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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SONA 2019: Mbeki without the poetry By Terry Bell

9 February 2019 — Terry Bell Writes

South Africa is again in the midst of that five-yearly cycle when politicians make extravagant promises that, on even cursory examination, ignore reality. And that does not even mean looking ahead to the consequences of the fourth industrial revolution that the world has already embarked on.

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