WSF (1998): “PAC leader says ‘ban the trade unions'”

WSF (1998): “PAC leader says ‘ban the trade unions'”

From Workers Solidarity, magazine of the Workers Solidarity Federation, volume 4, number 1, first quarter 1998. Complete PDF is here

The PAC [Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania] is sometimes seen as a radical alternative to ANC.

However, in an interview in The Sowetan, PAC leader Bishop Stanley Mogoba said that South African workers are too lazy. He stated that the way to rebuild the economy and create “normal” conditions is to ban the trade unions for 3 years! Mogoba praised the Asian dictatorships like Singapore: while these countries are not democratic, they are “progressive” and have good “work ethics” !!

Workers! You are not beasts of burden- you are the majority! Who are these politicians to dare talk of banning your fighting unions?! Do not trust the politicians- they are part of the problem!

Reject the politicians! Only the workers can free the workers!


About Lucien van der Walt

I teach at Rhodes University, the Eastern Cape. I’m South African, born and bred. I am currently also involved in union education and have a background in social movement and left-wing activism, the Workers’ Library and Museum, the Anti-Privatisation Forum, and the National Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU). I’ve presented papers at more than 120 conferences and workshops, published in key journals like 'Capital and Class' and 'Labor History', have co-edited 3 journal specials (these on global labour history, African labour, and unions in the Global South), and written well over 130 other articles, papers and entries. I was Southern Africa editor for the 2009 'International Encyclopaedia of Revolution and Protest' (Blackwell). My focus has been on South Africa, but I have also done research in Zambia and Zimbabwe. I won the 2008 international 'Labor History' thesis prize, and the 2008/2009 Council for the Development of Social Science Research prize for best African dissertation, for my PhD thesis on South African anarchism, syndicalism and black militants. I have several books, including 'Negro e Vermelho: anarquismo, sindicalismo revolucionário e pessoas de cor na África Meridional nas décadas de 1880-1920,' and 'Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1880-1940: the praxis of national liberation, internationalism, and social revolution' (co-edited with Steve Hirsch, Brill, 2010/ 2014).