South Africa: Let them have a ridiculously large luminous flag

Friday, 20 May 2022 — New Frame

The ANC is so out of touch with reality that it is now firmly ensconced in the realm of farce. The need for credible alternatives could hardly be more urgent.

The ANC has destroyed or severely damaged the post office, the national airline, the railways, the electricity system and some of our most crucial hospitals. It was recently announced that the deterioration of the country’s network of weather stations has reached a critical point. Many public buildings, as well as other infrastructure, have been abandoned and then taken apart, sometimes brick by brick, by people who have no stake in the established order – such as it is – and take what they can, when they can, to get by.

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Another assassination in Durban

Friday, 6 May 2022 — New Frame

As political killings continue in the city, claiming the lives of activists exposing ANC rot and failures, serious questions need to be asked of our democratic commitments.

by New Frame

October 1 2021: Slain activist Nokuthula Mabaso, centre, at the eKhenana Commune in Cato Manor, Durban. (Photograph by Nomfundo Xolo)

Last night, just before 8pm, Nokuthula Mabaso was assassinated at the eKhenana Commune in Cato Manor, Durban. She was shot six times, four times in the back, and died in the arms of her comrades. She is the second leader in the commune to be assassinated. Ayanda Ngila’s life was taken on 8 March.

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Long Read | Home and exile, freedom and loss

Thursday, 6 January 2022 — New Frame

Mandla Langa and Mphuthumi Ntabeni’s new novels, The Lost Language of the Soul and The Wanderers, intersect in their reflections on the lives of Umkhonto weSizwe freedom fighters.

(Photograph by Thabang Malatji)

Novelist, poet and short story writer Mandla Langa’s latest book, The Lost Language of the Soul, is a coming-of-age tale set largely in Zambia and apartheid South Africa in the late 1980s. The novel chronicles the odyssey of Joseph Mabaso, the son of an Umkhonto weSizwe soldier who goes in search of his mother after her sudden disappearance from their home in Lusaka. The search takes Langa’s teenage protagonist through various towns and borders until he ends up in South Africa.

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South Africa: Trouble in the promised land

8 November 2021 — New Frame

The socialist commune Abahlali baseMjondolo built from the eKhenana land occupation in Durban has won international admiration and solidarity, but it now faces a new wave of repression.

28 October 2021: Abahlali baseMjondolo deputy president Mqapheli Bonono walks past the Thuli Ndlovu community hall in eKhenana, Durban.

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South Africa: All of them must go!

29 October 2021 — Origin: New Frame

Monday’s elections offer scant hope for a way out of our escalating crisis. Reality demands a rigorous pessimism of the intellect if we are to generate a viable optimism of the will.


It seems likely that the elections on Monday will bring significant change to how many of our cities are ruled. All the surveys show that millions of South Africans hold local government in contempt, that a significant number of former ANC supporters will not be able to bring themselves to vote for a party that is now rotten from the bottom to the top, and that there will be a sharp decline in turnout.

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Leader of shack-dwellers’ movement arrested by South African police for ‘conspiracy’ to murder

7 May, 2021 — Peoples Dispatch

George Mqapheli Bonono, the deputy president of Abahlali baseMjondolo, was arrested on May 4. The movement maintains that it is a politically motivated attempt by the police to discredit the organization at the behest of the ruling ANC

George Mqapheli Bonono addressing the AbM’s heritage week celebration in 2019. Photo : New Frame

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EXCLUSIVE: OR Tambo’s forgotten speech at Chatham House in 1985

9 July 2020 — Mail & Guardian 

OR Tambo would have been 100 this year

Oliver Reginald Tambo 

On October 29 1985, Oliver Tambo gave a speech at Chatham House in London. In it, he urged a reluctant British government to support the fight against apartheid — and expertly dissects the hypocrisy in not doing so. For decades, the speech was buried in the Chatham House archives. For its centennial celebrations, the think tank has made the speech publicly available for the first time, in partnership with the Oliver & Adelaide Tambo Foundation. Tambo’s daughter, Nomatemba Tambo, will be discussing the speech on a Chatham House webinar on Friday, July 10. This is an edited version of Tambo’s address.


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Rainbows, dreams & ethical journalism By Terry Bell

29 June 2019 — Terry Bell Writes

South Africa seems to be obsessed with rainbow images. First there was that grand illusion of a rainbow nation, now faded. But it did, for some time, obscure, to a degree, rotten reality.

Now, with the latest State of the Nation (SONA) address we have what seemed to boil down to a “somewhere over the rainbow image” taken from that iconic Hollywood film, The Wizard of Oz. That 1939 movie, based on a 1900 fantasy novel, featured a young girl in dull, dusty Kansas, being swept up in her house by a tornado and landing in a glittering world “over the rainbow”.

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SA — still awaiting a workers’ party By Terry Bell

22 May 2019 — Terry Bell Writes

(Inside Labour column – first published in City Press, May 19)

One interesting result of South Africa’s May 8 national and provincial poll was the effective demolition of an enduring myth, beloved of many bosses and union-bashing free marketeers: that union bosses call the shots and members blindly follow. This is a claim trotted out at the time of almost every major strike.

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Ronnie Kasrils on South African Election

15 May 2019 — Rebel News

Ronnie Kasrils on South African Election

Ronnie Kasrils joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1960 after Sharpeville and later played a leading role in Umkhonte we Sizwe, the ANC’s armed wing. He served for a number of years as a minister in Nelson Mandela’s post-apartheid government as Deputy Minister of Defence and as Minister for Security. He has since become a major left critic of the ANC and its embrace of neo-liberalism. He is also known as an outspoken opponent of Apartheid Israel. Rebel is pleased to publish his assessment of the recent South African election here.

The best aspect of South Africa’s sixth national election since democracy in 1994 was that it was extremely peaceful, virtually incident free, fair, and credible. The top marks go to the 16 million who cast their votes, many in difficult rural terrain and some in cold, rainy conditions. The downside was that this was the lowest turnout of registered voters since that first seminal democratic election.

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South Africa elections 2019: widespread fury and big gains for the EFF

15 May 2019 — In Defence of Marxism

Election results can provide an important barometer of the mood in society. The results of the Sixth National and Provincial elections on 8 May confirm that there is a deep ferment in South African society. The sharp drop in voter turnout, together with the high abstention from the election process, especially by the youth, meant that, for the first time ever, a minority of the voting-age population voted in the elections. This is highly significant in a country where the working class conquered the right to vote from the ruling class only 25 years ago.

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South Africa: What about the workers? By Terry Bell

8 May 2019 — Terry Bell Writes

While there has been much media debate about what “black middle-class” voters will do today, there has been nothing about where the votes of unionised workers may go as South Africa completes its sixth non-racial election. This is perhaps because it is widely assumed that, in terms of labour voting patterns, nothing much has changed in the 25 years since the transition from apartheid.

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What is the SRWP’s Vision for South Africa? By Pavan Kulkarni

8 May 2019 — Internationalist 360°

https://peoplesdispatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/MG_8531.jpg

Socialist Revolutionary Workers’ Party launch in Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo: Rafael Stedile

With the slogan “Equality, Work, Land!”, the newly-founded Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party (SRWP) of South Africa is set to contest the general election scheduled on May 8. The party aims to use parliamentary institutions to complement mass struggles, with the slogan “socialism and nothing else”. It has unveiled a radical agenda for the country, including abolition of private property rights and free education and healthcare.

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Labour, socialism & the search for a party By Terry Bell

5 April 2019 — Terry Bell Writes

[South Africa may be thousands of miles away but the debates on the left taking place there, are directly connected to the kinds of debates taking place here within and about the struggle for socialism. WB]

What will workers decide when faced with the confusion of 48 political parties listed for the national and provincial poll on May 8? Many clearly did not register to vote, some have said they will abstain, others remain uncertain about who to support.

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South Africa: Democracy & ‘Father Christmas socialism’ By Terry Bell

22 March 2019 — Terry Bell Writes

As South Africa coasts uncomfortably toward national and provincial elections on May 8, accompanied by rolling blackouts and with commissions delving ever deeper into sewers of corruption, it is time to take stock of where the country is and where it may be going. This should apply in particular to trade unions that have, in recent years, touted models of “socialist alternatives”, in Brazil and Venezuela.

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How the people could really govern By Terry Bell

10 February 2019 — Terry Bell Writes

A version of this item appeared in the City Press on February 10

The people shall govern. So says the Freedom Charter. And so they do, says the ANC along with all the parties represented in parliament.

But this is a lie. And awareness of this fact is what has caused such widespread disillusionment with mainstream politics and political parties. In our party list electoral system this is particularly pertinent: every five years we go to the polls to vote for a party where a president and perhaps the party elite, usual decide on the representatives over whom we have no control. Yet a universal franchise — one person, one vote — is a concession won after many bloody and bitter battles in recent centuries by working people deprived of even the slightest influence over those who governed them.

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