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African National Congress

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    Twenty Years of Democracy in South Africa: Should We Celebrate?

    by Mpoletsang Raymond Montshosi

    Twenty years of nominal Black rule has failed to change relationships of wealth and economic power in South Africa – the world’s most unequal country. “An average African man earns in the region of R2,400 per month, whilst an average white man earns around R19,000 per month.”

    Freedom Rider: Miners Shot Down

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    A new film, Miners Shot Down, shows in graphic detail the massacre of dozens of miners at Marikana, South Africa, in 2012. “Footage from the South African police shows the miners being penned in by barbwire, mowed down by a fusillade and the survivors being hunted down yet again.” The slaughter may mark the beginning of the end of a Black-led regime that sold out its people.

    Nelson Mandela and Collective Power

    by Kevin Alexander Gray

    Whatever verdict history decrees on three decades of nominal Black rule in South Africa, one thing is certain: Nelson Mandela is not the only person responsible. The unfinished struggle was a collective effort. “Moderates and radicals, ANC members and non-members, martyrs, marchers, clergy, secular, individuals and organizations made up the collective.” Indeed, lots of the change-makers weren’t even South African.

    Freedom Charter is Key to New Struggle for South Africa

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    “Marikana was the great shock to the national consciousness, and Mandela’s death brought a final end to the pretense of social transformation.” In the transition from apartheid, the ruling African National Congress chose Black capitalism and neoliberalism. But, trade unionists plan to create a workers party that will fight for implementation of the Freedom Charter – and socialism.

    Black South Africa Rediscovers Itself – Will Black America?

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    South Africa appears poised to reclaim its revolutionary legacy from the clutches of the African National Congress, which has “devolved into a fat and corrupt partner of white capital.” As the Age of Obama nears its end, Black America must also awake from the catastrophe of racial symbolism and self-delusion.

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    The African National Congress: The Rise and Tragic Fall of a Revolutionary Movement

    by Anthony Monteiro

    Black “rule” in South Africa is illusory. “White supremacy without the obvious hand of white people is the form of social and political control, which replaces legal apartheid.” The revolution was derailed. “The road from the Freedom Charter, to the Morogoro Consultative Conference, to the 1994 elections, to the murder of 34 miners at Mirikana in 2012, is the ANC’s road to counter-revolution.”

    Nelson Mandela’s Long Death

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    As Nelson Mandela lay for nine months near death, the world got an education on his legacy – including the scope of the deal that he and his African National Congress comrades cut to abandon the Freedom Charter. Blacks got the vote, and little else, while whites held on to economic power. Imperialism got a new lease on life in Africa.

    South Africa and Zimbabwe: A Tale of Two Land Reforms

    by Harold Green

    >

    When Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe attended the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, he “received the loudest cheers and applause” among the dignitaries. Zimbabwe’s successful land reform stands in stark contrast to South Africa, where “barely 10% of farm land has been redistributed,” and the wealth gap – which is a race gap – “has become one of the most unequal in the world.”

    Freedom Rider: Talking About Mandela

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Nelson Mandela belongs to history now. We should be able to look at his whole life, his whole record in perspective. That perspective ought to include who is praising Nelson Mandela nowadays and why.

    Reconciliation is Not Decolonization

    by BAR columnist Jemima Pierre

    Nelson Mandela certainly led an inspirational life, but the “liberation” of South Africa has been the continent’s most spectacular failure. Mandela and his party “reneged on their own Freedom Charter which promised that land, the national mineral wealth, the banking systems, as well as all other industry and trade be nationalized and used to the benefit of South Africa’s majority.”

    Nelson Mandela, The Contradictions Of His Life And Legacies

    by Anthony Monteiro

    Nelson Mandela lived a long life, with 3 careers, one before he was locked up, another while in prison, and a third after his 1990 release. Dr. Anthony Monteiro reflects upon the life, the lessons and the legacies of Nelson Mandela.

    Eyewitness to America Betraying Mandela's South Africa: The Gore - Mbeki Commission

    by Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

    Nelson Mandela's ANC leadership negotiated the form of the new South Africa on two tracks, the political wrangling in one set of meetings, & the decisions on the nation's economic future separately at another location, headed by Thabo Mbeki. The results were predictable, as Miriam Makeba said: "We got the flag, but they got to keep the money."

    South Africa: 'World Class' for the Few, 'Third Class' for the Rest

    by Dale T. McKinley

    South Africa’s rulers’ pretensions to world rank have more to do with their own narrow class aspirations than with broad questions of social justice and democracy. The land of Mandela is a classy place for the upper classes, but a world of deepening poverty for the majority.

    Steve Biko and the Quest for Black Power Today

    by Veli

    Next April 27 marks the 20th anniversary of the first majority rule elections in South Africa. Many will be wondering what all the celebration is about, and what martyred Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko’s guidance would be. “We must locate Biko in the struggle against the state under the ANC, which has adopted an increasingly anti-black stance, in pursuance of its neo-liberal agenda.”

    How the ANC's Faustian Pact Sold Out South Africa's Poorest

    by Ronnie Kasrils

    A veteran of the South African freedom struggle and its Black-led government says the African National Congress’ soul “was eventually lost to corporate power: we were entrapped by the neoliberal economy – or, as some today cry out, we ‘sold our people down the river.’"

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 5/20/13

    Black Studies Under Assault

    We have been under siege for ten years, maybe longer,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, professor of African American studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia. “It’s been under attack because what African American studies represents is a fundamental paradigm challenge to the white academy.” Monteiro was part of a conference on Black studies held over the weekend at Temple, the first institution to offer a PhD in the discipline, in 1988. “We are not beholden to these other departments and disciplines,” he said. “In fact, our world view emerges from a deep critique of what they do – and that’s where the blowback comes from.”

    FBI “Fishing Expedition” Against the Press

    Attorney General Eric Holder’s claim that he should absent himself from the investigation of the FBI’s seizure of Associated Press phone records is “all about trying to maintain plausible deniability” of involvement, said Kevin Gosztola, a journalist with FireDogLake.com who has written extensively on government spying. It is “cowardice, frankly, said Gosztola, “to not want to face the media, who would be outraged when they found out that an establishment news media organization was the victim of an FBI fishing expedition.”

    No FEAR Act anniversary

    The federal No FEAR Act, signed into law 11 years ago, “came out of an incredibly hostile work environment throughout the federal government,” said Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, a whistleblower and former Environmental Protection Agency senior analyst. “Our goal was to change the culture of how government works. We didn’t quite achieve that,” she said, but “there was one moment in history when federal employees said: To hell with the jobs, to hell with the benefits, I’m going to fight for justice.”

    President Obama the Best Choice Imperialism Ever Made

    One of the greatest accomplishments for imperialism, is that he has moved more of our people into the imperial camp,” said Kali Akuno, of the Malcolm X Grass Roots Movement. Akuno spoke on the Your World News documentary film, The More Effective Evil: The Impact of President Obama on the Black Community and Humanity, produced by Solomon Comissiong. “Whoever the folks are who trained him and have been his handlers, from the imperialist perspective, should be given their props, because they picked a good one.”

    South Africa “Most Unequal” Society in the World

    Many of South Africa’s Black political elite “have used the opportunities to accumulate at the expense of the vast majority,” said Molefi Ndlovu, a community activist and researcher at the Center for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, in Durban. “That’s why we can speak of South Africa as being the most unequal society in the world, more than Brazil and other places,” said Ndlovu, speaking on the latest edition of Black Agenda Television. “It makes a lot of us a bit nervous about exactly where is the soul of the” [ruling African National Congress] party going.”

    Selective Federal Gun Prosecutions in Black Indianapolis

    In conjunction with a local police offensive, the U.S. Attorney in Indianapolis has vowed to fully prosecute gun crimes in five so-called “hot zones” – all of them centered in Black neighborhoods – but not in the rest of the city. Rev. Byron Vaughn, of Prisoners Reformed United, says the policy represents selective, racial law enforcement. “They made it a racial issue,” said Rev. Vaughn, a former prison inmate. People are being singled out because of “where they live.”

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    100 Years of the ANC: From Liberation Movement to State Power in South Africa

     

    by Adèle Kirsten and Tshepo Madlingozi

    There is no doubt that South Africa is in deep crisis – an unfinished revolution. “The land question is unresolved, economic redistribution is not addressed, racial equality is not attained.” Yet the ruling African National Congress remains deeply embedded in the nation’s political culture. “The ANC remains the central organizational pivot in South Africa’s peoples’ lives.”

    A “Triple” Betrayal in South Africa

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    The arrangement whereby whites surrendered political control of South Africa, while continuing to dominate the economy, has become indefensible. “Workers seeking to organize outside the government-sanctioned unions are hunted down and prosecuted under spurious charges, physically tortured and vilified as enemies of the state.”

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    What Happened to South Africa’s Freedom Charter

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    South Africa’s current crisis is rooted in the road wrongly taken 1994, when the African National Congress and its allies agreed not to upset the corporate order, in exchange for one-person, one-vote. Those chickens are now coming home to roost, as the ANC enforces the corporate order and workers reject union leaders who, they believe, work for the bosses.

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