South Africa

Nearly 50 years ago, in 1964, Nelson Mandela ― along with many other comrades in the struggle for the liberation of South Africa from racist white domination under apartheid ― was sentenced to life in prison. His statement to the court, made when he was facing the real threat of execution, remains a historic demonstration of defiance and resistance.
When I reported from South Africa in the 1960s, the Nazi admirer Johannes Vorster occupied the prime minister's residence in Cape Town. Thirty years later, as I waited at the gates, it was as if the guards had not changed. White Afrikaners checked my ID with the confidence of men in secure work. One carried a copy of Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela's autobiography. “It's very eenspirational,” he said.
The article below is abridged from the statement released by South Africa's National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa to mark the 20th anniversary of the assassination of Chris Hani. When Hani was gunned down by a wihte supremacist on April 10, 1993, he was a leader of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the African National Congress (ANC).Aged 50 when he was killed, Hani was a veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle. He joined the ANC Youth League aged 15 and became a leader of the ANC's armed wing.
A professional athlete; a home with an arsenal of firearms; a dead young woman involved in a long-term relationship with her killer. In November, her name was Kasanda Perkins and the man who shot her was Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher. Now her name is Reeva Steenkamp, killed by Olympic sprinter and double amputee Oscar “the Blade Runner” Pistorius.
The article below was presented by Karl Cloete, deputy general-secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) on October 10 at a conference at Cornell University in New York. NUMSA is South Africa's second-largest union, with almost 290,000 members in the smelting, manufacturing, auto and electricity generation industries. It is abridged from Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal * * *
The murder of 34 miners by the South African police, most of them shot in the back, puts paid to the illusion of post-apartheid democracy and illuminates the new worldwide apartheid of which South Africa is both a historic and contemporary model. In 1894, long before the infamous Afrikaans word foretold “separate development” for the majority people of South Africa, an Englishman, Cecil John Rhodes, oversaw the Glen Grey Act in what was then the Cape Colony.
“One of the things you learn as an anthropologist, you don’t come in and change the culture,” Dartmouth College president Jim Yong Kim told wealthy alumni when contemplating the institution’s notorious hazing practices, prior to US President Barack Obama’s request in February that he move to the World Bank. Kim’s Harvard doctorate and medical degree, his founding of the heroic NGO Partners in Health and his directorship of the World Health Organization’s AIDS division make him the best-educated, most humane World Bank president yet.
Pressure from trade unions and human rights groups has stopped plans by South African authorities to charge striking mine workers with the massacre of 34 of their own comrades. Those killed had been shot by police on August 16. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) have been competing for members at the Lomin mining corporation's platinum mine at Marikana in South Africa.
In the aftermath of the terrible Marikana massacre on August 16, many statements have been released by South Africa's left, condemning and explaining the murder of more than 34 miners that day and several others in the weeks previously. Many of these statements can be read at Green Left Weekly's sister publication Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal. Below is the August 23 statement by the Democratic Left Front, a South African anti-capitalist group formed in January last year. * * *
The aricle below is an August 18 editorial in progressive South African magazine Amandla. * * * No event since the end of Apartheid sums up the shallowness of the transformation in this country like the Marikana massacre. What occurred will be debated for years. It is already clear the mineworkers will be blamed for being violent. The mineworkers will be painted as savages.

In Marikana, South Africa, at least 35 striking miners were shot dead by police and another 78 wounded on August 16. The incident, which was caught on tape, took place as police were trying to clear striking miners from a hilltop outside of the Lonmin mine. In response to authorities firing stun grenades and tear gas, a number of miners began to charge. Without warning, dozens of officers opened fire with automatic weapons.

Furious emerging farmers in the Kareeberg municipality in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province have decided to stop paying rent for the municipal-owned land they are farming. These farmers have been robbed, prevented access to and ownership of land by colonial conquest, segregation and apartheid. Now, South Africa’s protection of capitalist property and its neoliberal state policies are keeping them landless.