by Lekhetho Mtetwa
(Tokologo African Anarchist Collective)
It is clear that the rights of the working class and poor people on the ground are not recognised by those in power, and will never be. After the 1994 elections, ordinary people thought that they will feel and enjoy real democracy. But to their surprise, things didn’t work the way they thought. People are being demoralised, threatened and killed when they stand up. It is now difficult for people to exercise their democratic rights.
It’s clear that voting won’t bring any change in people’s lives. The whole system is run by a small ruling class. Voting does not change the system. By voting we are just fooling ourselves about our rights. People voted in 1994 because they thought their votes will bring complete changes in their lives. No one thought of suffering after voting in the first elections. Promises were made by so-called leaders in order to be voted into power. Their promises were a big lie.
What might be the reason for them to do so? They want to be voted in order to introduce policies that benefit only them – they joined the ruling class. We have also seen that after the politicians get voted in, things remain difficult. Capitalism, the GEAR policy and privatisation all took place. We must recognise that these only suit the top government officials in departments, and the big businesses.
When the first ANC president took over in 1994, privatisation started to spread faster, and millions of people started to lose their jobs; companies closed. The currency dropped, making goods like petrol more expensive . The blood of innocent people was shed. A new apartheid showed up. Life became more difficult, harder. People were retrenched; debts rose and hunger took over. Capitalism made things worse.
Today companies, factories and the government all make profit out of the poor. Yes, it is better to have the Constitution than apartheid, but it is still not a real democracy for the working class and poor.
People are still waiting for what they were promised. Will they ever get what was promised to them?
Looking at things, I don’t think so. It’s 20 years of capitalist “democracy” and people are still facing many difficulties. There is no change in poverty and suffering since the new ANC government was elected. Will change come? No, we are being fooled and used.
As long we still believe in the government/ state, nothing will change as they are all after profit-making and about controlling people’s lives through their laws and their police.
Voting is a system that kills innocent souls. It is part of the system that oppresses the poor, makes them poorer and makes the rich richer. Although people have voted many times, we have lost lots of comrades due to the brutality of the government and its forces. Whenever people try to exercise their rights (as the Constitution promises), such as rights to jobs, meetings and decent conditions, they are threatened by police brutality. Many comrades have died or been jailed in protests against evictions, retrenchments and hunger. They wanted to know what happened to the promises made to them by those in power, those they voted for.
Today many people live in fear as the government brutalises their rights. Is it what we voted for? This is the question that rings in people’s mind when we see what happened with the Marikana massacre.
We need to bear in mind that our brothers and sisters fought the previous apartheid government due to its brutality towards our people. And even today we are still fighting the government, and in the same way they fought the previous one.
Government is there to oppress the poor. Beware – danger is at hand. It is what we will experience as long we keep on putting our trust on the system of voting for the government. Recently it is worse, as we see the new SAPS Tactical Reaction Team (called Amabherede) shooting at protesters who are not harmful, but peaceful. A peaceful march often turns to be a Blood River. And this, after the “shoot to kill” policy was championed by Bheki Cele, the corrupt former National Police Commissioner.
Such systems only benefit the minority instead of majority. It is only the ruling class minority deciding over the working class majority which is totally undemocratic. But why do they act like tyhis? This is a big question. In simple terms, it is their desire to rule over the rest of humankind for their own benefit.
What we know is that real majority rule does not exist . It is clear that the Constitution is used to blind us into believing that we have real democracy.
But what is meant by democracy? Democracy is when people are living an equal life style, with equal access to power and education, and when they share according to their ability and need. What we see today is not democracy, but a system that is demon-crazy!
The system needs to be changed, to be replaced with a new anarchist democracy that leads to equality in living and deciding. People need to organise themselves in order to take over the factories and land and demolish the authoritarian government / state structure. Spreading and understanding a revolutionary and anarchist propaganda will help to conquer and defeat the enemy and its system that rules us with an iron rod.
It is us, the working class and poor, who are giving them power to rule us with an iron rod. We are living under a dangerous system – and voting to keep the minority in power won’t help us.