Tag: South Africans
Twenty years of local democracy in South Africa has been very cruel for Abahlali baseMjondolo and for millions of other poor people. It has been 20 years of hell in shacks. It has been 20 years of living like pigs in the mud. It has been 20 years of living with rats, floods, fire and rotting rubbish. For those of us who have stood up for our humanity, our reward has been lies, assault, torture, wrongful arrest, the destruction of our homes and even assassination.
We do not count to this society and this world. We can be driven from our homes, beaten, tortured and murdered with impunity. It is our responsibility to build a new politics, a politics that respects the dignity of all people, a politics that restores the land and wealth of the world to the people, a politics in which there are no people who can be freely driven from their homes and freely killed, a politics in which everyone counts.
Perhaps it’s a false contradiction. But today there are many who stress the pacifist message with which South Africa’s Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) emerged from prison in 1990, while few put an emphasis on his rebellion against apartheid, including armed rebellion, which landed him in prison. Mandela was a political activist and a revolutionary at least since 1942.
Baba Mandela passed today after a lengthy illness. Though he was not without faults, he was a great man and a decent human being who loved his people so much he literally gave his liberty for their freedom. He sacrificed his life and his life with his family for the liberation of South Africans through the African National Congress, an organization he, as a young attorney, helped found.
On June 20, a growing group of organizations gathered at Community House in Salt River to form the NObama Coalition Cape Town, aligning itself to the already formed NObama Johannesburg. The aim of the coalition is to mobilize widespread protest against Obama’s visit to Africa while exposing U.S. imperialism.
It is one of the ironies of history that the descendants of the beleaguered Warsaw Ghetto in Poland, subjected to the bitter hatreds and repression of the Nazis, have established an entire sea of the oppressed and impoverished on their periphery: the open-air prison ghettoes of Palestine, Gaza and the West Bank.
South African President Jacob Zuma, in his State of the Nation address, promised to speed the pace of land redistribution and housing construction to replace the country’s urban shantytowns, but nearly 20 years after the end of apartheid, the number of people living in shantytowns has doubled and the state violence to evict the residents has increased.