Author: Sifuna Zonke
In this section we address questions that have been posed to ZACF militants. We are sharing these discussions because we think these are important and pertinent issues in Southern Africa. If you have questions you would us to address in our next issue, please get in touch!
In this column, comrade Themba Kotane, a union militant, asks:
Will the United Front (UF) address the crises we are currently facing in South Africa? I am concerned about how the UF works and who leads it. In my own view we don’t need a leader, we need to all have equal voice. How can we build the UF as a basis for a stateless, socialist, South Africa?
Jakes Factoria and Tina Sizovuka respond:
NOTE: Heritage Day is a post-apartheid South African national holiday; unlike most, it has no clear link to major struggles in the past, although there are efforts to position it as a more “political” day. The talk below was given by Lucien van der Walt at an event organised by Sakhaluntu Cultural Group in Grahamstown, for black youth.
Thank you all for coming. Thank you, chair, for the invitation. Thank you, organisers, for the event today. Today looks like a great day, a great day to look forward.
But before we look forward, we must look back as well. Unless you know where you come from, you will never know where you can go.
Those in power don’t want to confront the status quo of hatred against immigrants, or South Africa’s imperialist role in the region. They have a narrow set of interests: getting votes, accumulating wealth and power. However, the recent wave of attacks on immigrants and the ruptures of relations with other African countries – especially where South African corporations are operating – have touched the most delicate nerves of the established political powers, who have vowed to advance corporate interests in making profits.
[Download the PDF here]
- Zabalaza #14 Editorial by Tina Sizovuka
South Africa and the DRC: Has Rhodes passed on the baton? by Shawn Hattingh (ZACF)
Class Rule Must Fall! More Statues, More Working Class by Leroy Maisiri
For How Long can South African Elites Keep Misleading the People? by Philip Nyalungu
SPEECH: Working Class Struggle, Blazing a Path to Freedom
by Lucien van der Walt
The General Approach of Anarchists/Syndicalists to the United Front and NUMSA by Jakes Factoria and Tina Sizovuka
In the Rubble of US Imperialism: The PKK, YPG and the Islamic State
by Shawn Hattingh (ZACF)
- The State of Climate Change by Bongani Maponyane (ZACF)
Building a Mass Anarchist Movement: The Example of Spain’s CNT by Thabang Sefalafala and Lucien van der Walt
Imperial Wars, Imperialism and the Losers: A Critique of Certain ‘Labour Aristocracy’ Theories by Lucien van der Walt
Black Stars of Anarchism:
Domingos Passos: The Brazilian Bakunin by Renato Ramos and Alexandre Samis
REVIEW: Spanish Revolution Remembered: Peirats’ “The CNT in the Spanish Revolution” reviewed by Jakes Factoria
The Anarchist Road to Revolution by Bongani Maponyane (ZACF)
Putting Politics into Practice: The Importance of Democracy and Education in Unions by Pitso Mompe (ZACF)
Anarchism and Counter-Culture: The Centrality of Ideas by Warren McGregor (ZACF)
Slogans like “Erase Rhodes”, “Rhodes so White,” and Rhodes must Fall,” emerging from student groups at South Africa’s elite universities, recently monopolised social media. These have taken off, because South Africa is in need of great structural change; 20 years after the important 1994 transition, many black people remain trapped in oppressive conditions.
No one would deny that during apartheid blacks, Coloureds and Indians were racially oppressed, abused, and as workers, exploited. If removing statues and changing place names can help solve the problems, and form part of a meaningful redress of past and present injustices, then such actions must be supported.
But can such demands really do so?
In 2013, Zabalaza/ ZACF took a decision to redirect our energies into certain aspects of our work that we felt were more urgent and immediately important at the time, given the challenges and conditions we were facing. The bad news is that this decision took its toll on our publishing work, which partly explains the long gap (over two years) between issues of our journal. The good news is that this reorientation has paid off elsewhere: hiccups notwithstanding, over the past two years our militants have participated in various new initiatives in and around Johannesburg, where we have witnessed a renewed and growing interest in anarchism. The inclusion of several new names in this issue is a much-welcomed reflection of these changes.
Over the past two years, there have been many important developments that deserve special consideration. We have tried to include our own, anarchist, appraisals of these where possible, although in some respects we have fallen unavoidably short. It is precisely because South Africa’s burning social and national issues remain unresolved (in fact they cannot be resolved within the existing capitalist and political party systems established in 1910 and 1994), that the country continues to undergo social turbulence, seen in strikes, union splits, struggles over symbols, and sadly, anti-immigrant attacks.
by D. (First of May Anarchist Alliance)
The following is a short summary of the anti-immigrant violence happening in several cities and townships in South Africa. The Report is made by a member of First of May Anarchist Alliance currently living in South Africa and has been slightly edited by the ZACF with the author’s consent.