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South Africa

In defence of Naomi Klein's analysis of South Africa

By Patrick Bond

In response to Beware Electocrats: Naomi Klein on South Africa by Ronald Suresh Roberts in Radical Philosophy commentaries, July-August 2008, http://www.radicalphilosophy.com/default.asp?channel_id=2187&editorial_id=26668

Klein’s chapter on South Africa follows this exchange.

`Our passion to destroy capitalism ... remains unwavering': Declaration of the African Conference on Participatory Democracy

Johannesburg Declaration of the African Conference on Participatory Democracy

August 16, 2008

SACP leader Blade Nzimande addresses the conference.

As comrades and compatriots, gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa, August 14-16, 2008, from all parts of the world, at the African Conference on Participatory Democracy, hosted by the South African Communist Party and the Swedish Left Party under the auspices of the International Left Forum declare the following:.

Zimbabwe: A `power-sharing' deal for whom?

By Shawn Hattingh

Negotiations between the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) over the political future of Zimbabwe have reached a zenith in the past few weeks. It now seems almost inevitable that some sort of deal will be attained by the political masters of the MDC and ZANU-PF and that power sharing will become a reality. The mediator in the negotiation process, the South African government, has claimed that the outcome of the negotiations between these parties will lead to a new dawn in Zimbabwe. As part of this, we are assured that the corner has been turned and that democracy and freedom will be a reality in the beleaguered country in the near future.

South Africa's activist social justice research centre under attack

By Dennis Brutus and Patrick Bond

August 6, 2008 -- Durban's University of KwaZulu-Natal vice-chancellor Malegapuru Makgoba is expected to deliver an edict that the Centre for Civil Society will close on December 31. The reason given by dean Donal McCracken to a sceptical School of Development Studies (where the centre is housed) is that staff do not have "permanent" funding. But neither do most of the university's research units, and there is money in centre reserves for at least a couple of years, plus ongoing donor support for many of our projects.

Hence this "execution" will be doggedly resisted because UKZN still has many staff and students who remember the struggle for non-racial democracy and don't mind speaking out to challenge misguided decisions.

As the two most senior academics in the centre, holding an honorary professorship and tenured research chair, respectively, we will resist, despite what a UKZN internal report recorded -- an environment of "intimidation and bullying", in which management "deploys power rather than intellect", as Rhodes professor Jimi Adesina put it.

Photo exhibition: Durban, South Africa, UKZN Centre for Civil Society from August 1-September 3, 2008

Photographs by Oliver Meth, from the exhibition 'Breathing Spaces



Breathing Spaces exhibition can be viewed at UKZN Centre for Civil Society from 1 August - 3 September 2008.



About the Photographer

Southern African People's Solidarity Network's SADC Peoples' Summit 2008, Joburg, August 14-17, 2008

Announcing….

The SADC Peoples' Summit 2008

As the SADC Heads of State will be meeting in Johannesburg, South

Africa in 2008, the ordinary peoples of Southern Africa will also
converge in Johannesburg, South Africa from the 14th – 17th of August
2008 under the auspices of the Southern Africa Peoples' Solidarity
Network (SAPSN) to reclaim SADC for peoples' development and
solidarity.

The Peoples' Summit serves as a social movement planting and
strengthening forum in the SADC region. Alternative Information
Development Centre (AIDC), Economic Justice Network (EJN) and the
SAPSN Secretariat will co-host the Summit. The 2008 Summit will be
held under the theme ''Reclaiming SADC for People's Development in the
Southern Africa Through People to People Solidarity".

The following issues will be the main focus areas for the 2008 Summit:

South Africa: Treatment Action Campaign 10th Anniversary Conference, Cape Town, December 8-9, 2008

Treatment Action Campaign 10th Anniversary Conference and Edited Volume Cape Town, 8-9 December 2008 [provisional dates]


Call for papers

Conference theme: TAC's impact in its first decade and challenges for the
future

Authors are invited to submit abstracts (maximum 300 words) on any topic
related to the conference theme. The organisers intend publishing a volume
of the best papers from the conference during the first half of 2009.
Abstracts should be emailed to history@tac.org.za

* *

Deadline for submission: 31 August 2008

Overview

The xenophobia outbreak in South Africa: Strategic questions facing the new social movements

By Oupa Lehulere

June 2008 -- The township of Alexandra outside Johannesburg, South Africa, has a long history of resistance to oppression and exploitation. In the late 1950s Alex (as it is popularly referred to) was the centre of bus boycotts against increases in fares and of struggles against apartheid, in the 1980s Alex was the centre of building street committees that represented what were then called ``organs of people’s power’’ – forms of alternative government to the apartheid state, and in 2002 the event that announced the presence of the new social movements on the South African post-apartheid political landscape – the 20,000-strong march led by the Social Movements United – took place in Alex.

The fact that it was Alex that would go down in history as the township that expressed most publicly the reactionary attitudes held by working-class people against fellow working-class people from other parts of Africa throws into sharp relief the process of political and organisational decline that has been underway within the South Africa’s working class since 1994.

African Participatory Democracy Conference, Soweto, South Africa, August 14-16, 2008

AFRICAN PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY CONFERENCE

14-16 August 2008, Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa
See http://www.sacp.org.za/ for updates in due course.

1. Conference Details
1.1 Open invitation
1.2 Draft Conference Programme (see SACP web site)
1.3 Conference Themes
1.4 List of Speakers
1.5 List of participants
1.6 Media Accreditation

2. Registration details
2.1 Registration Form
2.2 Registration Fees

3. Call for papers
3.1 Conference Themes
3.2 Submission guidelines

4. Important dates (table omitted)
5. Conference Tour for Guests/Participants
6. Conference Invitation
6.1 Invitation to Exhibit company or organisational materials

7. Conference Gala Dinner
7.1 Invitation to Gala dinner
7.2 List of table hosts and guests

8. PLEDGES AND DONATIONS


1. CONFERENCE DETAILS
1.1 OPEN INVITATION

To: All Interested Organisations in Africa

INVITATION TO THE AFRICAN PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY CONFERENCE, 14-16

How international big business colluded with South Africa's apartheid regime; Audio added July 13, 2008

Dennis Brutus, veteran anti-apartheid campaigner, describes how US, British and other major multinational corporations colluded with the racist regime of apartheid South Africa. Brutus is attempting to win reparations for superprofits made through the exploitation and repression of black South African workers. For further background to this, go to ``Can reparations for apartheid profits be won in US courts?''.

 

 

* * *

Friday, July 11th, 2008

SOUTH AFRICAN POET DENNIS BRUTUS ON STEAL THIS RADIO!

Can reparations for apartheid profits be won in US courts?

By Patrick Bond

Dennis Brutus 

Durban, July 6, 2008 -- A telling remark about US imperialism's double standards was uttered by Clinton-era deputy treasury secretary Stuart Eizenstat, who a decade ago was the driver of reparations claims against pro-Nazi corporations, assisting plaintiffs to gain $8 billion from European banks and corporations which ripped off Holocaust victims' funds or which were 1930s beneficiaries of slave labour (both Jewish and non-Jewish).

But how about reparations for corporate profits made under South Africa's racist apartheid system? As a November 2002 keynote speaker for the “USA Engage” lobby of 650 multinational corporations organised to fight the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA), Eizenstat warned that South African reparations activists “can galvanise public opinion and generate political support,” and “may achieve some success despite legal infirmities''.

Political activism, class struggle -- not markets -- will save the planet

July 5, 2008 -- A political economist and activist who directs the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, Patrick Bond was a featured guest speaker at the Green Left Weekly Social Change — Climate Change conference held in Sydney, Australia, in April.

Author of a range of books, including Climate Change, Carbon Trading and Civil Society, Looting Africa: The Economics of Exploitation, and Walk Left, Talk Right: South Africa’s Frustrated Global Reforms, Bond is a long-time advocate for radical solutions to the climate and social catastrophe wraught by global capitalism.

Lauren Carroll Harris spoke to Bond at the conference about responses to climate change.

* * *

What has been the response of the market to the crisis of climate change and what role does carbon trading play?

Baruch Hirson: The South African left and the Russian connection (1991)

Click HERE to view a CVET video production of a seminar at the
University of the Western Cape on the past, present, and future of
Marxism in South Africa, held in September 1991. It was addressed by veteran South African Trotskyist activist Baruch Hirson. Participating in the seminar were Ciraj
Rassool, Baruch Hirson, Andrew Nash, Colin Bundy, Adam Habib, Paul
Allen and Neville Alexander.  

Baruch Hirson: The South African left and the Russian connection (1991)

Marxism in South Africa - Past, Present, & Future

September 6-8, 1991

Cuito Cuanavale: How Cuba fought for Africa’s freedom

By Barry Healy

June 14, 2008 -- This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale, a heroic struggle in which, between October 1987 and June 1988, in some of the fiercest fighting in Africa since the Second World War, the South African Defence Force (SADF) were humiliatingly defeated by liberation forces in Angola.

Cuban assistance to Angolan resistance to the SADF invasion was vital. Defeat at Cuito Cuanavale spelled the doom of apartheid and the victory of the South African liberation movement.

Former Cuban president Fidel Castro famously observed that “the history of Africa will be written as before and after Cuito Cuanavale”. In South Africa’s Freedom Park, outside Pretoria, 2070 names of Cubans who fell in Angola are inscribed alongside those of South Africans who died during the anti-apartheid struggle.

South Africa: Water struggles from Johannesburg and beyond

By Dale T. McKinley

It’s been five years since residents of the poor community of Phiri (Soweto) were first confronted with the practical consequences of the City of Johannesburg’s corporatisation and commodification (read: privatisation) of water delivery. That was when Phiri was chosen as the first community in the Johannesburg Metro to ``benefit'' from the implementation of its Operation Gcin’amanzi. What subsequently happened has now been well documented many times over: the surreptitious and forcible installation of pre-paid water meters under the pretext of fixing ageing infrastructure; the victimisation and cutting-off of supply to those who refused; and, sustained resistance pitting community residents – organised through the Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF) and the newly formed Coalition Against Water Privatisation (CAWP) -- against an ``unholy alliance'' of Johannesburg Water, the City of Johannesburg, state prosecutors, the South African Police Services and private security firms.

Musical interlude: Abdullah Ibrahim's Mannenberg (Is Where It's Happening)

Mannenberg


Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand) is seen here visiting Mandela's cell on Robben Island, and wandering in and around Cape Town -- including the famed District Six and Mannenberg -- to the soundtrack of his now classic South African jazz tune Mannenberg (Is Where It's Happening).

Migrant workers in South Africa: Photography and social justice struggles

Born in Durban and the author of a forthcoming book on Wentworth in Durban, Peter Mckenzie was a co-founder of the photo collective Afrapix agency under the auspices of the South African Council of Churches and the chief photographer for Drum magazine until the late 1980s before going freelance. He was also the co-ordinator and facilitator of the photojournalism department at the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism from 1996 to 1999. Mckenzie has published and exhibited both in South Africa and internationally, and is recognised as one of South Africa's greatest photographers.

Below, McKenzie provides a commentary on aesthetics and representation strategies for popular movements committed to social justice.


 

 

Pre-post: A trajectory in South African photography

By Peter Mckenzie, Sean O’ Toole and Jo Ractliffe

Sean: Very often in discussions of contemporary South African photography, and I would say I’m a guilty culprit here too, commentators have tended to speak of the 1990s signalling a break in continuity. After decades of socially committed photography, Drum magazine in the 1950s and early 1960s, and more pointedly the socially committed vision of the Afrapix collective in the 1980s, it seems that after Mandela’s release and the transition to a non-racial democracy photography splintered. At least so goes the master narrative. Or will history, which is good at flattening things, simply define the 1990s as the identity decade?

Xenophobia tears apart South Africa's working class

By Thandokuhle Manzi and Patrick Bond

May 26, 2008 -- The low-income black township here in Durban which suffered more than any other during apartheid, Cato Manor, was the scene of a test performed on a Mozambican last Wednesday morning (May 21). At 6:45am, in the warmth of a rising subtropical winter sun, two unemployed men strolling on Belair Road approached the middle-aged immigrant. They accosted him and demanded, in the local indigenous language isiZulu, that he say the word meaning ``elbow'' (this they referred to with their hand). The man answered ``idolo'', which unfortunately means ``knee''. The correct answer is ``indololwane''. His punishment: being beaten up severely, and then told to ``go home''.

 

March against xenophobia, Johannesburg, May 24, 2008.

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