Philip Mzamani Nyalungu: “There’s no Truth”

Found here and dated 9 March 2010

“There’s no truth” by Philip Nyalungu

Elias Motsoaledi is one of the informal settlements. That started mushrooming prior the 1st 1994 democratic elections. Mostly named after the popular political leaders who fought against apartheid. Under Freedom Charter and the ANC manifesto’s auspices. That loudly stated “proper houses with electricity and water for all”.

Until this day nothing has come along from all these promises. The politicians’ only come back when the elections are around the corner. To do the same promises over and over again and forgetting about everyone, thereafter. Meaning in the eyes of these politicians we are their objects. That they use to get into power not as fellow human beings.

Move to occupy unused land. Especially here in Johannesburg was a respond after the then apartheid regime. In the 70’s denying migrant labors subsidized houses. By shifting the responsibility to the banks. Resulting in warren of backyard shacks and overcrowding. Since the banks were in favor of the up coming black middle classes. Because this is where profit was guaranteed through the bonds.

It is now 18 years since the people started to stay in Motsoaledi. In the early years people had to stay awake all night. Initially under the bias eye of the then armed state forces to the IFP faction. Fortunately in this community over 2/3rd of the population are ANC supporters and members and it’s not in the way with hostels. Where IFP members were in large numbers.

This community became a fiefdom to the bloodthirsty loose ANC-SANCO faction that was on daily orgies. In maintaining this habit. They extort money, rape women and dispossess the same people they purport to protect. Even with the new government into power. They would continue with their heinous deeds.

Earlier residents from time to time they recall those dreadful days. “During so and so meaning the ring leader/s, police wouldn’t dare come in this community” they said. As they carry on denouncing how these guys inflicted endless torture in their lives. “You who came after all these rampages are lucky especially the agitators. Your lives could have been at stake and cut-short long time ago”, ruefully looking at you…

Although one of the notorious ring leader was gunned down in the daylight. During the mass meeting everyone watching. Ironically the very ringleader was about to butcher one of his enemies. And he was the one who called the meeting to gather the support from the community. Unexpectedly the targeted enemy’s assassins ambushed him from behind.

Everyone in the community was relieved from fearing their lives. “That was the only time the police started to come to the community” they sigh…Probably just a couple is behind bars. But the fact that they were not alone remains hanging above people’s heads, especially the women. Even though these remnants started to live a normal lives.

The questions remained. Where was the army *if* the SAPS couldn’t enter this community to save the lives of the poor innocent people?

This morbid gloomy cloud is still hanging above this community!!!

Advertisements

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,' '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) and 'Black Flame: the revolutionary class politics of anarchism and syndicalism' (co-written with Michael Schmidt, AK Press 2009).