The recent local government election results represent a decisive shift in the South African political landscape. It comes in the wake of years of ferocious class struggle in which all the contradictions of South African society have come to the surface in an explosive way. The result of these elections provides us with a snapshot into this process in which the collective mood of anger, frustration and disillusionment among the masses are the dominant features.

Over the last few days the Southern African country of Zimbabwe have experienced escalating protests which shook the Mugabe regime to its core. Sporadic protests have broken out over the last few weeks because of a severe shortage of cash. But over the last few days these protests have increased in intensity.  Dramatic scenes have played themselves out as  workers, civil servants and small traders took to the streets to protest against the latest crisis. This culminated in a national stay away on 6 July by public sector workers who have not received their wages for June.

Just slightly more than six weeks ahead of the 2016 Local government elections, the ANC is to battling on many fronts to contain the fallout from a deep political crisis. The party is deeply divided and in its weakest state ever. It is not only struggling to contain the wider social, economic and political crisis, but it is also forced to fight to manage the internal factional battles which is threatening to tear it apart.

On Monday 30th May, a special tribunal in Dakar, Senegal, convicted former Chadian dictator, Hissène Habré on several criminal charges including crimes against humanity, committed during his brutal eight years in power. He was also convicted of war crimes, rape, sexual slavery, torture and kidnapping. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

At a mass rally in Soweto on April 30th the Economic Freedom Fighters launched their manifesto for the August 3rd local government elections. This was a big event with a sea of red filling Orlando Stadium. For the working class people, the students and the poor who were in attendance, it was an opportunity to listen to Malema’s speech, in which he made the manifesto public.

Ships are presently sitting outside Nigerian ports with two and half million tonnes of refined fuel but are not unloading their cargo because local buyers cannot access enough dollars to pay for the importation. Planes are not taking off from airports in Nigeria due to lack of aviation fuel. Police have been stationed at petrol stations. The country is facing the most serious crisis in its history.

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