, demanding he depart from the Hall.

While Abahlali, since 2005, officially maintained an election boycott position, it does not render its branches ‘no-go’ zones for political parties. The movement also does not bar members from voting, or from participating in other civic activities, such as unions, cultural associations, or church groups. In these months, party manifestos, t-shirts, posters, and other goods were distributed and meetings held in Abahlali settlements, including Kennedy Road. Local ANC branches hired buses for rallies in these areas.

In May and June 2009, two violent fights broke out at the Kennedy shebeens/taverns, where ethnic slurs were exchanged between groups of young men, leaving three hospitalized with serious injuries. Abahlali and KRDC members, in response, called meetings at the Hall, speaking against the danger of arbitrary divisions amongst “the poor” and held family mediations, drawing in mothers and grandmothers, to quell further violence.

As one Kennedy resident put it: “Apartheid told us we are Zulus or Xhosas...I grew up in the Eastern Cape, I speak isiZulu; my wife grew up in KwaZulu-Natal, she speaks isiXhosa...our children and us, we are South African, we are Black people, we are all living in this ghetto.”xxvi Ethnicity, as this suggests, was produced, unstably, its historical sediments fundamentally racist. Heritage Day, according to KRDC members, was a

further intervening assertion of the primacy of identification as an undifferentiated “poor” in modes of being-together, and indeed, in constituent community claims to “development.”xxvii

Similar street brawls were reported in areas unaffiliated to the movement, such as ANC-aligned Palmiet. In Embo, a settlement near Hillcrest, in June 2009, isiXhosa-speakers reportedly fled their homes after neighbors issued an ultimatum for the removal.

In Gleblands, occupants claimed that two election-time killings and subsequent violence in the hostel mobilized ethnic self-and-other identifications crosscut with party affiliations. After the Kennedy attacks, ANC supporters in KwaShembe settlement in the township of Claremont reportedly burned to the ground the homes of COPE members. Kennedy residents spoke of these incidents, whether from reports printed in the local papers, or by kith and kin in those areas.

Public responses by state and party officials to these incidents varied. While in Embo, the municipality and the province condemned “brewing ethnic tension,” in Gleblands and Kennedy – echoing official statements during so-called “xenophobic attacks” in May 2008 and in 2009 – reduced the contours of the violence to criminality, thereby emptying it of political content.

COPE, by contrast, in a provincial press statement, dated 7 October 2009, claimed that those killed in Gleblands, as well as the two men left dead during the Kennedy attacks were COPE supporters targeted by ANC cadres. Competing claims made upon the bodies of the dead by the provincial ANC and provincial COPE speak to the politicization of the settlement, not least as a party battleground.

By the early morning at the Heritage Weekend celebration, Kennedy Hall was nearly filled. Performances were inter-ethnic, from a variety of “traditional” and “non-traditional,” urban and rural forms: gumboot dancers, pantsula dancers, imfene dancers, self-organized choirs of school children, as well as an award-winning isicathamiya group, the Dlamini King Brothers. All twenty-three performers were given small trophies or medals.

A few men, who attended the event drunk, jeered and attempted to physically disrupt the imfene group, but left thereafter. Community members, approximately one thousand, predominantly women, stayed in the Hall, watching the performances until about 5pm. 5:30pm – Heritage Performances End: The imfene group, a loose assemblage of performers that had won local awards and had a dedicated following in the settlement were to stay overnight a dance competition in Claremont township. They left, still brightly costumed, on a taxi at the main rank next to the Hall.

The next day, upon their return, three among them were arrested. Of the thirteen Abahlali members arrested — to date, the only men charged with crimes relating to 26 September – all are isiXhosa-speakers, six are members of the imfene group, and two are members of the Kennedy Road Safety and Security Committee. The Sydenham police and a Provincial Crime Intelligence Officer, who had been based regularly in the settlement since 2008, participated in the investigation of the attacks, and the arrest of these men.

Since 2005, a few volunteer guards watched the Hall, including a health clinic called the Clare Estate “Drop-In Centre,” a crèche, and the Abahlali Office. Private patient documents were stored there, and costly equipment: a computer, fax machine, photocopier, and library. The office also held Abahlali’s archives — banners, newspapers, photographs, membership-databases, its material history.

On 26 July 2009, at a mass meeting chaired by the KRDC, residents, led by women, called for the establishment of a full-time Safety and Security Committee, commensurate with a national call for community-based policing made by all parties during the 2009 presidential elections, and in early July, the state launch of “Operation Wanya Tsotsi.”

At the time in Kennedy, violent crime, in particular around the shebeens/taverns, was perceived as rife and intensifying: murder, rape, assault, and robbery. These crimes, said meeting participants, were committed by known gangs and posed particular threat to women.

A Safety and Security Committee of ten members was nominated at the mass meeting. The Sydenham Police and Provincial Crime Investigator orally endorsed the Committee. An official launch of the Committee soon was hosted in the Hall, attended by the Sydenham police Superintendent, the Provincial Crime Intelligence Officer, the KRDC, and residents. xxxvii Following the attacks, the Provincial Minister for Safety and Security claimed that the Committee was a “vigilante group” with “no legal standing.”xxxviiiIn practice, however, the Committee liaised — through routine meetings and telephone conversations — with the Sydenham police, the Provincial Crime Intelligence Officer, and the KRDC.

Following the launch, Kennedy residents reported suspected crimes to the Committee – whose photographs and contact details were posted on flyers around the settlement. The Committee logged each crime, and the manner of its response. Suspects arrested by the Committee were turned over to the Sydenham police.

At times, the police would request that the Committee make an arrest. In January 2009, there was a physical altercation between two young men suspected of robbery, and three members of the Committee – all were known, personally, to each other. The Sydenham Police arrested, not the suspects, but the entirety of the Safety and Security Committee, including members who were not present with no knowledge of the incident.

A meeting and mediation was held at the Sydenham Police Station, with members of Abahlali, the KRDC, and the Provincial Crime Intelligence Officer present. The Committee was released, and the incident was declared resolved by the two parties, who walked home together peaceably from the police station. Responding to the altercation, Abahlali organized a series of workshops for the Safety and Security Committee with students from University of South Africa (UNISA) program called Street Law on “human rights” and relevant law on community policing. Weeks before the attacks, after complaints by residents resurfaced that the shebeens/taverns be regulated, the KRDC and the Safety and Security Committee entered into negotiations with shebeen/tavern-owners to close their doors by 10pm.

Complaints about the shebeens/tavern dated back to the 2008 AGM and had been regularly made at mass community meetings thereafter. Some, especially elderly, residents said the shebeens/taverns — as havens for gangs — should be shut down entirely and their owners asked to leave the settlement. Shebeen/Tavern-owners wanted their business to remain open 24-hours, it was their livelihood. According to KRDC members at the time, a compromise was on the horizon. In the wake of the attacks, the Provincial Minister of Safety and Security claimed that the Committee enforced a settlement-wide “curfew” of 7pm.

Nightlife in the settlement included little other than the activities that were supposed to have been banned, namely: watching television (where electricity was connected), cooking meals inside on paraffin stoves or outside on open fires, walking on pathways or the Road to others’ homes. A closing time, however, was proposed a closing time for shebeens/taverns, verbally endorsed by the Sydenham police.

The launch of the Safety and Security Committee represented a seismic shift in relations between Kennedy Road residents and the Sydenham police, a shift many attributed to the presence of the Provincial Crime Intelligence Officer. Since 2005, Sydenham police officers have practiced regular and well-documented violence and intimidation in response to community-based activities, as the rubber-bullet scars on the bodies of residents attest.

A civil claim remains pending against the station’s Superintendent, who has since been suspended on unrelated charges brought by the Hawks, for the 2006 arrest and torture of Abahlali President S’bu Zikode and former Vice President Philani Zhungu. The civil trial is scheduled for January 2011.

As the Heritage event winded down at the Hall, soccer teams were practicing on the grounds, which run along the bottom of the settlement. For the Heritage Weekend, the KRDC, along with the performances, had scheduled a soccer tournament for the following day, Sunday. There are at least 16 organized soccer teams at Kennedy Road; all of which were entered in the tournament. At around 6pm, the teams gathered at the Hall for a draw, to determine which team would play each other, and in what order.

The winning team would receive soccer jerseys (a shirt, shorts, and socks), a sample of which was hanging on the bulletin board in the Abahlali office. Practice for the tournament began in the late afternoon, as some work a full or half-day on Saturdays. The teams left the grounds and the Hall by about 8pm. The tournament never took place. The soccer jersey was stolen when the Abahlali office was later ransacked.

6:00pm – The Youth Camp Begins

Starting at 6pm, Abahlali hosted a Youth Camp, an all-night meeting that took place every third month at the Kennedy Hall. About thirty members from shack settlements across the eThekwini region and some from Northern KwaZulu-Natal attended the camp that night. A film crew from New York City, working on a documentary called Dear Mandela, and a journalist from Italy was also present. Two witnesses separately allege that an ANC-BEC (Branch Executive Committee) member from another ward arrived, at this time, by taxi. It was rumored that an ANC meeting was taking place next to the Simunye shop at the center of the Road.

The Abahlali Youth League organizes the camps primarily as a meeting space for young people, though members of all ages, especially older women attend. At the start of each camp, participants compose an agenda. Talk at the camps range from theories of poverty to the strategic planning of events. The camps are scenes of political education: movement and community histories are told; films about Abahlali are screened; conceptual principles of ‘Abahlalism’ and its constitution are discussed; reformulated struggle songs are sung.

Like bi-weekly Abahlali meetings at the Hall, conditions in branches areas are often talked about at the camps — an eviction, a fire, or electricity disconnection. The camps, typically are from 6pm until 10am the following morning and do not have time-bound agendas, so that members can “cough out,” or speak in a collective space on any matter, for any length of time. On the night of the attacks, the main items on the agenda were the KwaZulu-Natal Slums Act case, and the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Earlier that day, between 10am and 12pm at the Abahlali Office – which shares a playground and courtyard with the Hall – representatives from Kennedy and other branch areas, approximately twenty, held a meeting with its legal team, members of which had traveled from Johannesburg to discuss the Slums Act case. Abahlali representatives, elected to the Slums Act Task Team, were to report back on this meeting to the Youth Camp.

The Slums Act case was heard at the Constitution Court only months before on 14 May 2009. Challenging legislation passed by the KZN Premier and Provincial Parliament, Abahlali argued that the Slums Act was in conflict with national housing policy and the constitutionally enshrined, progressive realization to housing, which ultimately rendered people more vulnerable to, already entirely routine, threats of eviction. Similar legislation reportedly had been drafted in other provinces across the country.

Prior to the meeting on 27 September, the legal team contacted Abahlali and said to prepare: the decision could be handed down “any day.” Indeed, the Constitutional Court decision was handed down just two weeks after the attacks. A section of the Act was declared unconstitutional, and therefore, null and void. Abahlali declared the decision a “victory.”

8:00pm – The Sydenham Police and Provincial Crime Intelligence Arrive: By this time, KRDC and Abahlali Executive members, not attending the Youth Camp, were at home in their shacks. As the Youth Camp began, the settlement outside was bustling with activity. It was a Saturday night, the first clear weather in weeks and, not least, the end of the month when work paychecks or social grants were issued; young people were headed to town or friends in other communities at the taxis in front of the Hall.

Next to the main taxi rank, about twenty to thirty men were gathered, and had been from 6pm, talking to two members of the Safety and Security Committee. Onlookers, passing by or from the heritage performances and soccer practice, milled around. All were waiting for the Sydenham Police and Provincial Crime Intelligence Officer to arrive.

A man stood accused, by residents who had apprehended him, of killing another man while drunk; although the man himself said he had no memory of the early parts of the day. The accused stood sheepishly, hands in his pockets, but was not being restrained, nor was he injured. By 8pm, a Sydenham police car and Provincial Crime Intelligence Officer in his unmarked vehicle arrived, spoke to the Safety and Security Committee members, and took the accused into custody before departing.

The Sydenham police already had a call earlier at the intersection of Sparks Road and Clare Road, outside the settlement, where a crowd of about fifty had gathered on the street, with no ambulance present, around the body of a bloodied young man, face down on the pavement.

Two women stood nearby watching the scene, waiting for the two Committee members to finish with the police and the Officer, as she wanted to report that her boyfriend, a taxi driver, who had beaten her in the past, now threatened to hunt her.

10:00pm – Armed Group Into the Settlement: Between 10:30pm and 12:00am,xli members of the KRDC and their families, asleep in their homes at the time, were awoken: armed men were banging on doors and walls of shacks with their weapons, breaking windows, shouting, “Come to the Hall! We don’t need Abahlali anymore! We don’t need the KRDC! We don’t need the Forum in Kennedy anymore!” Split up within the settlement, separate witnesses saw members of the armed group rousing men from their beds, ordering some, at weapon-point, to join their march.

One man said that “a mob,” banging on his door, called him to the Hall. When he looked outside, he saw a teacher, an ordinary resident whom he knew, already seriously wounded, stabbed and bleeding. Neighbors were carrying the teacher to the top of the Road for medical attention. He, and others repeatedly called an ambulance, which he said did not arrive until daybreak.

In a case of misrecognition, armed men, striking the walls of one family’s home with blades and sticks, switched-off the electricity. They demanded that a member of “the Forum” come outside, shouting that they intended “to kill.” When the man of the household confronted “the mob,” one among them shouted, that he was not “of the Forum,” they left. He and his family, packing their belongings, fled Kennedy the following morning. Her friend said that Sydenham police officers were present, but did not stop the men.

A woman, alone in her shack at the time, heard the shouts, then banging at her door: members of the armed group forcibly entered, looking for her husband, who was among the ten members of the Safety and Security Committee. They swore and threatened her, calling her a “whore” and “bitch wife of Wanya Tsotsi.” One man said, “We will kill you, instead.” They left, but promised to return. She ran from the settlement to family in nearby Palmiet, where she remained overnight.

A friend phoned the next day to say that the armed men did return, at an unknown hour, early in the morning. When they did not find her, they turned to looting, taking clothes, furniture and other belongings. Later that day, her home was. A man, neighboring one of those killed, saw members of the armed group outside his shack, moving silhouettes carrying sticks. He, and those staying with him, remained inside, hiding.

They heard the “screams” outside. They called the police. All fled the settlement at daybreak. After the state press conference and “stakeholders” meeting in the Hall, on 28 September, he returned to pick up some belongings. Two men came to his shack, warning, “There are still fights here. People are looking for you. They say you were working with the Forum.”

At about 6:30pm, a few hours later, two police officers knocked on his door. They asked what happened. He told them he did not work with “the Forum” — which he did not — and did not know. His home was burned down later that night; he lost everything, while he was staying with a friend outside Kennedy Road. Now, an estimated hundred men in throngs were seen running through the settlement, moving toward the Road and the Hall. They shouted: “We don’t need those red t-shirts in Kennedy anymore! We only need the ANC!”

From what can be gathered by separate witness accounts, early in the night from 10:00pm, armed men centered on two sites in the settlement: in front or behind the Simunye shop, a bottle store on Kennedy Road, and in front or behind the Hall. It is near these sites that one of the two men was killed. KRDC and Abahlali leaders, named targets of armed men, reside around these two sites. Later, after 3:00am, members of the armed group were seen elsewhere in the settlement, farther within the interior below the primary sites, where eventually, the other man was stabbed to death, and several injured.

While other KRDC members silently waited for “the mobs” to leave their homes, Lindela “Mashumi” Figland, Vice President of Abahlali and the Chairperson of the KRDC, was at home, asleep after working a full shift as a security guard. His wife and three-year-old daughter were also sleeping. Around midnight, they heard a crowd of what sounded like drunken men gathered around their home, they were beating the walls of his shack with some kind of weapons, repeatedly shouting, “We will kill you imPondo! We will kill you!” Figland covered the mouth of his child, as she began to scream. The family stayed quiet, pretending not to be inside.

Several hours before, Figland had been warned separately by a family member and an acquaintance, whom he trusted, that ANC meetings in the settlement in a house across from the Siymunye shop, had resolved to remove him as KRDC Chairperson the following day. It was rumoured that his head was to be cut off and thrown into the Hall, and his body in the Umgeni River.

The family member and acquaintance advised him to flee. Fearful, though skeptical of rumor, he locked his door from the outside, to leave the impression that he was not at home. He said that the ruse worked, the men departed. The family then fled the settlement. His home was later, on 27 September, looted and demolished. Fearful, he ran to the nearby Foreman Road settlement, where he called his wife. They left for the Eastern Cape and have not returned to Kennedy. Both have since lost their jobs.

Not far behind the Siymunye shop, though not visible to Figland’s shack, Abahlali President S’bu Zikode’s wife and children were asleep in their shack. Zikode, at the time, was visiting his ill mother in the Midlands. His wife awoke to hear the sound of chanting: “Phansi S’bu Zikode! Phansi Mashumi! Phansi the KRDC! Zikode is selling us to the AmaMpondo! Kennedy is for the amaZulu!” When the men retreated, she fled with the children to the home of a neighboring woman relative, waking her. They hid in the bush with the children through the night in the rain, fearful that they would be targeted.

From the bush, later, they saw some armed men go toward the Hall. They saw shadows of figures running between the shacks, but could not see what they were doing. They saw young men in the street. Some went to the tuck shop of a Safety and Security Committee member, on top of the Road. They saw them hitting the container, removing items from it, and then trying, unsuccessfully, to burn it. They saw the flames. The following night, at 8:30pm 27 September, the Zikode’s shack was demolished, the walls torn down, their belongings stolen or slashed through with bush-knives.

At approximately 12am, a man, his wife and their six-year-old child living across the Road from the tuck shop awoke to shouts, and saw that armed men were banging on the container. The “mob,” came toward his home, throwing bottles. They shouted to him, “We’ll finish with the others, then come back to get you.” The family hid. Early the next morning, at an uncertain hour, walking back to his home he saw a man from his “village” in the Eastern Cape running — a “mob” was behind.

Now, armed men, exiting the settlement, were seen gathering at the main taxi rank, next to the Hall. Identified among them by separate witnesses were shebeen/tavern- and taxi-owners, taxi-drivers, “shack lords” and some associated with known gangs — all, in some form, local “businessmen” — as well as the predominant composition, drunken young men. Some members of the armed group were from Kennedy Road; others were recognized from other areas such as nearby Sydenham Heights and Burnwood.

Later, at the Hall, a small number of women, approximately five, including the woman who was the head of the ANC ward Councilor’s toilet project, were identified among the men. 11:00pm – Armed Group March Down Kennedy Road: Between 11:00 and 11:30pm, the Youth Camp participants heard chanting, and beating upon the plastic VIP toilets on Kennedy Road next to the Hall. Following the noise outside, participants saw what they referred to as “a mob,” an estimated forty men, wielding knobkerries and bush-knives — later, with guns, broken bottles, and other makeshift weapons.

The armed group passed the Hall, marching down Kennedy Road toward Umgeni Road and the grounds, singing “The Struggle Allows It,” before entering a wide pathway into the settlement. Camp participants were wary, some fearful, but they continued, set to discuss the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

That the armed men were beating on the VIP toilets led some participants of the Youth Camp to conclude that “the mob” had to do with a toilet project, launched in the preceding months by the local ANC ward Councillor. The Councillor had been unwelcome in the Kennedy settlement since 2005, when he was buried in a mock funeral, during a series of street protests by residents, which gave eventual form to Abahlali as a movement.

Over time, Abahlali, via its Office, had taken over bureaucratic state functions in the settlement — notably, the issuing of letters of residency — needed for shack-dwellers to access bank accounts, jobs, IDs, social grants and subsidies. In the exclusive hands of the Councillor, residents claimed these letters were issued on the basis of his allegiance, the currency of an entrenched system of party patronage in the ward.

When the Councillor initially launched the toilet project, it was without consultation with Kennedy residents or elected community bodies, the KRDC and Abahlali. He appointed, as head of the project, a woman known to be active in local ANC branch structures, who lived in a house adjacent to the settlement. Various residents lodged complaints at the Abahlali Office that the Councillor was unfairly doling out jobs.

The project was seen, at its inception, by KRDC and Abahlali members as a means of undermining existing community structures, and at the same time, an effort to garner votes for the upcoming local elections. Candidates in these elections, scheduled for 2011, are required first to establish that they have an acceptable voting base to run. The time for electioneering in the ward — as in the eThekwini region — was now.

At the ANC Regional General Conference, a week prior the Kennedy attacks, the Chairperson of eThekwini region warned against “Counter revolutionaries...colluding with one mission to weaken the ANC and its Alliance,” and called upon ANC members “to defend Polokwane gains.”

Under the bolded heading “CRIMINAL,” in his speech, he proposed that criminal elements had gone undercover as COPE members in Gleblands hostel to provoke the ANC. He added, referring to Abahlali as: “The element of these NGO who are funded by the West to destabilize us, these elements use all forms of media and poor people [sic].” His speech echoed public statements, between 2005 and 2010, by various officials that posited Abahlali, not as a legitimate civic organization, but as a dangerous “third force” bent upon disrupting elections, and, more generally, undermining ANC structures.

On 13 September 2009, a meeting, to discuss the toilet project, was scheduled at the Hall between KRDC members, the Councillor, and the Chairperson for the ANC in the ward. The meeting never took place. In an interview, dated 28 September 2009, with the filmmakers of Dear Mandela, the Councillor said that the meeting had been cancelled when the ANC ward Chairperson phoned him to say that men wielding weapons had ambushed him en route to Kennedy Road. He said he called the police to “rescue” the ward Chairperson.

The KRDC tells another story of the cancelled meeting: that while waiting outside the Hall for the Councillor and ANC ward Chairperson, they were ambushed. About fifty people, predominantly men, identified as those from other areas in the ward, marched down Kennedy Road toward Umgeni Road, wearing ANC t-shirts and chanting ANC slogans. The marchers demanded to see the ANC ward Chairperson, who had not yet arrived. A KRDC member phoned him, calling off the meeting and saying: “We expected a discussion about this project, now your people are marching here.” The crowd soon dispersed.

The toilet project represented a shift in relations with the Councillor, who, since 2008, had been quietly cooperating with the committee and the movement. Members of the KRDC and Abahlali were not opposed to toilets. The demand for toilets — in Kennedy Road, for instance, where the ratio, in 2005, was estimated at 6 to 7,000 households — was central to the movements’ founding street protests, and its subsequent activities. However, construction at election-time, without consultation and entailing an allocation of jobs on the basis of party affiliation, was talked of as a “dirty politics” in the settlement.

Following the attacks, residents at Kennedy claim that a new, unelected community body has formed, headed by the woman who ran the Councillor’s toilet project. This body makes use of the ransacked Abahlali Office. The crèche and the health clinic have been closed. Toilets at the Hall, previously maintained by Abahlali members, have begun leaking raw sewerage into the shacks below.

On 11 October 2009, a new Community Policing Forum (CPF) sub-forum of eleven members was nominated at a state “stakeholders” meeting. The sub-forum was listed as an objective of the provincial government Task Team mandated to address the “Kennedy situation.” The Minister for Safety and Security added that a housing project, another of these objectives, would be brought to the settlement by February 2010.

The toilet project, and indeed the housing project which has not transpired, points to a contested material terrain of “development,” specifically how it would be brought to Kennedy Road, and by whom, whether by a movement of shack-dwellers, members of a political party, or a state office. “Development” projects are a never simple exercise of so-called “delivery,” but in the pouring of concrete and laying of brick, an exercise of sovereignty as well.

Beyond the police and the Councillor, since 2008, day-to-day

Interactions with the state had moved from “the street” into “boardroom” and “the courtroom.” Abahlali was engaged in two sets of negotiations with officials at the municipal and provincial levels over housing and immediate interim services, as well as a series of court cases, including a challenge to provincial legislation, the Slums Act, in the Constitutional Court.

Before these negotiations and court cases, and other movement activities within the spaces of state institutions, primarily were defensive: when the Municipality banned a march, when its members were arbitrarily arrested, when a settlement was to be unlawfully evicted. As such, and as the movement grew to a regional and national movement, branch areas and their committees, like the KRDC, operated increasingly autonomously, while movement-wide campaigns were mandated to alternating, elected Task Team members, composed from various branches.

The first set of negotiations was with the eThekwini Municipality, through a non-governmental consultancy group called PPT (Public Participation Trust). These negotiations resulted in the earmarking of fourteen settlements for interim services, including Kennedy Road, and five settlements, also including Kennedy Road, for a permanent upgrading project.

Amid street protests in 2005, Kennedy residents, demanding “development” where they lived resisted relocation to the Parkgate housing project, regarded as distant from jobs, transport, shops and other urban amenities. In these protests, residents, in a popular slogan on banners and t-shirts, called for the state to “Talk to us, not about us.” The Dlamini King brothers, an isicathamiya group that has composed Abahlali anthems, projected a vision of hand-in-hand cooperation [bambisana] between shack-dwellers and government officials [uhulumeni]. After several years of confrontation on the streets, the state began “talking to” Abahlali.

Members met this, not without a degree of caution. At regular Abahlali meetings, and at mass meetings in the Hall between 2007 and 2009, members discussed the potential for negotiations to lead, rather than to an installation of standpipes, to a strategic political demobilization. That is, “Keeping us busy in boardrooms with paperwork,” one Abahlali leader said, “in order that we’re not busy in the streets with the people.”

Also raised by members, as well as to PPT and the Municipality, during these negotiation years was that 'development' by the state entailed a demarcation of 'the community, that residents become 'beneficiaries' to be counted and codified. Inclusions and exclusions do not account for often-fluid compositions of households, for everyday life in settlements — for instance, that ebbs and flows of casual labor frequently take residents away from their homes at long stretches.

Moreover, these inclusions may be accepted or they may be politicized, as some members had seen first-hand in the unfurling of in-situ upgrading in Durban and Cape Town-metros. l At the time of the attacks, topographic surveys for the upgrading in Kennedy had been done, shacks had been marked and numbered for the first time since 2001 by the Municipality, and plans, including unit designs, were submitted for approval at mass meetings.

Following the attacks, state officials, including representatives of the eThekwini Housing Department, announced that government would bring houses and electricity to Kennedy Road within one year in time for the 2011 elections. PPT continues to meet with the KRDC and Abahlali as its partner in the upgrading project. The second set of negotiations was with provincial government officials, across political parties to address — among other “development” concerns ranging, from evictions to toilets — state corruption in construction and allocation of housing projects, specifically in new Abahlali branches in KwaMashu and Eshowe.

These negotiations follow a High Court ordered investigation, in March 2009, into allegations of graft at the Khulula Housing Project in Siyanda, Section C, KwaMashu. Residents, counted among the “beneficiaries” of the project, were removed to a transit camp after, they say, their houses were sold.liThe state has yet to conduct an investigation.

From the perspective of Abahlali members, the movement made enemies at multiple levels of state, working with certain officials in these two sets of negotiations and outing others as corrupt, thereby giving concrete ammunition, in the form of evidentiary documents, to political opponents, whether across parties or within a fragmented ANC.

Also from the perspective of its members, Abahlali had made enemies at the municipal and provincial levels by challenging the Slums Act, embarrassing those who had stood behind what was later found to be a piece of unconstitutional legislation.

It is on the basis of these interactions with the state that Abahlali claims the Provincial Minister for Safety and Security announced a resolution “to dissolve” Abahlali and the Kennedy settlement as “liberated.” State and party officials, from the local to the provincial levels, categorically deny any involvement in the attacks.

12:00am: Provincial Crime Intelligence and Police Arrive: Phoning, and furtively moving through the bush to each other’s homes, members of the KRDC rushed to the Hall together, before midnight. Two members of the Safety and Security Committee, who earlier had addressed the citizens’ arrest, already were there, inside the fence, now locked, which encircles the Hall.

Upon their arrival at the Abahlali Office, across the courtyard from the still ongoing Youth Camp, they dialed the Provincial Crime Intelligence Officer on his cell phone and the Sydenham police. They discussed what was happening in the settlement. From inside the Office, they heard heavy footfalls on the narrow pathways behind the Hall. They heard the scraping of weapon-blades against the ground; one said he heard the loading of a gun.

Around midnight, a van dog unit with two officers from the Metro police came to the Hall.liiThe officers, speaking to members of the KRDC and the Safety and Security Committee, refused to “go into the darkness,” inside the settlement, and left shortly thereafter.liiiThe Provincial Crime Intelligence Officer also arrived. Parking, he walked up the Road to address the armed men, gathering at the taxi rank. He was reportedly surrounded. He left the settlement, telling KRDC members, he would return with backup.

“Maybe God was with us that night, but not the police,” one Kennedy resident said. Reports on when the police arrived and departed during the night vary widely, as do the accounts of what they did when they got there. At certain hours, police were said to be absent; at other hours, especially in the days that followed, various witnesses said that beatings, stabbings, and shack demolitions happened in their presence.

One witness said that armed men assaulted him as police stood by. Another said that he saw that members of the armed group were chasing a man whom he knew, and had been previously hiding in the bush with. He ran to the police officers for help; they reportedly asked, “What are you running for?” He answered, “I am running from the mob; they’re chasing that guy there.” The armed men ran passed the police, he said, but they did not respond. The man chased was stabbed, and was later taken to hospital.

Phone calls to the Sydenham police between 11pm and 3:00am by ordinary residents inside the settlement and Camp participants inside the Hall elicited no response evident to them; some were told that there were not enough vehicles to send.

The Provincial Crime Intelligence Officer with another Metro van dog unit is said to have returned around 1:00am. This time, he and the Metro police went inside the settlement, following the sound of chanting behind and below the Hall. They returned to the Hall, telling KRDC members that they believed the trouble was over, and departed. Each time police vehicles pulled into the Road the settlement momentarily “went quiet.” Various witnesses saw armed men hide inside shacks, in darkened pathways and in the bush.

1:00am – Armed Group Descend On the Hall Again: Around 1am, armed men, an estimated fifty, reportedly descended upon the Hall outside. The Camp participants were uncertain whether it was the same group that marched down Kennedy Road, or a “second mob.” The armed group was no longer singing, but throwing objects, and hitting the plastic toilets, each strike getting louder. The men reached the fence, now locked, that separated Kennedy Road from the courtyard of the Hall, shouting.

The Abahlali Youth League President, leaving the Camp, approached the armed men from between the fence. Getting closer, he could see that the men were carrying guns, in addition to broken bottles, sticks and bush-knives.

He spoke with a few of them: “What do you want?”

They shouted back: “Where is Zikode?” He responded: “He’s not here — why do you want him?”

“Because Zikode is letting the AmaMpondo do as they please in Kennedy!” they said. Those in the armed group demanded keys to the Hall. The Abahlali Youth League President responded that the Hall was for everyone, and there was an Abahlali meeting in progress. They said, “No, for ANC meetings, not COPE meetings.” He said, “We are Abahlali, not COPE.”

Soon thereafter, according to the Youth League President recounting their interaction, the Provincial Crime Intelligence Officer pulled up to the fence, near some of the armed men. He lowed his car window, and spoke to the Safety and Security Committee members. The Youth League President asked the Officer if it was safe to open the gate to allow Camp participants to leave, and whether the armed men planned to hurt them.

The Officer said, “No, they know who they are looking for.” He closed his car window, about to drive away, before an armed man nearby shouted, “Give us S’bu!” The Officer opened his window again, and said, “I suggest you all go home and resolve this matter in the morning. You have already heard that Zikode is not here.”

Inside the crèche, the Abahlali Youth Camp had stopped. Participants, fearful, moved from sitting in a circle to alongside the wall, looking out the window. They locked the security gate to the crèche, so that the men could not get inside. Listening to the shouts and banging outside, they discussed what was happening in the settlement. Shortly before 3:00am, again, the Road, again, went quiet. The KRDC, still at the Abahlali Office, said it looked the Road looked clear for the film crew, and those members living in other settlements that could fit in their car to depart.

During the build-up to the national 2009 Presidential elections

Residents of surrounding ANC-affiliated areas referred to Abahlali as a front for COPE. In northern KZN, following the launch of new branches, local councilors and traditional authority called Abahlali a front for the ANC. Abahlali has also been called a front for the IFP (Inkatha Freedom Party) and the DA (Democratic Alliance). Abahlali, in practice, refuses to endorse any political party, or to work directly with party structures, but the movement does work in areas with complex histories of party affiliation, only increasingly so, as it expanded from a local to a regional and then to a movement with branches nationally.

Organizing under a social movement banner, say Abahlali members, especially where strong systems of patronage under a party or figure of ‘traditional’ authority exist — can be perceived as a threat to local officials.lvKennedy Road, a founding settlement of Abahlali, historically had ties to the ANC, and post-1994, as a voting bloc for the party. During the first street protests, out of which Abahlali emerged in 2005, some ANC t-shirts could be seen alongside those that declared “No Land, No House, No Vote!” The street protests, nonetheless, in press statements and by residents, were articulated as antagonistic toward the local and municipal ANC authorities.

3:30am – The Armed Group Enters the Hall: At about 3:30am, armed men jumped the fence, and broke inside the Hall above the crèche. They were throwing rocks through the windows, and throwing plastic chairs. The “mob” in front of the Hall chanted for “Zikode,” for “Mashumi,” for “Zodwa,” the Secretary of the Youth League, who also administered the former Abahlali Office.

The Youth League President said “We are easy targets now,” and asked the participants what they wanted to do — they were presently inside a small room that function as a crèche beneath the main section of the Hall. They decided to pray first, and then to try to escape. They prayed, and piled into a combie belonging to an Abahlali member from Siyanda, and departed, with two young women from Kennedy staying behind with the KRDC at the Hall.

The KRDC remained locked and hidden inside the Abahlali Office on the floor, the lights switched-off. After 3:00am, the Provincial Crime Intelligence Officer returned. According to the KRDC, he told them that some people had been injured in the attacks, and at least one person had died in the shacks.

Between 2:00am and 3:30am, there was a resuming a “noise” inside the settlement, running between shacks, banging on wood-plank walls. KRDC members could hear: “They are not here! They are not here!” And then, “They are here, let’s face them!” Several reported in separate areas of the settlement hearing men shouting, “Shoot! Shoot!”

One man said at 3:30am, a “crowd” came back to the shack that he shares with his wife — who was affiliated to the KRDC – and three teenage children. His family was already hiding in a neighbor’s shack. He managed to flee, but his head was injured badly. Their shack was later demolished.

Another man returned to Kennedy Road, around 2:00am, after fetching a car that had broken down in Durban. Seeing “people running up and down” and “a lot of violence,” he called his wife at their shack in the interior of the settlement. She told him not to return, that she was locked inside with the baby, and that his sisters were hiding “in the bush.”

From what can be gathered by separate accounts, attacks that began with expressed targets, mobilizing political party and ethnicity, fanned out into a series of brawls and extenuating attacks in various sections of the settlement. As people fled, hid in the bush, made phone or house calls to friends and neighbors, word spread of an ensuing “war.” Some said, “The Zulus are killing all the Xhosas,” others said, “The Xhosas are killing all the Zulus.” Still others said no one was certain who was attacking whom. That both isiXhosa- and isiZulu-speakers reported threats was noted in early news coverage.

4:00am: An Estimated Thousand Begins to Flee Between 4:00am and 5:00am, a police helicopter flew overhead. Residents, at daybreak, had begun to flee on foot or in taxis, children and parcels strapped to their backs, some carrying mattresses, others packing their belongings, a procession that continued through the evening and for at least the following two days.

A domestic worker with her four-month-old child, living in a two-room shack, slept through the night, but at around 6:00am saw a crowd of people near the Nazareth Church, “Looking for a body on the floor.” She said it “felt like a movie.” Men armed with sticks and bush-knives soon came to her home, looking for her boyfriend.

By 6:00am, homes, including of the Safety and Security Committee and KRDC, had been demolished. Three police vans returned to the settlement, with officers taking statements, asking who had killed whom. The KRDC, who gave statements to the Provincial Crime Intelligence Officer, told him that they thought the local ANC was behind the attacks.

Those with jobs in the formal sector — in security companies, construction, in factories — or with work in the settlement — a woman working in the health clinic, a woman who sold containers of water — and tuck shopkeepers, in particular, appear to have been targeted in these hours and in the days that followed.

A young woman living in a shack divided into two rooms, one a 'sphaza' shop, the other her living quarters, slept though the night. At about 9am a “mob” came to her home with sticks and bush-knives, asking her to produce a husband or a man. She replied that she had neither. The police were outside. The men left, but returned later that day to say she was lying, she “should have a man.” They told her to move, or they would rape her. She ran. Her belongings were stolen, and her home and shop demolished. Previously supporting her family in the Eastern Cape, she is now without income.

A wife and her husband, living in two separate shacks, were both operating 'sphaza' shops. Away for the weekend, they returned to find their homes and shops destroyed, looted. The husband said the only item he found left in the debris was a document for a car. The next day, they departed for the Eastern Cape.

9:00am – An Ambulance Arrives and Residents Come to the Hall: By 7:00am, emergency medical staff were tending to the wounded and loading several injured people into ambulances. KRDC members, still at the Abahlali Office, were told another person had been killed in the upper section of the settlement.

At around 9am, a group of residents, predominantly women, all unarmed, came to the Hall. They demanded to know who had been killed and what had happened during the night. The women said rumor had circulated that the Safety and Security Committee were to blame. The KRDC told them they did not know who had been killed — initial reports were eight people. Family members could not locate each other, as some residents had hidden during the attacks.

Early in the morning, there was a heavy police presence. At least 10 vans and combies with officers were seen. Some witnesses said they saw men still milling around at the top of the settlement with weapons, identified as members of the armed group the night before. Some amongst them were talking to the police.

On Sunday morning, armed men were still looking for KRDC and Abahlali members, some chanting, “Down with Abahlali! Down with the KRDC!” That day, the shacks of Abahlali members, KRDC members, and Committee members demolished. During the night that followed the state press conference in the Hall on 28 September armed men demolished more homes. The following morning and days, some left the settlement, so fearful that their bodies shook, trembled, mouthing words that could not be spoken.

III Conclusion: The ‘Official’ Record

To return to Gobodo-Madikizela’s comment on the gap between the ‘official’ record and those who lived episodes of violence, a further word must be said. Namely that beyond this timeline, beyond the settlement of Kennedy Road, beyond Abahlali, there is an ever broadening gap between the ‘official’ record and social movements, activists, and civic organizations, those who have seen first-hand the work of violence in every major metro and in rural areas, on the streets, in townships, in settlements and transit camps.

Whether in the form of baton blows or rubber bullets, arbitrary arrest or assault in custody, forced eviction or service disconnection, whether at the hands of police or hired security, landowners or local ward councilors, not least, an alarming trend, toward armed groups mobilizing language, origin or political party affiliation. The answer to these incidents by the ‘official’ state record post-1994, at times, has been a resounding silence, and at other times, a reduction to criminality.

map. As well as movements like the Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC), whose work on ‘xenophobia’ has turned them into a national-other, under threat within their own communities.

This work of violence has been aimed at movements, now, held as models of civic participation and democratic citizenship, such as the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), during whose days of ‘civil disobedience’ saw the HIV positive body beaten bloody in full public view. This includes movements representing bodies of “the poor,” such as the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) and early protests against privatization and neoliberal governance by the Social Movements United, which put these celebrated movements on the national and global political

It is safe to say that every social movements antagonistic to state or party structures, to systems of political or corporate patronage more broadly, that has made claims to “development” or “democracy,” has been met with this work of violence. That is to say nothing of the uncounted many ordinary activists who have been shot, beaten and arrested without the support of movements with lawyers and press statements. A 68 year-old woman who joined street protests against the closure of two schools that became FIFA’s Nelpruit offices during the 2010 Soccer World Cup was visited by police violence in her home. She is not alone in her story.

At this time, so soon after a moment of global celebration during the World Cup, the work of violence is not safely resting in the past, but instead, threatens to become newly systematic in democratic South Africa, doled out not only against criminals, but also against legitimate civic groups and persons who happen to be conveniently named as such.

Referenced pieces...

This is the estimated number of members currently registered in Abahlali’s database. That is, card-carrying members from officially launched branch-areas. Databases of previous years have been lost, such that it cannot be determined, on that basis, to what extent and how they may have changed or been constituted across time. Beyond this, membership, be it to a sports club, church, dance group, union or social movement entails meaningful practices, organizational principles and criteria, both de facto and codified to varying degrees, elaborate to greater or lesser extents, particular to that social grouping and which change across time; Abahlali members consider the movement operating “underground” until a street protest on Human Rights Day 2010. The street protest was initially banned by the eThekwini Municipality.

1. “The Mail & Guardian conducted a survey of the 88 people who signed the attendance register at the "stakeholders" meeting. Nineteen were provincial government representatives, 12 from the municipality and eight from the police. After subtracting media and representatives of other community policing forums and clusters, the register reflected 14 ANC members, seven South African National Civic Organization (Sanco) members and seven people claiming to be "residents" of Kennedy Road...Telephone calls confirmed most of those claiming to be ordinary Kennedy Road residents or inhabitants with ANC affiliations were in fact from other areas, such as the Puntan's Hill, Sydenham Heights and the Foreman Road settlement.”

On 28 September 2009, students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal organized a small campus meeting to plan for the collection of food, blankets and clothing for those displaced in the Kennedy attacks. Within hours of this meeting, an organizer received a personal email from the Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Safety and Security. Students at the meeting regarded this email as a measure of state intimidation.

The email read the above quotation, with an attached, and later circulated, press statement. Thanks to Dara Kell and Chris Nizza, filmmakers of Dear Mandela, for sharing raw footage of the state press conference and “stakeholders” meeting. Also for transcribed notes on 26 September. Names of those interviewed, and specific identifying information has been withheld. Those who have requested that their true names be cited, and/or are ‘public’ figures within the movement are noted.

Positions within the movement are noted with consent. The true names of second parties mentioned in interviews also are withheld. State or party officials are referred to by title. I was present in the Kennedy Road settlement, at the Hall, on 26 September until 9pm. xii Thanks are due to Kalinica Capello and Francesco Gastaldon for transcribed or recorded copies of testimonies with those who witnessed the attacks, for clarification and thoughts on these testimonies.

Bail hearing appearances for the 13 arrested in the Durban Magistrate’s Court have been highly politicized. ANC supporters, arriving on two hired busses, carrying party banners and wearing party t-shirts have attended. Some have brought knobkerries and sticks to Court. During a bail hearing on 26 September 2009, a group of young men, as well as a woman, wearing a party dress identifying herself as an ANC Councillor from another ward, approached a Reverend in clerical collar standing with Abahlali members shouting “we can kill you.”

Structurally and historically, the KRDC, like Abahlali, holds an election for the committee at a mass meeting every November. According to their constitution, elected committees may be recalled via an emergency AGM at any time, by any concerned resident. The emergence of Abahlali baseMjondolo in 2005 fermented within the KRDC structure. Since then, as Abahlali grew into a citywide then provincial movement eventually with branches nationally, the functions and activities of the KRDC remained grounded within the Kennedy settlement, with Abahlali as its nodal point in a political network across communities. See Sarah Jane Cooper-Knock on the 2008 AGM:

Representatives from the Poor People’s Alliance were also present at eMause for meetings, which took place for two days at the Abahlali office. The Poor People’s Alliance (PPA) includes Abahlali-Western Cape, which has branches notably throughout Khayelitsha, and other areas in and outside of Cape Town, the Rural Network, which operates throughout rural KwaZulu- Natal, the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign that works throughout that province, and the Landless People’s Movement, with branches in Johannesburg.

At these celebrations, most wore interpretations on ‘traditional’ dress: some described as ‘ethnic’ uniform, others as hybrid: a flag t-shirt, a generically Pan-African pantsuit, Obama belt buckle, “Zulu” wristband. The estimated 7,000 that constitutes Kennedy Road are not spoken of as ethnically uniform. Residents primarily self-identify as amaZulu, amaXhosa, or aMabhaca.

Sections of the settlement are associated, loosely, with these three ethnic groups both spatially and temporally. The oldest section, for instance, dating back to the community’s founding in 1980s, near the Hall is associated with isiZulu-speaking families. Ethnic self-and-other identifications are mobilized, not continuously, but at particular moments, often with historically congealed and newly ascribed meanings.

2. By stereotypic material relations, I mean material relations that are represented as, and refracted through, stereotypes mobilized between, often in order to demarcate, groups, in this case, ethnicized groups. They need not, in other words, map onto actually existing practices, interactions, persons, or forms of capital. In reverse, such access and claims are perceived as de-legitimated by those ostensibly endogamous. Research notes, November 2008.

It should be noted that ethnic self-identifications are not fixed, but invoked or not at particular times, and contain deep complexities, to say nothing of ethnic-other identifications, Zikode self-identifies as a Zulu-speaker, as growing up and with familial ties in northern KwaZulu-Natal. Figland self-identifies as a Xhosa-speaker, not as imPondo, as growing up with familial ties in the Eastern Cape.

In November 2008, there were several instances of violence against social movement leaders reported in the Western Cape. While there is no suggestion of coordination in these instances, it may point to similar structural, pre-electoral pressures. In the same month Zikode and Figland were attacked at Kennedy Road, the Chairperson of Abahlali-Western Cape was violently assaulted at his home in Khayelitsha. An affiliate movement, the Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC) at Symphony Way was petrol bombed, which was thought to have been targeting AEC Chairperson and the movement office in which he slept on the pavement.

Lastly, a vehicle belonging to a member of the Joe Slovo Task Team – a community-based organization in Langa that notably challenged their eviction for the N2 Gateway Project in the Constitutional Court – was petrol bombed. The person next on the microphone responded, which would become often an opening.

3. matter Zulu, Xhosa, Indian, Coloured, no matter ANC, DA, COPE, IFP, or what-what.” xxvi Personal Communication, September 2009. xxvii In the same month, June 2009, so-called “xenophobic” attacks reemerged province-wide in the Western Cape. These attacks though differently articulated and while containing their own particularities, both historical and of the present, as an Amnesty International report suggests, they bear similar structure.

During an “anti-xenophobia” meeting in Guguletu on 15 June 2009, attended by a United Nations official, police, and organized by an Abahlali partner in the Poor People’s Alliance – the Anti-Eviction Campaign – an interim committee to address community fissures was elected. An hour after the meeting, a Somali man on the committee was murdered, his shop burnt to the ground. Anti-Eviction Campaign members working against “xenophobia” have also been targeted.

Since June, the Anti-Eviction Campaign continued to hold meetings and workshops to counter “xenophobia.” In Hanover Park, where, as at Kennedy Road, a Provincial Crime Intelligence Officer has been regularly based since 2008 and currently is backing the establishment of a community-policing forum to combat gang activity, members of the Anti-Eviction Campaign have been shot at and arrested. Ntokozo Mfusi, Embo Community Wants fighting to stop and Xhosas to return to their homes, August, Friday 5 2009, The Mercury). See Mary de Haas, 22 March 2010, Daily News:

National state officials have made no statement on the Kennedy attacks. Ntokozo Mfusi, Embo Community Wants fighting to stop and Xhosas to return to their homes, August, Friday 5 2009, The Mercury. The press release was dated 7 October, 2009, issued by the Provincial KZN Secretary of COPE.

It cannot be confirmed, whether the two men were COPE supporters, by neighbors or those who knew them. Both were steadily employed, living in separate areas of the settlement; neither attended regular Abahlali meetings. Who killed the two men remains a question in the pending criminal trial, during which further evidence by both the prosecution and defense will be made public. There is variation noted between accounts of that night on this question. The purpose of this timeline is not to propose to resolve this variation.

Those watching the performances in the Hall, by and large, are card- carrying members of Abahlali, as are many residents at Kennedy Road, registered in a membership database; they also have various other affiliations from political parties to church groups to trade unions.

Early reports were that all thirteen arrested were Safety and Security Committee members. The state launched “Operation Wanya Tsotsi,” a “popular mobilization program” against crime in early July 2009. This “Operation” was part of a broader intensification of policing during the build-up of the 2010 Soccer World Cup, including the controversial “shoot-to-kill” policy. Deputy Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, described the “Operation” as: “a weapon to instill fear and respect to one's strategic opponent. It is an expression of readiness of one's forces of war. It is a strength exhibition! It is a war cry!”

Abahlali, like other social movements, often rearticulate events and campaigns of the state: national holidays such as Freedom Day becomes Un-Freedom Day, voting drives become “No Land, No House, No Vote,” the 2010 Soccer World Cup becomes The Poor People’s World Cup. The Kennedy Road Safety and Security Committee in ordinary talk and mass meetings was not referred to as “Wayna Tsotsi,” nor with these terms of “war.” A photograph of the launch was printed in the local tabloid The Rising Sun.

The Witness, October 20, 2009, Pg. 7. The Safety and Security Committee was not a formal CPF, although a CPF does exist in the ward, with occasional interaction with Kennedy residents. These logged incidents ranged from a neighbor with early work complaining about loud late-night music to the attempted rape of a young girl on the Road, to escorting a resident home from shops. The presence of the Provincial Crime Intelligence Officer, who said he cut his teeth in police intelligence during the 1980s in southern KwaZulu-Natal, inspired talk among some residents about whether he was investigating not criminal, but political activities, specifically those of Abahlali.

Most residents and the KRDC, however, said they welcomed him as a sympathetic intermediary to the Sydenham police. For years, the Sydenham police refused to respond to calls from residents, or go inside the settlement. A woman being beaten by her husband, for instance, would be told to go to the Hall or the police station to report the crime; they would not come to her home. The time is estimated by witnesses, even as they are consistent across separate accounts: for example, KRDC members said between 11:15pm and midnight, the first man reported at about 11:30pm; the family reported at sometime before mid-night; and the women reported 11:20pm.

These include statements from witnesses unaffiliated to any Committee – whether the KRDC, Abahlali or the Safety and Security Committee – as well as Abahlali members, leaders or their families. Note that a “hundred men” is an estimate, cited by separate witnesses. However, some said “three hundred men” in total; still others, said “too many” to count. Variance also could be due to the different locations of the settlement that witnesses were positioned.

One man also reports that one of the throngs of armed men carried “a bucket” toward the Simunye shop, which he said is associated with muthi, a protection in a call to “war.” Even though some among them, gathering at the main taxi rank next to the Hall, shouted anti-imPondo slogans, two witnesses said, the armed men, nonetheless, were not themselves ethnically homogenous.For instance, one said, “They were Zulus, Bhacas, Xhosas, all kinds of people.” Some said singing “The Struggle Allows It,” others said songs that were “calls to war,” or “war-like songs,” or “aggressive songs.”

For a history of Abahlali’s emergence, see Richard Pithouse, “Our Struggle is Thought on the Ground Running”: accessed March 30, 2009. The ANC Chairperson of the eThekwini region, in 2010, later would find himself in the middle of violent political brawls in his own backyard, when COPE members were burned out of their homes in Claremont township. The ANC Ward Councillor, in the same interview, reiterated the state’s account of the attacks. Although he had not been in the settlement since 2005, he also said, “The people are absolutely terrified of them [Abahlali], and they seem to be living in fear."

Perpetual fear of them.” The Hall itself reportedly is now being used to store corrugated-tin materials for government emergency shelters. These shelters typically are used in controlled sites called “transit camps,” the latest technology in “slum clearance.” Residents resisting relocation to these sites, from KwaZulu-Natal to the Western Cape, have referred to them as “government shacks.”

Abahlali, in press statements, particularly in relation to the Slums Act case, have said the shelters are “without dignity.” Since the September attacks, several rows of emergency shelters have been installed at Kennedy Road. At least one man was killed in a brawl amid distribution of the corrugated tin materials, following a shack fire that left 3000 homeless and at least two dead in July 2010.

See Minister of Safety and Security press statement, dated 13 October 2009, and in an Executive Statement to the provincial legislature, dated 15 October, 2009. Even so, participants of regular meetings reasoned that “development,” ultimately, had to engage the state and its resources. If residents at mass meetings, working within democratic community structures — that is, outside systems of patronage by political parties or non-governmental organizations — remained themselves the final arbiters, such projects had a possible future. There was recourse, again, to the streets.

Transit camps, government emergency shelters in controlled sites, are the latest technology in slum clearance. Abahlali branch areas have resisted relocation to transit camps. One witness said the dog van unit and two officers were from Durban Central.

Police from Durban Central, Sydenham and Inanda stations, witnesses said, were seen later in the night, and early in the morning, as well as in the days that followed. Two Safety and Security Committee members accompanied the Italian journalist to a meter-taxi around 11:45pm. Around 1am, the film crew was told by the KRDC to move their private car from the Road inside the Hall, where it would be safer.

Members describe the mantra on their membership cards — “Abahlali baseMjondolo is a social movement, not a political party” – in part, as a protective injunction. In August 2009, a meeting at Tin Town, Eshowe, reportedly was disrupted by “warlords,” armed men in a speeding vehicle, alleged to have been sent by the local IFP ward councilor, which then held Durban Abahlali delegates at gunpoint and accused them of being a front for the ANC.

See: The Social Movements United was the banner of civic organizations and movements protesting the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, including the Social Movements Indaba (SMI), the Anti- Privatization Forum, the Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee, and The Concerned Citizens Forum.

For background on the emergence of new social movements in South Africa, see for instance, Ashwin Desai’s seminal work: We Are the Poor: Community Struggles in Post-Apartheid South Africa. New York: Monthly Review Press (2002). See Patrick Bond: “South Africa’s Resurgent Urban Social movements,” Centre for Civil Society Research Report 22: 1-34 (2004), and Talk Left, Walk Right: South Africa’s Frustrated Global Reforms. Durban: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press (2004). See Anti-Privatization Forum, et. al. “Nothing for Mahala,” Centre for Civil Society Research Report 16: 1-30 (2004). See Fiona Lumsden and Alex Loftus, “Inanda’s Struggle Through Pipes and Tunnels: Exploring State-Civil Society Relations in a Post-Apartheid Informal Settlement. Centre for Civil Society Research Report 6: 1-35 (2003).

Sbusiso Innocent Zikode Posted this Piece...

The ANC has invaded Kennedy Road. We have been arrested, beaten, killed, jailed and made homeless by their armed wing. This is what it took for Yakoob Baig and Jackson Gumede to finally take back the settlement.

This was a very well organized crime. It is not just an attack on the KRDC. It is not just an attack on AbM. It is an attack on our politic.

This attack is an attempt to suppress the voice that has emerged from the dark corners of our country. That voice is the voice of ordinary poor people. This attack is an attempt to terrorize that voice back into the dark corners. It is an attempt to turn the frustration and anger of the poor onto the poor so that we will miss the real enemy.

Yakoob Baig says that 'harmony' has been restored. For the ANC harmony means their power and our silence. For us our silence means evictions, shack fires, children dying of diarrhea and the organized contempt that we face day after day. Therefore we have to speak. We have to break the 'harmony' that is our silence in the face of our oppression.

Our movement has won many victories. We have forced the state to accept that there will be nothing for us without us. We have forced the state to accept that they must negotiate our development with us. Our politics is a common politics. We have, in many places, raised the common politics above the politicians' politics. For this some politicians hate us.

And we must not forget that we have exposed the corruption of many senior officials — most recently in Siyanda, eShowe, Mpola and Howick. We have also exposed how 'housing delivery' is actually a form of oppression breaking up communities and forcing people into ghettos far outside the cities. We have done this most famously with our case in the Constitutional Court against the Slums Act. That judgment will be coming out very soon.

For all these reasons the strength of the movement, the strength of those who are supposed to be weak and silent and powerless, is taken as a threat.

Our crime is a simple one. We are guilty of giving the poor the courage to organize the poor. We are guilty of trying to give ourselves human values. We are guilty of expressing our views.

Those in power are determined not to take instruction form the poor. They are determined that the people shall not govern.

What prospects are there for the rest of the country if the invasion of Kennedy Road is overlooked?

In this time when we are scattered between the Sydenham jail, hospitals, the homes of relatives and comrades, or even sleeping in the bushes in the rain, we are asking for solidarity. In this time when we do not know if the state will allow us to continue to exist we are asking for solidarity. In this time when we do not know if we will also be attacked in Motala Heights or Siyanda or anywhere else we are asking for solidarity.

Our message to the movements, the academics, the churches and the human rights groups is this:

We are calling for close and careful scrutiny into the nature of democracy in South Africa.

Sibusiso Innocent Zikode
President of Abahlali baseMjondolo (and, consequently, political refugee)

S'bu Zikode's Presentation at the Fanon Colloquium, Rhodes University,

July 9. 2011 (Rough Transcription)

The idea that shack dwellers can think and that Abahlali can sustain its autonomy has created a crisis. There is a price to be paid for such thinking, for such autonomy.

The university is slowly opening spaces for grassroots organizations and some of us have fought hard for a relationship of equality between grassroots organizations and the university. We appreciate that Nigel Gibson has brought Fanon into conversation with us, with our struggle and our thinking. The conversation has been very rich and also difficult. We speak of Fanon from our own working environment.

What hasn’t been covered in these 4 days is that Fanon was an activist, committed to daily work with people, talking with people.
Each time we travel, we give hope to the people in Abahlali, we report back. How do I report back and make this colloquium meaningful to ordinary men and women, especially in the shacks and rural communities? It is a tough task.

Fanon said that each generation has to discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it. This is being done in the shacks. We had to discover ourselves, take our own step into struggle, and then we meet friends and comrades in struggle. We discovered that we didn’t count and that it didn’t matter to anyone. In learning we began to define ourselves before someone else from somewhere else defines us. We then said this is who we are, this is where we are, this is what we want and this is how we want what we want.

The assumption has been that poor people do not think. The assumption has been that if we do think we only think about survival, about food, that our thinking only revolves around hunger and starvation. Others come and try to represent us and to make decisions for us as if we cannot think.
We come from the University of Abahlali baseMjondolo which is never heard or seen because the university is the struggle. What we have learned here we have learned in the struggle. We have learned from old mamas and gogos; really learned from below, learned with those who really wants to learn. Thinking takes place in the meetings, protest marches, rallies and in the camps. We read Fanon in parallel with what we are doing.

Fanon is in the shacks. Fanon is part of the broader struggle thinking with the people. For us there is no point in using one theory to evaluate another theory. We try to bring every theory of a living freedom, every theory of real equality, every theory of a living communism into a conversation with our living politics.

When Abahlali began in 2005 with the road blockade, we had no idea it was a political act. It was only the next morning that we realized that we were playing with fire because we should “know our place," in the shacks. We thought the streets were ours but in vain. When we were told that we were disrupting public life and charged with public violence, we said, we had thought that we are also part of the public. We realized that the public were others. We realized that it was considered threatening and criminal for us to take our place in the public — on the street, in the discussions.

Then a politics of fear emerged. Every peaceful and polite effort that we made to build our country was called out of order. Ours became an out of order politics. We had to accept this and to continue with our out of order politic.
We are fighting for land, housing and freedom in the cities. AbM is not a single issue movement. Our struggle is reduced to service delivery as an effort to silence the people and to make us not question the government and our society because allowing these debates will speak to reality of our society.

It will be interesting to know how Fanon would behave with the politic of fear masterminded to silence the thinking and voice of ordinary people.
AbM also speaks about a living politics in the shacks, a living practice. A politics understood by ordinary people who have not set forth in school. A politics of water, of school, of electricity, of rebellion against exclusion from participating together in decision making. A politics of the simple fact that either we all need electricity or we all don’t need it. And it is clear that our lives, all our lives, need electricity, as our Media Liaison Officer Mnikelo Ndabankulu has said.

We have seen how language is used to exclude and confuse people. Living learning session are used to transfer skills to communities and break theory into practical and meaningful contributions. We use experience as a starting point. We reflect, together, on our experience of suffering and our experience of struggle. Shack intellectuals are being produced in this fashion. We have camps from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. where the old and the young discuss politics and their children’s futures. As a social movement we see change and are agents of the change we want to see.

AbM refuses to be told that we are free. Instead of celebrating Freedom Day we created unFreedom Day. This is not to disrespect the struggle and the sacrifice made by those who came before us, but rather not to fool ourselves that we are free. Leading up to unFreedom Day every year we have a series of serious discussions about many issues. Fanon would be part of these discussions. It doesn’t mean that we have all the answers. We are always all learning. The important thing is that we must keep learning together and that our learning must remain a living learning, a learning in the practice of struggle.

We are being tested about our commitment to what we want to see — a world where everyone is equal, where everyone is recognized. Some civil society organizations do not like shack dwellers thinking. “Who the hell do you think you are?” they say. For them we are not part of the public, we have no rights. Highly educated people confront us with the idea that we shouldn’t have a say. It is not only the government and property owners that oppress us.
AbM has been researched, perhaps over researched.

Our struggle is important for our lives, for our children. We are not a professional organization. We are not paid to struggle. We always have to organize in the middle of crisis — evictions, arrests and fires. We have had to keep organizing through serious repression. We welcome students and researchers that are willing to negotiate a partnership with us, a living solidarity. But it is not right that the movements of the poor must always be expected to make time for those researchers that only take and make no contribution in return.

We have been kept busy in the courts and in workshops to make sure that the streets are not ours. The system that keeps us apart is so smart. Everyday the system is ahead with its plan and thinking. This venue truly must confront the smartness of the system. Our agendas are always being diverted to something else and our struggle diverted from the direction of the movement. There is a syndrome of criminalization of people’s struggles and trials in criminal courts rather than political courts that divert us from our struggle where everyone counts. We have to think in the midst of all this. We know that Fanon developed his thinking in the midst of the Algerian revolution.

AbM is not a perfect social movement. We have our own challenges and live in the same world of errors. But we have created our own space. Part of the victories we have won is the space that we have managed to create and defend. It is a precious space and despite homelessness, despite poverty, despite repression we are able to think together. While creating this space we appreciate that Fanon is alive in our shacks. We must also see Fanon as an activist — not a professional but a participant in what has to be done where our thinking together can change the world in practice.

I invite you to the shacks, to our rural homes, to our struggle — you have a role. We have lost great comrades who have been co-opted. Great minds have been lost into something else, and not just into money. Other comrades have been with us on every step that we have taken, in every danger that we have faced. It goes back to your humanity, to refuse to be co-opted. How do I enjoy a house when others are homeless? What does a position mean when others are not recognized? The real question for each of us is 'What constitutes you and humanity?' There is a high price for every commitment. How many of us are prepared to risk our lives in defense of humanity?

SA, We Cannot Say We Are Free


On April 27, 1994, the people of this country stood in long queues for many hours, waiting to cast their vote for the first time. In some parts of the country the weather was hostile, freezing cold, while in other parts it was scorching hot.

Our people were voting for the first time, voting for an end to racism and for democracy and a better life — for jobs, free education and decent housing. Over and above their vote for their material needs to be met, they were voting for their freedom. Or so they were made to believe.

The rays of that sunrise were breaking through the dark storm clouds. The first beams of the new sun were making their way through the clouds into the new blue sky. After centuries of oppression, hope was rekindled; a new nation, a rainbow nation, was born. Or so we were made to believe.

I remember watching the proceedings on television. I saw Archbishop Desmond Tutu casting his vote. The great man jumped for joy and said: “Free at last! Free at last!” Freedom is the ability of the people not to be oppressed and to be able to determine their own future collectively and by their own wills. Freedom is the realization of the will of the people. When there is freedom, the government is for the people and by the people, because the people govern themselves. Freedom is the ability of the people to determine their own destiny. Freedom is self-government.

When there is freedom the people do not have to beg the government to recognize them as important. When there is freedom, people are free from hunger, poverty, disease, homelessness and the inability to meet basic needs. Justice, peace, dignity and access to the country’s wealth are central to freedom.

Freedom means that people must come first. It means people before profit. It means people before the big transnational corporations. It means that the people’s sovereignty and rights have been restored.

Freedom does not mean that the people vote for a few politicians to take their friends and relatives and join the old white capitalists as they feast off the devastation of the people behind high walls. Freedom does not mean police officers who shoot and kill us. Freedom does not mean that our so-called leaders become managers of capital, running the country and disciplining the people on behalf of capital.

Freedom does not mean that politicians become little gods. Freedom is not the rule of experts in civil society. Freedom is not the rule of the police. In a free country it is the voice of the citizens that matters the most. If South Africa were free, the voice of every South African and of every community would matter equally. Until everyone’s voice counts equally, we cannot say that we are free.

Against the nightmare
After 17 years of democracy, our townships are broken. All you see are drunk men and women walking aimlessly like zombies, their bloodstreams flowing with cheap alcohol. This is how we drug ourselves against the nightmare of a democracy that is really neo-apartheid and not post-apartheid. This is how we drug ourselves against a society that has no respect for us, no place for us and no future for us.

In the Eastern Cape they drink umtshovalale. In KwaZulu-Natal they drink isiqatha. In Gauteng they drink gavani. In the Western Cape they drink spirits. This alcohol has a hazardous effect. My people, young and old, have been silently taken to their graves because of the effects of alcohol. We are poisoning ourselves to drug ourselves against the horror of our lives. Throughout South Africa, young people smoke antiretroviral drugs. It is a well-known thing. We live below the poverty line and we have completely lost hope.

South Africa is the most unequal country in the world. The gap between the rich and the poor is vast — and it is growing. The unemployment rate is high, above 40%. Poverty rates are skyrocketing. In a place such as Alice in the Eastern Cape, residents drink unsafe water. At times there is no water at all. In Grahamstown we continue to use the bucket system to shit.

All around South Africa there are crumbling RDP houses and municipalities are falling under the strain of corruption, while Jacob Zuma’s family — his wives, children and relatives — are becoming billionaires. Sicelo Shiceka spent R640 000 in one year on rooms for himself and his staff at the One&Only hotel in Cape Town, flew to Switzerland first-class to visit an ex-girlfriend in jail and hired a limousine to drive him to the prison.

What kind of politician lives like this while the people are suffering as we are? What kind of politician lives like this while South Africa has become “the protest capital of the world," with one of the highest rates of public protest in the world?

Shiceka is a predator and not a liberator. He is not the only one. In 2010 Eskom announced its decision to increase electricity tariffs by 35%, assaulting the unemployed and the poor while the ANC company, Chancellor House, rips the profit from the shaking hands of the people. Very soon the coffers of this country will run dry and we will be asked to give even more to the ANC, to Chancellor House and the Zuma family. The way they are looting our resources is beyond imagination. The way that they have privatized the struggle of the people is incredible.

We are a bleeding nation. All the power that belongs to us has been centralized in the control of the ruling elite. We are not consulted on the model of the RDP house that must be built. They decide for us. The Integrated Development Plan (IDP) meetings are a platform to manage us. There is no veracity. They choose those who must represent us in local chambers and then parade them as our leaders. When we ask to speak to these leaders, they call the police. We have no power. We have no voice. We have no freedom to celebrate. We live in a radically unjust society. We are oppressed.

The ANC tries to control the people with its police, social grants and rallies with celebrities and musicians. The ANC tries to drug us against their betrayal by keeping us drunk on memories of the struggle — the same struggle that they have betrayed. But everywhere the ANC is losing control. Protest is spreading everywhere. Everywhere people are boycotting elections and running independent candidates. Everywhere people are organizing themselves into their own autonomous groups and movements.

As Mostafa Omara wrote about the Egyptian revolution: “People in Egypt will tell you: ‘Gone are the days when we felt helpless and little; gone are the days when the police could humiliate us and torture us; gone are the times when the rich and the businessmen thought they could run the country as if it were their own private company.’”

In South Africa we long for the same feeling. But revolutions do not spring from nothing. Revolutions come through the united action of men and women, rural and urban — action that springs from their needs. Revolutions happen when ordinary men and women begin to take action to seize control of their own lives.

The rebellion of the poor in this country is growing. More and more organizations are emerging. More and more people have become radicalized. More and more communities have lost their illusions after experiencing the violence of the predator state. More and more people are starting and joining discussions about the way forward for the struggle to take the country back.

We need to move forward with more determination, working all the time to build and to unite our struggles. As we connect our struggles, from Ficksburg to Grahamstown, from Cape Town to Johannesburg and Durban, we are, slowly but steadily, building a new mass movement. We are building a network of struggles in living solidarity with one another.

Ayanda Kota assaulted in the Grahamstown, South Africa, police station — under arrest

by Xola Mali

About 40 minutes ago Ayanda Kota was seriously assaulted by a group of police officers in the Grahamstown police station. He was dragged, bleeding from at least two wounds, and with his clothes torn from his body, to the holding cells.

In the South African town of Ficksburg during a march of over 4,000 people demanding decent housing, access to water and electricity, and jobs, Andries Tatane, math teacher, activist and community newspaper publisher, husband and father, was murdered by six police officers on April 13, 2011. They attacked him when he asked why they were firing a water cannon at an elderly person who clearly was not a threat. The video images of the police smashing his body with batons and repeatedly firing rubber bullets into his chest shocked the nation.

In 2010 alone 1,769 people died as a result of police action or in police custody.For some months he has been under open police surveillance and at times has been threatened and insulted by the police. The police have been watching his mother’s house and have searched it looking for him. Their behavior has been very rude, threatening and aggressive. Today Ayanda was summoned to the police station.

He popped out of a meeting organized by Masifunde and the Rural People’s Movement with his 6-year-old son and a comrade. He was called to the police station because a lecturer at Rhodes, who has publicly engaged in strange and aggressive behavior on a number of occasions, laid a charge of theft against Ayanda after he misplaced a book that she had loaned him. Ayanda did not steal the book — he mislaid it. This is something that happens all the time to people who share books.

Perhaps another comrade picked it up and forgot to return it. Perhaps it was left in a taxi. These things happen. Ayanda has made it quite clear that he is willing to replace the book.

As soon as Ayanda met Constable Zulu, the officer who had summoned him to the station, Constable Zulu said that he was taking him straight to the cells. Ayanda said that he wanted to show the officer text messages on his cellphone to the lecturer at Rhodes offering to replace the book, but the officer insisted that Ayanda was going straight to the cells.

Ayanda then asked to be able to take his son home first. At that point Constable Zulu lunged at Ayanda very aggressively. Ayanda raised his arm in an instinctive gesture of defense following which Zulu began to assault him with blows to the head. Three or four other police offices then joined the assault. Ayanda was on the floor for most of the duration of the assault, which went on for some minutes.

This happened in the presence of his 6-year-old son, who of course was traumatized. The assault was brutal, entirely unnecessary and accompanied by, in Constable Zulu’s case, an obvious sadistic delight. A police secretary who witnessed it all burst into tears. One of the police officers made a sarcastic remark about Ayanda being the newsmaker of the year in the local paper.

This was plainly no ordinary arrest. This is a bogus charge that most certainly does not justify arrest. There was nothing to justify the assault. This is a simple attempt on the part of the police to misuse a ridiculous charge laid by someone well known for strange and erratic behavior in order to intimidate an activist and the movement that he represents.

The police are not here to protect society. They are here to protect the ruling party from popular dissent. This is not an isolated incident. Poor people’s movements have been constantly subject to this sort of behavior at the hands of the police for many years now.

This was plainly no ordinary arrest. This is a simple attempt to intimidate an activist and the movement that he represents. The police are here to protect the ruling party from popular dissent.

UPM will try to visit Ayanda in the holding cells and will mobilize to get him medical attention tonight and to support him in court tomorrow. The movement is currently looking for a lawyer. Of course civil and criminal charges will be laid against Constable Zulu and all the other police officers who joined this assault.

Xola Mali, spokesperson for the Unemployed People’s Movement, can be reached at 072 299 5253.

ANC centenary a display of elite power

by Ayanda Kota, Unemployed People’s Movement

- Ayanda Kota speaks during the COP 17 climate change conference in December in Durban, South Africa, on his One Million Climate Jobs Campaign.The centenary celebrations of the African National Congress (ANC) are being used to persuade the people that a movement that has betrayed the people is our government, a government that obeys the people, instead of a government of the elites, for the elites and by the elites. It is a hugely expensive spectacular designed to drug us against our own oppression and disempowerment.

In his “Communist Manifesto,” Karl Marx wrote: “Each step in the development of the bourgeoisie was accompanied by a corresponding political advance of that class … The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the affairs of the bourgeoisie.” Here Marx is referring to the ability of the bourgeois to translate economic power into state power, thus reducing our governments to mere managers acting in the interests of capital and not the people.

This has happened to governments around the world. But here our politicians are not mere managers. They are, like in Russia or India, a predatory elite with their own class interests and they support capital and repress the people as long as they can get their own share.

Since 1994 there hasn’t been a reorganization of the economy. The commanding heights of the economy continue to reside in the hands of a tiny elite, most of which is white. Unemployment is skyrocketing. Most young people have never worked.

Anyone can see that there is an excessive amount of poverty in South Africa. There are shacks everywhere. In fact, poverty reigns supreme in our country. Every year Jacob Zuma promises to create new jobs and every year unemployment grows.

- The commanding heights of the economy continue to reside in the hands of a tiny elite, most of which is white. Unemployment is skyrocketing. Most young people have never worked.

If things were getting better, even if they were getting better slowly, people might be willing to be patient. But things are getting worse every year. Poverty and inequality are getting worse. The government is increasingly criminalizing poverty instead of treating it as a political problem. When people try to organize, they are always presented as a third force being used to undermine democracy and bring back racism.

But it is the ANC that has failed to develop any plans to democratize the economy. It is the ANC that has failed to develop any plans to democratize the media. It is the ANC that disciplines the people for the bourgeoisie — a role that they are very comfortable to play! It is the ANC that follows the line of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. It is our local leaders who taking the leap from their old bosses, stealing from us, treating us with contempt, acting like the former colonial government and oppressing us.

During the struggle, our leaders embodied the aspirations of the people. But once they took state power, they didn’t need us any more. We were sent home. We are only called out to vote or attend rallies. But all the time our people are evicted from farms, paving the way for animals, as farms are turned into game reserves under the pretext of tourism.

- It is our local leaders who taking the leap from their old bosses, stealing from us, treating us with contempt, acting like the former colonial government and oppressing us.

Our people are evicted from cities. Our people are denied decent education. The party has become a mixture of what Marx would call an instrument of power in the hands of bourgeoisie and what Fanon would call a means of private advancement.

Biko wrote: “This is one country where it would be possible to create a capitalist Black society, if whites were intelligent, if the nationalists were intelligent. And that capitalist Black society, Black middle class, would be very effective … South Africa could succeed in putting across to the world a pretty convincing, integrated picture, with still 70 percent of the population being underdogs.”

We, as the unemployed, belong to the 70 percent that Biko was talking about. We were happy to see the end of apartheid and we will always fight racism wherever we see it. But we are not free. There has only been freedom for the 30 percent. How can a person be free with no work, no house and no hope for their life?

R100 million is being spent on the celebration — spent to entertain elites, through playing golf and drinking the most expensive whiskey. Golf players are even receiving massages from young women sponsored by SAB (South African Breweries).

- How can a person be free with no work, no house and no hope for their life?

This is not a people’s celebration. We are absent! How some of us wish that all that money could have been used to build houses, create employment, build sport facilities or schools for kids who continue to learn under trees! Biko was right. As the world celebrates with the ANC today, they put across a pretty convincing picture of freedom while everywhere people are broken by the burdens of poverty.

- Community activists Xola Mali, spokesperson for the Unemployed Peoples’ Movement (UPM), Ntombentsha Budaza, UPM deputy chairperson, Nombulelo Yami, member of the Women’s Social Forum, and Ayanda Kota, UPM chairperson, tell the press outside the courthouse in March 2011 that they expect the charges against them of “public violence” will be dismissed. After further postponements designed, the activists believe, to prevent them from organizing prior to the April 29 municipal election, all charges were eventually dropped in August.In his “Wretched of the Earth,” in the chapter called “The Pitfalls of the National Consciousness,” Frantz Fanon wrote:

“The leader pacifies the people. For years on end after independence has been won, we see him, incapable of urging on the people to a concrete task, unable really to open the future to them or of flinging them into the path of national reconstruction, that is to say, of their own reconstruction; we see him reassessing the history of independence and recalling the sacred unity of the struggle for liberation.

The leader, because he refuses to break up the national bourgeoisie, asks the people to fall back into the past and to become drunk on the remembrance of the epoch which led up to independence. The leader, seen objectively, brings the people to a halt and persists in either expelling them from history or preventing them from taking root in it.

During the struggle for liberation the leader awakened the people and promised them a forward march, heroic and unmitigated. Today, he uses every means to put them to sleep, and three or four times a year asks them to remember the colonial period and to look back on the long way they have come since then.”

I am not opposed to the centenary celebration of the ANC. But if the ANC was a progressive movement, they would have organized a celebration in a way that includes the people and supports us to build our power. They could have, for instance, asked people to meet all over the country, discuss how far we have come and how far we still have to go and draw up demands for a new freedom charter for the new era.

- If the ANC was a progressive movement, they would have organized a celebration in a way that includes the people and supports us to build our power.

But this celebration is just a spectacle that we are supposed to watch on TV. It is exactly what Fanon talks about. It is designed to keep us drunk on the memory of the past struggle, so that we must stop struggling and remain in the caves.

- Ayanda Kota, in his earlier activist days, holds a photo of Steve Biko, founder of the Black Consciousness Movement and author of “I Write What I Like,” who died in police custody in 1977, at age 31.In a recent protest in Bloemfontein, police were there in numbers to flush the demonstrators. This has happened in many other demonstrations. The message is very clear: “Go back to your caves!” It is backed up by state violence. As Fanon says, a party that can’t marry national consciousness with social consciousness will disintegrate; nothing will be left but the shell of a party — the name, the emblem and the motto.

He says: “The living party, which ought to make possible the free exchange of ideas which have been elaborated according to the real needs of the mass of the people, has been transformed into a trade union of individual interests.”

This is exactly what the party has become. Institutions such as parliament and local municipalities have been severely compromised because of individual interests. Corruption is rampant. The Protection of Information Bill (Secrecy Bill) is another illustration of how the selfish interests of individuals have taken over the party.

A true liberation movement would never have killed Andries Tatane, attacked and jailed activists of social movements. It would never send people to lull — it would encourage people to continue organizing and mobilizing against injustices and oppression.

Progressive leaders would know that they cannot substitute themselves for the will of the people. A progressive party would never help the government in holding the people down through fascist attacks on the media by the likes of Nceba Faku, Blade Nzimande and Julius Malema, to mention but a few. A democratic party would never engage in attacks on protests as we saw most recently with the ANC and ANCYL (ANC Youth League) fascism against the Democratic Left Front in Durban during the COP17 (17th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change) conference.

- A true liberation movement would never have killed Andries Tatane; it would encourage people to continue organizing and mobilizing against injustices and oppression.

In the Congo, in Nigeria and across the Arab world people are deserting celebrations of the flag and political leaders as if they really do represent the nation. Some are turning to a politics of religious or ethnic chauvinism. Others are turning to the politics of mass democratic rebellion or a democracy that is truly owned by the people. This is a free exchange of ideas backed up with popular force.

We are also seeing this in Europe and North America. Latin America has been in rebellion for many years. Across South Africa more and more people are deserting the party that spends so much money to keep them drunk on the memory of the past struggle, their own struggle, the same struggle that the ruling party has privatized and betrayed. There are occupations, road blockades and protests and the message is loud and clear: Sekwanele! Genoeg! Enough!

The only way to truly honor the struggles of the past is to stand up for what is right now. The struggle continues and will continue until we are all free.

Ayanda Kota is chairperson of the Unemployed People’s Movement in Grahamstown, South Africa. He can be reached at 078 625 6462. This story was published Jan. 8 on Anarkismo.


On Jan. 13, Grocott's Mail Online reported that Ayanda Kota had just been charged with theft, resisting arrest and assault on the police arresting him and released on bail and that his trial will begin on Feb. 29. Grocott’s Mail also reported that he appeared to be in pain during his court hearing.

- Outside the Grahamstown magistrate’s court Jan. 13, Unemployed Peoples Movement leader Ayanda Kota demonstrated today how he was attacked by police yesterday. His aunt, Ntombizodwa Kota, and fellow UPM member Sithe Mbiso watch with concern. – Photo: Desiree SchirlingerAccording to Rhodes University lecturer Richard Pithouse, who witnessed the police attack: “When Ayanda was on the ground being beaten by the police, one of them said, ‘Come and see the newsmaker of the year now.’ It looked like they [the police] were enjoying the attack – it was plainly about vengeance and intimidation, and the charges are completely bogus,” he added.

Kota was named Grocott’s Mail Newsmaker of the Year for 2011 on Dec. 19. Grocott’s Mail is South Africa’s oldest independent newspaper.

Ayanda Kota Assaulted in the Grahamstown Police Station - Under Arrest

About 40 minutes ago Ayanda Kota was seriously assaulted by a group of police officers in the Grahamstown police station. He was dragged, bleeding from at least two wounds, and with his clothes torn from his body, to the holding cells.

For some months he has been under open police surveillance and at times has been threatened and insulted by the police. The police have been watching his mother's house and have searched it looking for him. Their behavior has been very rude, threatening and aggressive.

Today Ayanda was summoned to the police station. He popped out of a meeting organized by Masifunde and the Rural People's Movement with his six year old son and a comrade. He was called to the police station because a lecturer at Rhodes, who has publicly engaged in strange and aggressive behavior on a number of occasions, laid a charge of theft against Ayanda after he misplaced a book that she had leant him.

Ayanda did not steal the book — he mislaid it. This is something that happens all the time to people that share books. Perhaps another comrade picked it up and forget to return it. Perhaps it was left in a taxi. These things happen. Ayanda has made it quite clear that he is willing to replace the book.

As soon as Ayanda met Constable Zulu, the officer that had summoned him to the station, Constable Zulu said that he was taking him straight to the cells. Ayanda said that he wanted to show the officer text messages on his cellphone to the lecturer at Rhodes offering to replace the book but the officer insisted that Ayanda was going straight to the cells. Ayanda then asked to be able to take his son home first. At that point Constable Zulu lunged at Ayanda very aggressively.

Ayanda raised his arm in an instinctive gesture of defense following which Zulu began to assault him with blows to the head. Three or four other police officers then joined the assault. Ayanda was on the floor for most of the duration of the assault which went on for some minutes. This happened in the presence of his six year old son who of course was traumatized.

The assault was brutal, entirely unnecessary and accompanied by, in Constable Zulu's case, an obvious sadistic delight. A police secretary who witnessed it all burst into tears.One of the police officers made a sarcastic remark about Ayanda being the newsmaker of the year in the local paper. This was plainly no ordinary arrest.

This is a bogus charge that most certainly does not justify arrest. There was nothing to justify the assault. This is a simple attempt on the part of the police to misuse a ridiculous charge laid by someone well known for strange and erratic behavior in order to intimidate an activist and the movement that he represents.

The police are not here to protect society. They are here to protect the ruling party from popular dissent. This is not an isolated incident. Poor people's movements have been constantly subject to this sort of behavior at the hands of the police for many years now.

UPM will try to visit Ayanda in the holding cells and will mobilize to get him medical attention tonight and to support him in court tomorrow. The movement is currently looking for a lawyer. Of course civil and criminal charges will be laid against Constable Zulu and all the other police officers who joined this assault.

For more information please contact Xola Mali on 072 299 5253.

Update: Ayanda is alleged to have stolen three books, not one. The books are (1) The Communist Manifesto, (2) The Marx & Engels Readerand (3) The Selected Works of Antonio Gramsci.

… The ANC tries to control the people with its police, social grants and rallies with celebrities and musicians. The ANC tries to drug us against their betrayal by keeping us drunk on memories of the struggle — the same struggle that they have betrayed. But everywhere the ANC is losing control. Protest is spreading everywhere. Everywhere people are boycotting elections and running independent candidates. Everywhere people are organizing themselves into their own autonomous groups and movements.

As Mostafa Omara wrote about the Egyptian revolution: “People in Egypt will tell you: ‘Gone are the days when we felt helpless and little; gone are the days when the police could humiliate us and torture us; gone are the times when the rich and the businessmen thought they could run the country as if it were their own private company.’”

In South Africa we long for the same feeling. But revolutions do not spring from nothing. Revolutions come through the united action of men and women, rural and urban — action that springs from their needs. Revolutions happen when ordinary men and women begin to take action to seize control of their own lives.

The rebellion of the poor in this country is growing. More and more organizations are emerging. More and more people have become radicalized. More and more communities have lost their illusions after experiencing the violence of the predator state. More and more people are starting and joining discussions about the way forward for the struggle to take the country b

The ANC has privatized the struggle and rules on behalf of capital in our neo-apartheid democracy, writes Ayanda Kota.On April 27 1994 the people of this country stood in long queues for many hours, waiting to cast their vote for the first time. In some parts of the country the weather was hostile, freezing cold, while in other parts it was scorching hot.

Our people were voting for the first time, voting for an end to racism and for democracy and a better life—for jobs, free education and decent housing. Over and above their vote for their material needs to be met, they were voting for their freedom. Or so they were made to believe.

The rays of that sunrise were breaking through the dark storm clouds. The first beams of the new sun were making their way through the clouds into the new blue sky. After centuries of oppression, hope was rekindled; a new nation, a rainbow nation, was born. Or so we were made to believe.

I remember watching the proceedings on television. I saw Archbishop Desmond Tutu casting his vote. The great man jumped for joy and said: “Free at last! Free at last!” Freedom is the ability of the people not to be oppressed and to be able to determine their own future collectively and by their own wills. Freedom is the realization of the will of the people. When there is freedom, the government is for the people and by the people, because the people govern themselves. Freedom is the ability of the people to determine their own destiny. Freedom is self-government.

When there is freedom the people do not have to beg the government to recognize them as important. When there is freedom, people are free from hunger, poverty, disease, homelessness and the inability to meet basic needs. Justice, peace, dignity and access to the country’s wealth are central to freedom.

Freedom means that people must come first. It means people before profit. It means people before the big transnational corporations. It means that the people’s sovereignty and rights have been restored.

Freedom does not mean that the people vote for a few politicians to take their friends and relatives and join the old white capitalists as they feast off the devastation of the people behind high walls. Freedom does not mean police officers who shoot and kill us. Freedom does not mean that our so-called leaders become managers of capital, running the country and disciplining the people on behalf of capital.

Freedom does not mean that politicians become little gods. Freedom is not the rule of experts in civil society. Freedom is not the rule of the police. In a free country it is the voice of the citizens that matters the most. If South Africa were free, the voice of every South African and of every community would matter equally. Until everyone’s voice counts equally, we cannot say that we are free.

Against the nightmare
After 17 years of democracy, our townships are broken. All you see are drunk men and women walking aimlessly like zombies, their bloodstreams flowing with cheap alcohol. This is how we drug ourselves against the nightmare of a democracy that is really neo-apartheid and not post-apartheid. This is how we drug ourselves against a society that has no respect for us, no place for us and no future for us.

In the Eastern Cape they drink umtshovalale. In KwaZulu-Natal they drink isiqatha. In Gauteng they drinkgavani. In the Western Cape they drink spirits. This alcohol has a hazardous effect. My people, young and old, have been silently taken to their graves because of the effects of alcohol. We are poisoning ourselves to drug ourselves against the horror of our lives. Throughout South Africa, young people smoke antiretroviral drugs. It is a well-known thing. We live below the poverty line and we have completely lost hope.

South Africa is the most unequal country in the world. The gap between the rich and the poor is vast—and it is growing. The unemployment rate is high, above 40%. Poverty rates are skyrocketing. In a place such as Alice in the Eastern Cape, residents drink unsafe water. At times there is no water at all. In Grahamstown we continue to use the bucket system to shit.

All around South Africa there are crumbling RDP houses and municipalities are falling under the strain of corruption, while Jacob Zuma’s family—his wives, children and relatives—are becoming billionaires. Sicelo Shiceka spent R640 000 in one year on rooms for himself and his staff at the One&Only hotel in Cape Town, flew to Switzerland first-class to visit an ex-girlfriend in jail and hired a limousine to drive him to the prison.

What kind of politician lives like this while the people are suffering as we are? What kind of politician lives like this while South Africa has become “the protest capital of the world," with one of the highest rates of public protest in the world?

Shiceka is a predator and not a liberator. He is not the only one. In 2010 Eskom announced its decision to increase electricity tariffs by 35%, assaulting the unemployed and the poor while the ANC company, Chancellor House, rips the profit from the shaking hands of the people. Very soon the coffers of this country will run dry and we will be asked to give even more to the ANC, to Chancellor House and the Zuma family. The way they are looting our resources is beyond imagination. The way that they have privatized the struggle of the people is incredible.

We are a bleeding nation. All the power that belongs to us has been centralized in the control of the ruling elite. We are not consulted on the model of the RDP house that must be built. They decide for us. The Integrated Development Plan (IDP) meetings are a platform to manage us. There is no veracity. They choose those who must represent us in local chambers and then parade them as our leaders. When we ask to speak to these leaders, they call the police. We have no power. We have no voice. We have no freedom to celebrate. We live in a radically unjust society. We are oppressed.

The ANC tries to control the people with its police, social grants and rallies with celebrities and musicians. The ANC tries to drug us against their betrayal by keeping us drunk on memories of the struggle—the same struggle that they have betrayed. But everywhere the ANC is losing control. Protest is spreading everywhere. Everywhere people are boycotting elections and running independent candidates. Everywhere people are organizing themselves into their own autonomous groups and movements.

As Mostafa Omara wrote about the Egyptian revolution: “People in Egypt will tell you: ‘Gone are the days when we felt helpless and little; gone are the days when the police could humiliate us and torture us; gone are the times when the rich and the businessmen thought they could run the country as if it were their own private company.’”

In South Africa we long for the same feeling. But revolutions do not spring from nothing. Revolutions come through the united action of men and women, rural and urban—action that springs from their needs. Revolutions happen when ordinary men and women begin to take action to seize control of their own lives.

The rebellion of the poor in this country is growing. More and more organizations are emerging. More and more people have become radicalized. More and more communities have lost their illusions after experiencing the violence of the predator state. More and more people are starting and joining discussions about the way forward for the struggle to take the country back.

We need to move forward with more determination, working all the time to build and to unite our struggles. As we connect our struggles, from Ficksburg to Grahamstown, from Cape Town to Johannesburg and Durban, we are, slowly but steadily, building a new mass movement. We are building a network of struggles in living solidarity with one another.

Ayanda Kota is the chair of the Unemployed People’s Movement in Grahamstown

Welcome to corporate colonialism! The new SA

While the rest of the world is standing up against corporate colonialism and exploitation, South Africa is slowly but surely selling it's soul for a fast buck that in the long term will enslave us and enrich off shore companies, who in spite of their proclaimed good intentions for mutually beneficial investment, are in fact raping our resources and our tax payers. The result will be a few South Africans with very healthy bank accounts going into the millions and sometimes billions, while the rest of us will slowly but surely start living with an ever decreasing standard of living, until what was once known as the robust and healthy middle class, the fundamental backbone of any healthy society, disappears altogether.

The list is growing in ever frightening proportions. First and foremost being Genetically modified seeds. Where once our farmers not only produced their own seed and Maize to feed our own people, they are now reliant on buying seed from a company that is not South African. The glaring opposition to Monsanto the world over, India, Hungary, most of Europe and South America is not given coverage in our main stream media, and the dangers of genetically modified seeds are not made known to the general public.

Neither is the enslavement to this corporate control laid out in no uncertain terms to alert South Africans that their basic food production has been hi jacked by outside forces! In spite of legislation passed last year, that requires products containing GM ingredients to be labelled, suppliers have failed to comply. 98% of Maize in this country is now genetically modified.

Of course the next step will come under the guise of "investment" and "helping us,"with corporate farms all over the country. Then the country itself will belong to an off shore corporation and we will be owned lock, stock and smoking Maize silo by Monsanto! No doubt our politicians will be on their payroll as well... If they are not already!

Second on the list is electricity, a commodity that no country can afford to be without. In spite of the fact that we once had one of the cheapest rates in the world, which was beneficial to our industrial sector and helped it grow, and an abundance of coal and resources making us self reliant, we now, apparently... have a crisis. I do not believe for one minute that this crisis is real. I strongly suspect that it has been engineered. Some people in this country are very rich, while the rest of us are paying astronomical electricity bills.

The final outcome of this saga is that we now need Nuclear Power Stations! Bollocks! This has required us to take out a 3 trillion dollar loan, use this money to pay yet another off shore company to build this Frankenstein structure, a corporation who no doubt has shares in the IMF, so basically they will get their money back, and then... the South African tax payer will not only have to pay back these trillions, but also the compounding interest on this money and ever increasing electricity fees.

The rest of the world is developing Free Energy systems based on Tesla technology and generators that function utilizing electro-magnetic power. The truth, that nobody is reporting in the main stream media, is that coal, fossil fuels and Nuclear Power are outdated systems belonging to the last century. Those that know this are trying to sell us, in fact have already put us in extreme debt with a system that is not only outdated but highly dangerous!

Third on the list is the E Toll systems all over the country. Most recently Gauteng and Chapman's Peak. In the past we have been able to successfully build major freeways and keep up with our growing economy without selling our souls to yet another off shore corporation who receives on going billions in toll fees. This really is a case of money for jam! For once the whole country woke up and got behind Vavi! Let's hope we succeed in getting rid of toll gates altogether and can rightfully travel on the roads that the tax payer has been supporting all along, without selling our souls to an off shore corporation…

Fourthly, there is the Fracking issue in the Karoo. All over the world, Fracking is being outlawed. Most recently in Vermont in the USA. The reason being that proper environmental studies have proven that Fracking not only contaminates the groundwater, but causes earthquakes. And yet, the government is hell bent on allowing Fracking to continue. I have to ask, who is the traitor that has accepted a back handed fat bribe from the oil company?

Last but not least, our own South African companies are being tempted and lured by fat buy outs of their companies that have served not only themselves but the South African economy well. We have also managed to maintain a degree of decency and honesty in the business sector. Now, off shore corporations, under the guise of "investing "in our country, which is all very well and good on the surface, are buying out our brands left right and centre. Wall Mart being but one example. A careful study and research of these companies and the current economy in the USA will tell you exactly what kind of people we are selling out to. They have no morals, no values, they do not have the welfare of the country at heart, they are in it for the fast buck and when they have squeezed us dry of everything that they can get out of us, they will walk away.

While South Africans of all race groups are continually distracted with a race issue that should have been buried and forgotten long ago, our country is being taken away from us before our eyes. By the time we wake up, we will be slaves to off shore corporations, our resources will be going out of the country to benefit another nation, our own standard of living will drop dramatically and the few, those who betrayed their own people will be living in palaces surrounded by moats to keep the rest of us out.

This process of dehumanization of Africans of South Africa has been written about by Andile Mngxitama in this following manner:

The ANC has rendered blacks a pathetic, powerless majority


ANY self-respecting black with a little bit of capacity to think should feel humiliated, not so much by white kids mouthing commonplace racist statements, but how the ANC has managed an anti-black racist reality for the past 18 years.

I wondered if this was the fruition of Thabo Mbeki's mediation and that finally the oil fields of South Sudan would be surrendered to Khartoum.

As the Sudan's National Congress Party of Omar al-Bashir was bombing blacks of South Sudan, the ANC entered a memorandum of agreement with the bombers in Johannesburg.

The lives of the South Sudanese are cheap; after all, they are blacks. Judging by their 18-year track record in power, the ANC knows how to treat blacks.

So, unlike most people, I was not moved at all by the likes of Ken Sinclair and Jessica Leandra dos Santos calling blacks despicable names. To tell the truth, these white children are merely stating a fact of life for most black South Africans. Frantz Fanon long ago said: "A racist in a racist society is normal."

Let's think about it for a moment. White children are confronted with a difficult situation: on the one hand, they hear we are all equal, and on the other hand, reality tells them that blacks are inferior.

Blacks are gardeners and maids. They live in squatter camps and townships; they beg for jobs and food. They go to the worst schools and hospitals. Their own government builds them houses fit for dogs. Poverty is essentially a black affair!

There is a major disjuncture between what is said and what is real. Reality tells whites there is no reason at all to respect blacks. Respect must be earned not demanded.

The ANC has been in power for 18 years. Has it changed black lives? Most blacks have horror stories to tell of how they are treated - from factory workers to professionals.

Whites constitute less than 10% of the population but they own more than 80% of the wealth and land. When they had political power they exercised it ruthlessly in their interest. What whites have is from colonialism and Apartheid.

As former apartheid president FW de Klerk emerged to tell us that blacks were not oppressed under apartheid, the ANC was holding meetings with recalcitrant Afrikaner rightwing organizations.

The same ANC will never listen to any of the black people's organizations such as the Abahlali baseMjondolo, Backyarders Association or the September National Imbizo.

As a thank you to the ANC's service to whites, a white artist depicted President Zuma with his genitalia exposed. The painting was bought for R130000. Whites have a festival of insults, but I refuse to blame them. The ANC has rendered blacks a pathetic, powerless majority.

The DA's Mmusi Maimane wasted no time in making sure that Tshidi Thamane, a black woman, also admitted to her racism and thereby rendered the insult from Leandra dos Santos a mere misunderstanding between models. I need to find Thamane and give her a copy of my essay Blacks Can't be Racist.

"Politics of Pig Now" Are The Norm and Rule Within The ANC

It is also important to pay attention to the fact that those in power today in South Africa are helping themselves with the Public purse and they are doing it in such a way that it appears to the poor that they are doing it "for the here and now" time. I have excerpted a piece from an article written Mpumeloelo Mkhabela April 25, 2012 thus:

"Key societal decisions, including the election of political leaders, are dependent on the distribution of patronage. The politics of pigs look literally too far from the southern tip of Africa, where our Republic is situated. But the truth is that the politics of pigs are increasingly dominant in our country. You could swear we are playing catch-up with Papua New Guinea. We have our own pig transactions. Simply replace the word "pig" with "bribe," then you realize the extent of the rot.

We may not have reached the point where an individual or a political party can bribe a large part of the country to keep a government position. But we are getting there. We seem to be traveling that road faster than we realize.

Judging by concerns raised by the ANC about the conduct of its leaders and factions, there is no doubt the politics of the pig have infected the ruling party.

In fact, it is already happening, albeit indirectly. The ANC is used as a middle man or a political merchant organization through which the patronage transactions are done. One does not need to prove their worth in terms of the values they stand for in order to be elected to positions of power.

All that people and their groupings do is structure deals to enable them to milk state resources once a member of the group has taken over power in municipal, provincial and national government.

The party's organizational renewal document makes some interesting observations to this effect.

Under the sub-heading "subjective weaknesses," the document states that the political life of the organization revolves around "permanent" internal strife and factional battles for power.

This strife is about the "contestation for power and state resources". It has nothing to do with how to implement policies of the party. This situation, the document says, has shifted the focus of the ANC members away from societal concerns and people's aspirations.

"These circumstances have produced a new type of ANC member, who sees ill-discipline, divisions, factionalism and infighting as normal practice and necessary forms of political survival," the document says.

The document advocates "drastic measures and consistent action" against these negative tendencies to "restore sanity and root out anarchy".

What the document does not say is that ordinary citizens are affected by the desecration of state institutions.

The poorest of the poor, the most in need of a capable and compassionate state, are now victims of a state that has basically been goggled out by the politics of pigs.

Like the ill-discipline in the ANC, the strange conduct of our political leaders in abusing state institutions and threatening the Constitution has become "normal".

And when some leaders are told they are a "strange breed," they threaten those who speak the truth, all in an effort to suggest that our political situation is the best, it's "normal".

This kind of behavior finds its expression in all corners of our society.

And so when Corruption Watch releases statistics that show that one in four Jo'burg drivers have been asked for a bribe by the city's cops, this is met with denial.

But dig deeper, and you will find that the denial is not genuine. The authorities are just surprised that someone sees anything wrong with what they regard as "normal"

Strikes As A Counter To Low Intensity Warfare

Thousands March As South Africans Strike

Whilst most people within the Majority Poor Africans are struggling, as shown above, with housing, land and lack basic human services, workers in different sectors of the economy have been striking incessantly for the past 3 or more years, and have been taking to the streets without showing any signs of tiring. This is another part that shows how the war in South Africa has been taking many faces, facets and actions. This, is what I have termed Using Labor power to counter Low Intensity Warfare that has been partly described above with the Abahali and other forces which I hope will include their own perspective as to how far their struggle has progressed or set back.

Carol Paton wrote in her article to be posted below, about what this strikes are achieving, and giving us the sense and direction, if not effect that these strikes are having or taking on the economy and destabilizing the Gendarme government ruling South Africa today:

"REPORTING FROM JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA -- Thousands of South Africans marched in cities around the country Wednesday as a major trade union federation called a one-day strike to protest against labor brokers -- and remind the government of the movement's power.

The strike, called by the COSATU federation, was aimed at the mining, manufacturing, retail and services industries. The protests were peaceful, but business groups claimed the action cost the economy hundreds of millions of dollars.

Protesters called on the African National Congress-led government to ban labor brokers, who find low-wage casual workers for businesses. COSATU said brokers left thousands of workers in low-paying, short-term jobs instead of higher paid full-time positions. It accused major retailers of abusing the system to reduce the cost of wages.


Thousands of South Africans marched in cities around the country Wednesday as a major trade union federation called a one-day strike to protest against labor brokers -- and remind the government of the movement's power.

Marchers wearing COSATU's red and yellow colors carried banners reading "Labor brokering = slave labor."

The strike, called by the COSATU federation, was aimed at the mining, manufacturing, retail and services industries. The protests were peaceful, but business groups claimed the action cost the economy hundreds of millions of dollars.

Protesters called on the African National Congress-led government to ban labor brokers, who find low-wage casual workers for businesses. COSATU said brokers left thousands of workers in low-paying, short-term jobs instead of higher paid full-time positions. It accused major retailers of abusing the system to reduce the cost of wages.

Marchers wearing COSATU's red and yellow colors carried banners reading "Labor brokering = slave labor."

The strike also was called to protest new highway tolls that the federation says will hurt the poor by adding to the cost of goods and services and of commuting to work.

"The introduction of a tolling system that brings in the private sector to operate the tolled roads is, in our view, nothing else but privatization," the organization said in statement.

Analysts said the strike was designed in part as a show of the federation's strength within the ANC alliance ahead of the ruling party's leadership conference this year. COSATU is expected to wield significant influence at the gathering, where South African President Jacob Zuma is seeking a second term as party leader -- virtually guaranteeing him a second presidential term as well.

Federation General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said the strike was designed to remind the government the power of the working class.

"Today we are here to remind some fellows where they are coming from. They don’t know any more the power of the working class," Vavi said. "This is not a march. This is an occupation of the city of Johannesburg by the workers."

The ANC government plans legislation to regulate labor brokers, requiring employers to convert casual employees to full-time employment after six months. Business groups argue that brokers help find jobs for poorly skilled workers who would otherwise be locked out of the workforce.

Carol Paton, an analyst writing in the Business Day newspaper, said the strike was more about showing the federation's political muscle because its battle to eliminate abusive practices by labor brokers had largely been won.

"Any trade unionist knows that sometimes it is good to have a strike," she wrote. "Strikes unite and mobilize workers, they build the union and send a message about the power of worker unity to the rest of society and they keep the organization vibrant and alive."

An editorial in the same newspaper attacked the strike as politically motivated and pointless:

"The fact is that SA [South Africa] is becoming the kind of place in which workers strike at the drop of a hat because the law supports pointless strikes and politicians are too scared to criticize, never mind actually do something about it."

Wednesday's strike came a week after the end of an illegal strike at Impala, a major platinum mine, which dragged on for several weeks, costing the company an estimated $320 million.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in South Africa as a trade union federation called a nationwide strike to demonstrate for improved worker rights and against plans to introduce unpopular road tolls.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), said that the country's system of casual labour, known as "labour broking" in which middlemen acted between employers and workers, amounted to "modern day slavery".

COSATU is part of a tripartite alliance with the African National Congress, South Africa's ruling party, and the South Africa Communist Party. But in the statement, COSATU called for protests against the government.

"We must force the government and the ruling party, the African National Congress, to scrap the exorbitant e-tolling system and ban modern day slavery [labour broking]," COSATU said.

The body is concerned that after 18 years in power, the party revered for leading the battle against apartheid has become complacent and needs to be pushed to replace corrupt or incompetent leaders with politicians who can deliver.

Police estimate 50,000 people marched in Johannesburg, South Africa's economic hub. Smaller crowds turned out in Cape Town and other cities and towns.

The demonstrations progressed peacefully, although there were reports early on Wednesday that people trying to board commuter trains to work were beaten, allegedly by protesters who wanted the demonstrations to shut down commerce.

Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa, reporting from Johannesburg, said frustration with labour brokers had drawn many out to join the protests.

"They say these labour brokers exploit the workers — they don't pay them enough and that they work for long hours and they do not get any benefits like health insurance," Mutasa said.

The e-tolling system, to come into effect in April, by which South Africans would have to pay to use public roads, has also proved unpopular, our correspondent said, with strikers saying that scheme is too expensive and that the government should fit the bill of servicing and maintaining roads.

In a speech on the eve of the march, Zwelinzima Vavi, COSATU's leader, said the toll road debate summed up concerns about growing inequality in South Africa.

'Fancy cars'

"The logic of those who say that the poor do not use our motorways, except by public transport, is that they should be permanently excluded from access to the best roads. They must find the potholed side-roads to get from A to B, while the rich glide along in their fancy cars," Vavi said.

"Good health and education services currently belong to the wealthier sections of society, who can afford to pay. We do not want yet another addition to the list."

In a statement, the ANC said Wednesday's demonstrations were "unnecessary, but we nonetheless respect the right of those who want to protest".

The party said it had responded to concerns that the tolls would hurt the poor by exempting the buses and taxi vans used by many poorer South Africans.

The government also capped monthly toll fees at about $70, so no driver would pay more than that no matter how much he or she used the improved roads.

Mutasa said that COSATU has had a lot of power in the past in terms of shaping South African policy.

The strike was expected to be backed by the youth league of the ruling ANC, the ANCYL, and the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (SADTU).

The recently expelled chairperson of the ANCYL, Julius Malema, attended the protest briefly and was greeted to chants of his nickname "Juju," reported a local news agency, Sapa.

The marches, coming before an ANC policy-making conference in June and pivotal meeting in December to elect top party leaders, are seen by some as an attempt by COSATU to influence the ANC's course.

The ANCYL said on its website that it "fully and unreservedly supports the strike led by COSATU calling for labour brokers and immediate cancellation of e-tolling".

"We call on all members of society, particularly the youth to join in the mass protests across the country, because the issues COSATU is raising are genuine issues," the party said.

The ANC has been in power since the end of apartheid in 1994 is under pressure to show it can work more quickly to improve the lives of black South Africans, many of whom continue to live in poverty despite economic growth and greater political freedom and stability.

A quarter of South Africa's labour force is officially out of work, but experts say the percentage would be higher if the discouraged and the underemployed were counted.

Business groups have argued that instead of banning labour brokers, COSATU should work with them and the government to better regulate them.

The strike also was called to protest new highway tolls that the federation says will hurt the poor by adding to the cost of goods and services and of commuting to work.

"The introduction of a tolling system that brings in the private sector to operate the tolled roads is, in our view, nothing else but privatization," the organization said in statement.

Analysts said the strike was designed in part as a show of the federation's strength within the ANC alliance ahead of the ruling party's leadership conference this year. COSATU is expected to wield significant influence at the gathering, where South African President Jacob Zuma is seeking a second term as party leader -- virtually guaranteeing him a second presidential term as well.

Federation General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said the strike was designed to remind the government the power of the working class.

"Today we are here to remind some fellows where they are coming from. They don’t know any more the power of the working class," Vavi said. "This is not a march. This is an occupation of the city of Johannesburg by the workers."

The ANC government plans legislation to regulate labor brokers, requiring employers to convert casual employees to full-time employment after six months. Business groups argue that brokers help find jobs for poorly skilled workers who would otherwise be locked out of the workforce.

Carol Paton, an analyst writing in the Business Day newspaper, said the strike was more about showing the federation's political muscle because its battle to eliminate abusive practices by labor brokers had largely been won.

"Any trade unionist knows that sometimes it is good to have a strike," she wrote. "Strikes unite and mobilize workers, they build the union and send a message about the power of worker unity to the rest of society and they keep the organization vibrant and alive."

An editorial in the same newspaper attacked the strike as politically motivated and pointless:

"The fact is that SA [South Africa] is becoming the kind of place in which workers strike at the drop of a hat because the law supports pointless strikes and politicians are too scared to criticize, never mind actually do something about it."

Wednesday's strike came a week after the end of an illegal strike at Impala, a major platinum mine, which dragged on for several weeks, costing the company an estimated $320 million."

Forced Removals as a Tactic Of Low Intensity Warfare

See Encamped Tin Can Town wth High Barbed wire fence and security Camera with a Police car guarding the entrance to this Tin shack Gulag… David Smith of the Guardian residing in Cape Town wrote the following article:

"Campaigners say conditions in Blikkiesdorp or 'Tin Can Town' are worse than in the townships created during apartheid" (Smith)

Children squint as wind whips the grey sand into their faces. A teenager braves the flies and stench of a leaking outdoor toilet to draw water from a standpipe. He stares vacantly along regimented rows of corrugated iron shacks encircled by a tall, concrete fence. No grass or trees grow here.

This is Tin Can Town or Blikkiesdorp, described by the mayor of Cape Town as a "temporary relocation area" (TRA), but by its residents as a concentration camp. Many say they were forcibly evicted from their former homes and moved here against their will. And for this they blame one thing: the football World Cup.

"It's a dumping place," said Jane Roberts, who lives in the sparsely furnished structure known as M49. "They took people from the streets because they don't want them in the city for the World Cup. Now we are living in a concentration camp."

Roberts, 54, added: "It's like the devil runs this place. We have no freedom. The police come at night and beat adults and children. South Africa isn't showing the world what it's doing to its people. It only shows the World Cup."

President Jacob Zuma's government insists that sport's biggest showpiece is already benefiting the whole nation, creating jobs, improving infrastructure and transforming its image abroad. It has lavished some R13b (£1.15bn) on world-class venues, with none more breathtaking than the Cape Town Stadium that will host England in June.

Yet a short drive from the city's expensively upgraded airport, a drive few tourists are likely to make, boys kick up dust and stones in Blikkiesdorp because the spending spree failed to provide them with a park.

Campaigners argue that this bleak place in Delft township shows that Africa's first World Cup has become a tool to impress wealthy foreigners at the expense of its own impoverished people. Residents say it is worse than the townships created by the White minority government before the end of racial Apartheid in 1994.

In view of cloud-capped mountains, Blikkiesdorp was built in 2008 for an estimated R32m (£2.9m) to provide "emergency housing" for about 650 people who had been illegally occupying buildings. To visitors, the column after column of one-room shacks, each spray painted with a designated code number, are disturbingly reminiscent of District 9, last year's hit science fiction film about space aliens forced to live in an informal Johannesburg settlement.

Residents said this week there were about 15,000 people struggling to live in about 3,000 of the wood and iron structures, with more arriving all the time. City officials claimed these figures were inaccurate but said the site was designed to cater for 1,667 families in total.

In some cases families of six or seven people are crammed into living spaces of three by six meters. They complain that the corrugated walls swelter in summer temperatures of 40C and offer little protection from the cold in winter. Tuberculosis and HIV are rife. Babies have been born at Blikkiesdorp and, still unknown to the state, officially do not exist.


The shacks are laid out in strict lines with little room for individual homemaking, though some residents have tried to build extensions, gardens and informal convenience stores, often protected by barbed wire. Above them loom poles with lighting and power cables that give the residents electricity. But between the shacks there is no paving, only roaming dogs, scraps of rubbish and grey sand that swirls in the wind.

There are no shower facilities and the standpipe taps lack bowls, so water tends to leak into the ground and under people's homes. Toilets are found inside grim concrete cubicles so small the locked door presses against the user's knees. Many have leaking roofs and are broken despite repeated promises to fix them.

Sandy Rossouw says she was among 366 people evicted from the Spes Bona Hostel in the district of Athlone three months ago because a stadium there is to be used for training by some of football's biggest stars. She is now one of five family members who squeeze into one bed in her shack at Blikkiesdorp.

"We were forced out of our hostel because of the World Cup," Rossouw said. "The hostel is on the main road to the stadium, only about 200 yards away. We didn't want to move because we're used to it and it's close to everything. But they said if we didn't get out, they would move us out with law enforcement.

"Here the whole place is under starvation. We can't even afford to make a pot of soup for our children. We send them to school without bread. People sell everything to get food and walk three hours to Athlone just to get a loaf of bread. When you do eat, there is sand in your food — you can feel it on your teeth.

"We were promised in January the toilets would be repaired but they're not. You've got eight families to a toilet and it's unhygienic."

Rossouw, 42, is among several residents who accuse the police of brutality. "It's like a jail, like a concentration camp," she continued. "If you're not inside at night, the police beat you. A few weeks ago they pointed an R5 rifle as if they were going to shoot people. They swore at us: 'This isn't fucking Athlone. You should go back to your place.'"

She argues that the fanfare around a month-long football tournament is hypocritical when people are going hungry. "I think they must cancel the World Cup because people are starving. They are renovating buildings in Cape Town for half a billion rand; why can't they spend that money here? It breaks my heart. "When rich people come to the World Cup they must come to Blikkiesdorp first to see for themselves how people are living. It's worse than apartheid."

Among those suffering is Fatima Booysen, 40, who has lived in shack J22 with her husband, Abraham, and two daughters for more than a year. She said: "I can't shop, the rain is coming in, the child is sick. A lot of people have got TB now. "It's very cold in winter. When you stand up in the morning you feel frozen, you can't feel your hands or feet."

"The children don't want to go to school. I've got a one-year-old grandchild who's sick today and has gone to hospital." Residents say that unemployment is high and a lack of postal deliveries or official addresses makes it hard to find work. They also criticize their remote location, which requires them to pay for minibus taxis to the city, and say that children have been killed in accidents on Blikkiesdorp's thoroughfares and when crossing a nearby motorway. Crime is said to be high, with drug gangs moving into unused shacks, but the police offer little relief.

Court action

Badronessa Morris, 47, complained: "The police treat us like animals. They swear at us, pepper spray us, search us in public, even children. At 10 o'clock you must be inside: the police come and tell you to go into your place and turn down the music. In my old home we used to sit outside all night with the fire." Morris was among families evicted from an informal settlement on the Symphony Way Road. "We were one happy family on Symphony Way.

Now we've moved to Blikkiesdorp it's like we're in chains, fighting each other, putting each other in jail. I know we were moved because of the World Cup. They don't want people to see shacks on the road in South Africa. They want everything perfect for the World Cup." Other people have gone to court to resist a possible move to Blikkiesdorp. Last December five families living near the Athlone stadium were told their homes would be demolished to make way for a car park.

Llewellyn Wilters, 52, who has lived in his house for seven years, said: "I took a drive to Blikkiesdorp to check it out and don't think it's going to work. How are we going to take the kids to school and get to work?" He added: "We were born in this area, we went to school here, we know the area and know all the people here. Why must we move out?"

Shack dwellers have mobilized against evictions in well-organized protests that make powerful use of new media. Pamela Beukes, 29, secretary of the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, condemned the rise of Blikkiesdorp: "They're creating a tin city. They're doing worse things than the apartheid regime did to the people. Under apartheid they gave us a brick house. "The World Cup was supposed to bring a higher standard of living. But it's making it lower.

People are saying, 'I don't want to watch soccer because it's the reason I was evicted.' It's as if we're lesser beings." The city of Cape Town denies the accusation that it is dumping people in Blikkiesdorp because of the World Cup. Kylie Hatton, a spokeswoman, said in an email: "It is not true that the City of Cape Town is moving or displacing residents in informal areas in the run-up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup. "It is important to note that the TRA has been constructed for emergency accommodation needs and is provided by the city, and exceeds national housing requirements."

She added: "We have significant challenges regarding vandalism in the area, and in some cases our contractors have had to return to the site over four times to repair broken toilets, taps and electricity cables. This often then has an impact on services in the settlement."

But Blikkiesdorp is only one manifestation of a deeper disquiet in South Africa about the benefits, or otherwise, of hosting football's biggest festival. In Durban there are further demonstrations over evictions and reports that street children are forcibly being removed from the city center to "safe areas" far away.

Tens of thousands of informal traders complain that they will lose income because of Fifa-imposed "exclusion zones" around stadiums which permit only approved businesses. Regina Twala, who has been selling cooked meals and snacks for 35 years, told South Africa's Sunday Independent that she and fellow workers had been ordered to vacate their premises outside Ellis Park stadium.


The Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign said: "The lives of small businesses and informal traders in South Africa have been destroyed by this World Cup. If we are not allowed to trade near stadiums, fan parks and other tourist areas, how can we benefit from tourism?" The new stadiums heralded a construction boom, but many of the workers who built them have already been laid off and are without work.

Caroline Elliot, international programs officer for the anti-poverty group War on Want, said: "Behind the spectacle, the World Cup is exacerbating the struggle of poor South Africans who are facing evictions, lack of public services and unemployment. The South African government needs to tackle these problems as an urgent priority."Andile Mngxitama, a political commentator and columnist, is about to publish a pamphlet entitled "F*ck the World Cup".

He said: "We never needed the World Cup. It is a jamboree by the politicians to focus attention away from the 16 years of democracy that have not delivered for the majority of black people in this country. We'll be trapped with white elephant stadiums."He added: "The World Cup is not about football or so-called tourism. It's about politicians hoping it keeps us busy for a month and making enormous amounts of money for themselves and their friends."

Vicious Struggles In The Belly of the Rainbow Government

Even though the publication of this Hub took long, The events on the ground in south Arica continue to take an ominous turn. As the ANC-led government has arrogated to itself the power to rule, abuse and oppress their own voting polity, this appears to have been a good move on my part because below I will update the nature and forms of the struggles that have, and are taking place today amongst resisters of this callous regime.

Update From Ward B In Umlazi, Durban Shot at protesters with rubber bullets at Random in a Township!

Statement by the Unemployed People's Movement on last night's Occupation in which three Occupiers were arrested and a 23 year-old woman was shot with live police ammunition. Benjamin Vogel deposited this piece:

Unemployed People's Movement Press Statement (UPM)

In all the confusion and urgency last night, it was impossible to meet and prepare a clear statement explaining explaining the events. We are now in a potion to do so.

This was an important and symbolic gesture. We were Occupying the site of local power and using it to discuss the matters that the ANC has failed to discuss. The Police arrived at around 1 o'clock, and the Occupation was dispersed. We left peacefully.

At around 6 o'clock on the same evening were informed by sympathizers within the local ANC that the ANC was planning to burn down the councillor's office, and to blame it on the UPM and to use tis tactic to have our key activists jailed. We took a decision to rush back to the office and protect it. We want this office to a people's office.

We do not want it to be destroyed. And we had to foil the plot by the ANC to organize criminal activities and to then try and blame our activists for their activities. This is not the first time that the ANC has tried to use this strategy in Durban. In past people have been bribed and tortured to give evidence against activists and so we had to be very careful and to act quickly to stop the ANC's plan to burn down the Councillor's offices.

When we arrived at the Councillor's offices the police were waiting for us. They immediately attacked us with rubber bullets, tear gas and live ammunition. We dispersed. The police then attacked the Zakheleni Shack Settlement. People were attacked at random. All residents were treated as legitimate targets for attack

One woman was shot with live ammunition while sleeping in her bed. Her name is Noxolo Mkway and she is 23 years of age. Her bed is stained with blood and the cartridge from the bullet was found on the bed. Another man was also shot with live ammunition. His name is Mkhayi Simelane and he is 29 years of age. They have both been located now and are both in hospital. Three people were also arrested.

They are still in detention. Our emergency statement produced in the chaos of last night said that three people were shot with live ammunition. Today we confirm that while a number of people were shot with rubber bullets, two and not three people were shot with live ammunition. We are currently on the way to the court to secure the release of the three comrades (UPM)

After-thoughts On Low Intensity Warfare:

Connecting The dots With The Marikana Saga

There has been a massive failure of leadership in all levels of South Africa Society. There is a growing ferment in South Africa today. The people in the Townships, rural areas and squatter camps are bitter that democracy has not delivered the fruits that they see a tiny minority elite are enjoying. The present leaders in government today are not talking to the people, and they are not working systematically to solve their problems, in providing the hope that one day, even in their children's lives, things will be better. But, all they see is the obscenity of shocking wealth and the chasm of inequality growing.

The killing of miners in Marikana reinforces what this Hub has been discussing above. It is one of the latest worst forms of bungled governance by the Ruling ANC with its business Masters. The minors see the obscenity of shocking wealth and the chasm of inequality and poverty wages been the norm, from the days of Apartheid, and worsened under the ANC.

The platinum mines they toil in, for a pittance, were yielding a precious metal that makes exorbitant jewelry that adorns the necks of the affluent and catalytic converters for the expensive cars the middle classes drive. The workers live in hovels, in informal squatter camps, surrounded by poverty and without basic services. All they experience is a political arrogance of leaders who more often than not, enrich themselves at the expense of the people.

Meanwhile, the ANC government has rapidly militarized the security forces and the creeping stranglehold of securocrats within the state . And the failure of this outfit could not avert the disaster of Marikana and other mines and other private and government sectors that are presently threatening the economy of the of the country. What one sees are the securocrats focused on searching for imaginary enemies in the NGSs and civil society, and with passing :Secrecy Laws" that they are missing the crises that is engulfing the country with daily strikes, on average, the highest in the world.

They are still not set to deal with creating and carrying-out the priorities that the masses deem to be dire and important. They ignore the root causes of the conflicts arising in the country, and the people are also watching, perplexed, at the inter-union rivalry. These unions are recognized by the government National Union of Miners(NUM) and, Mineworkers and Construction Union(Amcu) and Cosatu, but they are excluded from the collective bargaining around issues of wages, which is a recipe for disaster and revolution.

The owners of the Marikana mines are only concerned and pre-occupied with the all important production target of 750,000 salable ounces of platinum that will be missed due the closure of the Marikana mine. Working for slave wages, the miners who were asking for a raise, ended up with 34 of them dead, and 78 injured. They are statistics. Alongside the 15-million South Africans who are only saved from starvation because of the government's social grant, these miners were providing sustenance to family as large as eight to ten people on a wages of R2,500($300=) a month.

And many of these miners are the sole income earners o their households. These are the statistics that those living in the posh suburbs like Sandton have become oblivious to, to their own peril. The trust the African people of South Africa had when the ANC took power has been shattered and the country, after the Marikana incident and the fights with the Abahlali baseMjondolo have demonstrated, there is definitely a "low Intensity Warfare" that is being waged against the poor from all fronts… and the saga continues

Dreaming Or Acting Revolution is the Problem And Question

The Struggle For African's Revolution Cannot Be Achieved Through jaundiced and Jingoistic Prattles.

This piece was a response I wrote to those revolutionaries on Facebook who were becoming belligerent and too caustic to have any effect to those who read their post, that I began to post this terse but much needed truth about what is to be done and what should not be pursued in the post that awash the Walls of these African-Orientated Walls and individual posts of self-styled Africanists.

I know for a fact that our peoples aphorisms are relevant when they say:
"The Path Going Forward is Asked from those Who Went Before, or ahead". (A loose translation of "Tsela e botswa ho ba pele/kapa bao ba ileng ba e tsamaya".)

"We are not going to use this platform to rail against imperialism. An African saying very common in our country says: "When your house is burning, i's of no use beating the tom-toms. ... For us, the best or worst shout against imperialism, whatever its form, is to take up arms and fight. This is what we are doing, and this is what we will go on doing until all foreign domination of our African homelands has been totally dominated.

"Our agenda includes subjects whose meaning and importance are beyond question and which show a fundamental preoccupation with 'struggle'. We note, however, that one form of struggle which we consider to be fundamental ... is the 'struggle against our own weaknesses'. Our experience has shown us that in the general framework of daily struggle, this battle against ourselves-no matter what difficulties the enemy may create-is the most difficult of all, whether for the present or the future of our peoples.

This battle is the expression of the internal contradictions in the economic, social, cultural (and therefore, historical) reality of each of our countries. We are convinced that any rational or social revolution which is not based on knowledge of this fundamental reality runs grave risk of being condemned to failure.

However, we must recognize that we ourselves and the other liberation movements in general (referring here above all to the African experience) have not managed to pay sufficient attention to this important problem in our struggle.

The ideological deficiency, not to say the total lack of ideology, within the national liberation movements-which is basically due to ignorance of the 'historical reality' which these movements claim to transform-constitutes one to the greatest weaknesses of our struggle against imperialism, if not the greatest weakness of all.... A full discussion of this subject could be useful to ma subject could be useful, and would enable the [movement] to make a valuable contribution toward strengthening the present and future actions of national liberation.

This would be a concrete way of helping these movements, and in our opinion, no less important than political support or financial assistance for arms and suchlike.
It is with the intention of making a contribution, however modest, to this debate that we present here our opinion of "the foundations and objectives of national liberation in relation to the social structure."

Our refusal, based as it is on concrete knowledge of the socio-economic reality of our countries, and on the analysis of the process of development of this phenomenon of class, leads us to conclude that if class struggle is the motive force of history, it is so only in a specific historical period (I have addressed this point somewhat in my earlier post about history). It is not difficult to see that this factor in the history of each human group is the "mode of production"-the level of productive forces and the pattern of ownership-characteristic of that group.

It therefore seems correct to conclude that the level of productive forces, the essential determining element in the content and form of class struggle, is the true and permanent motive force of history.

Thus, we see that our peoples have their own history regardless of the stage of their economic development. When they were subjected to imperialist domination,the historical process of each of our peoples (or of the human groups of which they are composed) was subjected to the violent action of an external factor. This action-the impact of imperialism on our societies-could not fail to influence the process of development of the productive forces in our countries and the social structures of our countries, as well as the content and form of our national liberation struggles.

But we also see that in the historical context of the development of these struggles, our peoples have the concrete possibility of going from their present situation of exploitation and underdevelopment, to a new stage of their historical struggle and process which can lead them to a higher from of economic, social and cultural existence.There is one more thing that Africans in South Africa should also pay attention to, as discussed below.

Man And the New and Emerging Technologies and Techniques

In our day, human techniques offer great hopes to man, but who is sorely beset by anxiety. Man is menaced by his own discoveries and no longer capable of mastering the forces unleashed by them,and might have his greatness restored by new human technological techniques. The liberation of man, not by technique in general, will be specifically through the agency of human technique, a liberation which should proceed from within man as from without. With the help of human sciences, man will be freed from technocracy itself.

Man is not supposed to be merely a technical object, but a participant in a complicated movement. Also, human techniques have tended to reconstitute the unity of the human being which had been shattered by the sudden and jarring action of technological technique. The grand design of human techniques is to make man the center of all techniques. Technical knowledge does give us new insights into human reality and can serve towards it unification. In all, the concrete details of man's life with respect to technical apparatus must be taken into consideration on the human plane.

The Revolutionary Struggle Is By The Many People, and Not by One Individual

This is the piece I wrote in response to the reactionary and counter-revolutionary posts that were clogging the FB Walls of some Africanists groups and personal Walls of some of those who are presently advocating revolution in South Africa. As I have stated below, South Africa did not experience a real and full revolution, that is why a lot of this numb-skulls are irresponsibly calling for bloodshed and ousting of the present-day ANC-led government.

I, on the other hand, am saying we can have revolution, and it need not be bloody, but can be a revolution of the present system as it exists without have to involve death and that goes with it. I find that the type of harsh rhetoric spewed on the Facebook Walls to be a drawback because that tends to alienate world solidarity for the Struggle of the poor in South Africa. This spirit has been demonstrated above by the brave activists of Abahlali basMjondolo above, who do not talk too much, but act a lot in their struggle against the ANC-led government's shenanigans that have been clearly delineated within the Hub above.

Because of the crass nature of the diatribes on these Walls, this compelled me to use the close-to-earthy language to deter and discourage these scalawags who sow confusion, distrust and fear amongst their Fellow Facebookers, and those who do not have access to the Web. The Majority of Africa in south Africa are too poor to even afford Computers, let alone the exorbitant prices charged for using the Internet, by a motley crew of companies that are out to fleece the subscribers in South Africa.

No One Individual Or Person Owns, Controls, Dictates, Formulates Or Instructs the Elaboration Or Execution Of The People's Struggle (Or Revolution-if there be any-And it Depends Which?)

Let Us Be Clear About some Things: No One Has self-assured Monopoly about The Struggle Or Revolution. In the same breath, it should also be noted that The People Are the Ones Who Own, Control and Decide what their Revolution is and should be 'All' about. No one person a motley crew is the boss of ideas and actions that are going to affect the lives and realities of millions of suffering people; and this is or should be mentored-upon and Guided By the Revolutionary Vanguard, which is Recognized and natured By 'The People' themselves. There are No Bullies or Master Thinkers in A National Revolution.

The People, as I had noted from Mao, are the ones who control the Guns(Army and the Economy). Anything else, anyone trying to 'bag' and 'control', 'dictate', 'mold' 'form', 'shape' or do anything that is for personal gain, fame and satisfaction, outside the purview of the masses, and is not involved with those principals(Masses) in the revolution, that, one can see from the four or so articles that I have written, is nothing but bogus impostors and flimm-flamming-hankerchief-heads-triffling opportunists(as Malcolm X would say).

Anything either than a directive from the struggling masses and their participation in their own liberation (as in the case of the "Abahlali baseMjondlo and the brave actions of Ayanda Kota and his like [not some imagined revolution], is a farce and a cheap way of claiming unearned victories and telling lies about their hidden and obfuscated intentions, goals and aims.

As I have noted in my recently posted articles, I do not profess to be a revolutionary, nor am I one, but as part of the suffering masses, I am in a position to offer those ideas and revolutionary talking points as espoused by those who have "Fought for their revolutions", than those who "Dream" of a revolution, since theirs was and has been deferred , postponed, suspended and hijacked-also, am able to aver on the issues that those one lives with and amongst find important to talk about all the causes and their concerns about the state of the African nation."

What I have learned from those who have gone through their revolutions, is their ability to read and understand the situation and mind-set of those they seek liberate. I find that the language they use, the theories and programs they develop and promulgate and develop, are the results of their having participated, or are involved with their people, and speak and use a language of that interaction, than waxing political, and regurgitating revolutionary clap-trap that serves no purpose to those who seek to be emancipated from the drudge and dredge of oppression, depression, repression and dehumanization-which are Achilles heel of the African struggle and revolutionary change. This is mostly what the Hub above has been discussing without let up and with gusto.

The problem that Why Africans are not making head-way with their struggle is that Africans, amongst their midst, have a lot of these self-styled, self-pointed-revolutionary fakes and liberators-wanna-be's who offer nothing but distortion, no programs, negative critiquing and lack in planning and real leadership abilities and minds, and who preen their egos to a motley crew of ignorant followers, without themselves(these self-styled leaders) encouraging their followers to go to the masses, talk to the masses, organize structures amongst and with the masses for their own liberation, with the masses dictating and in charge of their destiny, not some banal and bare formulations of some these intellectual sitting nest to their computes or using their phones, in the comfort zones, imbibing the trappings of ill-gotten material wealth, and couching their rhetoric with fake revolutionary-jabbawocky.

I believe we all should learn from those who have been involved and have successfully, or failed to carry out their revolutionary aspiration with the masses in various countries around the world. Not some phony-baloney Facebook (FB) Revolutionary advocates who do not really offer the masses(who are not yet fully engaged on the FB) some panacea for their present social malaise. Instead, these tin-pot head revolutionaries are besmirching and soiling the image of the people they purport to try and liberate, through their ignorance, carelessness and no clear program or ideas nor understanding of the polity they are saying they are revolutionaries for and on behalf of. We all need to begin to talk truth to each other, just as we talk truth to illegitimate power.

South Africa has not undergone any revolution of any kind. African people whilst 'toy-toying', would carry wooden guns, and the "Povo" (African Polity supporting the struggle and revolution) was never afforded the chance to collectively have access or acquire any type of political education or mass military training the so sorely needed; these so-called guerrillas were mashed up with the existing apartheid military structures, which have at the top more White Colored and indian Generals as top shelve personnel than they have Africans. The incoming African guerrillas that have been 'disappeared' within the structures of the Apartheid SADF, are the ones who have been dying in larger numbers and no one really talks about this fact; or the fact that the incoming guerrilla outfits were and have been conditioned by the Apartheid Defense force, and had carved-out a niche for them in the mammoth ogre structure that is the SADF.

Africans in South Africa, to date, have not yet been given a collective mass psychiatry from the effects and affects of apartheid hangover they have not yet been weaned off from or stabilized against in their 400+ years of racial segregation by Apartheid and the present bungling-sellout ANC-led government with its gendarme and predatory tendencies; plus a whole slew of political and revolutionary opportunists and johnny-come-latelies into matters of National liberation and National conscientization Mao spoke of, Sankara, Cabral. and many others pointed out to and they spoke profusely and passionately about This as I have recently utilized them in some of my most recent postings.

Since posting here on FB, I have endeavored to cast our struggle, especially now of late, and framed the African people's debacle in terms and actions against that of those who have undergone similar fates in other countries. The distinction between politicians, revolution, and theory and practice are the very essence of theory; revolutionary theory and practice are revolution fodder for revolutionaries, not politicians. The organization of ideas, structures, actions and knowledge-is what is essentially needed to be put to the fore, implemented and disseminated, should be made coherent, clear and have direction. This has nothing to do with trusting anyone or any persons, because individuals do not own the peoples struggles nor revolutions. Revolution and its direction and path will be dictated and shaped by the people, not some opportunistic practitioners who do not offer sound and reasonable plans, if not operational ideas and programs that benefit the debased masses.

There are problems of drug addiction(Nyaope) in the midst of entire communities throughout South Africa; Africans suffer from ignorance diseases and ignorance. These are some of the few dysfunctions activists should be talking about as they pertain to and affect African people. Those basic social needs and rights that are supposed to serve the poor African people, could be and should be addressed in this medium, as to how some will be dealt with, implemented and executed; how, if any action is taking place, it should be executed; or how these ideas and practices are shaping and moving African people forward or not; by talking or reporting on these efforts and events as they take place within the African collective enclaves.

Africans should be talking and constructing better schools, for children, youth and adults, and come up with concrete measures in combating such pedagogical drawbacks; activists should be training counselors and building rehab schools for all sorts of addictions and substance abuse-including gambling and other insidious operations regressing the masses. Cadres should be organizing sporting events, drama and theatre, cultural entities; establish reading and writing institutions that are and can be used and found easily by the people for free; why are these revolutionaries not teaching and enabling poor African people to control and own the economies in their own areas?

Or, why not improve and work reporting, exposing and designing health operations and centers-educating and enabling and making these to be easily accessible to the armies of the poor Africans? My point: African people need to begin to talk from being active in our milieu than trying to express themselves immaculately and colloquially in medium such as these, thus exposing their weaknesses and lack of knowledge as to what they really do not know to all and sundry.

African people in South Africa do not own nor control FB, and it is owned and controlled by those to whom they hurl our barren and venomous attack upon. Therefore, people should learn more about this social media and it capabilities; begin to flesh out ideas of increasing and making cheap the Internet cafes and their present paltry existence within the midst of the African collective; get people to volunteer, or those involved in the struggle, make it their business to engage the African public into coming into these cafes to access these social networks, and help the people learn and familiarize themselves with these new and emerging technologies.

In a sense, I am saying these so-called revolutionaries need to talk about and create programs that will help uplift the poor Africans left-behind into the viral stream, just as a measure and a new way of organizing and rallying the masses. Why are African elite and intellectuals not building or fitting Township libraries with books and computers; or, create mobile libraries equipped with the many cars that the well-off show-off driving around to deliver books and collect book from the people when they are due; or, take laptops and be available to the community through arranged seminars, to educate and involve African people to come en masse into the technological world and age?

There is so much to be done and can be done utilizing our present abilities and access to the present-day wealth, than quibbling needlessly and hopelessly here on the Web, shouting and carrying on about a non-existent revolution no one has neither prepared for, nor are involved in, nor creating-is national suicide of the magnanimity Africans have yet to comprehend.

What I have been talking about is better explained by the next post I will be making to edify my comments. The situation may be in another country as to how they did what they did, and why they did it, because they were so immersed and embedded within their people, and therefore experienced and witnessed the results the next author I am quote at length advices o and talks about with authority from hands-on experience-just to do away with some spurious and rickety, incoherent and inchoate hogwash splurged on the Facebook and making it go viral and to no avail nor and tangible use.

In my Humble opinion, I still assert and insist: No One owns The People's Struggle nor owns and controls the people's revolution-but anyone can help the masses in their effort to not , in many cases or necessarily, violently carry out a revolution, but revolutionize how things are going for the African people in Mzantsi. This is borne out by the article which I am posting below to make concrete my observations and colloquy about the Struggle, Theory, Revolution its practice and execution even much more clearer and relevant; also included will be the role the revolutionaries play (not politicians) in the realization of this effort if they are implacably engaged with the real struggle.

Most of better-off Africans who have access to this new media, use it for all nefarious or maybe legit purposes or whatever, but still have not figured out how to morph approaches to struggling Africans, given the emergence of these new converging and emerging technologies which dictate contemporary technological Technopoly; also, how can have not figured out how to exploit them in various new and old ways of gathering information (intelligence), and garnering support for African cause or, raising awareness and consciousness of the masses and acquainting the army of the poor, through giving them and enabling easy access to this new ways of contemporary human communications-to better organize and rally the armies of the poor.

Some old ways of dealing and managing the devastating effects of enslavement and oppression of Africans can be used; but, new ways also , are offering the path to applying and manifesting these new viral modes with the old problems, but enabling activists to not rehash tired approaches, but affect and effect these mediums and new media in ways that uplift poor African peoples in tandem with the times

Now, My next post is next given that this diatribe is as long as it is, stresses what needs to known and how to know and learn about learning in the given and present dysfunctional existence in Mzantsi.

Tell No Lies and Claim No Easy Victories

One of the most disconcerting issues is the fact that on FB and other such media and mediums, a lot of would-be revolutionaries confound and dumb-down their polity for calling for a revolution that they have not adequately prepared for nor have put any effort through towards its realization. This is like the blind leading their deafened, dumbed and blinded(in this case, the armies of the disgruntled poor masses) polity.

The paucity of revolutionary reading materials along with the scarcity of original writings about what is transpiring form any revolutionary work that is being or not undertaken, makes for obsolescence and numbing of any efforts or movement of the struggle going forward.

A lot of wanna-be revolutionaries who have access to the modern technologies, are people who read and cite quotation, but have nothing to suggest of present as a comprehensive plan that emanates from working with and within the African masses. This has made a lot of these comfortable and well-fed arm-chair and sofa revolutionaries irrelevant to the cause of African people seeking redress to their present untenable existence.

This new petit-bourgeoisie, which has some access to the Web, with the majority of their intended targets having zero exposure to using the Internet and the Web, nor can afford to buy a computer, are ignorant of their rants on Facebook and other social media, along with some irresponsible usage typical of this class, In the final analysis, this ends up being nothing else than splurging hot-air and empty phrases and slogans that are of no use to the concrete conditions on the ground. This I have been addressing above in the Hub and since there are those who pine for revolution, it would be much more better if they were prepared to learn, teach and work with their people closely, and have the fortitude and discipline to carry out the revolution they envision.

That is why I decided to cite a whole quote from Amilcar Cabral to make this point even more vivid, clear, realistic and coherent that it reaches the deeper reaches and inner sanctum of the despondent Africans who are facing a serious assault from their own elected government conniving with the Deep financial pockets of Local capitalistic interests along with the International investors and natural mineral extracting multi-corporations thieves.

Cabral offers theoretical practices and revolutionary advices which if heeded will make for a better execution of the struggle in South Africa.This is what Cabral has to say about how to implement and carry-out a revolution, from his experiences of executing it with and within the people they were fighting for:

Tell No lies and Claim Easy Victories: Strengthen the Gain Made Concretely

"Always bear in mind that the people are not fighting for ideas, for things in anyone's head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of the children. ...

"We should recognize as a matter of conscience that there have been many faults and errors in our 'action' whether political or military: an important number of things we should have done we have not done at the right times, or not done at all.

"In various regions-and indeed everywhere in a general sense-political work among the people and among our armed forces has not been done appropriately: responsible workers have not carried or have been able to carry through the work of mobilization, formation and political organization defined by party leadership. Here and there, even among responsible workers, there has been a marked tendency to let things slide ... and even certain demobilization which has not been fought and eliminated ...

"On the military plane, many plans and objectives established by the Party leadership have not been achieved. With the means we have, we could do much more better. Some responsible workers have misunderstood the functions of the army and guerrilla forces, have not made good co-ordination between these two and, in certain cases, have allowed themselves to be influenced by preoccupation with the defense of our positions, ignoring the fact that, for us, attack is the best means of defense....

"And with all this as a proof of insufficient political work among our armed forces, there has appeared a certain attitude of 'militarism' which has caused some fighters and even some leaders to forget the fact the fact that we are 'armed militants' and not 'militarists'. This tendency must be urgently fought and eliminated within the army…

"If ten men go to a rice-field and do the day's work of eight, there's no reason to be satisfied. It's the same in battle. Ten men must fight like eight; that's not enough .... One can always do more. Some people get used to war, and one you get used to a thing it's the end: you get a bullet up the spout of your gun and you walk around. You hear the motor on the river and you don't use the bazooka that you have, so the Portuguese boats pass unharmed. Let me repeat: one can do more. We have to throw the Portuguese out ....

"... Create schools and spread education in all liberated areas. Select young people between 14 and 20, those who have at least completed their fourth year, for further training. Oppose without violence all prejudicial customs, the negative aspects of the beliefs and traditions of our people. Oblige every responsible and educated member of our Party to work daily for the improvement of their cultural formation(This we so desperately need in Mzantsi)....

"Oppose among the young, especially those over 20, the mania for leaving the country so as to study elsewhere, the blind ambition to acquire a degree, the complex of inferiority and the mistaken idea which leads to the belief that those who study of take courses will thereby become privileged in our country tomorrow .... But also oppose any ill-will towards those who study or wish to study-the complex that students will be parasites or future saboteurs of the Party ....

"In the liberated areas, do everything possible to normalize the political life of the people. Section committees of the Party 'tabanca' committees', zonal committees, regional committees, must be consolidated and function normally. Frequent meetings must be held to explain to the population what is happening in the struggle, what the Party is endeavoring to do at any given moment, and what the criminal intentions of the enemy may be. [Also, listen and learn form the people all they have to say and doing-and their true function is as an intelligence network-my addition].

"In regions still occupied by the enemy, reinforce clandestine work, the mobilization and organization of the populations, and the preparation of militants for action and support of our fighters. ...
Develop political work in our armed forces, wether regular or guerrilla, wherever they may be. Hold frequent meetings. Demand serious political work from political commissars. Start political committees, formed by the political commissar and commander of each unit in the regular army.

"Oppose tendencies to militarism and make each fighter an exemplary militant of our Party.

"Educate ourselves, educate other people, the population in general, to fight fear and ignorance, to eliminate little by little the subjection to nature and natural forces which our economy has not yet mastered. Convince little by little, in particular militants of the Party, that we shall end by conquering the fear of nature, and that man is the strongest force in nature.

"Demand from responsible Party members that they dedicate themselves in the things and problems of our daily life and struggle in their fundamental and essential aspect, and not simply in their appearance .... Learn from life, learn from our people, learn from books, learn from the experience of others. Never Stop Learning.

"Responsible members must take life seriously, conscious of their responsibilities, thoughtful about carrying them out, and with a comradeship based on work and duty done .... Nothing of this is incompatible with the joy of living, or with love for life and its amusements, or with confidence in the future of our work ....

"Reinforce political work and propaganda within the enemy's armed forces. Write poster, pamphlets, letters. Draw slogans on the roads. Establish cautious links with the enemy personnel who want to contact us. Act audaciously and with great initiative in this way .... Do everything possible to help enemy soldiers to desert. Assure them of security so as to encourage desertion. Carry out political work among Africans who are still in enemy service, whether civilian or military. Persuade these brother and sisters to change direction so as to serve the Party within the enemy ranks or desert with arms an ammunition to our units.

"We must practice revolutionary democracy in every aspect of our Party life. Every responsible member must have the courage of his responsibilities, exacting from other a proper respect for his work and properly respecting the work of others. Hide nothing from the masses of our people.
"Tell No Lies. Expose lies wherever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistake, failures."

There are a lot of lessons that can be culled from the stories by and the citation from Amilcar Cabral above, but there is also a need to learn form other revolutions and struggle as to how other people went about dealing with the problems of success and failures of what they were trying to execute in the revolution. In this way, problems which might creep up on those struggling and may not have answer if they have not familiarized themselves with the patterns and manners of struggles and what can happen and by knowing some things in advance, can effectively be dealt with them properly and with a finality.

The struggle in South Africa continues and this Hub will keep on addressing how to carry out the resistance the low intensity warfare that is presently being waged against africans from all fronts, and try and offer some solutions to tough issues that arise from being oppressed, poor, ignorant, and the whole bit. In battling this neo-post-Apartheid colossal in the form of the ANC, people need to pay attention to the fact that there needs to be a lot of preparation, discipline and hard work amongst and with the suffering and ignored, debased and oppressed armies of the poor African masses.

The following article posted by John Hollis reports the following article about post-Apartheid South Africa:

Post-Apartheid South Africa Remains Racially Divided

The lingering stench of Apartheid is never far away in South Africa, leading Kenneth Lukuko to wonder whether Cape Town is still the country’s most racist city in an essay contained in the SA reconciliation barometer survey published on Thursday.

During Nelson Mandela’s presidency, he noted, “It was the only city in which he was met with a placard that referred to him with the K-word [the taboo term 'kaffir'. And it has taken Cape Town longer than anywhere else in the country to name a major public space or amenity after Mandela, although it is the city associated most closely with his incarceration, as well as being the backdrop for scenes of his release, which were broadcast all over the world.”

But while Cape Town is regularly accused of being a neo-apartheid stronghold, the annual survey by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) raises some difficult questions about the rainbow nation project as a whole.

Eighteen years after the end of white minority rule, it found, 43.5 percent of South Africans rarely or never speak to someone of another race. Little more than a quarter (27.4 percent) interact with a person of another race always or often on ordinary weekdays, while 25.9 percent do so only sometimes.

Less than one in five (17.8 percent) South Africans always or often socialize with people of other races in their homes or in the homes of friends. A further 21.6% do so sometimes, and more than half (56.6 percent) rarely or never socialize across race lines.

The survey has been conducted every year since 2003. Whereas both contact and socialization levels increased during the early years, little has changed since 2010.

“Certainly, latent and overt stereotypes, fear or trepidation about others, and even naked racism may have contributed to static levels of interaction and the slow pace at which social bonds are being forged between South Africans of different race groups,” the report noted.

“Indeed, in 2012, 41.4 percent agree that they find the ‘ways and customs’ of people of other race groups difficult to understand. However, each year the reconciliation barometer survey also finds an almost entirely linear relationship between contact, socialization and living standards: South Africans who live in affluent households in urban areas interact and socialize the most across racial lines, and those in the least affluent households — often in rural areas, homogenous former townships and informal settlements, and where formal sector employment is low — interact and socialize the least.”

The poll found that 61.8 percent of South Africans believe that national unity across historical divides is desirable, although agreement is lower among white (49.4 percent) and colored (mixed race) (50.5 percent) youth, who display higher levels of ambivalence — and 59 percent believe that this is possible.

Disapproval of racial integration in schools, residential neighborhoods, workplaces and marriage has continued to decline overall. But still better than 18 percent of South Africans say they would not approve of living in a residential area in which half their neighbors were people of other races, and more than 20 percent said they would disapprove of working for and taking instructions from someone of another race.

There are now nearly 20 million South Africans with no experience of living under apartheid, a demographic trend that the party of liberation, with which the African National Congress (ANC), will have to contend. The survey found that a clear majority (83.8 percent) agree that apartheid was a crime against humanity and 82.5 percent agree that before the transition to democracy, the state was responsible for committing atrocities against anti-apartheid activists. A further 81.1 percent agree that the apartheid government wrongly oppressed the majority of South Africans.

A split is evident in response to a question that assesses apartheid’s economic legacy: whether or not black South Africans are still poor today as a result of the lasting effects of apartheid.

The poll found 82 percent of black South Africans agree that this is the case, as do 73.3 percent of Indian/Asian and 61.4 percent of colored South Africans. Only about half (50.6 percent) of whites agree.

White, colored and black youth are all more likely than adults to question whether apartheid was a crime against humanity and that the state committed atrocities against activists: 27.7 percent and 24.6 percent of white youth agree that these statements are certainly or probably not true.

Higher percentages of white (38.0 percent), Indian/Asian (28.4 percent) and colored (32.2 percent) youth than adults feel it is untrue that black South Africans are poor today as a result of apartheid’s legacy.

The IJR said its Reconciliation Barometer survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews with a nationwide sample of 3,565 South Africans representative of the adult population, with an equal gender split."

In another related article, which is post colonialism rhetoric and race relations inside South by Lavonne R will be in order here:

Reading the New South Africa: Post-colonialism and Post-Apartheid Rhetoric: Same Old Same Old

This essay was written in 1996. Some things have changed since then. Some things have not.

In "Racism's Last Word," an essay written for the catalogue of a 1983 exhibition entitled "Art against Apartheid" Jacques Derrida declares, "apartheid-may that remain the name from now on, the unique appellation for the ultimate racism in the world, the last of many". Because of the reprehensible regime of apartheid, South Africa was considered a social, political and economic outcast to much of the free world.

Now, post-apartheid South Africa presents itself as a champion of equality, tolerance and multiculturalism, but this transformation has come about slowly and at great cost. In the wake of these changes a new rhetoric emerges. Much of this new discourse is consciously designed to counteract nearly five decades of government-mandated separatist rhetoric and centuries of racism, intolerance and colonialist hegemony.

Although no one should ever forget or dismiss the contributions of those who have sacrificed their lives, security and personal comfort in fighting apartheid, it is the rhetoric of these individuals, their leaders and their supporters that has caused and continues to create South Africa's monumental transformation.

Now that South Africa is "post-apartheid," an issue for rhetorical scholars and critical theorists to consider is whether South Africa is now or is in the process of becoming "postcolonial." Post-colonialism, in addition to being a critical genre, has also become popular in rhetorical circles as a way to examine non-literary forms of discourse including political rhetoric. In "Post-Apartheid Narratives" Graham Pechey makes the following claim: "my concern here is to ask whether 'post-apartheid' is anything distinct from 'postcolonial' and whether it and the postmodern have anything to say to each other" .

My essay has a similar purpose, which is to consider whether South Africa is becoming or is already postcolonial, and to consider whether post-apartheid rhetoric is congruent with postcolonial rhetoric. As with any issue concerning South Africa, there are rarely easy solutions or explanations. This nation's history and current situation are so intricate and enigmatic that, naturally, its discourse is correspondingly complex. This is why I have chosen to take a deconstructionist approach not only to South African discourse, but to post-colonialism itself.

Although I could have approached South African post-colonialist discourse from a literary perspective, such as by examining contemporary South African poetry or the novels of Nadine Gordimer or John Coetzee, I have chosen instead to consider the nation of South African as its own text. The Republic of South Africa is actually quite new in that its most recent constitution was ratified in May of this year. I will briefly examine this constitution to consider whether it is itself a postcolonial text and whether this document has the potential to create an environment conducive to post-colonialism.

In order to explore post-apartheid South Africa's postcolonial status, I should begin by briefly explaining what post-colonialism is. In The Location of Culture, Homi Bhabha states that "Postcolonial criticism bears witness to the unequal and uneven forces of cultural representation involved in the contest for the political and social authority within the modern world order" (171).

Furthermore, in "Postcolonial Criticism," Bhabha says, "it is from those who have suffered the sentence of history-subjugation, domination, diaspora, displacement-that we learn our most enduring lessons for living and thinking". Because of its former policies of enforced racism and censorship, South Africa "bears witness to" these "unequal and uneven forces" perhaps more so than any other nation in modern times.

South Africa offers great potential to teach us "lessons for living and thinking" because every South African people group has suffered these "sentence[s] of history." Under apartheid, non-whites suffered injustice from the whites, and all South Africans have suffered the stigma and economic hardship of political and economic sanctions engendered by global anti-apartheid protests.

Pechey, however, argues that "'postcolonial' is only too often a polite expression for states that are both economically and culturally neocolonial" (author's emphasis). In South Africa's case, the term "neocolonial" is particularly apt because of its renewed status as a Commonwealth nation. From a post-colonialist perspective, renewing allegiance to a former colonial "motherland" would certainly seem to be a step backward. Therefore, the new, post-apartheid South Africa may not be postcolonial at all, but a reactivated colonialist state.

The process of becoming postcolonial, however, involves more than merely severing ties with a colonialist superpower. Post-colonialism is not necessarily the antithesis of colonialism. Colonialism and post-colonialism are not mutually exclusive because post-colonialism has little to do with political systems or alliances but with attitudes. In fact, post-colonialism often espouses much of what remains of colonialism.

A post-colonialist mentality envisions a worldview in which the peoples of a colonized nation look to their ancestral roots for cultural relevance while at the same time considering themselves a people united beyond cultural and racial differences. One of the goals of post-colonialist thought is to eliminate the "us vs. them" binarism that has plagued colonial societies.

Post-colonialism is not merely about declaiming European expansionism, but examining what has been lost and what continues to be suppressed by discourse that privileges Western or Eurocentric ideals at the expense of the other. Post-colonialism promotes a viewpoint in which the colonizers do not over empower the colonized. Since this also is a goal and purpose of the New South Africa, then this nation is postcolonial in spite of its colonialism.

South Africa's current desire for wholeness, unity and equality is exemplary, especially considering its turbulent history. A cursory examination of this history is necessary in order to understand South African discourse and to understand why studying South Africa is crucial from a post-colonialist standpoint. South African history is one of ceaseless conflict both from without and from within. Geographically and metaphorically, South Africa is nestled between the East and the West. This physical and philosophical location generates diversity in perspective and cultures, but it also has resulted in virtually insurmountable polarities.

Established as a farming outpost in the seventeenth century to provide fresh produce to the Dutch East India Company's merchant mariners, South Africa was the midway point between Europe and Asia-a benchmark between the Old World and the New. As European nations vied for global domination and investment companies grappled for plundered wealth, South Africa became a pawn in the rivalries among the Netherlands, England and France. Until this century, South Africa was not its "own."

There is no question that South Africa was once colonial, but whether it has philosophically left colonialism behind is not as certain. In any colonized society, the attitudes and policies of colonialism tend to linger for decades, even centuries, after the original conquering powers have returned home and their descendants have created for themselves a new culture in a new land. Racist attitudes, especially toward the indigenous peoples, are passed down from the founding settlers through subsequent generations. For South Africa, this colonialist imprint was to flourish into one of the worst incidents of racism and oppression of the modern era: apartheid.

South Africa's policy toward its indigenous inhabitants had never been one of equality and fairness, yet this racism-as-policy is very recent. Derrida says, "Although racial segregation didn't wait for the name apartheid to come along, that name became order's watchword and won its title in the political code of South Africa only at the end of the Second World War" (291). South Africa's apartheid era began in 1948, shortly after much of the world had fought a costly campaign against one of this century's most brutal racial crimes: the holocaust. In the wake of the fall of Nazi Germany, South Africa imposed a less-aggressive, but more insidious form of systematic racism.

This regime of separation was not merely about ignoring or obliterating diversity, but seeking to destroy the other through cultural, social and economic negotiation. Apartheid deliberately executed Bhabha's "sentence of history." Apartheid was not merely a case of apathy and neglect by a government or a society, but aggressive, systematic oppression; as a South African friend of mine observes, "it was about the administration of dispossession." (emphasis mine)

Apartheid had become a synecdoche for South Africa itself. Seeing the New South Africa as a multi-cultural, anti-totalitarian society requires deconstructing the sign of apartheid without expunging it from South African discourse. This is not to say that we negate the significance of apartheid, but we scrutinize the importance of this term to South Africa's cultural text. A postcolonial analysis of apartheid includes not only examining apartheid as a colonialist sign, but also examining its significance as a postcolonial concept.

In "Discontinuity and Postcolonial Discourse," Sara Mills makes this assertion about Pechey's argument that apartheid is not necessarily the epitome of colonialism:

Pechey argues that it is a mistake to see the situation of apartheid South Africa simply as colonial, to see apartheid, for example as a form of "internal colonialism"; instead, "we need to see that what coincides in South Africa are not two 'superstructural' spheres on one 'infrastructure' but rather so many 'nows' lived alongside each other."

Although post-apartheid South Africa holds great promise for post-colonialist study, in some ways South Africa was postcolonial before the abolition of apartheid.

Technically, South Africa has been "postcolonial" for most of this century since it successfully became independent from England, and, therefore, from European colonialist rule, in 1910. Although apartheid seems to be the ultimate manifestation of colonialism, ironically and paradoxically, apartheid itself was postcolonial act because it was a way of asserting South Africa's autonomy. In "Rehearsals of Liberation: Contemporary Postcolonial Discourse and the New South Africa" Rosemary Jolly claims,

Afrikaner nationalists believed that they were defending this independence [from Britain] and accepted the isolation that resulted from international antiapartheid policies as the price of freedom. It is impossible to understand the psychology of nationalist Afrikaners as colonizers without understanding that they continued to see themselves as victims of English colonization and that the imagined continuation of this victimization was used to justify the maintenance of Apartheid. . . . Afrikaner nationalists have always seen themselves as true post-colonials.

Derrida's rationale for apartheid is less sympathetic for the plight of the Afrikaners, but, nevertheless, portrays the mentality of a race that considered themselves the disempowered other and, therefore, chose to empower themselves by intensifying the marginalization of every group in South Africa:

At a time when all racisms on the face of the earth were condemned, it was in the world's face that the National party dared to campaign "for the separate development of each race in the geographic zone assigned to it." (italics in original 291, 92)

This "in your face" strategy did indeed attain the world-wide attention that Afrikaner nationalists may have consciously or subconsciously desired, but only furthered the problem of marginalization.

As white South Africans marginalized the indigenous population through apartheid, apartheid, in turn, marginalized those who enforced it. Jolly makes this observation about Derrida's critique of apartheid:

["Racism's Last Word"] calls on the (non-South African) audience to be subjects who perceive racism as a global problem and simultaneously poses apartheid as a (South African) object that is unfit by virtue of its spectacular otherness.

In other words, even condemning another society's colonialism is itself a colonialist act since once again we are asserting a Manichaeans opposition. In this case, South Africa under apartheid was an evil empire to be denounced as a vile spectacle of inhumanity. Merely labeling apartheid as "bad" or "wrong" does not address the deeper issues of this very complex phenomena, nor does this binarism propose a means to deal with a potential resurgence of apartheid or another form of intolerance.

There is no way to purge the South African narrative from colonialist imprints and there is no reason to try to do so since colonialist and post-colonialist discourse are not necessarily exclusive of each other. South Africa's uniqueness stems from its pluralism as troubling as this may be at times. "The history of South Africa is less the simple triumph of one such narrative of collective identity over another than an irreducible plurality of imagined communities that are not deaf to each other as their manifest mutual contradiction might give out" (Pechey). The coalescence of these narratives is itself part of South Africa's narrative development.

Apartheid will always be a part of the South African text however shameful its presence and painful its memory. To ignore it would cause this text to unravel. Because of apartheid, considering the South African narrative as a single text is difficult since its narratives, like its society, have been forced to develop separately. The only way to consider the South African text an aggregate of many cultures is to include apartheid as a narrative factor rather than attempting to dissociate it from the cultural narrative.

Now since the era of apartheid has ended and South Africa has once again submitted itself to colonialist rule, the questions to consider now are whether South Africa is still postcolonial or if it is postcolonial again but in a different way.

Just as apartheid was the "law of the land" in South Africa for much of the twentieth century, the inverse of apartheid, which has no "unique appellation," is now the standard. The legal foundation for this post-apartheid policy is the new South African Constitution.

As a political document, South Africa's constitution holds great promise for rhetorical and cultural studies, especially in the area of postcolonial criticism. Although the oppressive policies of the apartheid regime began to be curtailed in the 1980s and were completely eradicated by the early 1990s, this new constitution affirms South Africa's desire to break from its oppressive, racist past to become a unified nation. President Nelson Mandela's concept of "black unity" is one "that anticipates the constitution of the South African people as a community of equals at the same time as it heightens the opposition by uniting the groups opposed to the upholders of white supremacy" (Bernasconi).

The word "apartheid" appears nowhere in the new constitution, but it has a strong rhizomatic presence. Although much of the constitution is, naturally, devoted to legislation governing the quotidian affairs of state, the ostensibly anti-apartheid sections are particularly notable. Parts of the constitution seem to declare "whatever apartheid was, we will now have the opposite." For this essay, I will briefly synopsize these sections that best exemplify apartheid's antithesis.

The Preamble to the South African Constitution is an eloquent précis of the post-apartheidWeltanschauung that offers the purpose of the constitution itself while defining the goals of the nation. Unlike the confident tone of the Preamble to the United States Constitution, this Preamble begins with a humble and apologetic tone:

We, the people of South Africa,

Recognize the injustices of our past;

Honor those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land;

Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and

Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.

The terms "Recognize," "Honor," and "Respect" in these lines are notable because they give the text a quality of hyper-sensitivity. From this opening statement and throughout the text, the South African Constitution consciously seeks to recognize and affirm the "other."

The New South African constitution, however, is not necessarily postcolonial merely because it challenges what we would consider colonialist. A post-colonialist constitution may, in fact, be oxymoronic since constitutions are inherently colonialist. Pre-colonial forms of government rarely rest upon the collective acceptance of a written or even orally transmitted document, but upon rule by tradition, military prowess, superstition or fear.

Constitutions evolved as a means to administer power without an obvious display of this power. Constitutions are colonialist because they assert an arbitrary order as a "natural" one, an order evident to those who embrace the same set of cultural values. Because of the diversity of values in South Africa, the possibility of a constitution being accepted by all groups is unrealistic if not impossible.

Sometimes in order to maintain a post-colonialist atmosphere for the majority, some colonialism may be necessary. For example, consider the constitution's attitude toward tribal government: "The institution, status and role of traditional leadership, according to customary law, are recognized,subject to the Constitution." (emphasis mine). Although recognizing traditional leaders is a positive move toward post-colonialism, the fact that tribal law is secondary to constitutional law maintains colonialist authority structures.

In order to maintain the egalitarian ideals of the new government, a constitutional hierarchy is necessary, especially in consideration of women's issues and the needs of others who may be ignored or disempowered by traditional leadership such as gays, people with disabilities, or members of other ethnic or tribal groups. As Bernasconi notes, "Tribalism was one of the contributing causes of white domination and it remains a 'mortal foe of African nationalism'".

In order to understand whether this constitution can address the values of all South Africans, it is important to examine what these values are. The Founding Provisions in Chapter One states,

1. The Republic of South Africa is one sovereign democratic state founded on the following values:

(a) Human dignity, the achievement of equality and advancement of human rights and freedoms.

(b) Non-racialism and non-sexism.

(c) Supremacy of the constitution and the rule of law.

(d) Universal adult suffrage, a national common voters roll, regular elections, and a multi-party system of democratic government, to ensure accountability, responsiveness and openness.

These values are those of the Republic, which by no means assures that all citizens will agree with these values. But by whom are these values determined? The issue of who decided what values are privileged is especially important in an era when power structures are still in flux. While the new South African constitution reflects new values of human dignity and equality for all and opposition to racism and sexism, many of its democratic values privilege Eurocentric ideals; this privileging is in opposition to the objectives of the new South Africa.

Although South Africa is a "black" country in which whites and individuals of other races represent small minorities, the constitution, nevertheless, seems to continue to assert white, European hegemony. For example, "In the event of an inconsistency between different texts of the Constitution, the English text prevails" (14.240). This statement marginalizes other versions of the constitution including the Afrikaans version.

But privileging English over the other ten official languages is not necessarily an overt colonialist move since English is the most easily recognized and most commonly spoken language in South Africa3. From a post-colonialist perspective, an African text can employ a European language and still be uniquely "African." One way the constitution could be interpreted as an African or "black" text is in the way Henry Louis Gates defines them: "black texts are 'mulattoes' (or 'mulatas'), with a two-toned heritage: these texts speak in standard Romance or Germanic languages and literary structures, but almost always speak with a distinct and resonant accent."

From this perspective, English (and Afrikaans) are as legitimately "black" languages as Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, isiNdebele, isiXhosa or isiZulu. There is nothing necessarily colonialist about privileging English over other languages provided that this language is accessible to all.

Is it possible, then, for a western textual construction to become the embodiment of a postcolonial ideal? The answer is "yes" if one considers post-colonialism from a viewpoint that does not perceive Western and non-Western ideologies as mutually exclusive. Again, we must consider Pechey's question to find out whether the colonial and the postcolonial "have anything to say to each other."

In "Politics beyond Humanism," Robert Bernasconi discusses Derrida's opinion of Nelson Mandela, who is now president of South Africa and who strongly influenced the framing of this constitution. In the following excerpt, Bernasconi examines Derrida's questioning of Mandela's adherence to Eurocentric political philosophies:

Derrida asks at the outset about Mandela's admiration for Magna Carta, the Petition of Rights, the Bill of Rights, and British political institutions, which would seem to associate him inextricably with a European, even an Anglo-American, history.

According to Derrida, Mandela would certainly quality as a colonialist, yet a cursory examination of his biography reveals an individual who has personally suffered Bhabha's "sentence of history." Few people better exemplify the essence of post-colonialism than Nelson Mandela. On a broader scale, one should question whether there anything necessarily Un-African about associating oneself with European or American ideals. Assuming that all societies have suffered "the sentence of history," understanding how all societies have dealt with this sentence promotes greater understanding for dealing with similar situations.

South Africa provides great potential in the field of rhetoric because it is an endless chain of signification always seeming to be on the verge of aporia. South Africa epitomizes paradox as First World and Third World, Western and non-Western, black and white. The South African Nation is borne of conflict.

Bhabha claims, "It is in the emergence of the interstices-the overlap and displacement of domains and difference-that the intersubjective and collective experience of nationness, community interest, or cultural value are negotiated". This African nation and European colony is an ever-self-deconstructing sign, a metaphor of the never-ending struggle between opposition and unity.

South Africa cannot be capriciously labeled as "colonial," "postcolonial," "neocolonial," or "anti colonial" merely to suit our needs as scholars as the future of real human beings and the destiny of a nation are at stake. Whether the new South African government and its constitution is a good start or "too little too late" will not be determined for quite some time and even then there will always be questions over whether the changes that came about provided the promised results.

The possibility of the once ruling class, the minority whites, now becoming the victims of neomarginalization is a serious concern not only for those who would suffer the immediate effects but for all those who desire a fully equitable South Africa. Furthermore, Blacks and other non-whites may find that this new empowerment is fleeting or, at the very least, does not fulfill the desired expectations. A recurrence of what happened in post-World-War-II South Africa may happen again:

The plight of finding themselves forcibly written into somebody else's narrative of redemption-after-long-persecution; in the condition (just when it seemed they would enjoy the fruits of the victors) of being . . . "victims of victims." (Pechey)

Regretfully, "Apartheid" was and is not "racism's last word" as Derrida, and others, had hoped. Bernasconi says, "If Derrida's conception of the last racism is not to be preposterous, and absurd pipe-dream it must find its underpinning in the framework of the closure, rather than an end, of racism" . Even if South Africa truly has abandoned its racist past, others have only begun to write their own histories of systematic racism. One need not look any further than the former Yugoslavia or Iraq's treatment of the Kurdish people to see that racism is a human condition, regardless of ethnic background or current political situation.

Because of South Africa's potential for social and political instability, much of what has been gained could easily be lost or replaced by something worse. Changes in the rhetoric of state, as those expressed in the South African Constitution, are meaningless if other forms of rhetoric do not follow suit. Art, literature, film, and mass media will certainly reflect the aspirations of the new South Africa. But unless the rhetoric of the individual and the local community changes, these public changes will be insignificant in the private sphere of discourse. Until anti-apartheid rhetoric is the standard in the workplace, the schoolyard, the pubs and, most importantly, the home, all other forms of "official" rhetoric will lack significance.

Critique And Anti-Critique: Development, Underdevelopment and Dependency

Having cited the two articles, one on the present statistical data and one on the role and affect and effects of post-colonial rhetoric in South Africa, behooves me, as the writer, to synergize and synthesize the information above. Both these articles point out to the depressing and the decrepit structural/social/economical manifestations of concerted and focused oppressive ways and means through which Apartheid, post or neo-apartheid dependency has affected the development and instead has further underdeveloped the African people's reality, that, as the Hub points, are the things that are contributing to the nature of the existing 'low-intesity warfare' that has thus far been described.

At this juncture, I need to put what I have just said in the preceding paragraph into some context. For this, I will cull from Andre Gunder Franks works who give us his impression as to how and why science and politics are the way we see them being described above by the articles written by John Holis and Lavonne R above. We Learn from Gunder Frank that"

"As social scientists we are likely to accept the suggestion that one's world view, and that I think would include one's scientific world view, is necessarily, if not determined at least influenced by the structure of the society in which one lives. In that case , I suggest that the perspective necessary for a science of liberation among the colonized in the world is likely to be available only among the colonized themselves, They would have to stop importing models and try to take into account the structure and development of the world-wide imperialist system that has in fact formed and still forms the class structure in the respective countries.

"They also must analyze, just as scientists in the developed part of the world, their respective societies at the service of their liberation movements. Of course, they must also do very specific dirty work, not in any derogatory sense, but simply hard research need by the forces of liberation. It is perhaps true as some claim that Che Guevara had beed inadequately informed about the reality in which he was working.

"All the more reason then that the social scientist in Latin America--and the same goes for Africa and Asia, and everywhere-who is really committed to science and any kind of humane society should put him/herself at the service of the liberation movement and engage in the research necessary to make this liberation movement prosper.

"In order to achieve this, the social scientist would have to-and Frantz Fanon also wrote about this-follow the example of Che Guevara who was asked once by a writer what this person as a writer might do for the revolution. Che Guevara answered, "I used to be a doctor."

So, Gunder Frank goes on to make his points about science, social science and their effects and affects by writing the following excerpt:

"Gertrude Stein has written a poem: "A Rose is a Rose is a rose" and Mr. Dedijer seem to have been telling us "science is science is science." And also that "politics are politics are politics" as if there were no difference between one science and another or between political systems. But if indeed all sciences were the same and if all political systems were the same, I venture to say we would not be having this conference because there would not be any scientific interest in the comparison nor any political interest in debating the subject.

Moreover, as I wish to suggest in these remarks, Mr. Dedijer himself belies his own world and shows that his science and his politics-and I am not referring of course to him personally are of a very particular mature. Mr. Dedijer said for instance at the very beginning of his remarks that the growth of science is both good and necessary, irrespective of its use (which according to him can be discussed later). He also said that science and technology promise to reduce the necessity for labor and increase the opportunities for creative work.

He also said-and here I think there begins already to be some internal contradiction in his remarks-that there is a very small amount of investment in science in the underdeveloped countries (less than 0.3% GNP compared to 3.5% in the US) and he attributes this small degree if I understood him correctly to the decisions of politicians. He did not tell us what politicians but I think that becomes apparent from some further remarks that he made.

"Mr. Dedijer quite rightly pointed out the use of science is for "national goals of the US", and there are in fact a great many documents from the US, one which I quote in my own introduction, to the effect that science there is used for national goals where we understand "national" of course stand not for the whole nation but for certain interests in the American nation.

"But if it is the case that science is used for "national" goals of the US then this would seem to call into question the first two remarks of Mr. Dedijer namely, (1) that the growth of science is good and necessary irrespective of the use to which it is put ("national interests") and, (2) that science and technology promise to reduce labor and increase the opportunity for creative work.

"It has come to my attention at least that the goal of the US government and the American bourgeoisie is to reduce the amount of labor or to increase the capacity for creative work in the world as a whole. Mr. Dedijer, I think, supplies some further evidence in support of this statement when he say that in the US there is so much science and technology as to place the independence of all other countries in danger. I think he is rather understating the case as general De Gaulle has made eminently clear. The danger is more manifest than latent perhaps. But this again seems to call into question the desirability of the growth of science, (any science), and the ability of technology ad science to contribute to a kind of ideal society.

"Evidently the lack of independence of these other countries-and I am thinking perhaps particularly of the underdeveloped countries but by no means exclusively of them-this lack of independence on their part and particularly the increase of the dependence of these countries which is caused by the use of science and technology in the hands of those who monopolize it and thereby increase their power and domination, has not, I think, in the past and does not promise in the future to increase the part of the Gross Nation Product of these countries that can be devoted to science and technological research. Nor will there be an increase in the ability of free people for truly creative work and the construction of a humane society. The evidence, it seems o me, is rather all to the contrary.

"... My main point in this context is that instead of analyzing these historical and structural relationships, liberal social science reflects isolated characteristics of the developed capitalist countries. Development is attributed to the availability of capital, the production of technology, and their organization according to such tenants of liberalism as 'private enterprise,' a 'free market,' 'entrepreneurship,' 'social mobility,' parliamentary democracy, etc., in short of economic, social and political liberalism.

"Underdevelopment is attributed to the absence of these in societies that are said to be still 'traditional. The resulting 'develoment'' or 'modernization' policy that liberal scientists recommend to the people of the 'underdeveloped countries' is simply shed the traditional characteristics and to adopt the modern ones-while remaining firmly within the capitalist system that generates these so-called 'traditional' societies.

"The same distinction between relatively modern and relatively traditional societies repeated for the 'underdeveloped countries' themselves, which are viewed as "dual" societies or economies, one part relatively advanced because of its contact with Europe or North America and the other part archaic, feudal, or otherwise retrograde for lack of adequate contact with the world capitalism and its own national metropolis. 'Development' is attributed to the generous diffusion of capital, technology and liberal institutions from the European and North American metropolis to the various national ones and from these on.

"In fact, one to four centuries of precisely this sort of diffusion of slavery, serfdom, colonialism, liberalism, and now modernization from the capitalist metropolis to equally capitalist colonies has underdeveloped Africa, Asia and Latin America through the diffusion even to their most isolated outpost of the very world and national capitalist colonial and class structure that causes poverty and that liberalism still seeks to sustain.

"Friedrich List rightly said that England's most important export product was the 'free trade doctrine' or 'Manchester Liberalism' which was not born in Cottonpolis by accident. The same is no less true today for the American social scientific way of life, which is a global Camelot project that has its own essential role in the he imperialist 'exploitation,' 'oppression,' and 'underdevelopment' of the majority of mankind…

"As the source and justification for imperialist policy it contributes to a development policy that furthers the development of the imperialist monopolies and their bourgeois junior partners abroad while further "developing underdevelopment" for the poor majority, and as an ideology it co-opts potential revolutionary leadership and real scientific advance among Asians, Africans and Latin Americans into harmless reform-mongering and sterile scientism The evidence is available in imperialist documents themselves, such as the revealing of the Defense Science Board-National Academy of Sciences of the United States, from which I have already quoted.

"What is required, therefore, as I see it is not liberalism even though it be reformed and reconstructed, but science of liberation. Fro West European and North American scientists who are sufficiently conscious and committed to do so, this requires breaking with the establishment and to work for and in the political liberation movements. It is my conviction that this at the end will prove to be the only way out to make science a really liberating force to mankind and to liberate science itself."

In order for us to process and Understand the Articles by Holis and Lavonne R, we need to walk through the works of Andre Gunder Frank. In his piece, we learn from Gunder Frank how the poor of the world have already been set up. So that, when we read articles which pretend to speak for the victim that the very same articles are blaming, we should bear in mind the mechanics of oppression, suppression, classism, racism, and development of economic, social and political underdevelopment in the nomenclature, semantics and linguistic freakazoids that are designed to held at bay, and keep the poor and poverty-stricken in their designed stations in life created by the monied class.

The article by Holis above notes that the division was lessening for years, but has now plateaued and is not showing any "progress". That period of lessening racial division is a kin to a male-female relationship. There's a feeling out process at the beginning where you give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Your optimism and belief that being in a relationship is a great thing (as the media brainwashed white South Africans into believing) blinds you to the other person's shortcomings and leads you to make excuses for them.

This phase of idealism only lasts so long in a relationship, though, and soon the other party's blemishes become more noticeable and less palatable. If the party's truly are incompatible the process is sped up, and the parties soon become antagonistic. They can forever live in an antagonistic relationship that lessens their quality of life, or they can admit their mistake and seek to part ways. It sounds like many white South Africans have moved past the phase of idealism and are cruising along with the state of chaos that prevails that suits them fine.

One of the paradoxes of social apartheid is that it kept well-off English and Jewish members of the urban white community from experiencing the full reality of the peasant Bantu, as opposed to seeing them in a polite servant role. This fueled the liberal sentiments against more hard-headed Afrikaner folk.

White South African's have a "chronic" distaste for Diversity, which pretty means they are chronically doomed by some UN mandate that will force more of the toxic voodoo biohazard on them.No matter how much black violence against Whites grows, racism in the White community is still worse. A great recipe and fodder for the fueling of the low intensity warfare that this Hub has been describing

These statements are made in lieu of the fact that, the present social malaise that is now part of the social and psychological landscape of Apartheid and their junior partners, the ANC, is what had long been planned and prepared for. so that, if we begin to look at the whole picture of statistic and literary treatise on the prevalence of racism, we should remember that the analysts are merely regurgitating what they now is a liberal ideology, as explained above by Gunder Frank, that the more things change, the more they stay the same - Same Old, Same Old…

Corrutpiton, Nepotism and Cabals and Ignorance and Joblessness are Destroying South Africa Tdoay

One thing that could leverage poor people into the economy more swiftly is to give them the homes they are living in, says the writer.

One thing that could leverage poor people into the economy more swiftly is to give them the homes they are living in, says the writer.

Why South Africa Lags While Chile Grows

Allister Sparks, a veteran journalist writes:

Zuma blames the fall in SA’s growth rate entirely on the global recession. How, then, does he explain why Chile hasn’t? asks Allister Sparks.

Chile - Strange how often one can see the essential issues of one’s homeland more clearly from a foreign shore. I guess it’s the withdrawal from the daily political chatter that helps highlight what really matters. Plus the opportunity to draw comparisons.

I am writing this from Chile, a country I visit often for personal reasons and which I find fascinating because of some compelling comparisons with South Africa.

The year 1990 was one of historic significance for both – Nelson Mandela’s release for South Africa and the ousting of the murderous dictator Augusto Pinochet for Chile. Thus a year of mutual reincarnation.

Both followed their moments of liberation by instituting commissions of truth and reconciliation to deal with the atrocities of the ugly phases from which they had just emerged. Pinochet’s brutal rule had seen 80,000 people detained, 30,000 tortured, more than 3,000 murdered — as well a countless numbers of disiparecidos — people who simply disappeared.

In the years immediately following their liberation, the two countries recovered, with their economies, both based primarily on mining and agriculture, growing almost in parallel at an average of 4.5 percent a year — until 2009.

In that year, in which President Jacob Zuma came to power, the two began to deviate, with Chile continuing its healthy growth rate while South Africa floundered.

In the five years since then — the full Zuma term — the two have parted quite strikingly. In 2011 Chile hit a peak of 9.8 percent GDP growth, while South Africa fell to 3.9 percent. The following year, Chile grew another 5.6 percent to our 2.1 percent, and last year Chile’s growth was 4.7 percent while South Africa slumped to a pathetic 0.7 percent.

Why the difference?

First, because of constant labour unrest which caused us to miss out on not just one, but two resource booms. Second, I suggest, because Chile is ranked first in Latin America and seventh in the world on the Index of Economic Freedom, while we are ranked 75th in the world.

The World Bank rates Chile among the most competitive countries in the world and one of the easiest with which to do business, while South Africa chokes its competitiveness with red tape and the Zuma administration seems positively hostile to foreign investment.

Chile’s healthy growth rate has reduced its unemployment rate from 8 percent to 5 percent over the past five years, while South Africa’s has continued to balloon from an actual 30 percent to 35 percent, with the world’s third-highest youth (under 25) unemployment of 50 percent. Chile has also managed to reduce its economic inequality, while ours continues to widen.

Yet Zuma seems unaware of — or maybe just insensitive to — all this.

“The last five years,” he blithely said the other day, “have further advanced change and a better life for all, especially the poor and the working class.”

Zuma blames the fall in South Africa’s growth rate entirely on the global recession. We have declined along with the rest of the world, he contends. How, then, does he explain why Chile hasn’t? Nor has its northern neighbor, Peru? Nor Colombia? Nor Vietnam? Nor a number of other emerging countries, especially in Africa.

Now it is election time in South Africa and voters must decide which party really offers the best policy for delivering a better life for all.

The DA presented its 10-point economic policy last week, which I thought went some way to putting South Africa on a Chilean course by advocating job creation through faster growth, but which Business Day chastised for being too wordy. It failed the 30-second elevator test, the paper said.

Zuma responded soon after, and passed the test with flying colors. For he said nothing. The elevator didn’t have to move at all. He said he would reveal a new ANC economic policy after the election.

I have heard many political con tricks in my six decades as a journalist, but never anything to equal this. It’s the ultimate blank cheque, even more outrageous than those signed for Nkandla.

As for the DA policy statement, I thought it quite concise. Just 10 crisp sentences on 10 key aspects of the economy. I know my friend Peter Bruce is keen on snappy headlines and TV sound bites, but I don’t know of any economist who believes there is a snappy silver bullet to solve South Africa’s complex problems.

Perhaps DA leader Helen Zille came closest when she said the core problem was that, “Too many people are left out of the economy”.

Getting them in is the hard part. Particularly those who have already exited our wretched education system and face a lifetime as unskilled unemployables.

Which makes it a pity she didn’t include the one thing that could leverage these outsiders into the economy more swiftly than anything else I can think of — which is simply to give them the homes they are living in, both in the former Bantustans and, more particularly, the urban townships and informal settlements.

Give them the houses and shacks, together with the land on which they stand, and, most important of all, the title deeds which certify their legal ownership of those properties.

Do that and you give each family an asset. An asset they can use any way they please, to live in, rent, sell or use as collateral to raise a loan and maybe start a small business. That would give millions of our poorest outsiders their first step into the economy.

I have been advocating this for years, but nobody seems to be listening. It’s not a silver bullet, but it would be a start on the road to a more inclusive economy.

Another point on which I must disagree with Business Day in its criticism of the DA policy statement is its contention that there is a contradiction between advocating a free market economy and calling for restraint on executive pay cheques.

The expanding gap between the earnings of the lowest employee and the top executives in big companies is rapidly becoming a global issue.

It erupted in Switzerland, a country not known for its hostility to money-making, when the Social Democratic Party Youth League there raised enough support to enforce a national referendum last November on a proposal that no chief executive should earn more than a 12th of his company’s lowest-paid employee. In other words, no boss should earn more in a month than his lowliest worker does in a year.

The issue arose when Daniel Vasella, chairman of the pharmaceutical giant Novartis, allocated himself an exit package of 72 million Swiss francs (R887m). Public outrage forced him to cut it to 5 million francs.

The young campaigners lost their referendum, but more than a third of Swiss voters supported it — enough to spark a movement across Europe, where the idea of setting a ceiling on earnings ratios has been adopted as official policy by the Spanish Social Democratic Party and is a hot topic in Germany and France.

We really must start thinking out of the box to find ways to rectify the damage, psychological as well as economic, that generations of racial oppression and exploitation have inflicted on our society.

Low Intensity Resistance Conflagration: People's War

The lack of service delivery and the ineptness of the ANC, has foreshadowed the reality that there are underreported stories in this low intensity warfare between the the African ruling elite and their poor masses. One needs read the posted article below to fully appreciate the extant of the struggle and the community fighting back, and what it all means, and how it manifests itself in their environment and places where they live.

We pick up this story as written by Asanda Nini wherein she wrote in the Following article titled:

Eastern Cape Train Derails Weeks After Line Sabotage

They were taken to hospital, treated for minor injuries and discharged.

It is alleged that residents had tampered with the railway line a few weeks ago, but police were unable to confirm whether or not it was the cause of the derailment.

Roelfse said the incident happened about a kilometre outside Molteno Station towards Queenstown. “We know that there had been issues with the community sabotaging the railway lines in the area, however, we cannot link that to the train accident at this moment,” Roelfse said.

“We are investigating a new incident and investigations will show whether the accident was caused by someone and whether we need to make any arrests.”

There have been a number of service delivery protests in the area in recent months. Community leader Luzuko Yalezo yesterday confirmed the community had previously been responsible for removing rail tracks and preventing trains from travelling past the area saying, “we wanted to draw attention to our plight”.

But he distanced the disgruntled residents from the incident. “The tracks were fixed a few days ago and trains were moving smoothly and there is nothing linking our community to such an accident.”

The Dispatch was shown pictures of a damaged railroad taken two weeks ago with residents sitting on the track. Yalezo said protests started last July when residents complained about poor service delivery and allegations of nepotism and fraud at the Inkwanca Municipality.

“We last year submitted a petition to the local government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane asking him to investigate various allegations against our municipality management.

“The MEC sanctioned a forensic investigation which confirmed that there are corrupt activities taking place in our council,” said Yalezo.

Action was then recommended against senior municipal administrators, but Yalezo said nothing came of it.

In a written response to a DA parliamentary query last month, Qoboshiyane said he had approached the courts in a bid to enforce recommendations of the forensic investigation.

Transnet freight rail spokesman Mike Asefovitz yesterday confirmed that a goods train was involved in the accident and that two employees had been taken to hospital.

“We had problems in the area in the past few weeks where our trains were stoned by protesting community members and rail lines being tampered with, resulting in some of our services failing to take place.

“However, at this moment, we cannot link the community protests to yesterday’s incident.”

He said an investigation into the accident would shed more light on the cause.

Asefovitz confirmed that services had been disrupted in the past few weeks and that rail passengers travelling from East London to Johannesburg over the past long weekend had to be ferried by bus from East London to Molteno where they then boarded the train to their destinations.

Pushing Back: People's War In The Eastern Cape

WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS: A goods train derailed in Molteno yesterday, injuring the train driver and his assistant. Police are investigating attempted murder and malicious damage to property after residents damaged rail lines through the town two wee

WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS: A goods train derailed in Molteno yesterday, injuring the train driver and his assistant. Police are investigating attempted murder and malicious damage to property after residents damaged rail lines through the town two wee

A Luta Kontinua: Sb'u Zikode

S'bu. Zikode is the former President of Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA. Prior this he was the President of Abahlali and a chairperson of the Kennedy Road Development Committee before becoming its president. He was born and raised in Estcourt by a

S'bu. Zikode is the former President of Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA. Prior this he was the President of Abahlali and a chairperson of the Kennedy Road Development Committee before becoming its president. He was born and raised in Estcourt by a

The Poor Are Punished For Demanding Their Constitutional Rights

We are informed by Sbu Zikode that:

The word 'democracy' has often been misunderstood. It has been misused to legitimize certain projects in a way that is incorrect and misleading. For many shack dwellers and other poor people in South Africa, democracy has meant free corruption for members of the ruling party, a life mired in the mud and fire of shacks, illegal evictions and forced removals to transit camps.

For the eThekwini Municipality, democracy means that they are a law unto themselves and can act in total disregard of the rule of law. The poor are automatically viewed as criminals even when we act within the law. For those of us who have organized to defend the dignity of the poor, democracy has come to mean death threats, torture, arrest, violence and assassination.

This has been evident in Cato Crest in Durban between September 2013 and January 2014. Violence from the ruling party is worse in Durban than in other cities, but state violence is everywhere in South Africa. The Marikana Land Occupation in East Phillipi in Cape Town has been met with state violence just like the Marikana Land Occupation in Cato Crest. Everywhere in South Africa the state is unaccountable to poor people and tries to control us with violence.

The ruling party has worked hard to make sure that housing is only allocated to its members and their friends and families and to exclude those who are critical of them as a punishment. Evictions are political; only those who are not loyal members of the ruling party are having their homes illegally destroyed without court orders. In Lamontville, residents of Madlala Village who went to the Constitutional court on 12 February 2014 were told by local party structures and their councillor that their shacks would be demolished if they brought any party other than the ANC to the settlement.

A day after the Constitutional Court heard their appeal, the eThekwini Land Invasion Unit were instructed to demolish all the shacks in Madlala Village. This was a form of punishment for taking government to Constitutional court. In 2009, we were attacked and driven from our homes by armed members of the ruling party. The police refused to come to our aid. This was also a punishment for taking the government to the Constitutional Court.

It is not just housing that is corrupted. The ruling party has worked hard to make sure that only its loyal members benefit through the tender system and employment through Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). In Durban this is evident in the Kennedy Road, the Forman Road and Cato Crest settlements.

Local councillors have become gangsters and hit men during the night. They only act as leaders during the day and to impress the public. We have seen this in KwaNdengezi near Marianhill and in Cato Crest.

The politicians and the rich are trying to divide the poor. In Durban, Xhosa speaking residents have been told to ‘go back to Lusikisiki’ by senior politicians in the ruling party. Those who are from neighboring countries are told to return back to their respective countries because they are taking jobs from South Africans. Sometimes it is said that they are taking girlfriends from South Africans. And xenophobia in this democracy does not only come from senior politicians. We all remember the attacks on people born in other countries in 2008. Now some rich businessmen in Durban are trying to tell poor Africans that our real oppressors are Indians.

Democracy from above is working very well for the members of the ruling party and their friends and families. For the rest of society it is a new form of oppression. In fact it has become a crisis. People are protesting everywhere.

There is a danger that this crisis will cause some people to give up on democracy. There are now lots of forces including NGOs, political parties and businessmen looking for tenders that want to capture the anger of the poor for their own purposes. It is clear that most of these forces want to use the poor as ladders and cannot be trusted. It is clear that the solution to this crisis is not to have different people use the poor as ladders. It is time to take the ladders away.

Abahlali believes that every person’s humanity must be recognized and that every person’s life and intelligence must count the same. We therefore believe in a democracy from below. We believe in democracy that comes with responsibility and dignity. We believe in democracy from below as a form of struggle and as a goal of struggle.

We believe in a democracy that allows general members to set an agenda without being forced to engage in an agenda already formulated to further someone’s interest. We believe in leaders who are there to facilitate democratic decision-making. We want a responsive government that will cater for the needs of the people equally, starting with the worst off. We understand that this will only happen when the poor have organized to build their own power and to reduce the power of the politicians and other forces like business and NGOs.

We organize from below to fulfill and strengthen our voice. We organize in the dark and confined corners of our society so that we can move, together, out of the spaces where oppression wants to keep us. We protest peacefully in order to show our strength and to give voice to the oppressed.

We occupy land and struggle to defend land occupations because we need to start reducing the power of the rich and politicians to make all decisions about how land is allocated. People are alive now and their urgent needs have to be met now.

It will not be easy for democracy from below to replace democracy from above. It is clear that we will need to continue to risk our lives and to speak out in the mist of all the death threats and violence. We will need to not fear intimidation, violence and death. None of us can do this on our own. Our strength comes from our togetherness.

Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Sbu Zikode of Abahlali baseMjondolo (Those Who Live In The Shacks)

The Struggle Of The African Voters In the Cape Against the ANC

Delegates From The Eastern Cape

Delegates From The Eastern Cape

Politics Is The Art Of The Possible and Impossible In South Africa Today

The ANC Housing Fiasco and Fiction In the Eastern Cape

The Nkandla fiasco and scandal of Zuma and the ANC, is not the only one that is taking place throughout South Africa. The Eastern cape, as discussed above about the derailed train, is the one that is in revolt. The housing problem, on top of the mind numbing poverty. The following article gives the reader of the sense of maladministration, ineptness and corruption of the ANC, how far it goes and what are the effects of their callous act like on the poor. Kwanele Sosibo wrote the following article:

"Jacksonville, situated deep in Port Elizabeth's 'northern areas' — is too small even to register on the map. Residents registering for municipal services use the nearby township of Bethelsdorp as a proxy address.

And yet, on March 15, the parched, hilly township of Jacksonville – much of it an assortment of uneven RDP houses — placed itself on the map when reports of President Jacob Zuma's booing during a visit to the township made national headlines.

Although the ANC was quick to defend its president, calling the people booing a "handful of noisy residents" who were "drunk," anger in Jacksonville is neither misplaced nor imagined. More than 1,000 RDP houses, some of them about 15 years old, have been undergoing "rectification," which residents say has compounded their problems instead of fixing them.

Barely a week since Zuma's photo opportunity at her house, Crystal de Mar still can't understand why she has been left out of the rectification process, along with 16 others. A letter from Stemele Bosch, the manager of the project, says that her house falls under category "0" — meaning it doesn't qualify for the corrective renovations and yet her neighbors' houses had also been extended either for comfort or business.

"They won't fix my roof," she says, pointing at the heavy, damp chipboard squares that make up the ceiling of the extended portion of the house. "I told Zuma that I did what I could [to extend my house] and now I'm being penalized for it. We can never find the councillor, we are always running after him."

No beef with DA
Jacksonville falls under a Democratic Alliance-run ward but De Mar feels the need to clarify that she has no beef with the DA, "Just the councillor". She says when the president visited her house, he "just listened," making "no promises, no calls and no follow-ups".

For De Mar and her neighbors, the prospect of voting ANC is as remote as the planet Pluto. They see the rectification process as emblematic of the ruling party's failures to provide dignified housing through parts of the province.

In 2009, the provincial department of housing admitted in a statement that, "The quality of the houses built in the province began to collapse" following the introduction of "the people's housing project, which envisaged contractors training housing owners to build their own homes".

This program, the housing department said on its website, was mismanaged by contractors — who did not train people. This year half a billion rand has been set aside for the rectification of more than 5,000 homes in the province. It is to fix the mess first admitted to five years ago.

The terms "corruption" and "maladministration" roll so often off tongues in the Eastern Cape that they would seem hackneyed and devoid of meaning if they weren't so apparent.

That the words punctuate the sentences of politicians eager to prove their parties' inroads into traditional ANC strongholds such as Buffalo City (where the ANC scored a significant 68% of the vote in 2009s national elections) is to be expected.

Infrastructure Spending
In a telephone interview last week, the DA's Bobby Stevenson told the Mail & Guardian that "just yesterday and today there were stories [in the local press] about how R22-million was spent out of the infrastructure budget [from the Eastern Cape Development Corporation] for the Nelson Mandela memorial and R777 000 was spent on takeaways.

"You can't spend infrastructure grant money on food. Of that money R5-million was spent on T-shirts and it is meant to be used to upgrade hospitals and schools."

The corporation's chief executive, Sitembele Mase, has been suspended following the revelation.

The ruling party can ill afford negative publicity related to Mandela's death, particularly as it is also using his passing in December as an opportunity to canvass the legacy vote. Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni says, ultimately, the scandal might not hurt the ANC's chances at the polls as it was not a province-wide scandal. "It simply exposed some of the leaders' tendencies, which are at variants with what Mandela stood for," he said. Fikeni added that the ANC's list conferences had been relatively strife-free, suggesting that it was possible to regain lost ground.

Reports of the ANC's shaky provincial support are largely based on the party's erratic election performance in 2009.

In the local government elections in 2011 Nelson Mandela Bay the ANC took just 34 wards to the DA's 26.

DA majority
In a municipal by-election early this year in Buffalo City's Ward 3 the DA not only retained the ward, but also increased its margin from 53% in 2011 to 82.6%. The ANC declined from 38% to 17.7%.

On the party's provincial website, DA provincial leader Athol Trollip said: "The R9-million taxi scandal may have played a role in that." This refers to the fees charged by businessperson Mzwandile Sokwali to the Buffalo City Metro to transport mourners from East London to a memorial service held at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

In 2009 although the ANC received 68.8% of the Eastern Cape vote, the figure represented a drop of some 10% when compared with 2004. In 2009, new entrant Congress of the People (Cope) received almost 14% of the provincial vote, usurping the DA as the official opposition in the province.

With Cope having endured prolonged factionalism that split the party into Mbazima Shilowa and Terror Lekota camps, it seems unlikely the party will maintain its strong position. In late February, Shilowa announced that his supporters, which represent a disputed figure of 800 branches, would support the UDM in the upcoming elections. Cope, now definitively led by Lekota, unveiled a new provincial premier candidate in the form of Bishop Lievie Sharpley, an affable man in a toupee who speaks fluent isiXhosa.

On the door-to-door trail in Motherwell, north of Port Elizabeth, last weekend, Sharpley showcased his multilingual skills by telling a woman cradling a baby that the ANC's "good story to tell" slogan could be directly translated to "we are peddling in fairy tales".

Port St Johns
Six hours away Port St Johns' town hall looks straight out of the1950s — the only ventilation is an ancient fan that packed up during ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe's speech last Sunday. The party pamphlets came in handy as makeshift fans for the 300 people to stave off the oppressive, humid heat.

Mantashe tried his best with the ANC's "good story to tell". It was a vague "score card" about the numbers of children at university, ARV access and the need to tame the Wild Coast. A young man named Siviwe Ngcingwana told Mantashe that, in the days of the Transkei homeland, "Local people owned local businesses but now not even one is owned by locals".

Outside, the facts don't back up the "good story": sewage runs through the centre of this tourist town and, as the residents explain, water and sanitation services are run from the OR Tambo municipal seat of Mthatha.

As one resident put it: "Mthatha doesn't care if Port St Johns doesn't have water or a honeysucker [sewage removal truck]."

Poverty Favors Opportunists

The Eastern Cape is a politically fragmented province.

"In politics, everyone with an idea to form a breakaway party makes the call in the Eastern Cape," political analyst Somadoda Fikeni said. "This is because it is a highly politicized and conscientized province, but there are also deep levels of poverty, which sets the stage for anyone to launch a political party in the province.

"Do not confuse fragmentation and the proliferation of political parties with the ANC losing ground."

Fikeni said poverty may be the root cause of the persistent municipal woes. "Many of these are small municipalities with a small revenue base in a climate of poverty. So people see it as a source of income. Politics then becomes the only way of social mobility, through the controlling of tenders and so on."

The Coming Raw Oppression In Mzantsi

The Coming Raw Brutality Through And By The ANC

For Us to fully appreciate the nature and modus operandi of the ANC, it would be best to read the book of Trewhela on these accounts, that, in order to put the article below in perspective, it is a must read. Below is not a new phenomenon about the ANC, but it is important for the people of Mzantsi to begin to piece the given information about the ANC-how it comported itself in exile, and what it is doing now, today, in south Africa as told below by Trewhela.

Paul Trewhela:

"Political Killings and Heavy-Handed Military Veterans Are Disturbing Sings Of The African National Congress' Future"

ANC: A party under violent, criminal siege

Are we seeing the return of violence and assassination in South African politics? It certainly looks as though the dynamic of a top-heavy political system loaded with patronage and corruption is moving towards ­murder as the normal intercourse of politics.

A chilling remark by a senior ANC political figure earlier this month brings the issue into focus. It was made at the funeral of ANC "fixer" Wandile Mkhize, who was shot dead in a hail of bullets outside his house near Margate in KwaZulu-Natal only days after attending the party's rambunctious policy conference in Midrand.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize was reported by the Mercury as having said at the funeral that, although "the ANC had 'no specific knowledge' of why he was killed, the party had to 'look at the confluence of politics, criminality and business' as it was going to cause huge problems in the party".

President Jacob Zuma's address at the same funeral — words that were cheered as if at an election rally, despite the dead man lying in his ­coffin — gave no such acknowledgement of the degraded state of the governing party.

It has come to this: a century after the founding achievement of Reverend John Langalibalele Dube, Pixley ka Izaka Seme, Sol Plaatje, Reverend WB Rubusana and their compatriots, and with less than six months before the ANC's centenary elective conference in Mangaung, "huge problems in the party" are described simply by the KwaZulu-Natal premier as "the confluence of politics, criminality and business".

Acted unlawfully
This is a bad, bad place for the ANC to be. The most venerable political party in Africa is increasingly considered not the moral engine of emancipation, but an immoral successor to a hated past.

Within days of the funeral, but at the other end of the country, another ANC member died, this time after an address by Zuma and yet another violent clash internal to the ANC. It took place after several hours of conflict before, during and after the president's talk — on the political example of Nelson Mandela – in a church at Thohoyandou in Limpopo.

Alpheus Moseri (68) was reported by the Mail & Guardian to have collapsed in a bus returning home, after what local people said was an asthma attack "allegedly ... sparked by the fumes of the pepper spray" that uniformed members of the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans' Association used against the crowd outside the church.

Under the command of association chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe, the organization was "accused of having acted unlawfully" through a "show of force" on behalf of Zuma as election candidate ahead of the ANC's elective conference in December. Members of the crowd were "assaulted and sprayed with pepper spray by the veterans and dozens of other accredited members of the local ANC branches were removed or prevented from attending the lecture," reported theM&G.

Some of the men in association uniforms and some of those using pepper spray appeared to be "too young to be veterans," which sparked claims that, "younger people politically aligned to Zuma were infiltrating it for political ends". Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) was disbanded by mid-1994 when members began to be integrated into state forces, so anyone younger than the mid-30s today would be ineligible for membership.

Political storm
Another M&G article reported the event at Thohoyandou as a "political storm" with "children as young as seven being chased down the road by gun-wielding police officers". Members of the police riot unit, the National Intelligence Agency and the association, as well as private security guards, placed a cordon around the church. Stacks of barbed-wire fencing formed a steel wall around the area. ANC members and inquisitive locals hoping to glimpse the president were chased off with water cannons and tear gas.

Is this the kind of culture now saturating the ANC – not just intolerance of dissent and harsh attempts to control internal splits, but violence?

In Thohoyandou the association, under the command of Maphatsoe, appears to have acted as Zuma's private paramilitary force. A few weeks earlier, the M&G reported that Maphatsoe was cited in a forensic report, which alleged that he and three fellow association leaders had used the organization as their "personal piggy bank," abusing its investment funds "to pay for jewelry, spa treatments and school drama lessons and to withdraw large sums of cash before Christmas".

This report, by auditing firm SizweNtsalubaGobodo, reportedly implicates former treasurer Dumisani Khoza, former chairperson Deacon Mathe and current treasurer Johannes "Sparks" Motseki, as well as Maphatsoe.

The M&G did not report that the four had been named in court on June 1 as respondents in a case by an association group called "the commissariat". Its secretary, Omry Mathabatha Makgoale, had lain a charge of theft of MK veterans' funds against them.

Makgoale, formerly a bodyguard of the late ANC president in exile, Oliver Tambo, MK district commander in Luanda and resident for nearly five years of the ANC's Quatro prison camp for dissidents, was described by an MK colleague, the late Mwezi Twala, as "a stubborn but good person" who "would not tolerate ­injustice". Makgoale has since reported "aggressive surveillance" of his house and warning