South Africa: Workers and poor the biggest losers in Zuma’s reign of state capture

South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma at the SACP 2012 national congress. Photo: Mark Waller   The left allies of the governing ANC at first backed the ex-president but ended up apologizing for having done so It’s been a surreal time in South Africa, where events went into overdrive in February after a period of political torpor heading for seemingly permanent logjam. The recall mid-month of president Zuma by his party, the African National Congress, followed by his resignation as head of state and the speedy inauguration of Cyril Ramaphosa as the country’s head of state ended a long run of … Continue reading

South Africa: A sort of justice for Ahmed Timol – freedom fighter murdered by secret police in 1971

It’s taken 46 years for some sort of justice to prevail in the case of Ahmed Timol, the anti-apartheid activist killed in police custody when South Africa was under racist white rule. Timol was the twenty-second person to be killed in police custody following the introduction in 1967 of the Terrorism Act. This allowed for indefinite detention without trial. Timol was a member of the South African Communist Party (SACP), which was banned by the apartheid regime. In October 1971, he was arrested for being in possession of the communist party newsletter Inkululeko-Freedom and other material. A few days later he was … Continue reading

Achieving Democracy

ferguson- i am

Are we getting there? In the years following the independence of the 13 colonies from Britain, voting rights for  women and native Americans were only extended very gradually (1920 and 1924 respectively).  For African Americans the picture is complicated by the different laws in the states, even after the Emancipation Proclamation. Many non white Americans weren’t actually able to exercise their right to vote in the segregated south well into the middle of the 20th century.  Even today, extensive gerrymandering and selective use of felony disbarments as well as ID voting conditions continue to be used to exclude black citizens from … Continue reading