Ulrich, 2004, “Remembering and Learning from the Past: The 1976 Uprising and the African Working Class” (Zabalaza)

Nicole Ulrich, 2006, “Remembering and Learning from the Past: The 1976 Uprising and the African Working Class,” Zabalaza: A journal of southern African revolutionary anarchism, number 7, pp. 22-23. 

PDF here, text below

This year [2006] marks the 30th anniversary of the 1976 Soweto uprising in South Africa, which marked the start of the fall of apartheid, and inspired activists worldwide. African working youth played a leading role, and their sacrifices showed us that ordinary people can make a difference to the injustices of our world. Revolutionaries should commemorate this struggle, but also learn from its failings.

RACE AND CLASS

The 1976 uprising was sparked by the imposition of Afrikaans-language teaching in African schools, seen as an act of national oppression. But there was more at play. The 1970s saw growing inflation creating much discontent amongst urban African youth. South Africa’s economy, which boomed in the 1960s, entered crisis in the 1970s. Unemployment grew steadily, reaching levels unseen for decades.

This was fuelled by under-funded, racist and authoritarian government institutions like the local government township administrations, the Bantu Education system and the miserable conditions in the segregated township schools. Although the government and large companies such as Continue reading

Shawn Hattingh, 2007, “BHP Billiton and SAB: Outward Capital Movement and the International. Expansion of South African Corporate Giants”

From here

Get the PDF here

Citation details: HATTINGH, S. 2007. BHP Billiton and SAB: Outward capital movement and the international expansion of South African corporate giants. Available at: http://www.taxjustice.net/cms/upload/pdf/Ilrig0809South African giants.pdf [accessed 2014-02-18].        

Shawn Hattingh (ILRIG), 2007, “BHP Billiton and SAB: Outward Capital Movement and the International Expansion of South African Corporate Giants”

Abstract
From the 1940s until the mid-1970s, the largest South African corporations, including the South African Breweries (SAB) and Gencor (forerunner to BHP Billiton) thrived under apartheid and its social and economic policies. Indeed, corporations such as Gencor and SAB benefited from the migrant labour system that the apartheid state strengthened and bolstered. Added to this, corporations, such as SAB and Gencor, received various tax incentives for the apartheid state, which included tax breaks for establishing operations in the apartheid homelands. This situation dramatically altered, however, with the global economic crisis that struck in the mid-1970s, which revolved around a crisis of capital over-accumulation and over-production. In this context, South African corporations began to experience problems of profitability under an increasingly ailing economy. In response, South African corporations, like their international counterparts, began expanding internationally in a bid to restore profits. By the 1980s, however, South African corporations faced various barriers such as sanctions and stringent exchange controls. Nonetheless, they implemented various mechanisms to circumvent exchange controls, including transfer pricing. In the case of SAB, they established various paper companies in the Netherlands and ceded their trademarks in South Africa to these companies. Through this, and the royalty payments they made on these trademarks, they were able to move massive amounts of capital out of South Africa to the Netherlands and, thereby, avoid exchange controls and reduce their tax rate in South Africa. Indeed, they also used this capital to expand internationally and avoid sanctions.

Nonetheless, avoiding both sanctions and exchange controls was cumbersome and South African companies began to feel disadvantaged when compared to their international competitors, who did not face political barriers. In this context, many South African corporations began favouring a political settlement in South Africa. Indeed, with a successful political settlement, South African corporations ensured that the post-apartheid state implemented neoliberal policies that would favour their international expansion. In hindsight, the South African state has served the largest South African corporations well. It was the South African state that allowed the likes of SAB and Gencor/ Biliton to restructure and ultimately shift their primary listings to the financial centre of London. With this, the post-apartheid state enabled SAB and Billiton to become massive global players. This was done even though it meant these corporations could, from that point on, freely repatriate their profits out of South Africa and that these corporation’s entities in South Africa, ceased to be South African owned.

Profiles: Bobo Makhoba, 1975-2016, ZACF founder member

Bobo Makhoba of Soweto, South Africa, was a founder member of the Zablaza Anarchist Communist Federation (later, Front), and active in the Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee, largest affiliate of the Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF), a coalition of post-apartheid protest movements in Gauteng. He later moved to Trostkyism.

This obituary from here.

Hamba kahle comrade Bobo Makhoba (1975-2016)

1 October 2016, by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF)

bobo

C’de Bobo at the “Reclaim June 16” demonstration in Soweto, 2009.

The ZACF is saddened to learn of the passing away of comrade Bobo Makhoba in Soweto this Thursday 29 September, at the age of 41, after a long illness. He is survived by his son, to whom we extend our deepest sympathies and condolences – as we do to the rest of his family, friends and comrades.

Bobo was a founding member of the ZACF as well as one of the original guerilla electricians for the Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee’s Operation Khanyisa campaign, which illegally reconnected thousands of households’ electricity after it was cut off for non-payment – forcing Eskom, the state electricity utility, to scrap arrears for thousands of Sowetans.

Born in KwaNongoma in KwaZulu Natal, Bobo first became involved in politics and struggle in high school, where he joined the Pan African Students Organisation.

He became involved in social movements and community struggles when he joined the SECC, soon after it was established in 2000, and later served as the organisation’s organiser and then co-ordinator.

He first came into contact with anarchism in 2002 during the mobilisations around the UN’s World Summit on Sustainable Development and soon thereafter established the Shesha Action Group (SAG). Based in Dlamini, Soweto – where Bobo lived – the SAG ran a study group and community food garden, as well as some of its members being active in the SECC and social movements, and was one of the founding collectives of the ZACF in 2003.

The SAG was unfortunately not very long-lived, its members dispersed and Bobo later moved toward Marxism and joined a small Trotskyite organisation but we maintained mutual respect and comradely relations. Although we saw less of him in later years we were always happy to run into him at demonstrations, where he would still ask to fly our red and black flags, or at Careers Centre in Soweto, where the SECC has its office.

Comrade Bobo Makhoba will be remembered as a dedicated and struggle-hardened working class militant who believed in direct action and grassroots organisation and made important contributions both to the ZACF, notably its model of township organising adopted in the early 2000s, and the struggle of the black working class in South Africa.

We find consolation in the belief that Bobo would not have wanted us to mourn his death, but rather for us to strengthen our resolve in the struggle of the exploited and oppressed majority against capitalism.

For our fallen comrades not a moment of silence – but a lifetime of struggle!

Profiles: Abel Ramarope, 1961-2005, South Africa

Abel Ramarope was a political prisoner from the nationalist Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC), who did not receive amnesty in South Africa’s transition to a parliamentary, post-apartheid state. He was in contact with the Anarchist Black Cross, a project of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (later, Front), and ran an anarchist study circle in Pretoria.

Obituary from ZACF here.

Obituary from mainstream media here.

Interviews: ZACF Interviews Two Libertarian Socialist Activists from Zimbabwe, 2008

From here

A member of the ZACF poses the same set of questions to two activists from Zimbabwe.

The first interviewee, Biko Mutsaurwa, is an anarcho-communist from the Uhuru Network and facilitator for the Toyi Toyi Artz Kollektive in Harare.

The second interviewee is Comrade Fatso, AKA Samm Farai Monro, a cultural activist and artistic facilitator for Magamba! The Cultural Activist Network.

The interviews were conducted in Johannesburg on 21st of June, 2008 – the day before MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai announced his decision to not participate in the June 27 presidential election run-off.


Interview with Biko Mutsaurwa, anarcho-communist from the Uhuru Network and facilitator for the Toyi Toyi Artz Kollektive. Conducted in Johannesburg on 21st June 2008 by the ZACF.

ZACF: Have you heard about the regime’s alleged 3-stage election scheme (“electoral cleansing”, falsify the vote, declare a state of emergency)?

Biko: About the regimes intentions to outrightly rig the Zimbabwe electoral outcome I could say that i am convinced merely from watching the regimes reactions to the 29th March elections results that Mugabe has refused to accept that he was defeated in that election. The state media has continued to propagate the myths that there was no election winner. So I’m clear that their intention was to rig the election. With regards to how the regime is actually intent on cleansing after the elections, decimating the middle lay of activists within the Movement for Democratic Change I could say that I have second hand information, actually I got it from my mother who was forced-marched to a ZANU PF rally this Wednesday, 18th June 2008 where war veterans from the Zimbabwe Liberation War Veterans Association addressed that rally and they came to say that they were not there to campaign but they were there to inform the people that ZANU PF was not going to accept the electoral victory of MDC and also that they were going to come back to beat up the residents of Chitungwiza, where I stay with my family, primarily because Chitungwiza has been traditionally voting for the MDC.

ZACF: Can you tell us something about conditions on the ground in Zimbabwe, the extent of repression etc.. We’d like to hear about something else other than the repeated arrests of Tsvangirai & other MDC big-shots.

Biko: The arrests of senior MDC leaders comes in the wake of ZANU PF’s realisation that this time around the MDC leadership is prepared to call upon the masses of Zimbabwe to rise up and defend their vote using peoples power.The specific incident that gave rise to this awakening in terms of ZANU PF’s Continue reading

Interview: Lekhetho Mtetwa, 2013, on Soweto anarchism, Landless Peoples Movement (LPM)

A 2013 interview with Lekhetho Mtetwa of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF), focused on his work in the Landless Peoples Movement (LPM), a post-apartheid social movement. The name notwithstanding, the LPM was mainly involved in urban squatter communities, not amongst farm-dwellers and farm-workers.

Full reference details are included in the PDF.

Get the PDF here.

Interview: Lucien van der Walt, 2010, on Johannesburg anarchism, Wits 2001, NEHAWU, Anti-Privatisation Forum

Interview from the Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF) archives,  created by Dale McKinley, held at the South African History Archive (SAHA), at Constitution Hill, Johannesburg. In this interview Lucien van der Walt talks about his background, the anarchist and left movement in Johannesburg in the 1990s and 2000s, and experiences in the APF, a major coalition of post-apartheid movements founded in 2000. He also draws some lessons from the APF experience.

PDF of interview here.

Full reference details for interview: Lucien van der Walt, 23 March 2010, Interview, Johannesburg. Interviewed by Dale McKinley, Johannesburg.The Anti Privatisation Forum collection, AL3290, South African History Archive (SAHA), Constitution Hill, Johannesburg.

More on SAHA, an independent archive, here.

Index to APF collection here (register online for access to all materials).

 

Solidarity with the pro-democratic movement in Swaziland (ZACF, 26 January 2006)

Source: here

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

Jabulane Matsebula (PUDEMO): Swaziland “Sexing up Threats to National Security” (January 2006)

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

ZACF Response to “The Times of Swaziland” on alleged bombing (18 January , 2006)

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

Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation statement on alleged armed struggle tendency of Swaziland pro-democracy movement (7 December, 2006)

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 (8 April 2008)

Source: here

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.