Swaziland report (17 January 2005, ZACF shadow international secretary)

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

ZACF, 2004, “Fighting Elections: Inside or Outside?” leaflet

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.

Get the PDF here.

Abel Ramarope (1961-2005): from PAC to anarchism # 2

South Africans we said adieu to in 2005

Independent Online, 3 January 2006, online here

 

Abel Ramarope

1961 – 2005

This former member of the PAC and political activist-turned-anarchist was arrested during the struggle against apartheid and had been a prisoner since then. As an inmate, he formed a clandestine reading and study group on anarchism. He constantly fought corruption in the prison system, which he said was rife. He died in a Pretoria prison while doing time for robbery.

Nokuthula Mashabane

1964 – 2005

This social worker dedicated her life to helping rehabilitate prisoners and to changing their lives after they were set free. Because of Continue reading

Abel Ramarope (1961-2005): from PAC to anarchism # 1

Article from Zabalaza, number 7, 2006, p. 26, here.

Remembering Our Fallen Comrades! Another Anarchist Dies in Prison: 

Abel Ramarope, Political Prisoner Turned Anarchist, died September 2005

by Jonathan Payn

“You must be aware that we are victimised by our fear to stand up for what is entitled us as people whether in prison or outside prison. We are firstly determined to challenge any barbaric or tyrannical system if it needs be. Change is a must; and it shall come and be effected by those who needs to see it.

Well we need to be strong even when we face incarceration. We cannot afford to be sacrificed at the expense of the capitalists. We fought for the transformation of this land, and yet we are deprived of the right to enjoy the fruits of our labour. Now our votes are seen as a priority but our release as political activists/prisoners is not important to them.”

Abel Ramarope

It is always saddening to hear of someone dying in a prison, with cold concrete and steel Continue reading

“Zabalaza News” number 3, 2008

The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF) published widely: periodicals included Zabalaza magazine (founded in 2001, it became the ZACF’s journal at its formation in 2003), Black Alert (founded 2002, a ZACF publication from 2003), Vuka Motsoaledi / Motsoaledi News (from 2003), and the bulletin Zabalaza News (from around 2008).

Here is a (rare) copy of Zabalaza News: issue 3 from 2008.

2001: Leninism versus anarchism in “NUMSA Bulletin” (South Africa)

A bit of an oddity: an anarchist text in a 2000s publication by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA). NUMSA has a (deserved) reputation as a radical unions, but while its roots lie in the anti-capitalist and anti-nationalist “workerist” tradition of the 1980s, by the mid-1990s the union was firmly aligned to the South African Communist Party (SACP) and defined itself as Marxist-Leninist. Its regular magazine in the 1990s and 2000s was the NUMSA Bulletin, which included sophisticated debates on theory and policy. It was surprising to find in this magazine — in the midst of series on socialist theory, dominated with expositions of SACP theory  — a 2001 piece on “Organisations for Socialism: introducing a debate” which gave anarchism a platform. The piece opened by noting that “since its birth, the working class movement has debated intensely, the question of organisations most appropriate to bring about socialism,” then contrasted anarcho-syndicalist conceptions and party-centred views, and then recalled that “Rosa Luxemburg in her 1904 pamphlet, Organisational questions of Russian Social Democracy, took issue with Lenin’s ‘ultra-centralism.'” The body of the text was Grigori Zinoviev’s 1920 speech to the Comintern on “the centrality of the party in a socialist revolution,” followed by “an anarchist critique of the Leninist model of organisation.” This was not a Marxist-Leninist  caricature, but a reprint of a solid critique by leading contemporary Scottish anarchist writer Iain McKay (it was taken from a then-current version of his online Anarchist FAQ – specifically from a section refuting Marxist critiques). The introduction even hoped “that the two articles will spark a debate on the forms of organisation appropriate for the current period,” and raise issues like “the role of unions in the struggle for socialism,” and “the role of other working class structures, such as political parties, soviets, factory committees, co-operatives and civics in the road to socialism” (it also, however, promised to “to publish a Marxist-Leninist critique of anarchism in the next edition of Numsa Bulletin).

Get a PDF of the text here

Thanks to cde “SL” for drawing this to our attention some years back!