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

How Fidel Castro helped end Apartheid

Fidel Castro addressing a crowd in Havana, circa 1978.

Many people see the death of Fidel Castro as the end of an era. Yet the Castroite legacy is alive in one form. Cuba has played a key role lending support to national liberation movements around the world. One major site of struggle during this period was Southern Africa. There the Cuban leader backed the ANC to the hilt when Nelson Mandela was widely regarded as a ‘terrorist’. Castro opposed European colonialism and fostered ties with independence leaders. This was not simply tactical, it was a part of an emancipatory process. Contrary to popular misconceptions, the Cuban revolution was really … Continue reading

“Don’t take us for granted!” – voters give African National Congress a dose of tough love

TSHWANE, SOUTH AFRICA – Interest in countries’ local elections is usually confined within state borders, while national elections nearly always attract international attention. Not so South Africa’s municipal elections on August 3, which made headlines around the world. The elections saw the ruling African National Congress (ANC) lose its outright majorities in half of the country’s eight urban hubs, the metropolitan municipalities of Tshwane (Pretoria), Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, and Nelson Mandela Bay. The major ascendant parties are the conservative Democratic Alliance (DA) and the left-populist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). A massive 204 political parties contested the elections, 68 per cent more … Continue reading