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(en) ZABALAZA: A JOURNAL OF SOUTHERN AFRICAN REVOLUTIONARY ANARCHISM - No. 13 February 2013

Date Sat, 23 Feb 2013 15:10:38 +0200


A Journal of Southern African Revolutionary Anarchism --- Zabalaza --- “From each according to ability, to each according to need!” ---- “ Workers need... to use struggles for reforms, such as winning higher wages, to build towards seizing the land, mines, factories and other workplaces themselves so that they can run them through worker self-management for the benefit of everyone in society.” ---- CONTENTS ---- Editorial --- Southern Africa: --- Whose State is it; and What is its Role? by Shawn Hattingh (ZACF) p4
---- Who Rules South Africa?: An Anarchist/Syndicalist Analysis of the ANC, the Post-Apartheid Elite Pact and the Political Implications by Lucien van der Walt p7 ----
All GEARed Up for a New Growth Path – on the Road to Nowhere by Shawn Hattingh (ZACF) p13

Alternative Needed to Nationalisation and Privatisation: State Industries like South Africa’s ESKOM show Working Class deserves better by Tina Sizovuka and Lucien van der Walt p20

Get Rich or Lie Trying: Why ANC Millionaire Julius Malema posed as a
Radical, why he lost, and what this tells us about the Post-Apartheid ANC
by Tina Sizovuka and Lucien van der Walt p28

Municipalities, Service Delivery and Protest by Oliver Nathan p36

Africa:
Egypt: the Lost Transition and the Libertarian Alternatives by Yasser Abdullah p41

International:
A Close Look at the Syrian Revolution: An Anarchist among Jihadists by a Syrian comrade p43

Black Stars of Anarchism:
T.W. Thibedi (1888-1960): The Life of a South African Revolutionary Syndicalist by Lucien van der Walt p45

Book Review:
My Dream is to be Bold: Our Work to End Patriarchy reviewed by Jonathan Payn (ZACF)p47

Theory:
Linking Environment Activism and Other Struggles: An Anarchist
Analysis by Warren McGregor (ZACF) p.51

ZACF CONTACT DETAILS

POST: Postnet Suite 47, Private Bag X1, Fordsburg, South Africa, 2033
EMAIL: zacf@riseup.net
WEBSITE: www.zabalaza.net
PHONE: +27 72 399 0912

Editorial --- Red and black greetings, comrades!

It’s been well over a year since the last issue of Zabalaza
and much international attention has focused on the
socio-economic problems facing the European Union. De-
spite the ravages of capitalism, and its neo-liberal form, the
European ruling classes have responded, generally, with
more of the same: increased attacks on the working class
through propagating greater austerity measures, and less
money spent on social welfare on the one hand, and bail-outs
and more tax breaks for the rich on the other. As is to be ex-
pected, however, the European working class has not taken
this lying down; resistance to austerity imposed from above
has been widespread. In recent months we have witnessed,
in Greece, a one-day general strike on October 18 and a 48-
hour general strike on November 6 and 7. Promisingly, and
for the first time in the wake of the global economic crisis of
2008 – we have also witnessed a common European response
in the form of a general strike on November 14 that affected
Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal, with solidarity actions oc-
curring across much of the continent.

These global conditions have unleashed greater waves of
opposition to socio-economic and political domination. Yet, as
with protests and uprisings elsewhere over the last few years,
most have resulted in technical alterations at most, and not
in the fundamental dismantling of systems of exploitation
and domination. The sooner the working class realises that
elections can never bring about freedom from social and eco-
nomic oppression, the sooner we can march towards a free
and equal, or anarchist society.

Inspired by the Arab Spring, the year 2011 was – in the
West at least – characterised by the emergence of a number
of “Occupy” movements modelled on the Occupy Wall Street
movement. Not surprisingly, however (and with the notable
exception of Occupy Sandy, which played a significant role in
providing popular self-managed emergency response and
relief to victims of Hurricane Sandy in the United States) –
a lot of these have by now faded away without being very suc-
cessful either in winning improvements for the popular
classes or building sustainable movements in struggle. This,
again, highlights the centrality of ideas in the class struggle
and the necessity for strategic perspectives of building a rev-
olutionary working class counter-power and counter-culture.
Similarly, 2012 was marked by massive student struggles
in Quebec, Canada, that also saw workers and communities
coming out in a general strike alongside students. Unfortu-
nately, due to space limitations, we do not publish anything
on the Quebec students’ strikes in this edition of Zabalaza.
However, we intend to publish an analysis thereof by a
comrade from the ZACF’s sister organisation in Montreal,
Union Communiste Libertaire (UCL), in Zabalaza #14.

Locally, the South African ruling class has continued its as-
sault on the rural and urban working class (the organised,
unorganised and unemployed). A range of measures have
been proposed or implemented in an effort to alter labour and
community laws – won through bitter struggle – that offer
workers a semblance of protection from the bosses and com-
munities a bit of say in their locales. One example is a
Constitutional Court ruling holding unions liable for property
damage during strikes and protests. Ideologically the working
class finds itself unable to buttress these challenges. Its lead-
ers and spokespeople continue to offer tried and failed ideas
and strategies to counter economic deprivation and political
weakness. Inevitably they promote nationalism and other
such reactionary ideologies, seek to promote reliance on the
state.

Climate change and environmental degradation were on
the agenda for a range of activists at the end of 2011 as South
Africa hosted the COP-17 conference. We look at working
class priorities and their relation to fights for ecological con-
servation and improvement, and conclude that these must be
intrinsically linked to secure a better future – one of safe and
healthy work and leisure.

More recently, the police massacre of 34 striking mine-
workers at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in Rustenburg un-
leashed a wave of condemnation, but confusion still abounds.
In this issue we address the role of the state as the defender
of property and privilege in capitalist society. Since
Marikana, wildcat strikes and sit-ins have spread across the
platinum belt and into other mining sectors. In the Western
Cape province farmworkers – who, together with mine-work-
ers, perhaps suffer the harshest consequences of the legacy
of apartheid – have also gone out on strike in pursuit of im-
proved living and working conditions and higher minimum
wages. As with Marikana and the strikes in the mining sec-
tor, their just struggle has been met with harsh repression at
the hands of the state and farm bosses. Unfortunately at this
stage we cannot offer a South African anarchist analysis of
the strike wave that predated and followed the Marikana
massacre – for a variety of reasons. Partly we feel that the
significance of this period in our history and for future war-
rants a far deeper and closer look than was possible. Conflict-
ing reports and analyses continue to be released almost daily,
many of which are not drawn from honest reflection and
study. However, we hope to look more closely at the strike
wave in more detail in the next edition, after the dust has
settled.These are times of oppression and uncertainty for the
working class. They have also further revealed the confusion
and disorientation within the ranks of the authoritarian left.
We are offered fertile ground for anarchist agitation and ed-
ucation. We need to seize it! Anarchism has always stressed
the necessity of directly democratic organised, coordinated
struggle and commitment. As such it was with great enthu-
siasm that the ZACF sent a delegate to the 10th anniversary
of the Brazilian Forum of Organised Anarchism (FAO) and
the First Congress of the Brazilian Anarchist Coordination
(CONCAB) in Rio de Janeiro this past June. At this auspi-
cious event, the FAO was reconstituted as the Brazilian An-
archist Coordination (CAB). The CAB brings together nine
especifista anarchist political organisations in what is the
next step in the process of building a national anarchist or-
ganisation in that country.

In August we also had the opportunity to send two dele-
gates to Switzerland to the 140th anniversary of the St. Imier
International Anarchist Congress. Here we participated in
an international meeting of the Anarkismo network – which
brings together over 30 organisations from 18 different coun-
tries – in an attempt to charter a course of united global an-
archist action.

Comrades, the road ahead is hard, but the path is clear: the
world ripens again for the ideas of anarchism. We, the popu-
lar classes (the working class and peasantry), scream out for
a way forward: a movement beyond endless suffrage and
revolutionary betrayal. Let us arm ourselves with the correct
tools in which to defeat domination in all its forms: capitalism
and the state, racism and sexism, and many others. This, the
ZACF contends, must involve continuing to return to our
roots in the Bakuninist wing of the First International: a
strategic orientation towards serious, critical theoretical un-
derstanding which then informs organisation, strategy and
tactics.

In memory of this history of struggle, we begin in this edi-
tion a series of articles on “Black Stars of Anarchism”: anar-
chists and syndicalists of black African descent around the
world who, rejecting nationalism and the narrow politics of
identity, have united the struggle against racism and impe-
rialism with the class war against capital and state. In this
edition we tell the story of the great South African syndicalist
militant T.W. Thibedi, whose efforts nearly a century ago to
organise black workers around class politics still deserve to
be remembered as a revolutionary alternative to nationalism
and class collaboration.

Such an understanding and strategic orientation, based on
critiquing both the past and present, is surely the ammuni-
tion we need to beat back the devastation of economic oppres-
sion (capitalism in all its forms, whether state or free
market-orientated) and political domination (the state and
other relations of authority between and within classes).

It is with regret that we heard of the death on 28 January
of our friend and comrade Alan Lipman, age 88, who with his
wife Beata were among the drafters of the 1955 Freedom
Charter. Alan and Beata resigned from the Communist Party
in 1956 in disgust at the Soviet invasion of Hungary. He and
some African Resistance Movement guerrillas firebombed the
offices where the apartheid state was collecting data on black
women to put them on the dompas, so the couple fled into
exile in the UK where he got involved with the Campaign for
Nuclear Disarmament. Returning to SA in the democratic
era, the couple got involved with their local ANC branch, but
were soon very disillusioned with the ruling party's venality.
Although he maintained a life-long friendship with Walter &
Albertina Sisulu, he became a confirmed anarchist and ad-
dressed a ZACF/Anti-Privatisation Forum meeting at the Or-
ange Farm squatter camp in 2006 on what he called “the
Anti-Liberation Movements” (ANC/SACP). His autobiogra-
phy, “On the Outside Looking In: Colliding with Apartheid
and Other Authorities” (2009) was first published by
zabalaza.net. We shall miss his quiet wit, gregarious spirit
and sharp mind. Hamba Kahle, Comrade Alan!

As we close this editorial and prepare for publication,
bombs and white phosphorous continue to rain death and de-
struction on the men, women and children of Gaza, Palestine.
We also publish here an article by an Egyptian comrade writ-
ten on the eve of the Egyptian presidential elections.
Whether the outcomes of these elections will retain the pro-
US and pro-Israeli policies of the Mubarak regime, or support
the overwhelmingly pro-Palestinian aspirations of the Egypt-
ian popular classes – hundreds of whom have crossed the
Rafah border, some illegally, to support their Palestinian
brothers and sisters – remains, however, to be seen.

The Struggle Continues!
Forward to International Popular Class Unity!
Forward to Anarchism and to the free
Socialist Society!

Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front
November 2012
_________________________________________
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