Shawn Hattingh, 9 November 2017, “The Political Nature of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” Pambazuka News, from here.
Mechanisation and automation have been called the Fourth Industrial Revolution. But these are not inevitable or neutral economic realities. They are political weapons of oppression under capitalism. It is a war against the working classes to increase profits. It is no an accident that bosses choose to mechanise and automate in the context of the massive crisis of capitalism.
Recently, the accounting multinational company, Grant Thompson, conducted a study amongst 2500 multinational corporations regarding mechanisation, automation and the introduction of artificial intelligence. Of these companies, 56% said they planned to automate parts of their operations within the next year. Another study by Oxford University was even starker. It stated that 47% of jobs in the United States and possibly 50% of jobs in parts of Africa – including South Africa – could possibly be lost to artificial intelligence, mechanisation and automation in the next two decades. It is clear that if this transpires, the consequences will be dire for workers in Africa – including South Africa – and their ability to organise.
Some people have said that this move to use advanced computers and automation is the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’; and that the inevitable advance of technology Continue reading
Phillip Nyalungu, 2019, “Experiences of an Activist and ZACF Anarchist-Communist in Soweto, South Africa, 2002-2012,” Anarchist Studies, 27 (2), pp. 61-76.
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Solidarity with the pro-democratic movement in Swaziland: Swaziland Youth Day and the Sixteen Pro-Democracy Activists Facing the Death Sentence
Statement and appeal for international solidarity with Swaziland and the 16 pro-democracy activists facing the death sentence.
A woman is dead as a result of the injuries incurred from her torture, by the Swazi police, for being married to a member of the Peoples’ United Democratic Movement, PUDEMO. Another 16 pro-democracy activists, arrested in December after a spate of firebomb attacks, whose charges have now been upgraded to High Treason, await their sentences of possible death or life imprisonment. And dozens of pro-democracy leaders and activists are fleeing the country in fear of their lives.
We don’t endorse the bombings, as the ZACF has consistently been against terrorism in favour of mass mobilisation; and we don’t assume that the 16 PUDEMO and SWAYOCO members did it; but we defend them and demand their release whether they did it or not. The fact that people have resorted to violence Continue reading
Article from the People’s Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), explaining the wave of repression in Swaziland in 2005 and 2006, and how spurious claims of a terrorist offensive were used by the state. It includes a discussion of how the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (ZACF), which was then active in both South Africa and Swaziland, was falsely accused of bombing (for a ZACF statement on this issue, see here; for repression affecting ZACF in Swaziland, see here and here).
Sexing up threats to national security
Swazi King orders more arrests to justify fresh emergency powers under the new Constitution
Signed: Dr. Jabulane Matsebula
PUDEMO Representative (Australia, Asia and the Pacific Region)
Swaziland police have arrested two more pro-democracy activists in what has become a regular occurrence. These arrests bring the number of incarcerated political activists to sixteen and occur in the wake of the fatal torture of LaFakudze. Mphandlana Shongwe and a university student, Wandile Dludlu faced similar prospects of death by hanging as the other fourteen activists. These charges range from malicious damage to property to high treason.
As a pro-democracy stalwart and the most fearlessly outspoken critic of the state, Mphandlana Shongwe has experienced the brunt of this hatred. In 1990, he was among thirteen people accused of high treason. It will be remembered that no charges were proved in this “case”. Since then he has been detained and tortured on several occasions. He is constantly under police surveillance and has been denied the right to work as a schoolteacher because of his political convictions and membership of PUDEMO.
We maintain that these charges have no real basis Continue reading
Comrade Mandla Khoza (or “MK,” as his friends and comrades knew him) passed away on Friday 26 July in his home town of Siphofaneni, Swaziland (Eswatini). He had long suffered from sugar diabetes. He leaves behind four children. One of the pioneering members of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (ZACF) founded in South Africa on May Day 2003, MK was committed to a social revolution that would place power and wealth in the hands of the working class, the peasants and the poor. As he would often say: “It doesn’t matter if you change who sits on the throne: you have to get rid of the throne itself.” This obituary commemorates his life Continue reading
ZACF Response to The Times of Swaziland: Zabalaza DOES NOT claim bombing of police van
(18 January , 2006)
(A letter to the editor of The Times of Swaziland, which carried an article in the January 15th edition falsely saying that the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation claimed responsibility for bombing a police van).
In The Times of Swaziland, Sunday Edition of January 15, under the headline “Zabalaza’s claims of bombing police van” by Mduduzi Magagula it seems to us that he has misread the report when he says “Also shocking in the claims is that they stoned and petrol bombed a police vehicle in Manzini during a PUDEMO organised demonstration recently.”
The newspaper quotes our website Continue reading
Armed struggle a viable substitute for the mass movement?
Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation statement on alleged armed struggle tendency of Swaziland pro-democracy movement (7 December, 2006)
Recent reports in The Star (25/11/06) allege that the development of the “armed struggle” tendency within a section of the pro-democracy movement in Swaziland could be accelerating. Given that the pro-democracy movement has set itself the goal of liberation in 2008, it is understandable that frustration has led some comrades in this direction.
We do not believe that an “armed struggle” approach is appropriate. The dangers inherent in such an approach are many. We support the right of the oppressed to self-defense against repression.
However, “armed struggle” is generally not a Continue reading
ZACF Statement on the Murder of PUDEMO Deputy President Dr. Gabriel Thandokuhle Mkhumane
Tuesday April 08, 2008 by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front
The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front was saddened and concerned to learn of the murder of People’s United Democratic Movement Deputy President Dr. Gabriel Thandokuhle Mkhumane.
Although the truth behind his murder seems unclear, with some mainstream newspapers in Swaziland reporting that C’de Mkhumane was victim of a violent robbery, and although township life is by definition far from safe from random criminality; the murder took place close to Swaziland, in an area where many Swazis live and in which their intelligence and undercover cops operate, so we feel the likelihood is great that this was a politically-motivated assassination.
It appears to indicate the murderous nature of the Mswati regime, and the degree to which the regime will go to protect its interests, and though it creates a martyr for Pudemo, the hit (if it is such) must be seen as a blow against the very idea of popular democracy in Swaziland, a blow directed at the people as a whole by targeting a figure representative (in the state’s mind at least) of that people.
Our sympathies go out to all those who have lost a friend, comrade or family member. We urge Swazi revolutionaries and freedom fighters not to be disheartened or deterred from their revolutionary duties, and we hope that anyone who is in a position to delve deeper and get to the truth behind C’de Mkhumane’s murder does so.
It is true that many a freedom fighter, both in swaziland and exiled around the world, have lost a friend and a comrade, but the struggle continues. Let us all be inspired by the life of a comrade dedicated to the overthrow of the Tinkhundla system, as well as being incensed by his murder; resolving to do all that we can, in our own way, to strengthen, advance and support the Swazi people in their struggle for freedom.
Anarchist Statement in Solidarity with Swazi Students at Wits University
Saturday January 16, 2010, by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front – Wits Anarchist Society
We condemn the recent unilateral decision by Wits management to no longer accept many Swazi students’ medical aid provider, Swazi Med, for the current academic year. This is an unfair move by the university so close to the registration period. It means an additional burden on students from one of the poorest and most authoritarian states in the world, many of whom come from poor backgrounds and study in South Africa not out of choice but necessity.
International students have to pay Continue reading
Swazi youth day (Phillip Nyalungu, 18 January 2006)
During the uprising in Swaziland on the 23rd January 1997 the police gunned down a young girl sent by her parents to the shop. It happened that Noxolo was a member of a student organization that comprised Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO) members: SWAYOCO is the youth wing of the illegal pro-democracy party, the Peoples’ United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO). This sad experience immediately evoked the parallel situation in South Africa in 1976 in the the minds of Swazi youth. This gives us a very clear picture on how quickly the masses learn from, and inspire, each other’s struggles. Eventually the 23rd January was declared Youth Day in Swaziland by PUDEMO.
But this didn’t remove the gun barrel aimed at the Swazi youth by the Swaziland Royal Police. The policemen who shot Noxolo Continue reading
Swaziland report (17 January 2005, ZACF shadow international secretary)
You are in Manzini! The taxi has a South African registration and is blasting toyi-toyi (struggle) songs, reminding you of the days when people’s fear was replaced by the spirit of resistance, the fight against apartheid regime coupled with its demise with the 1994 elections.
Among the folks, individuals are wearing bright yellow ANC t-shirts with Mbeki’s head, as if they are appealing to the Swazi king: “Please learn from the South African government. If you don’t listen, the same thing that happened to the former South African regime is going to happen to yours.” Many people are attracted to immigrate to South Africa for jobs. When they visit back home they introduce the life of the big city: they’ve tasted a different life to their fellow-country people, which is giving them guts Continue reading
The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front was part of the Solidarity Committee that supported the historic 2010-2011 Mine Line Factory occupation in Krugersdorp. This is confirmed in the newspaper Izwi Labasabenzi, in an article available here. It was however critical of proposals that the factory be nationalized “under workers’ control,” arguing instead for self-management: see here. The occupation was almost completely ignored by the mass media: for one of the few reports, see here.
Timothy Scarnecchia, 2012, “Mzingeli, Charles, 1905-1980,” Emmanuel K. Akyeampong and Henry Louis Gates, Jr (eds.), 2012, Dictionary of African Biography, Oxford University Press, pp. 379-380.
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A Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (ZACF, later Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front) leaflet making the case against participation in state elections — the target audience was activists in the “new social movements” of the time like the Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF) coalition, and the Landless Peoples’ Movement (LPM). It was written ahead of the 2004 national elections in South Africa, which were to be followed by the 2005 local government elections. The issue of running a movement-backed “workers party” was a major issue in the APF, where ZACF was most active.
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Shawn Hattingh, 2014, “Exploding Anger: Workers’ Struggles and Self-Organization in South Africa’s Mining Industry,” in Immanuel Ness, editor, 2014, New Forms of Worker Organization: The Syndicalist and Autonomist Restoration of Class-Struggle Unionism , PM Press, Oakland, CA, pp. 97-114, 281-282, 295-298
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