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(en) Southern africa, ZACF Response to the lies of The Times of Swaziland

Date Thu, 19 Jan 2006 12:41:38 +0200


Zabalaza DOES NOT claim bombing of police van
A letter to the editor of The Times of Swaziland, which carried an
article in the January 15th edition falsely saying that the Zabalaza
Anarchist Communist Federation claimed responsibility for bombing a police van.
In The Times of Swaziland, Sunday Edition of January 15, under the
headline "Zabalaza's claims of bombing police van" by Mduduzi
Magagula it seems to us that he has misread the report when he says
"Also shocking in the claims is that they stoned and petrol bombed a
police vehicle in Manzini during a PUDEMO organised demonstration recently."
The newspaper quotes our website as saying “Our organisation
together with PUDEMO comrades took control of a certain territory
around Manzini and it is then that an armored police “hippo”
wandered into comrade controlled territory, was stoned and petrol
bombed,”

What Zabalaza actually said can be read at
http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=1462 :

"Countering Saturday's SWAYOCO demonstration in which the
ZACF participated, the Royal Swazi Police fired warning shots and
in the resulting chaos, arrested "MK" and seven SWAYOCO
comrades. Last month, however, the shoe was on the other foot,
when an armored police "hippo" that wandered into
comrade-controlled territory found itself stoned and petrol-bombed."

Nowhere did we claim, nor have we ever done so, to have stoned or
petrol bombed a police vehicle, or any other symbol of oppression for
that matter. In fact the ZACF has consistently been against terrorism
in favour of mass popular mobilisation. Which can be seen in our
public statements on the September 11 WTC attacks (found online
here: http://www.zabalaza.net/recent/wtc_911_attacks.htm), the
bombings in Madrid (found online here:
http://www.zabalaza.net/news/news02.htm) and in London (found
online here: http://www.zabalaza.net/news/news03.htm).

Please note also that we have never claimed, “to be even
mightier than PUDEMO or SWAYOCO” nor have we claimed
“to have members in most parts of the country".

Therefore, in defense of our organisation, which we feel has been
misrepresented; we declare the following:

1) The ZACF, which operates in both South Africa and Swaziland,
supports the pro-democracy movement in Swaziland, but it does so
realising that the Swazi political system can only be changed
democratically by the bulk of the Swazi popular classes organising en
masse to change it at grassroots level into a form acceptable to
themselves. A few people running around with petrol-bombs is both
insufficient to change the system and is an anti-democratic
substitution of shadowy unaccountable individuals for democratic
mass action.

2) Therefore, the ZACF as a whole has no policy of petrol-bombing
state or capitalist targets, and its membership in Swaziland have
denied to our annual regional congress in December 2005 to having
taken part in any such bombings. The report carried on our website
of the attack on the hippo has been misread to suggest that ZACF
members participated in the attack. The reference to
"comrade-controlled" territory simply implies territory controlled, at
least at the time, by comrades of the pro-democratic movement, not
necessarily ZACF members.

3) The ZACF remains committed to the struggle for mass
participatory democracy for all people resident in Swaziland (and
more broadly in southern Africa) but, as The Times of Swaziland
article correctly reported, "agitates to go beyond the usual bourgeois
betrayal and involve a destruction of the Swazi capitalist state and its
replacement by decentralised popular assemblies" of the working
class, poor and peasantry.

In solidarity with the struggling Swazis,
Jonathan Payn, International Secretary, Zabalaza Anarchist
Communist Federation (southern Africa)
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