The South African working class movement has a long tradition of singing revolutionary songs and toy-toying as a way of expressing its ideas, anger and willingness to struggle. The 11th Congress of the South African Communist Party (SACP), held from July 24-28 2002 in Rustenburg in the North West Province, was no exception. This time revolutionary songs reflected very well the anger of the rank and file delegates against the policies and leadership of the ANC which have failed in government to solve any of the problems facing the South African workers and the poor. The only way forward is energetic organization around a clear, genuinely socialist programme.
Hosting the World Summit for Sustainable Development was an important test for the ANC government in South Africa. Since it came to power in 1994 the ANC government has pursued openly pro-capitalist policies. A growing protest movement has emerged, particularly from the poorest townships where residents are being cut off from water and electricity and evicted because they cannot pay their bills.
A massive march marked the first day of the 2-day general strike called by COSATU in South Africa to protest against the privatisation plans of the ANC government, and against job losses and poverty which have been aggravated by the recent increases in the prices of staple foods. Report from Johannesburg by Jorge Martin.
As was to be predicted the ANC government and the employers made a combined effort to discredit COSATU's two-day general strike on October 1 and 2. The strike has opened the doors for an all-out attack on COSATU by the right wing of the ANC. This started with Thabo Mbeki's statements on Friday to the effect that the "ANC is not a vehicle for socialism" and that anyone who disagreed was welcomed to leave, and accusing COSATU of being infiltrated by the "ultra-left".
In Part Two of his article, Didi Cheeka shows how Soyinka's works express
the struggle for " the liberation of the individual, for the individual, by
the individual and the removal of general liberation for the mass of the people".
It arises from the petit-bourgeois intellectual's conception of human nature in completely individualistic terms, divorced from
all social being. It is, nevertheless, a tribute to Soyinka that at the height
of the ethnic cleansing that presaged the Nigeria/Biafra civil war he was shrill
in his condemnation of the perpetrators. He paid for this with 27 months in
detention. Again he protested against the brutal repression of students in 1978.
But his individual and petit-bourgeois approach has now led him to have
illusions in the present party of government, the PDP.
Wole Soyinka is a prominent Nigerian playwright, and in 1986, he became
the first African writer ever to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In
October 1965, Soyinka was arrested for allegedly seizing the Western Region
radio studios and using them to publicly dispute the published results of the
recent elections, but in December of the same year, he was acquitted. Didi
Cheeka of the Workers' Alternative Editorial Board looks at the ideas and
works of this well known writer.
In May 1997 Kabila came to power in the former Zaire (which he renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo), ousting dictator Mobutu. The US diplomacy was euphoric. They now had a string of "client" regimes which included Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda, Rwanda, the DR of Congo and also a great deal of South Africa's foreign policy in the region was dictated by Washington. But many things have happened since. At least nine African countries have become involved in the Congo conflict which broke out on August 2. What is the meaning of the conflict in the DR of Congo?
Phineas Malapela, member of the Executive of the Anti-Privatisation Forum and member of the Vaal Working Class Communities Co-ordinating Committee spoke to In Defence of
Marxismbefore the recent October 1-2 general strike in South Africa. He explains the devastating effects of the privatisation policies of the ANC government on ordinary working class people in South Africa and explains how people are organising to defend themselves.
When King Hassan II died at the end of the last century all expectations of
change were concentrated in the figure of his son Mohammed VI. Fascination
grew over this young and apparently modern monarch who announced he would
transform his country, establish the rule of law and lead it successfully into
the 21st century. Expectations were running high. Only one
year after his arrival, the royal reform movement stalled - the
alliance of the Throne and the socialists has not delivered the results the
masses had hoped and waited for. This is a recipe for future explosions in the