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dinsdag 17 december 2013

LAST NEWS TODAY - dinsdag 17 december

Dinsdag, 17 december 2013


Vlaamse regering maakt 125 miljoen vrij voor lastenverlaging - De Standaard
De Standaard / 10min
De Vlaamse regering trekt volgend jaar 125 miljoen euro uit voor lastenverlagingen voor bedrijven. Het geld is vooral bedoeld voor jongere werknemers en voor werknemers boven de 55. Dinsdag trekt de Vlaamse regering met het akkoord naar het overleg ...
LEZEN  +
Antwerpen start 'kliklijn' tegen nieuwjaarsfooien - Knack.be
Knack.be / 32min
In Antwerpen mogen vuilnismannen- en vrouwen niet langer aanbellen bij inwoners voor een nieuwjaarsfooi. Indien ze dit wel doen, kan een sanctie volgen. Printen; Vergroten; Verkleinen. Antwerpen start 'kliklijn' tegen nieuwjaarsfooien. Vuilzak © BELGA.
LEZEN  +
Vierde Belg bij ManU - Sport.be
Sport.be / 35min
Manchester United heeft een vierde Belg opgenomen in zijn selectie. Charni Ekangamene draagt vanaf nu het shirt met nummer 43 en kan dus worden opgesteld bij het eerste elftal van de Mancunians. Ekangamene is een 19-jarige Antwerpenaar met ...
LEZEN  +
"Geen bewijs dat SAS betrokken was bij dood Diana" - De Morgen
De Morgen / 21min
dm UPDATE De Britse politie (MET) heeft "geen geloofwaardig bewijs" dat een speciale elite-eenheid van het Britse leger, de Special Air Services (SAS), betrokken was bij de dood van prinses Diana en Dodi Al Fayed in 1997. Dat hebben Britse media ...
LEZEN  +
Antwerpse winkels straks elke zondag open - Gazet van Antwerpen
Gazet van Antwerpen / 34min
07:16 Economie Het Antwerpse stadsbestuur wil dat de winkels in de stad het hele jaar door op zondag open mogen zijn en vraagt daarom volgend jaar een erkenning aan als toeristische zone. Dat schrijven Het Nieuwsblad en De Standaard dinsdag.
LEZEN  +
Britse leger niet betrokken bij dood prinses Diana - VRT Nieuws
VRT Nieuws / 45min
di 17/12/2013 - 07:16 Pieterjan Huyghebaert Het onderzoek naar de dood van prinses Diana wordt niet heropend. In augustus had de politie nieuwe informatie gekregen over het ongeval, waarbij de prinses, haar minnaar en haar chauffeur omkwamen.
LEZEN  +

18. de diciembre en sevilla‏

in Sevilla we will have some debates abouts the experience of struggles against the violalations of rights on the borders. There are speakers from North-Marroco and South-spain.
We will accompany the event with a accion against the fences.
many greetings,
carla

[Noborder] [channelx] Caravan/march 2014 to BRUSSELS for equality, dignity and social justice

> Hey,
>
> please find the call out for the caravan to brussels, and the invitation
> (in FR, EN, IT, DE) for the next preparation meeting in Freiburg.
>
> __________________________________________________________
>
>
>
> CARAVAN/MARCH 2014 TO BRUSSELS
> FOR EQUALITY, DIGNITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
> CALL FOR ACTION AND MOBILIZATION (draft)
>
> We are asylum seekers, refugees, undocumented migrants,
> Europeans with a ?migration background?, we are all those
> who have no full citizenship. We are those who wear the
> label ?not from here?. Our real or supposed origin is an
> argument to deprive us of many rights. Yet our life is here,
> and like everyone else we just want to build a decent life for
> us and our families.
> We are also human beings who refuse exploitation and
> discrimination. We decided to fight against it and those
> who oppress us, control us, exploite us, criminalize us.
> We decided to organize a European caravan for equality,
> dignity and social justice. A caravan will therefore go from
> the largest number of European countries to Brussels (Belgium),
> where the European institutions are settled. By this
> action we want to give our own opinion and solutions to
> our own problems.
> This caravan will also be a caravan for the memory ! It will
> remind everyone that migration in the twentieth century
> provided entire armies of soldiers and workers who died
> on the front lines or worked to death for the benefit of
> European states.
> The drama of hundreds of women, children and men who
> die each year in the Mediterranean See or in Lampedusa is
> only the most visible part of the failure of Europas repressive
> and restrictive migration policies.
> Men, women and children are forced to exile for reasons
> related to wars (often supported and funded by the western
> governments) or by the consequences of structural
> adjustment policies imposed by international institutions
> to the populations of the south, always at the expense of
> the common good of these peoples. These lives are broken
> by the criminal enforcement of migration policies.
> We believe that stopping the circulation of people by
> reinforcing the controls and the repression is just another
> illusion fooling public opinion and the citizens. Because
> migrating is a necessity. Particularly when one escapes war,
> starvation or poverty.
> All this takes place in a context of economic crisis where
> the social rights of the working classes are being destroyed,
> one after the others. The rise of racism and discrimination
> against migrants, refugees, and especially Roma, as well as the
> fierce exploitation of migrants' labor force contributes to
> the general attack and lowering of workers'rights and
> of all the lower classes of society. More than ever, we are
> being targtargeted blamed for every social and political
> problems.
> Therefore, we call all working, insecure and oppressed people
> to unite for more rights, for a world of peace and social
> justice, and to join massively our fight for our demands !
> Equality and the end of competition between all!
> The capitalist system uses our real or supposed divisions to
> install competition between us. Racism and differences of
> status are instrumentalized for this purpose. These divisions
> weaken us ; all equal, we are stronger !
> Demands:
> * Freedom of movement and residency
> * Mobility for asylum seekers, against the Dublin trap (? Residenzpflicht
> ?, residence requirement)
> * Permanent documents, without criteria (not depending
> on working contracts)
> * Same working conditions for all
> * Stop the business of imprisoning and deportation of
> migrants
> * Same political, social and cultural rights for all
> Memory and dignity !
> We come from countries that have been affected for decades
> by colonial and imperialist wars and policies of European
> governments. Therefore we demand the acknowledgment
> and a concrete compensation for these crimes.
> Demands:
> * Stop the EU imperialist policy (free market treaties , NATO
> wars ... )
> * Abolition of Frontex, Eurosur or other anti-migration
> policies
> * Stop the violation of migrants, refugees, Romas' or Gypsies'
> rights through the instrumentalizing of social welfare
> aiming at more control
> Social rights and social justice:
> More economical, social, cultural and political rights for all
> (demonstration, expression, vote). Education, health and
> housing for all. Against racism and sexism.
> Actiondates:
> - 18th of december 2013 - Global Action Day
> - March/Caravan to Brussels 2014
> - Actions arround EU-Elections May 2014
> - Actions arround EU-Migration-Summit June 2014
> Initiators: Movimento Migranti e Rifugiati (Italy) - Coalizione
> Internazionale dei Undocumented e Migranti CISPM
> (Europe) - Unione di Sindacale Base ( USB) (Italy) - Collective
> Undocumented Paris 75 ( France ) - Collective Undocumented
> Belgium ( Belgium) - International Legal Team (Germany)
> - Rete Iside Onlus (Italy) - Refugee Strike Oranienplatz
> Berlin (Germany) - Collective We Are Here ( Netherlands)
> - Blocchi Precari Metropolitani (Italy)
>
>
>
>

[Noborder] Caravan/march 2014 to BRUSSELS for equality, dignity and social justice

Hey,

please find the call out for the caravan to brussels, and the invitation
(in FR, EN, IT, DE) for the next preparation meeting in Freiburg.

__________________________________________________________



CARAVAN/MARCH 2014 TO BRUSSELS
FOR EQUALITY, DIGNITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
CALL FOR ACTION AND MOBILIZATION (draft)

We are asylum seekers, refugees, undocumented migrants,
Europeans with a ?migration background?, we are all those
who have no full citizenship. We are those who wear the
label ?not from here?. Our real or supposed origin is an
argument to deprive us of many rights. Yet our life is here,
and like everyone else we just want to build a decent life for
us and our families.
We are also human beings who refuse exploitation and
discrimination. We decided to fight against it and those
who oppress us, control us, exploite us, criminalize us.
We decided to organize a European caravan for equality,
dignity and social justice. A caravan will therefore go from
the largest number of European countries to Brussels (Belgium),
where the European institutions are settled. By this
action we want to give our own opinion and solutions to
our own problems.
This caravan will also be a caravan for the memory ! It will
remind everyone that migration in the twentieth century
provided entire armies of soldiers and workers who died
on the front lines or worked to death for the benefit of
European states.
The drama of hundreds of women, children and men who
die each year in the Mediterranean See or in Lampedusa is
only the most visible part of the failure of Europas repressive
and restrictive migration policies.
Men, women and children are forced to exile for reasons
related to wars (often supported and funded by the western
governments) or by the consequences of structural
adjustment policies imposed by international institutions
to the populations of the south, always at the expense of
the common good of these peoples. These lives are broken
by the criminal enforcement of migration policies.
We believe that stopping the circulation of people by
reinforcing the controls and the repression is just another
illusion fooling public opinion and the citizens. Because
migrating is a necessity. Particularly when one escapes war,
starvation or poverty.
All this takes place in a context of economic crisis where
the social rights of the working classes are being destroyed,
one after the others. The rise of racism and discrimination
against migrants, refugees, and especially Roma, as well as the
fierce exploitation of migrants' labor force contributes to
the general attack and lowering of workers'rights and
of all the lower classes of society. More than ever, we are
being targtargeted blamed for every social and political
problems.
Therefore, we call all working, insecure and oppressed people
to unite for more rights, for a world of peace and social
justice, and to join massively our fight for our demands !
Equality and the end of competition between all!
The capitalist system uses our real or supposed divisions to
install competition between us. Racism and differences of
status are instrumentalized for this purpose. These divisions
weaken us ; all equal, we are stronger !
Demands:
* Freedom of movement and residency
* Mobility for asylum seekers, against the Dublin trap (? Residenzpflicht
?, residence requirement)
* Permanent documents, without criteria (not depending
on working contracts)
* Same working conditions for all
* Stop the business of imprisoning and deportation of
migrants
* Same political, social and cultural rights for all
Memory and dignity !
We come from countries that have been affected for decades
by colonial and imperialist wars and policies of European
governments. Therefore we demand the acknowledgment
and a concrete compensation for these crimes.
Demands:
* Stop the EU imperialist policy (free market treaties , NATO
wars ... )
* Abolition of Frontex, Eurosur or other anti-migration
policies
* Stop the violation of migrants, refugees, Romas' or Gypsies'
rights through the instrumentalizing of social welfare
aiming at more control
Social rights and social justice:
More economical, social, cultural and political rights for all
(demonstration, expression, vote). Education, health and
housing for all. Against racism and sexism.
Actiondates:
- 18th of december 2013 - Global Action Day
- March/Caravan to Brussels 2014
- Actions arround EU-Elections May 2014
- Actions arround EU-Migration-Summit June 2014
Initiators: Movimento Migranti e Rifugiati (Italy) - Coalizione
Internazionale dei Undocumented e Migranti CISPM
(Europe) - Unione di Sindacale Base ( USB) (Italy) - Collective
Undocumented Paris 75 ( France ) - Collective Undocumented
Belgium ( Belgium) - International Legal Team (Germany)
- Rete Iside Onlus (Italy) - Refugee Strike Oranienplatz
Berlin (Germany) - Collective We Are Here ( Netherlands)
- Blocchi Precari Metropolitani (Italy)




[nobordersmorocco] Anyone with french contacts please spread this article!

http://beatingborders.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/seconde-mort-violente-au-cours-dun-raid-de-police-a-tangers-en-deux-mois-les-migrants-se-levent/


Le quatre d?cembre est un jour dont beaucoup se souviendont ici ? 
Tangers. Un raid de la police dans la r?gion de Doha Boukhalef a caus? 
la mort violente de C?dric, un homme camerounais. Les d?tails pr?cis 
concernant sa mort restent obscurs mais son corps portait les traces de 
blessures ? la t?te qui lui ont ?t? fatales. Il a ?t? port? sur deux 
kilom?tre de Doha Boukhalef en direction du centre ville dans un 
manifesation spontan?e de la communaut? des migrants. Se levant et 
prenant les rues par centaines, les migrants ont march? pour demander 
l?arr?t de morts, en portant le corps de C?dric afin que sa ne soit pas 
ignor?e.
Ils ont r?ussi, et les affrontements entre la police et les 
maroccains racistes pendant la manifestation ont permis ? la ville de 
r?aliser l?horreur de ce qu?il s??tait pass? et se passe dans leur 
propre ville.Quand la police des ?meutes a bloqu? la route, les migrants ont forc? le passage les uns apr?s les autres, et la police les a 
pourchass? avec des pierres et la foule les a charg?. Plus d?un millier 
de jeunes hommes marocains se sont rassembl?s pour regarder, et quelques groupes ont attaqu? la marche avec des pierres ? maintes reprise. Les 
migrants, des passants marocains et un chef de police ont ?t? touch?s 
par ces missiles.
Les migrants ont fait entendre clairement et fortement leur message 
la nuit derni?re, montrant sans peur et avec fermet? leur r?solution. 
Par le pouvoir de leurmanifestation, ils ont rendu visible leur probl?me aux nouvelles nationales, s?assurant que tout ceci ne serait pas pass? 
sous silence. D?pass?s par le nombre et d?cri?s par tous, ils ont tenu 
avec force et ont fait entendre leur voix.
Cette mort est arriv?e seulement un mois apr?s la mort de Moussa 
Seck, ? vieil ? homme s?n?galais de 19 ans, dans des circonstances tr?s 
similaires. Les raids de police qui sont incrimin?s font parti de la 
campagne contre la communaut? de migrants de Tangers, transformant la 
r?gion de Doha Boukhalef en un lieu de vie dangereux et tr?s stressant. 
Les expulsions forc?es des villes d?Oujda, Rabat et Casablanca sont 
quotidiennes, tout comme les portes enfonc?es et les passages ? tabac.
Toute cette activit? polici?re ill?gale est clairement li?e au 
programme de l?Union-Europ?enne de ? protection des fronti?re ?, la 
r?pression dans les ? Etats tampons ? tels que le Maroc ?tant une partie de cette strat?gie globale. Lorsqu?ils harc?lent quotidiennement les 
migrants et conduisent ces raid violents de ? dissuasion ? parfois 
fatals, la police maroccaine agit de fait comme des
agents de l?UE.Le sang qui a ?t? vers? dans les rues de Tanger incombe donc ? la responsabilit? des pouvoirs europ?ens.
La situation actuelle est le secret sale de l?UE, secret ? garder 
sous silence et ? distance de ses citoyens. Honorons la mort de C?dric 
et le courage et la force de cette communaut? de migrants en les aidant ? s?assurer que cette histoire soit entendue ? l?int?rieur de 
l?Union-Europ?enne. Lorsque les personnes voient la sombre r?alit? de ce qui se passe aux fronti?res de ce ? premier monde ? et de
leur style de vie ? moderne ?, ils ne peuvent plus ignorer la r?alit? du syst?me dans lequel ils ?voluent.
S?il vous plait, diffusez largement cette histoire afin qu?elle soit entendue.
Un slogan que nous avons r?cemment beaucoup entendu de la part des 
communaut?s s?n?galaises utilisant le mot Wolof pour police : boumla. 
FUCK BOUMLA
En solidarit? avec tous ceux qui, partout dans le monde, souffrent du r?gime des fronti?res, faisant front avec nos camarades migrants dans 
la lutte ici ? Tangers.
No Borders Maroc.

maandag 16 december 2013

(en) Anarkismo.net: southern africa - Nelson Mandela - by Michael Schmidt

Adopted at TAAC general meeting, 16 March 2013 ---- A. What is the TAAC? ---- The Tokologo 
African Anarchist Collective is a loose collective of anarchists and 
anarchist-sympathisers who are community and worker activists. Its members function 
primarily as educators. ---- It seeks to meet regularly to learn about and work towards 
spreading the ideas of anarchism within the working class residing in South Africa. These 
ideas are aimed at contributing to building: ? a revolutionary counter-culture, and ? 
revolutionary organisations of counter-power to fight and defeat domination and 
exploitation. This can be done by promoting direct working class organisational democracy 
and accountability

B. What does the TAAC seek to do?

The members meet regularly at general meetings once a month
to discuss, debate and learn about the ideas of anarchism. The
members meet to learn community and worker organising
skills.

The members meetThese are:
to co-ordinate the activities of the TAAC.

1. Organising and carrying out working class community-
based workshops

2. Creating and distributing propaganda relevant to the work
of the TAAC and anarchism (this propaganda includes, but
is not limited to TAAC newsletters, statements and t-shirts).

C. Why do we do this?

The TAAC seeks to develop an understanding of anarchism
? its ideas, strategies and tactics ? amongst those living and
organising in working class and poor communities in South
Africa. The TAAC seeks to do this through the activities
mentioned in B.

The TAAC seeks to organise these activists and communities
around the ideas, strategies and tactics of anarchism.

The TAAC seeks to build itself by attracting more people to
join the TAAC.

The TAAC seeks to revive a spirit of counter-culture and
optimism about struggle and organisation against domination
and exploitation in these communities. Another way of doing
this is by seeking to regularly meet with active community-
based organisations.

D. Who can join the TAAC?

Membership to the TAAC is not open to everyone on request.
Members must be educators of the ideas of anarchism. As such
those who seek to join the TAAC must have been educated
about these ideas beforehand, as well as being taught how to
educate others about the ideas.

The TAAC seeks to develop an individual?s understanding
of anarchism. In so doing, the individual must become
fully aware of the ideas of the TAAC and the processes and
commitments required to join the TAAC.

Membership is granted to an individual by collective member
decision. It will be based on:

1. An individual having participated in a community-based
workshop. At the workshop, individuals either approach
TAAC members with a desire to continue their anarchist
education, or are identified by a TAAC member present;

2. These individuals are then invited to participate in the
already existing process of education (the Anarchist
Political School, APS); and then

3. the individual?s own desire to join once they have graduated
from the APS

Membership is open to APS graduates who identify as
anarchists or to those who do not identify as anarchists.
However, membership is granted to those who share the
vision of the TAAC. Members then commit to spreading the
ideas of anarchism in working class and poor communities as
determined by collective TAAC decision.

E.How are TAAC decisionsby whom?
made and

All TAAC decisions are agreed to at the monthly general
meetings of the members. It is at these meetings that mandates
are decided on and volunteered to.

These decisions and mandates are decided by general
agreement at these monthly general meetings.

The TAAC may choose to form smaller collectives to carry
out specific tasks, e.g. an Editorial Collective. These collectives
are decided on and formed at their monthly general meetings.
These collectives may decide on their own tasks. However,
these collectives must be accountable to the general body
of members. These decisions and tasks must fall within the
mandate for these smaller collectives as decided by the
members at the monthly general meeting. These collectives
must report back to general monthly meeting, as determined
by their mandate and collective decision.

------------------------------

Message: 5
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2013 10:28:55 +0200
From: a-infos-en@ainfos.ca
To: en <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Subject: (en) Anarkismo.net: southern africa - Nelson Mandela - by
Michael Schmidt
Message-ID: <mailman.39.1386750530.23764.a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"; Format="flowed"

Reappraising the Legacy of an Icon ---- A frail multimillionaire dies peacefully in bed at 
the grand old age of 95, surrounded by a coterie of those who love him and those with an 
eye on the inheritance, an event that would in the normal course of events be seen as 
natural?but the man concerned has been treated internationally as more of a supernatural 
entity than an ordinary man. The unsurpassed hagiography around Nelson Mandela, who died 
in the ?ber-wealthy enclave of Houghton in Johannesburg last Thursday night, the famous 
prisoner turned global icon on a par with Mohandas Gandhi is upheld by most observers of 
South Africa as a necessary myth of national unity, and not least of the triumph of racial 
reconciliation of over the evils of segregation.

I had the privilege to meet Mandela several times during my career as a journalist, 
watching my country's dramatic transition unfold on the ground, with all of its tragedies 
and triumphs; on most occasions he was all business; I only saw him once in the relaxed 
and smiling mode in which he was best known and so beloved, for he had taken a huge burden 
on his shoulders and was mostly all business. He was by turns frighteningly stern and 
disarmingly charming, rigorously strict and graciously forgiving, a fierce revolutionary 
and a conciliator, a formidable intellect and a wisecracker, austere and chilled. Though a 
complex figure, he is justly considered as a colossus of global stature for sacrificing 
his life to inspire the South African masses to push forward to the irreversible defeat of 
the last white supremacist regime?and in doing so to inspire other popular struggles 
against injustice worldwide.

But in a country where the promise of a more egalitarian democracy has decayed with 
shocking rapidity into an elitist-parasitic project, where those who raise concerns over 
the loss of our period of grace under Mandela are often silenced by murder, a state 
sliding inexorably back into a fog of paranoia and forgetting under the control of 
Stasi-trained "democrats", I've had to somewhat nervously consider my critique of the 
deliberate sanitising by all factions of power of Mandela's period in office because his 
deification has resulted and in the creation of a fanatical de-facto state religion that 
tolerates no heretics in its pursuit of unfettered partisan power. The slipping of South 
Africa, once hailed as a lighthouse of progress, in the rankings of several gobal 
institutions which monitor public freedoms is of concern to all freedom-loving people, and 
not just we anarchists.

I need to be explicit: this is not a full obituary of Mandela because his life story is so 
well-known and has been repeated widely over the past week in the media; rather it is an 
analysis primarily of his presidency?the five years in which he was directly answerable to 
each poor woman who paid tax on every loaf of bread she bought?and of the unfortunate cult 
that has sprung up around him. I do not focus on the unquestionable legitimacy of his 
anti-apartheid struggle including its armed facet, nor on the long travails of his 
jail-time, nor even on his latter career as elder statesman, but rather on his presidency 
because that was the period in which he was responsible to South Africans as a paid civil 
servant. In other words, all his intentions before and after ascending to power need to be 
weighed up against his actions while in power.


Mandela?s Story and his Legacy


The scion of the Thembu royal house of the Xhosa tribe, nick-named after the British 
imperialist warlord Admiral Horatio Nelson, he escaped rural torpor and an arranged 
marriage, becoming trained in the industrial heartland of Johannesburg as a member of the 
first black South African law firm, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela would have been almost 
predestined by his class status for leadership?though that was hardly a given under a 
system dating back through three hundred years of colonialism that allowed for only a 
handful of black leaders (apartheid did raise up a clique of wealthy black Bantustan 
leaders, though Mandela to his credit echewed that comprador path). The story of the rise 
of this obscure lawyer to the leading charismatic figure of the century-old ?terrorist? 
African National Congress (ANC), and thence via decades of incredible hardship to the 
highest office as the country?s first democratic, and more to the point, black, 
president?in what remains today the world's most racially divided and economically unequal 
society?is remarkable, powerful and revealing.

It is remarkable as many personal tales are in this country for its trajectory from 
ghettoised exclusion to the corridors of power; as a transitional society, there are many 
personal ties?links that would be highly unusual in more established societies?between the 
new elite and those who shared their childhoods in dusty townships and Bantustans. It is 
powerful for its morality tale of the ascendancy, against one of the most militarised Cold 
War states, of a poorly-armed people with only the justice of their cause and the weight 
of their numbers on their side. It is sadly revealing for the ways in which the socialist 
traditions of one of the world?s oldest liberation forces was dismantled in its encounter 
with the realpolitik of running the state and its capitalist economy.

Mandela?s story captivated the world: a man who had served 27 years in prison for treason, 
breaking rocks in the brutal little prison on Robben Island, tantalizingly close to Cape 
Town, emerged a reconciler this most bitterly divided society to lead it through its first 
democratic election in 1994. It encapsulates in one man the dominant narrative of South 
Africa?s transition from global polecat to ?Rainbow Nation??and in the light of the 
corruption endemic under fourth democratic-era president, Jacob Zuma, represents what many 
feel was the apogee of social cohesion across all races and classes. It remains a unifying 
myth of enduring power that seems to, in the figure of one man, represent the euphoria of 
the entire world?s post-Berlin Wall epoch which saw the collapse of Red dictatorships in 
Russia and Eastern Europe, of one-party rule in much of Africa, and of rightist 
authoritarian regimes in Latin America, East Asia, and not least, South Africa.

And yet behind that myth of racial unity, it is conveniently forgotten that for 74 years 
until it opened all ranks to all races in 1986, the ANC was a racial-exclusivist party, 
dedicated specifically to the national liberation of the ?Black?-classified majority 
(alongside the other oppressed races, officially classified into 18 ethnic groups, but in 
effect, mixed-race ?Colored,? and ?Indian?). Still, motivated by the Atlantic Charter of 
1941, which held out the promise of self-determination for the colonised world, the ANC 
was the black organisation which, alongside its white (mostly Communist), Indian and 
Coloured sister organisations drafted the 1955 Freedom Charter, a text of blended 
liberalism and social democracy which in essence declared for all races access to the 
country?s resources (land, education, housing, etc). Yet when a young Mandela first came 
to the fore as an ANC leader, establishing the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in 1944 as a 
kingmaker faction within the parent party, his orientation was explicitly black nationalist.

We?ve recently seen a worrying resurgence of this de facto racist strain within the ANC: 
with the right-wing populist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) breaking away from the ANCYL 
this year; with the revival of tribal factionalism within the parent ANC, especially 
antagonisms between the Zulu ascendancy represented by Zuma, and what was nicknamed ?la 
Xhosa Nostra? represented by Mandela?s successor, Thabo Mbeki, ousted by Zuma?s faction in 
a palace coup in 2008; and with racist relocation threats uttered by ANC leaders against 
ANC-unfriendly populations of Indians in KwaZulu-Natal and of Coloureds in the Western 
Cape. I?m not laying these later developments at Mandela?s door, but it is worth recalling 
that he once thought and acted similarly, helping ensure the longevity of this tradition 
within the ANC, a tradition recalled in 1999 by Andrew Nash in a piece on for the 
socialist journal Monthly Review:http://monthlyreview.org/1999/04/01/mandelas-democracy

Nash correctly concluded his piece by saying that Mandela's "ideological legacy?in South 
Africa and globally?is startlingly complex" and this complexity is reflected in the 
diversity of the leaders who spoke at Mandela's state memorial service today: US President 
Barack Obama, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, 
Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Cuban President 
Ra?l Castro (the choice of Ban probably relates to his international status, while that of 
Obama seems to be based both on US power and on Obama's own tale of ascendancy over 
racism, while the India, Brazilian and Chinese choices relate to SA's strategic partners 
in the developing world?but the Cuban dictatorship appears to be a purely ideological choice).

In traditional black tribal societies here, praise-singers are poets who declaim accolades 
for their leaders?but praise-singers are not mere propagandists; they also perform the 
roles of both court jester and protected critic, ensuring that those being praised don't 
get too big-headed about their achievements. In line with this ethic, it is worth reading 
some of the more nuanced obituaries written this week, starting with South African writer 
Rian Malan, author of the seminal and very influential book on his Afrikaner family's 
intimate role in building and enforcing apartheid rule, My Traitor's Heart (1990), in his 
obituary for The Telegraph, available online at 
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/nelson-mandela/10502173/Nelson-Mandela-he-was-never-simply-the-benign-old-man.html. 
Malan rightly highlights Mandela's immense courage in standing up to the apartheid 
authorities, in taking up arms against an overwhelmingly powerful enemy, and of going 
"eyeball-to-eyeball" with the "fascists". He credits Mandela as being the architect of 
South Africa's "Rainbow Nation" and in particular of its centrist economic policies, and 
stresses the often-neglected fact of Mandela's revolutionary fervour. Academic Patrick 
Bond, author of Elite Transition, returns to that book's theme of economic continuity 
rather than change in his obituary for US investigative journal CounterPunch: 
www.counterpunch.org/2013/12/06/the-mandela-years-in-power .

Speaking for myself, I recognise?as the world at large has (even including a friend of 
mine who is a former apartheid Military Intelligence officer)?that Mandela's firm 
commitment to peaceful negotiation, and his magnanimity in eschewing the bitterness that 
could have resulted from 27 years of incarceration, instead forgiving his enemies so as to 
build a democratic country, provided the country's people with the watershed required to 
break with the past. This forgiveness is usually cited as his greatest attribute and the 
foundation of his status as a great statesman, as was his prodigious memory which enabled 
him to remember by name everyone he met, laying the foundation of his reputation for 
intimate knowledge of and care for those he interacted with in an attitude of humility. 
Regardless of the pragmatism that obviously underwrote Mandela's opposition to igniting a 
race-war, or a revolutionary war, for that matter?for such a war would be unwinnable and 
would decimate both sides?this achievement, which enabled a peaceful first democratic 
election for all races in 1994 is rightly hailed as the high-water mark of my country's 
history.

The SA Anarchist Movement in the Mandela Era


So what did the re-emergent South African anarchist movement?syndicalists of all races 
having built the first trade unions for people of colour in 1917-1919?of the mid-1990s 
have to say about Mandela and his guided transition? This was and remains a tiny minority 
revolutionary movement far to the left of the ANC, and yet which likewise claims deep 
roots in the socialist tradition and which worked hard to both ensure the universality of 
its politics?and its ability to address real local issues. Reduced to a rearguard of 
democratic socialism during the 1950s, then its syndicalist ethics producing an important 
"workerist" strain during the consolidation of the ANC-aligned revolutionary trade union 
movement in the 1970s, the explicitly anarchist movement re-emerged thanks to the 
alleviation of apartheid repression after Mandela's release in 1990. Since then, it has 
always been an active part of the extra-Parliamentary left, with a commendable consistency 
in its class-line politics, but an increasingly multiracial presence in poor areas, and an 
advancing sophistication in its praxis.

The foremost point to make is that this small movement welcomed with great enthusiasm?and 
critical concerns?the coming of democratic governance under Mandela in 1994. While it did 
not focus on the man himself, it rather focused on ANC policies, in particular its 
economic developmental strategies. It is worth quoting from the first edition of Workers' 
Solidarity, journal of the majority-black anarchist working class Workers' Solidarity 
Federation (WSF), forerunner of today's Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF), the 
editorial under the headline 1994 Elections: a Massive Advance for the Struggle in South 
Africa:

"Legalized apartheid is finally dead. For the first time in 350 years Black South Africans 
are not ruled by a racist dictatorship but by a democratic parliament. Along with this 
capitalist democracy came a whole series of rights we never had before. We have guaranteed 
freedom of association and speech. We have the right to strike and protest. We have some 
protection from racist and sexist practices. These changes did not come from the 
benevolent hand of the National Party [apartheid government]. They are the result of 
decades of struggle. We broke the pass laws. We broke the ban on African trade unions. We 
broke the racist education system. We broke the Land Act of 1913.

"But free at last?


"However, the legacy of apartheid is still with us. 2.3 million South Africans suffer from 
malnutrition. Only 45% of Africans live in houses. Only 2 in 10 African pupils reach 
matric [the final year of high-school]. Even though South Africa produces 50% of Africa's 
electricity, only 30% of the population has electricity. At the same time 5% of the 
population own 80% of all wealth. Whites on average earn 9 times more than Africans. The 
ANC's RDP [Reconstruction & Development Programme] has set itself very limited goals to 
redress this. For example, it aims to build a million houses over 5 years. This will not 
ever deal with the massive housing backlog facing Black people. The RDP also places a 
heavy reliance on the market mechanism. The RDP only aim to redistribute 30% of the land 
to Blacks. But most of this will be bought through the market. Why should we pay for 
stolen land? White farmers will also be compensated for land unfairly acquired after 1913 
even when this is returned. In any case, the RDP's ability to deliver is doubtful. The RDP 
will not be funded by increased tax on the bosses. Instead the focus is on make "more 
efficient" use of existing resources...

"The Struggle Continues


"The only way we can force the new government to deliver its promises is through struggle. 
This is the only way our needs will be heard above those of the bosses who are in a 
business crisis. It is only through keeping up the fight on the ground that we can force 
the State to give in to our demands. Force the bosses to deliver! But we need to break out 
of the cycle in which the needs of the majority take second place to the profits and power 
of the bosses and their State. We need to attack and destroy the system of capitalism that 
caused our hardships and racism in the first place. We need a society without bosses or 
governments. A society based on workers and community councils which puts people before 
profit. Build for working class revolution!"

By the final edition of Workers' Solidarity in late 1998, the tone had become more 
critical, as the ANC under Mandela shifted rightwards, with the editorial titled South 
Africa's Transition Goes Sour:

"In 1994, people danced in the streets after the results of the elections were announced. 
How far have we come in the five years since that time? Not far enough. The elections were 
a great victory because they ended legalised racism in South Africa?the oppressive laws 
created by the bosses to ensure an endless supply of super-cheap Black labour.

"But while the law has changed, conditions on the ground have not. Working and poor people 
have been increasingly impatient with the slow pace of "delivery" of the goods and 
services promised in the 1994 elections. Worried about its election prospects, the ANC has 
done its best to excuse the broken promises. It has manipulated the loyalty of many 
workers to blame the failure of delivery on unnamed "forces" who want to return South 
Africa to the past. It has done its best to label critics anti-patriotic or right-wing. 
And it has asserted its domination in the Tripartite Alliance, demanding that COSATU and 
SACP toe the line and stop criticising ANC policies. Of course, there are right-wing 
forces in South Africa. But the NP left the Government of National Unity years ago. As for 
the other big conservative group, the IFP, the ANC is hinting of a merger between Congress 
and the IFP.

"The real blame for the ANC's lack of delivery lies in its GEAR (Growth Employment and 
Redistribution) policy. GEAR [an openly neoliberal policy which replaced the RDP] is an 
attack on the jobs, incomes and social services of the working class. It is based on the 
idea that the bosses must be allowed to make more profits from cheap labour. So instead of 
taking money from the bosses and using it to benefit the Black working class majority, the 
ANC policy tells the bosses to become richer, promising the poor that crumbs from the 
bosses' banquet table will fall to them.

"However, we do not see the solution to GEAR as a new party to replace the ANC. The ANC 
did not adopt GEAR because it was "bad". ANC adopted GEAR because the bosses?who include 
many top ANC members and funders- demanded GEAR. We live in a time of class war?war by the 
employers against the working class. The only solution can be mass struggle, not 
elections. The Union is your Party, the Struggle is your Vote."

Separate Development 2.0: Neo-Apartheid?


Since those appraisals during Mandela's 1994-1999 presidency, it is obvious to all 
observers that (apart from events such as Mandela?s death and memorial service), the unity 
that the Mandela myth was supposed to ensure has rapidly unraveled. South Africa today is 
riven by entrenched racial hatred, is the world's most unequal society, and is currently 
ruled by what can only be seen as a syndicate-criminal cartel which is actively blurring 
the lines between private interest, party and state, recreating and reviving many aspects 
of the terrifying apartheid securocrat state including the notorious old National Key 
Points Act and the new Secrecy Act.

The South African National Editors? Forum (Sanef) has been campaigning without success for 
the ANC to honour its 1989 agreement that once in power it would amend or throw out some 
one hundred statutes that prevented the free flow of information in the country. Only the 
most obviously odious racist and separatist laws were thrown out.

South Africa shockingly remains a state firmly committed to race-classification, except 
that instead of apartheid?s 18 different ethnicities, the ANC only recognises four: White, 
Black, Asian?a catch-all of everyone from Indians to Chinese?and Coloured, a mixed-race 
category into which Obama would fall, were he a citizen; the indigenous Bushmen simply do 
not exist, despite Bushman cave art dating back at least 30,000 years. As a white man who 
played his tiny role propping up apartheid as a conscript into the old army, I don?t 
personally give a damn that I?m classified white, but it?s a tragedy that our ?born-free? 
children are still forced to take their chances with this racial Russian roulette?victims 
of a bureaucratic game supposedly tracking ?change?.

In my first South African book, Under the Rusted Rainbow: Tales from the Underworld of 
Southern Africa's Transition (BestRed, Cape Town, due in July 2014), I will argue that the 
ANC?s primary strategy position, the so-called ?National Democratic Revolution? fell so 
far from the heights of manufactured grace of the Mandela myth to the sleazy swamp in 
which they now wallow precisely because the ANC was the midwife of continuity rather than 
of true transition from the apartheid state, despite its vigorous propaganda campaign to 
the contrary.

I introduce my book with a comparative analysis of the transitions from autocracy to 
democracy in South Africa and Chile. South Africans have an irritating habit of avoiding 
learning from such comparisons as to do so would undermine their claim to special status 
because of their supposedly unique history. But I demonstrate that our "transition" was 
far from unique: in both countries, it was a socialist-led combine (the Tripartite 
Alliance in SA, and the Concertaci?n in Chile) that enabled the exploitative structures of 
the state and capital to make the move to democracy almost unaltered, their repressive and 
exploitative functions, honed by centuries of colonialism, intact.

Notably, right across South Africa, the geographic separation of apartheid continues to 
hold sway, with even black-dominated ANC town councils building new housing developments 
for the black poor literally on the wrong side of the tracks, far from goods, services and 
jobs. This despite the fact that the working class spends the largest chunk of their 
pitiful incomes on transport; 40% of the country simply languishes in poverty as their 
leaders swan about in jet-planes and motorcades. Even ?Presidential Lead Projects? like 
the rebuilding of Alexandra township, east of Johannesburg, have been amputated by the 
nimby attitude of the new elite who blocked its articulation with bridges to their leafy 
Sandton suburbs a mere five kilometres away.

In anticipation of Mandela's death, I was interviewed last year by the journalist Carlo 
Annese for GQ Italia on this question, I said: "Today there is a class division that 
replicates the racial division of the past... It is truly economic apartheid, in which the 
poor are getting poorer, the townships that were to have disappeared are still there, the 
workers do not earn enough to buy what they produce, and the white elite of the 45-year 
regime has added a wealthy black middle class of no more than 300-thousand people.

"This is not only the effect of the government in recent years; even Mandela bears 
responsibility, but few want to see it. His figure was almost beatified as a new Gandhi, 
so that all he has done is sacrosanct, whereas criticism would help to restore a human 
dimension, beyond the myth: Madiba was a party man who succumbed to compromise..."

South Africa and the world, I argued, would benefit from a judicious assessment of Mandela 
as a realpolitik politician, an analysis made impossible by the fanatically rabid 
insistence by his Pavlovian acolytes that he be treated as a demigod. There is a foolish 
argument on the South African Left, that replicates the delusional Trotskyist argument 
around the dictatorial succession in Russia, that Lenin was cool and right-on, but he was 
supplanted by treachery by Stalin who was an outright bastard?and only Trotsky stood up to 
him as a critic of the decay of ?real, existing socialism?.

The SA Lefty argument goes similarly: Mandela was cool and right-on, but he was supplanted 
by Mbeki who was an outright bastard?and only Zuma stood up to him as a critic of the 
decay of ?real, existing democracy?. Unfortunately for these partisans of wishful 
thinking, it was Lenin, not Stalin, who reintroduced capitalism via the New Economic 
Policy, Lenin who established the Cheka?and it was Trotsky who ordered the Kronstadt 
Revolt and the insurgent Ukraine, which for almost five years defended Red Moscow from the 
White reactionary forces, destroyed.

Likewise, sadly for ANC allies the tiny South African Communist Party (SACP, membership 
about 14,000 at the time of the 2008 split in the Alliance) and the massive Congress of 
South African Trade Unions (Cosatu, membership about 1,8-million) who tried without 
success to find a ?socialist? in current SA President Jacob Zuma, it was Mandela who 
scrapped the quasi-socialist RDP and substituted it for the outright neoliberal GEAR 
policy, the same Mandela who, it was only admitted after his death after 50 years of 
denials, was a member of the SACP's Central Committee at the time of his arrest. So 
Mandela, who served as ANC president from 1991-1997, having joined the party in 1943, was 
simultaneously a communist revolutionary, a social-democrat and an outright neoliberal?

True Believer or Opportunist: What are ?Mandela?s Values??


How are we to make sense of such a personal/party political m?lange? Where did Mandela 
truly stand ethically, politically and economically; what did he believe in? This is of 
pertinent interest today and not merely a historical curiosity, because South Africans are 
continually exhorted to "live by Mandela's values". His birthday on 18 July, unofficially 
nicknamed Mandela Day, when such exhortations reach fever-pitch, is likely to be made a 
public holiday. So what are those values; what does the hagiography obscure?

Of assistance in cutting through the fog of the myth is a recent debate in the letters 
pages of The New York Review of Books between Rian Malan and reviewer Bill Keller. In 
essence, Malan, who Keller calls "the heretic," argues that the influence of the SACP on 
the ANC has been grievously underestimated, and that an abiding centralising instinct and 
Stalinist anti-democratic practice has been its most damaging legacy: "during the struggle 
years (1960?1990) the SACP reeked of Soviet orthodoxy, and the ANC reeked of the SACP. As 
a journalist, you had to be very careful what you said about this. The civilized line was 
the one ceaselessly propounded in The New York Times?Nelson Mandela was basically a black 
liberal, and his movement was striving for universal democratic values. Anyone who 
disagreed was an anti-Communist crank, as Keller labels me...

But, Malan continued, "New research by historian Stephen Ellis shows... that SACP 
militants found themselves in an awkward position in 1960, when their secret plans for 
armed struggle encountered resistance from South Africa?s two most important black 
politicians?ANC president Albert Luthuli and SACP general secretary Moses Kotane. Rather 
than back down, these militants co-opted Nelson Mandela onto the Communist Party?s Central 
Committee and tasked him to 'bounce' the mighty ANC into agreement with their position. 
The result, said veteran Communist Roley Arenstein, was tantamount to 'a hijacking' of the 
mighty ANC by a tiny clique of mostly white and Indian intellectuals."

Keller's riposte was that: "I part company with... Mr Malan on the significance of this 
evidence. Malan... seems to believe that it discredits Mandela, and that the alliance with 
the Communists damns the ANC as a Stalinist front. That is simply Red-baiting nonsense. 
Nelson Mandela was, at various times, a black nationalist and a nonracialist, an opponent 
of armed struggle and a practitioner of armed struggle, a close partner of the South 
African Communist Party and, in his presidency, a close partner of South Africa?s powerful 
capitalists. In other words, he was whatever served his purpose of ending South Africa?s 
particularly fiendish brand of minority rule."

In a country where the sources of political party funding are not required by law to be 
declared, the ANC's shady connections to a varied range of dictatorial regimes (not least 
those of the late unlamented Muamar Gaddaffi, of the Castro brothers, and of ascendant 
corporatist-capitalist China) need to be investigated in order to properly critique the 
ruling party's supposedly democratic credentials.

Mandela reportedly personally received funding from General Sani Abacha, the military 
dictator of Nigeria (1993-1998) despite the fact that Abacha was a friend of Louis 
Farrakhan, leader of US race-hate group the Nation of Islam, and that Abacha's regime was 
responsible for gross human rights violations. Writing in London's The Guardian newspaper, 
David Beresford claimed Abacha had in 1994 donated ?2,6-million (R35,7-million) to the 
ANC, with The News of Lagos reporting the following year that Abacha donated another 
$50-million.

Mandela blithely took the cash, despite Abacha's bleak human rights record, being 
responsible for the execution in 1995 after a rigged military tribunal of writer-activist 
Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists, for the suppression of free speech and 
association, and for the charging in absentia of world-famous writer Wole Soyinka with 
treason. Abacha is believed to have siphoned between $2-billion and $5-billion out of 
Nigeria's treasury during his five-year tenure, which begs the question of what the 
ultimate source of Mandela's money was, and how much went into party coffers and how much 
possibly into his own back pocket; none of this has ever been subject to public audit, but 
with mansions in Houghton, Qunu and Maputo, and with his children squabbling publicly over 
their inheritance, he certainly did not die a poor man.

In 1997, President Mandela reached what should have been internationally condemned as the 
ethical low-point of an already checquered career, giving South Africa's then-highest 
order, the Star of Good Hope, to neo-fascist dictator Mohamed Suharto of Indonesia, whose 
bloody rise to power at the head of what became his militarised "New Order" state 
(1967-1998) was facilitated by the mass murder of between 500,000 and 1-million people 
during his coup and purge over 1965-1966 (a 2012 documentary puts the death toll at 
between 1-million and 3-million). This bloodbath, orchestrated by Suharto's army and 
carried out by interahamwe-like civilian militia, was profoundly both anti-Communist and 
anti-Christian, but also had elements of genocide in that ethnic Chinese were also 
targeted for slaughter. Rivers in parts of Indonesia were so choked with bodies that their 
flow was dammed.

Suharto's regime still engaged in bouts of mass-murder of thousands of people well into 
the 1980s, so Mandela's endorsement of a man who ranks down there with Pol Pot is hard to 
understand: until one realises that in honouring Suharto, Mandela was thanking him for a 
cash donation to the ANC (not to the SA state) of some US$60-million; the ANC admitted 
only that Suharto "gave generously". Suharto is estimated to have embezzled a staggering 
$15-billion to $35-billion during his reign, so the cash given to Mandela can only be seen 
as blood money. In this light, the most honest monument to Mandela is his face's slightly 
mocking grin and hooded eyes on the new Rand bank-notes.

Even in those early days after his 1990 release from prison, there was something 
Janus-faced about Mandela, who spoke a hard, revolutionary line to a hungry black 
majority, and who performed a blackface act for the whites who commanded the heights of 
the economy, charming them with his informal zoot-suit style, his trademark slow "Madiba 
jive" dance, and perpetual toothy smile. That's how the white elite liked their blacks: 
smiling, dancing, entertaining?and he cynically played the role perfectly, while all the 
time flexing an iron fist on the levers of state, a state barely altered in its essentials 
from the apartheid state (no-one should have been surprised that our remilitarised police 
force committed the 2012 Marikana Massacre of 34 striking miners).

So I can only agree with Keller in that it simply does not matter whether Mandela was ever 
a Communist, the most telling point being rather that he was a consummate opportunist, 
with a lawyer's nose for the money. Initially an anti-Communist youth, feared for 
illegally using his boxer's training to beat up Reds and break up their meetings, Mandela 
was also in turn a virulently racial black nationalist who argued fervently against 
fighting apartheid arm-in-arm with other races in the 1940s, but then swung over to the 
Communists in the 1950s and 1960s, when the USSR was offering funding; and then he flipped 
again in the 1990s, becoming fascist-friendly, when Indonesia's New Order gave him money. 
That's a tough set of values of live up to, if only because I'm sure most of us are not 
personal friends with any communist oligarchs or neo-fascist dictators.

South African imperialism ? Mandela style


In 1998, I covered two stories that demonstrated the capitalist and imperialist values of 
the ANC under Mandela's presidency. The first was the weird tale of the Mosagrius 
Agreement, signed in May 1997 by Mandela and his Mozambican counterpart Joaquin Chissano, 
which paved the way for hundreds of white South African farmers to settle in Mozambique's 
largest and poorest province, Niassa. The deal was promoted by the South African Chamber 
for Agricultural Development in Africa (Sacada), but engineered by the white right-wing 
Freedom Front (FF) party. In terms of the agreement, the Mozambican government granted a 
50-year renewable concession for 220,000 hectares for agriculture, cattle-ranching, 
fruit-farming, and ecotourism to the farmers who also got tax exemptions to bring in 
supplies like farming equipment and medicines.

The entire agreement was worked out in secret and "rammed through", said reports. The head 
of rural extension services in Niassa province admitted locals were not consulted: "But 
the ministers who design national policy know local people's needs". Alarmed Niassa 
peasants disagreed and organised themselves in response to what they feared was outright 
land-theft, enclosure and dispossession by Mandela's cohorts. They feared that they would 
end up as landless labourers or tenant farmers, dependent on white farmers for food and 
housing where previously they had been self-sufficient. The agreement amounted to grand 
theft terra in the old British imperial tradition of the enclosure of the land and the 
indenture of the peasantry; a more reactionary land policy is hard to envisage.

The other 1998 story was the invasion of Lesotho in August of that year by SADC forces 
comprising armoured columns, helicopters and paratroopers of the SA National Defence 
Force, supported by a small Botswana motorised force, supposedly to "restore democracy" 
(tell me where you have heard that chilling phrase before?). According to South African 
Foreign Affairs, a story maintained to this day, a faction within the Lesotho Defence 
Force staged a coup attempt, so SA and Botswana intervened under SADC mandate to crush the 
coup and restore the elected government.

But that just wasn't true: I was in Lesotho at the time, covering the invasion for Sunday 
Times, and it was clear that there had been no coup attempt, but rather a pro-democratic 
mutiny, not aimed at seizing power, but rather at ousting corrupt military brass whose 
allegiance had been bought by politicians with gifts of farms in the Free State. Although 
the mutineers put up brave resistance, we killed 40 of them for the loss of eight 
paratroopers.

Mandela was conveniently out of the country at the time, with Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) 
leader Mangosutho Buthelezi as Acting President, but the invasion had been planned three 
months in advance and as Commander-in-Chief, Basothos were well aware that it was Mandela 
who bore ultimate responsibility for an action that had more to do with shoring up SA 
water and investment interests in our weaker neighbour, and that in doing so, Mandela had 
supported the corrupt status quo. On another visit to Lesotho in 2003, I was intrigued by 
the expressions of utter hatred expressed for Mandela, voiced by everyone from 
taxi-drivers to nurses, people who assured me that the weapons taken by the mutineers were 
well-cached and would be used again one day.

Fast-forward to 2013, and a democratic South Africa that in 1994 foreswore aggressive 
military interventions in Africa is still to be found embroiled in firefights abroad, this 
time in the Central African Republic (CAR), allegedly, according to some sources, to prop 
up Mbeki's private uranium-mining interests. The corruption and anti-working-class 
violence of the current SA government stems directly from Mandela's compromise. I will 
argue in The Rainbow Regime that the Mandela regime (and those who got stupendously 
wealthy off it including Tokyo Sexwale, Patrice Motsepe and Cyril Ramaphosa) was the 
logical culmination and realisation of the strategy of the old PW Botha regime: that so 
long as real, structural apartheid kept the unwashed poor apart from the precious 
classes?and the continuity under the ANC of Group Areas-styled town planning is 
breathtaking?the Nationalists had achieved in Mandela and the ANC what they were incapable 
of achieving themselves because of their lack of a popular mandate under apartheid. In the 
ultimate recognition of their doctrinal similarities, the New National Party (NNP) was 
absorbed into the ANC in 2005.

Mandela's earlier rapprochement with the Nationalists in the 1990s, albeit a thorny path 
with many switchbacks, meant he was not always a unifying force within the ANC. I well 
remember the murderous faction-fighting in Bhambayi, KwaMashu, on the outskirts of Durban 
on the eve of the 1994 elections between pro-Mandela "exile" and anti-Mandela "internal" 
factions of the ANC?the last assignment of photojournalist Ken Oosterbroek outside of 
Joburg before he was killed on the East Rand. The two sides were at each others' throats 
over what the internals perceived to be the hijacking of the struggle for democracy by 
exiles who had lived comfortably abroad while the internals died in their thousands at the 
hands of the police and proxy forces, exiles who moreover were committed to the rescue of 
the apartheid capitalist state which had lived for 46 years off the cheap labour of a 
black underclass it considered to be little more than draft animals.

On 26 July 1990, barely months after the icon's release from prison, a secret signal from 
Ambassador Bill Swing at the US Embassy in Pretoria informed US Secretary of State James 
Baker III that a US intelligence source reported that in an interview with SACP leader Mac 
Maharaj on the very morning before he was arrested for Operation Vula, Maharaj confessed 
that "Plan B" of Vula, should it fail to insert an insurgent leadership into South Africa, 
was "to assassinate Nelson Mandela to provoke a national insurrection."
Maharaj flatly denied this to me in person, but it was clear to all observers at that time 
that Mandela's conciliatory approaches towards the Nationalist government were deeply 
distrusted by many in the SACP and ANC. It is ironic not only that the ANC and NNP merged 
but that Maharaj was the gatekeeper who presided over Mandela's final days.

Between Mandela's 1990 release and the first democratic elections in April 1994, some 
15,000 people were killed in an orgy of internecine violence, largely between the ANC and 
its black opponents?and no, I don't mean only the Zulu nationalist IFP, but also 
progressive forces such as the Azanian People's Organisation (Azapo), and the 
Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC). We all recall with a chill Mandela's wife Winnie Mandela 
endorsing terror by the ANC's favoured "necklace" method of torture-murder, placing a 
rubber tyre around the shoulders of a victim, pouring petrol over them and lighting them 
up like a Roman candle. My anarchist comrade Bobo Makhoba, who lived in Dlamini, Soweto, a 
former Azapo stronghold, told me of walking to school, terrified by the corpses of Azapo 
members left lying at the roadside after the previous night's bloodletting by the ANC. In 
some areas, the party literally murdered its way to power, and members still regularly 
resort to murder in holding on to such power-bases.

Black Anarchist & Shackland Youth Today on Mandela


So how are we to assess his legacy? Listen to the voice of one of our non-voting youth, 
Tina Sizovuka, writing this year: "Nelson Mandela has become a brand, 'Brand Mandela,' his 
image, name and prison number used to generate cash and to promote the legend of Mandela. 
In July 2012, for example, the 46664 clothing line was launched (all 'Made in China'). 
'Brand Mandela' is more than just an opportunity to sell stupid trinkets to tourists and 
celebrities. It is also a dangerous myth, based on Mandela-worship, promoted daily in the 
public imagination to serve far more sinister interests. The myth of Mandela is used to 
give the vicious South African ruling class credibility by association, and to legitimise 
the ruling African National Congress."

Sizovuka challenges the ruling party's "using the image of Mandela as a living saint," 
saying that the Madiba myth "has been a decoy to obscure the far less heroic story of the 
ANC in power... Like any other nationalist propaganda, Brand Mandela has been used by the 
rich and powerful to perpetuate a rotten class system?a system the ANC helps maintain 
through its neo-liberal policies, elite 'empowerment' deals and police massacres. A system 
that has caused misery for the millions of poor South Africans Mandela is said to have 
'liberated'."

In their June 2013 Youth Day press release, Abahlali base Mjondolo (Movement of 
Shack-dwellers), wrote that "Freedom and Democracy was supposed to be for everyone. Today 
it is for the rich. Rich people are getting the multi-racial education and the poor still 
have the third-rate education which back then was known as Bantu Education. Rich people 
get jobs. They have cars. They have nice houses. They can get married and move on with 
their lives. They are safe. This is Freedom to them. The poor have to survive as we can. 
We go in circles and not forward.

"We live in shacks. We live in shit and fire. We are evicted. We have no safe and easy 
transport. The police treat us as criminals. They beat us if we try to organise. If you 
are young and poor you are treated as a threat to society and not as the future of 
society. Hector Peterson, Chris Hani, Steve Biko and other comrades who died for our 
Freedom and Democracy did not die for this. We do not respect their sacrifice by accepting 
that this is Freedom."
Sizovuka ended her piece saying that it is important to put the record straight: "Mandela 
was not the one-man author of the country?s liberation?even if he played an important 
role... For the advances made in 1994, the black working class majority and its allies of 
all races, have only themselves?their own collective strength and solidarity?to thank."

(en) Anarkismo.net: southern africa - Nelson Mandela - by Michael Schmidt

Adopted at TAAC general meeting, 16 March 2013 ---- A. What is the TAAC? ---- The Tokologo 
African Anarchist Collective is a loose collective of anarchists and 
anarchist-sympathisers who are community and worker activists. Its members function 
primarily as educators. ---- It seeks to meet regularly to learn about and work towards 
spreading the ideas of anarchism within the working class residing in South Africa. These 
ideas are aimed at contributing to building: ? a revolutionary counter-culture, and ? 
revolutionary organisations of counter-power to fight and defeat domination and 
exploitation. This can be done by promoting direct working class organisational democracy 
and accountability

B. What does the TAAC seek to do?

The members meet regularly at general meetings once a month
to discuss, debate and learn about the ideas of anarchism. The
members meet to learn community and worker organising
skills.

The members meetThese are:
to co-ordinate the activities of the TAAC.

1. Organising and carrying out working class community-
based workshops

2. Creating and distributing propaganda relevant to the work
of the TAAC and anarchism (this propaganda includes, but
is not limited to TAAC newsletters, statements and t-shirts).

C. Why do we do this?

The TAAC seeks to develop an understanding of anarchism
? its ideas, strategies and tactics ? amongst those living and
organising in working class and poor communities in South
Africa. The TAAC seeks to do this through the activities
mentioned in B.

The TAAC seeks to organise these activists and communities
around the ideas, strategies and tactics of anarchism.

The TAAC seeks to build itself by attracting more people to
join the TAAC.

The TAAC seeks to revive a spirit of counter-culture and
optimism about struggle and organisation against domination
and exploitation in these communities. Another way of doing
this is by seeking to regularly meet with active community-
based organisations.

D. Who can join the TAAC?

Membership to the TAAC is not open to everyone on request.
Members must be educators of the ideas of anarchism. As such
those who seek to join the TAAC must have been educated
about these ideas beforehand, as well as being taught how to
educate others about the ideas.

The TAAC seeks to develop an individual?s understanding
of anarchism. In so doing, the individual must become
fully aware of the ideas of the TAAC and the processes and
commitments required to join the TAAC.

Membership is granted to an individual by collective member
decision. It will be based on:

1. An individual having participated in a community-based
workshop. At the workshop, individuals either approach
TAAC members with a desire to continue their anarchist
education, or are identified by a TAAC member present;

2. These individuals are then invited to participate in the
already existing process of education (the Anarchist
Political School, APS); and then

3. the individual?s own desire to join once they have graduated
from the APS

Membership is open to APS graduates who identify as
anarchists or to those who do not identify as anarchists.
However, membership is granted to those who share the
vision of the TAAC. Members then commit to spreading the
ideas of anarchism in working class and poor communities as
determined by collective TAAC decision.

E.How are TAAC decisionsby whom?
made and

All TAAC decisions are agreed to at the monthly general
meetings of the members. It is at these meetings that mandates
are decided on and volunteered to.

These decisions and mandates are decided by general
agreement at these monthly general meetings.

The TAAC may choose to form smaller collectives to carry
out specific tasks, e.g. an Editorial Collective. These collectives
are decided on and formed at their monthly general meetings.
These collectives may decide on their own tasks. However,
these collectives must be accountable to the general body
of members. These decisions and tasks must fall within the
mandate for these smaller collectives as decided by the
members at the monthly general meeting. These collectives
must report back to general monthly meeting, as determined
by their mandate and collective decision.

------------------------------

Message: 5
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2013 10:28:55 +0200
From: a-infos-en@ainfos.ca
To: en <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Subject: (en) Anarkismo.net: southern africa - Nelson Mandela - by
Michael Schmidt
Message-ID: <mailman.39.1386750530.23764.a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"; Format="flowed"

Reappraising the Legacy of an Icon ---- A frail multimillionaire dies peacefully in bed at 
the grand old age of 95, surrounded by a coterie of those who love him and those with an 
eye on the inheritance, an event that would in the normal course of events be seen as 
natural?but the man concerned has been treated internationally as more of a supernatural 
entity than an ordinary man. The unsurpassed hagiography around Nelson Mandela, who died 
in the ?ber-wealthy enclave of Houghton in Johannesburg last Thursday night, the famous 
prisoner turned global icon on a par with Mohandas Gandhi is upheld by most observers of 
South Africa as a necessary myth of national unity, and not least of the triumph of racial 
reconciliation of over the evils of segregation.

I had the privilege to meet Mandela several times during my career as a journalist, 
watching my country's dramatic transition unfold on the ground, with all of its tragedies 
and triumphs; on most occasions he was all business; I only saw him once in the relaxed 
and smiling mode in which he was best known and so beloved, for he had taken a huge burden 
on his shoulders and was mostly all business. He was by turns frighteningly stern and 
disarmingly charming, rigorously strict and graciously forgiving, a fierce revolutionary 
and a conciliator, a formidable intellect and a wisecracker, austere and chilled. Though a 
complex figure, he is justly considered as a colossus of global stature for sacrificing 
his life to inspire the South African masses to push forward to the irreversible defeat of 
the last white supremacist regime?and in doing so to inspire other popular struggles 
against injustice worldwide.

But in a country where the promise of a more egalitarian democracy has decayed with 
shocking rapidity into an elitist-parasitic project, where those who raise concerns over 
the loss of our period of grace under Mandela are often silenced by murder, a state 
sliding inexorably back into a fog of paranoia and forgetting under the control of 
Stasi-trained "democrats", I've had to somewhat nervously consider my critique of the 
deliberate sanitising by all factions of power of Mandela's period in office because his 
deification has resulted and in the creation of a fanatical de-facto state religion that 
tolerates no heretics in its pursuit of unfettered partisan power. The slipping of South 
Africa, once hailed as a lighthouse of progress, in the rankings of several gobal 
institutions which monitor public freedoms is of concern to all freedom-loving people, and 
not just we anarchists.

I need to be explicit: this is not a full obituary of Mandela because his life story is so 
well-known and has been repeated widely over the past week in the media; rather it is an 
analysis primarily of his presidency?the five years in which he was directly answerable to 
each poor woman who paid tax on every loaf of bread she bought?and of the unfortunate cult 
that has sprung up around him. I do not focus on the unquestionable legitimacy of his 
anti-apartheid struggle including its armed facet, nor on the long travails of his 
jail-time, nor even on his latter career as elder statesman, but rather on his presidency 
because that was the period in which he was responsible to South Africans as a paid civil 
servant. In other words, all his intentions before and after ascending to power need to be 
weighed up against his actions while in power.


Mandela?s Story and his Legacy


The scion of the Thembu royal house of the Xhosa tribe, nick-named after the British 
imperialist warlord Admiral Horatio Nelson, he escaped rural torpor and an arranged 
marriage, becoming trained in the industrial heartland of Johannesburg as a member of the 
first black South African law firm, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela would have been almost 
predestined by his class status for leadership?though that was hardly a given under a 
system dating back through three hundred years of colonialism that allowed for only a 
handful of black leaders (apartheid did raise up a clique of wealthy black Bantustan 
leaders, though Mandela to his credit echewed that comprador path). The story of the rise 
of this obscure lawyer to the leading charismatic figure of the century-old ?terrorist? 
African National Congress (ANC), and thence via decades of incredible hardship to the 
highest office as the country?s first democratic, and more to the point, black, 
president?in what remains today the world's most racially divided and economically unequal 
society?is remarkable, powerful and revealing.

It is remarkable as many personal tales are in this country for its trajectory from 
ghettoised exclusion to the corridors of power; as a transitional society, there are many 
personal ties?links that would be highly unusual in more established societies?between the 
new elite and those who shared their childhoods in dusty townships and Bantustans. It is 
powerful for its morality tale of the ascendancy, against one of the most militarised Cold 
War states, of a poorly-armed people with only the justice of their cause and the weight 
of their numbers on their side. It is sadly revealing for the ways in which the socialist 
traditions of one of the world?s oldest liberation forces was dismantled in its encounter 
with the realpolitik of running the state and its capitalist economy.

Mandela?s story captivated the world: a man who had served 27 years in prison for treason, 
breaking rocks in the brutal little prison on Robben Island, tantalizingly close to Cape 
Town, emerged a reconciler this most bitterly divided society to lead it through its first 
democratic election in 1994. It encapsulates in one man the dominant narrative of South 
Africa?s transition from global polecat to ?Rainbow Nation??and in the light of the 
corruption endemic under fourth democratic-era president, Jacob Zuma, represents what many 
feel was the apogee of social cohesion across all races and classes. It remains a unifying 
myth of enduring power that seems to, in the figure of one man, represent the euphoria of 
the entire world?s post-Berlin Wall epoch which saw the collapse of Red dictatorships in 
Russia and Eastern Europe, of one-party rule in much of Africa, and of rightist 
authoritarian regimes in Latin America, East Asia, and not least, South Africa.

And yet behind that myth of racial unity, it is conveniently forgotten that for 74 years 
until it opened all ranks to all races in 1986, the ANC was a racial-exclusivist party, 
dedicated specifically to the national liberation of the ?Black?-classified majority 
(alongside the other oppressed races, officially classified into 18 ethnic groups, but in 
effect, mixed-race ?Colored,? and ?Indian?). Still, motivated by the Atlantic Charter of 
1941, which held out the promise of self-determination for the colonised world, the ANC 
was the black organisation which, alongside its white (mostly Communist), Indian and 
Coloured sister organisations drafted the 1955 Freedom Charter, a text of blended 
liberalism and social democracy which in essence declared for all races access to the 
country?s resources (land, education, housing, etc). Yet when a young Mandela first came 
to the fore as an ANC leader, establishing the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in 1944 as a 
kingmaker faction within the parent party, his orientation was explicitly black nationalist.

We?ve recently seen a worrying resurgence of this de facto racist strain within the ANC: 
with the right-wing populist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) breaking away from the ANCYL 
this year; with the revival of tribal factionalism within the parent ANC, especially 
antagonisms between the Zulu ascendancy represented by Zuma, and what was nicknamed ?la 
Xhosa Nostra? represented by Mandela?s successor, Thabo Mbeki, ousted by Zuma?s faction in 
a palace coup in 2008; and with racist relocation threats uttered by ANC leaders against 
ANC-unfriendly populations of Indians in KwaZulu-Natal and of Coloureds in the Western 
Cape. I?m not laying these later developments at Mandela?s door, but it is worth recalling 
that he once thought and acted similarly, helping ensure the longevity of this tradition 
within the ANC, a tradition recalled in 1999 by Andrew Nash in a piece on for the 
socialist journal Monthly Review:http://monthlyreview.org/1999/04/01/mandelas-democracy

Nash correctly concluded his piece by saying that Mandela's "ideological legacy?in South 
Africa and globally?is startlingly complex" and this complexity is reflected in the 
diversity of the leaders who spoke at Mandela's state memorial service today: US President 
Barack Obama, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, 
Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Cuban President 
Ra?l Castro (the choice of Ban probably relates to his international status, while that of 
Obama seems to be based both on US power and on Obama's own tale of ascendancy over 
racism, while the India, Brazilian and Chinese choices relate to SA's strategic partners 
in the developing world?but the Cuban dictatorship appears to be a purely ideological choice).

In traditional black tribal societies here, praise-singers are poets who declaim accolades 
for their leaders?but praise-singers are not mere propagandists; they also perform the 
roles of both court jester and protected critic, ensuring that those being praised don't 
get too big-headed about their achievements. In line with this ethic, it is worth reading 
some of the more nuanced obituaries written this week, starting with South African writer 
Rian Malan, author of the seminal and very influential book on his Afrikaner family's 
intimate role in building and enforcing apartheid rule, My Traitor's Heart (1990), in his 
obituary for The Telegraph, available online at 
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/nelson-mandela/10502173/Nelson-Mandela-he-was-never-simply-the-benign-old-man.html. 
Malan rightly highlights Mandela's immense courage in standing up to the apartheid 
authorities, in taking up arms against an overwhelmingly powerful enemy, and of going 
"eyeball-to-eyeball" with the "fascists". He credits Mandela as being the architect of 
South Africa's "Rainbow Nation" and in particular of its centrist economic policies, and 
stresses the often-neglected fact of Mandela's revolutionary fervour. Academic Patrick 
Bond, author of Elite Transition, returns to that book's theme of economic continuity 
rather than change in his obituary for US investigative journal CounterPunch: 
www.counterpunch.org/2013/12/06/the-mandela-years-in-power .

Speaking for myself, I recognise?as the world at large has (even including a friend of 
mine who is a former apartheid Military Intelligence officer)?that Mandela's firm 
commitment to peaceful negotiation, and his magnanimity in eschewing the bitterness that 
could have resulted from 27 years of incarceration, instead forgiving his enemies so as to 
build a democratic country, provided the country's people with the watershed required to 
break with the past. This forgiveness is usually cited as his greatest attribute and the 
foundation of his status as a great statesman, as was his prodigious memory which enabled 
him to remember by name everyone he met, laying the foundation of his reputation for 
intimate knowledge of and care for those he interacted with in an attitude of humility. 
Regardless of the pragmatism that obviously underwrote Mandela's opposition to igniting a 
race-war, or a revolutionary war, for that matter?for such a war would be unwinnable and 
would decimate both sides?this achievement, which enabled a peaceful first democratic 
election for all races in 1994 is rightly hailed as the high-water mark of my country's 
history.

The SA Anarchist Movement in the Mandela Era


So what did the re-emergent South African anarchist movement?syndicalists of all races 
having built the first trade unions for people of colour in 1917-1919?of the mid-1990s 
have to say about Mandela and his guided transition? This was and remains a tiny minority 
revolutionary movement far to the left of the ANC, and yet which likewise claims deep 
roots in the socialist tradition and which worked hard to both ensure the universality of 
its politics?and its ability to address real local issues. Reduced to a rearguard of 
democratic socialism during the 1950s, then its syndicalist ethics producing an important 
"workerist" strain during the consolidation of the ANC-aligned revolutionary trade union 
movement in the 1970s, the explicitly anarchist movement re-emerged thanks to the 
alleviation of apartheid repression after Mandela's release in 1990. Since then, it has 
always been an active part of the extra-Parliamentary left, with a commendable consistency 
in its class-line politics, but an increasingly multiracial presence in poor areas, and an 
advancing sophistication in its praxis.

The foremost point to make is that this small movement welcomed with great enthusiasm?and 
critical concerns?the coming of democratic governance under Mandela in 1994. While it did 
not focus on the man himself, it rather focused on ANC policies, in particular its 
economic developmental strategies. It is worth quoting from the first edition of Workers' 
Solidarity, journal of the majority-black anarchist working class Workers' Solidarity 
Federation (WSF), forerunner of today's Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF), the 
editorial under the headline 1994 Elections: a Massive Advance for the Struggle in South 
Africa:

"Legalized apartheid is finally dead. For the first time in 350 years Black South Africans 
are not ruled by a racist dictatorship but by a democratic parliament. Along with this 
capitalist democracy came a whole series of rights we never had before. We have guaranteed 
freedom of association and speech. We have the right to strike and protest. We have some 
protection from racist and sexist practices. These changes did not come from the 
benevolent hand of the National Party [apartheid government]. They are the result of 
decades of struggle. We broke the pass laws. We broke the ban on African trade unions. We 
broke the racist education system. We broke the Land Act of 1913.

"But free at last?


"However, the legacy of apartheid is still with us. 2.3 million South Africans suffer from 
malnutrition. Only 45% of Africans live in houses. Only 2 in 10 African pupils reach 
matric [the final year of high-school]. Even though South Africa produces 50% of Africa's 
electricity, only 30% of the population has electricity. At the same time 5% of the 
population own 80% of all wealth. Whites on average earn 9 times more than Africans. The 
ANC's RDP [Reconstruction & Development Programme] has set itself very limited goals to 
redress this. For example, it aims to build a million houses over 5 years. This will not 
ever deal with the massive housing backlog facing Black people. The RDP also places a 
heavy reliance on the market mechanism. The RDP only aim to redistribute 30% of the land 
to Blacks. But most of this will be bought through the market. Why should we pay for 
stolen land? White farmers will also be compensated for land unfairly acquired after 1913 
even when this is returned. In any case, the RDP's ability to deliver is doubtful. The RDP 
will not be funded by increased tax on the bosses. Instead the focus is on make "more 
efficient" use of existing resources...

"The Struggle Continues


"The only way we can force the new government to deliver its promises is through struggle. 
This is the only way our needs will be heard above those of the bosses who are in a 
business crisis. It is only through keeping up the fight on the ground that we can force 
the State to give in to our demands. Force the bosses to deliver! But we need to break out 
of the cycle in which the needs of the majority take second place to the profits and power 
of the bosses and their State. We need to attack and destroy the system of capitalism that 
caused our hardships and racism in the first place. We need a society without bosses or 
governments. A society based on workers and community councils which puts people before 
profit. Build for working class revolution!"

By the final edition of Workers' Solidarity in late 1998, the tone had become more 
critical, as the ANC under Mandela shifted rightwards, with the editorial titled South 
Africa's Transition Goes Sour:

"In 1994, people danced in the streets after the results of the elections were announced. 
How far have we come in the five years since that time? Not far enough. The elections were 
a great victory because they ended legalised racism in South Africa?the oppressive laws 
created by the bosses to ensure an endless supply of super-cheap Black labour.

"But while the law has changed, conditions on the ground have not. Working and poor people 
have been increasingly impatient with the slow pace of "delivery" of the goods and 
services promised in the 1994 elections. Worried about its election prospects, the ANC has 
done its best to excuse the broken promises. It has manipulated the loyalty of many 
workers to blame the failure of delivery on unnamed "forces" who want to return South 
Africa to the past. It has done its best to label critics anti-patriotic or right-wing. 
And it has asserted its domination in the Tripartite Alliance, demanding that COSATU and 
SACP toe the line and stop criticising ANC policies. Of course, there are right-wing 
forces in South Africa. But the NP left the Government of National Unity years ago. As for 
the other big conservative group, the IFP, the ANC is hinting of a merger between Congress 
and the IFP.

"The real blame for the ANC's lack of delivery lies in its GEAR (Growth Employment and 
Redistribution) policy. GEAR [an openly neoliberal policy which replaced the RDP] is an 
attack on the jobs, incomes and social services of the working class. It is based on the 
idea that the bosses must be allowed to make more profits from cheap labour. So instead of 
taking money from the bosses and using it to benefit the Black working class majority, the 
ANC policy tells the bosses to become richer, promising the poor that crumbs from the 
bosses' banquet table will fall to them.

"However, we do not see the solution to GEAR as a new party to replace the ANC. The ANC 
did not adopt GEAR because it was "bad". ANC adopted GEAR because the bosses?who include 
many top ANC members and funders- demanded GEAR. We live in a time of class war?war by the 
employers against the working class. The only solution can be mass struggle, not 
elections. The Union is your Party, the Struggle is your Vote."

Separate Development 2.0: Neo-Apartheid?


Since those appraisals during Mandela's 1994-1999 presidency, it is obvious to all 
observers that (apart from events such as Mandela?s death and memorial service), the unity 
that the Mandela myth was supposed to ensure has rapidly unraveled. South Africa today is 
riven by entrenched racial hatred, is the world's most unequal society, and is currently 
ruled by what can only be seen as a syndicate-criminal cartel which is actively blurring 
the lines between private interest, party and state, recreating and reviving many aspects 
of the terrifying apartheid securocrat state including the notorious old National Key 
Points Act and the new Secrecy Act.

The South African National Editors? Forum (Sanef) has been campaigning without success for 
the ANC to honour its 1989 agreement that once in power it would amend or throw out some 
one hundred statutes that prevented the free flow of information in the country. Only the 
most obviously odious racist and separatist laws were thrown out.

South Africa shockingly remains a state firmly committed to race-classification, except 
that instead of apartheid?s 18 different ethnicities, the ANC only recognises four: White, 
Black, Asian?a catch-all of everyone from Indians to Chinese?and Coloured, a mixed-race 
category into which Obama would fall, were he a citizen; the indigenous Bushmen simply do 
not exist, despite Bushman cave art dating back at least 30,000 years. As a white man who 
played his tiny role propping up apartheid as a conscript into the old army, I don?t 
personally give a damn that I?m classified white, but it?s a tragedy that our ?born-free? 
children are still forced to take their chances with this racial Russian roulette?victims 
of a bureaucratic game supposedly tracking ?change?.

In my first South African book, Under the Rusted Rainbow: Tales from the Underworld of 
Southern Africa's Transition (BestRed, Cape Town, due in July 2014), I will argue that the 
ANC?s primary strategy position, the so-called ?National Democratic Revolution? fell so 
far from the heights of manufactured grace of the Mandela myth to the sleazy swamp in 
which they now wallow precisely because the ANC was the midwife of continuity rather than 
of true transition from the apartheid state, despite its vigorous propaganda campaign to 
the contrary.

I introduce my book with a comparative analysis of the transitions from autocracy to 
democracy in South Africa and Chile. South Africans have an irritating habit of avoiding 
learning from such comparisons as to do so would undermine their claim to special status 
because of their supposedly unique history. But I demonstrate that our "transition" was 
far from unique: in both countries, it was a socialist-led combine (the Tripartite 
Alliance in SA, and the Concertaci?n in Chile) that enabled the exploitative structures of 
the state and capital to make the move to democracy almost unaltered, their repressive and 
exploitative functions, honed by centuries of colonialism, intact.

Notably, right across South Africa, the geographic separation of apartheid continues to 
hold sway, with even black-dominated ANC town councils building new housing developments 
for the black poor literally on the wrong side of the tracks, far from goods, services and 
jobs. This despite the fact that the working class spends the largest chunk of their 
pitiful incomes on transport; 40% of the country simply languishes in poverty as their 
leaders swan about in jet-planes and motorcades. Even ?Presidential Lead Projects? like 
the rebuilding of Alexandra township, east of Johannesburg, have been amputated by the 
nimby attitude of the new elite who blocked its articulation with bridges to their leafy 
Sandton suburbs a mere five kilometres away.

In anticipation of Mandela's death, I was interviewed last year by the journalist Carlo 
Annese for GQ Italia on this question, I said: "Today there is a class division that 
replicates the racial division of the past... It is truly economic apartheid, in which the 
poor are getting poorer, the townships that were to have disappeared are still there, the 
workers do not earn enough to buy what they produce, and the white elite of the 45-year 
regime has added a wealthy black middle class of no more than 300-thousand people.

"This is not only the effect of the government in recent years; even Mandela bears 
responsibility, but few want to see it. His figure was almost beatified as a new Gandhi, 
so that all he has done is sacrosanct, whereas criticism would help to restore a human 
dimension, beyond the myth: Madiba was a party man who succumbed to compromise..."

South Africa and the world, I argued, would benefit from a judicious assessment of Mandela 
as a realpolitik politician, an analysis made impossible by the fanatically rabid 
insistence by his Pavlovian acolytes that he be treated as a demigod. There is a foolish 
argument on the South African Left, that replicates the delusional Trotskyist argument 
around the dictatorial succession in Russia, that Lenin was cool and right-on, but he was 
supplanted by treachery by Stalin who was an outright bastard?and only Trotsky stood up to 
him as a critic of the decay of ?real, existing socialism?.

The SA Lefty argument goes similarly: Mandela was cool and right-on, but he was supplanted 
by Mbeki who was an outright bastard?and only Zuma stood up to him as a critic of the 
decay of ?real, existing democracy?. Unfortunately for these partisans of wishful 
thinking, it was Lenin, not Stalin, who reintroduced capitalism via the New Economic 
Policy, Lenin who established the Cheka?and it was Trotsky who ordered the Kronstadt 
Revolt and the insurgent Ukraine, which for almost five years defended Red Moscow from the 
White reactionary forces, destroyed.

Likewise, sadly for ANC allies the tiny South African Communist Party (SACP, membership 
about 14,000 at the time of the 2008 split in the Alliance) and the massive Congress of 
South African Trade Unions (Cosatu, membership about 1,8-million) who tried without 
success to find a ?socialist? in current SA President Jacob Zuma, it was Mandela who 
scrapped the quasi-socialist RDP and substituted it for the outright neoliberal GEAR 
policy, the same Mandela who, it was only admitted after his death after 50 years of 
denials, was a member of the SACP's Central Committee at the time of his arrest. So 
Mandela, who served as ANC president from 1991-1997, having joined the party in 1943, was 
simultaneously a communist revolutionary, a social-democrat and an outright neoliberal?

True Believer or Opportunist: What are ?Mandela?s Values??


How are we to make sense of such a personal/party political m?lange? Where did Mandela 
truly stand ethically, politically and economically; what did he believe in? This is of 
pertinent interest today and not merely a historical curiosity, because South Africans are 
continually exhorted to "live by Mandela's values". His birthday on 18 July, unofficially 
nicknamed Mandela Day, when such exhortations reach fever-pitch, is likely to be made a 
public holiday. So what are those values; what does the hagiography obscure?

Of assistance in cutting through the fog of the myth is a recent debate in the letters 
pages of The New York Review of Books between Rian Malan and reviewer Bill Keller. In 
essence, Malan, who Keller calls "the heretic," argues that the influence of the SACP on 
the ANC has been grievously underestimated, and that an abiding centralising instinct and 
Stalinist anti-democratic practice has been its most damaging legacy: "during the struggle 
years (1960?1990) the SACP reeked of Soviet orthodoxy, and the ANC reeked of the SACP. As 
a journalist, you had to be very careful what you said about this. The civilized line was 
the one ceaselessly propounded in The New York Times?Nelson Mandela was basically a black 
liberal, and his movement was striving for universal democratic values. Anyone who 
disagreed was an anti-Communist crank, as Keller labels me...

But, Malan continued, "New research by historian Stephen Ellis shows... that SACP 
militants found themselves in an awkward position in 1960, when their secret plans for 
armed struggle encountered resistance from South Africa?s two most important black 
politicians?ANC president Albert Luthuli and SACP general secretary Moses Kotane. Rather 
than back down, these militants co-opted Nelson Mandela onto the Communist Party?s Central 
Committee and tasked him to 'bounce' the mighty ANC into agreement with their position. 
The result, said veteran Communist Roley Arenstein, was tantamount to 'a hijacking' of the 
mighty ANC by a tiny clique of mostly white and Indian intellectuals."

Keller's riposte was that: "I part company with... Mr Malan on the significance of this 
evidence. Malan... seems to believe that it discredits Mandela, and that the alliance with 
the Communists damns the ANC as a Stalinist front. That is simply Red-baiting nonsense. 
Nelson Mandela was, at various times, a black nationalist and a nonracialist, an opponent 
of armed struggle and a practitioner of armed struggle, a close partner of the South 
African Communist Party and, in his presidency, a close partner of South Africa?s powerful 
capitalists. In other words, he was whatever served his purpose of ending South Africa?s 
particularly fiendish brand of minority rule."

In a country where the sources of political party funding are not required by law to be 
declared, the ANC's shady connections to a varied range of dictatorial regimes (not least 
those of the late unlamented Muamar Gaddaffi, of the Castro brothers, and of ascendant 
corporatist-capitalist China) need to be investigated in order to properly critique the 
ruling party's supposedly democratic credentials.

Mandela reportedly personally received funding from General Sani Abacha, the military 
dictator of Nigeria (1993-1998) despite the fact that Abacha was a friend of Louis 
Farrakhan, leader of US race-hate group the Nation of Islam, and that Abacha's regime was 
responsible for gross human rights violations. Writing in London's The Guardian newspaper, 
David Beresford claimed Abacha had in 1994 donated ?2,6-million (R35,7-million) to the 
ANC, with The News of Lagos reporting the following year that Abacha donated another 
$50-million.

Mandela blithely took the cash, despite Abacha's bleak human rights record, being 
responsible for the execution in 1995 after a rigged military tribunal of writer-activist 
Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists, for the suppression of free speech and 
association, and for the charging in absentia of world-famous writer Wole Soyinka with 
treason. Abacha is believed to have siphoned between $2-billion and $5-billion out of 
Nigeria's treasury during his five-year tenure, which begs the question of what the 
ultimate source of Mandela's money was, and how much went into party coffers and how much 
possibly into his own back pocket; none of this has ever been subject to public audit, but 
with mansions in Houghton, Qunu and Maputo, and with his children squabbling publicly over 
their inheritance, he certainly did not die a poor man.

In 1997, President Mandela reached what should have been internationally condemned as the 
ethical low-point of an already checquered career, giving South Africa's then-highest 
order, the Star of Good Hope, to neo-fascist dictator Mohamed Suharto of Indonesia, whose 
bloody rise to power at the head of what became his militarised "New Order" state 
(1967-1998) was facilitated by the mass murder of between 500,000 and 1-million people 
during his coup and purge over 1965-1966 (a 2012 documentary puts the death toll at 
between 1-million and 3-million). This bloodbath, orchestrated by Suharto's army and 
carried out by interahamwe-like civilian militia, was profoundly both anti-Communist and 
anti-Christian, but also had elements of genocide in that ethnic Chinese were also 
targeted for slaughter. Rivers in parts of Indonesia were so choked with bodies that their 
flow was dammed.

Suharto's regime still engaged in bouts of mass-murder of thousands of people well into 
the 1980s, so Mandela's endorsement of a man who ranks down there with Pol Pot is hard to 
understand: until one realises that in honouring Suharto, Mandela was thanking him for a 
cash donation to the ANC (not to the SA state) of some US$60-million; the ANC admitted 
only that Suharto "gave generously". Suharto is estimated to have embezzled a staggering 
$15-billion to $35-billion during his reign, so the cash given to Mandela can only be seen 
as blood money. In this light, the most honest monument to Mandela is his face's slightly 
mocking grin and hooded eyes on the new Rand bank-notes.

Even in those early days after his 1990 release from prison, there was something 
Janus-faced about Mandela, who spoke a hard, revolutionary line to a hungry black 
majority, and who performed a blackface act for the whites who commanded the heights of 
the economy, charming them with his informal zoot-suit style, his trademark slow "Madiba 
jive" dance, and perpetual toothy smile. That's how the white elite liked their blacks: 
smiling, dancing, entertaining?and he cynically played the role perfectly, while all the 
time flexing an iron fist on the levers of state, a state barely altered in its essentials 
from the apartheid state (no-one should have been surprised that our remilitarised police 
force committed the 2012 Marikana Massacre of 34 striking miners).

So I can only agree with Keller in that it simply does not matter whether Mandela was ever 
a Communist, the most telling point being rather that he was a consummate opportunist, 
with a lawyer's nose for the money. Initially an anti-Communist youth, feared for 
illegally using his boxer's training to beat up Reds and break up their meetings, Mandela 
was also in turn a virulently racial black nationalist who argued fervently against 
fighting apartheid arm-in-arm with other races in the 1940s, but then swung over to the 
Communists in the 1950s and 1960s, when the USSR was offering funding; and then he flipped 
again in the 1990s, becoming fascist-friendly, when Indonesia's New Order gave him money. 
That's a tough set of values of live up to, if only because I'm sure most of us are not 
personal friends with any communist oligarchs or neo-fascist dictators.

South African imperialism ? Mandela style


In 1998, I covered two stories that demonstrated the capitalist and imperialist values of 
the ANC under Mandela's presidency. The first was the weird tale of the Mosagrius 
Agreement, signed in May 1997 by Mandela and his Mozambican counterpart Joaquin Chissano, 
which paved the way for hundreds of white South African farmers to settle in Mozambique's 
largest and poorest province, Niassa. The deal was promoted by the South African Chamber 
for Agricultural Development in Africa (Sacada), but engineered by the white right-wing 
Freedom Front (FF) party. In terms of the agreement, the Mozambican government granted a 
50-year renewable concession for 220,000 hectares for agriculture, cattle-ranching, 
fruit-farming, and ecotourism to the farmers who also got tax exemptions to bring in 
supplies like farming equipment and medicines.

The entire agreement was worked out in secret and "rammed through", said reports. The head 
of rural extension services in Niassa province admitted locals were not consulted: "But 
the ministers who design national policy know local people's needs". Alarmed Niassa 
peasants disagreed and organised themselves in response to what they feared was outright 
land-theft, enclosure and dispossession by Mandela's cohorts. They feared that they would 
end up as landless labourers or tenant farmers, dependent on white farmers for food and 
housing where previously they had been self-sufficient. The agreement amounted to grand 
theft terra in the old British imperial tradition of the enclosure of the land and the 
indenture of the peasantry; a more reactionary land policy is hard to envisage.

The other 1998 story was the invasion of Lesotho in August of that year by SADC forces 
comprising armoured columns, helicopters and paratroopers of the SA National Defence 
Force, supported by a small Botswana motorised force, supposedly to "restore democracy" 
(tell me where you have heard that chilling phrase before?). According to South African 
Foreign Affairs, a story maintained to this day, a faction within the Lesotho Defence 
Force staged a coup attempt, so SA and Botswana intervened under SADC mandate to crush the 
coup and restore the elected government.

But that just wasn't true: I was in Lesotho at the time, covering the invasion for Sunday 
Times, and it was clear that there had been no coup attempt, but rather a pro-democratic 
mutiny, not aimed at seizing power, but rather at ousting corrupt military brass whose 
allegiance had been bought by politicians with gifts of farms in the Free State. Although 
the mutineers put up brave resistance, we killed 40 of them for the loss of eight 
paratroopers.

Mandela was conveniently out of the country at the time, with Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) 
leader Mangosutho Buthelezi as Acting President, but the invasion had been planned three 
months in advance and as Commander-in-Chief, Basothos were well aware that it was Mandela 
who bore ultimate responsibility for an action that had more to do with shoring up SA 
water and investment interests in our weaker neighbour, and that in doing so, Mandela had 
supported the corrupt status quo. On another visit to Lesotho in 2003, I was intrigued by 
the expressions of utter hatred expressed for Mandela, voiced by everyone from 
taxi-drivers to nurses, people who assured me that the weapons taken by the mutineers were 
well-cached and would be used again one day.

Fast-forward to 2013, and a democratic South Africa that in 1994 foreswore aggressive 
military interventions in Africa is still to be found embroiled in firefights abroad, this 
time in the Central African Republic (CAR), allegedly, according to some sources, to prop 
up Mbeki's private uranium-mining interests. The corruption and anti-working-class 
violence of the current SA government stems directly from Mandela's compromise. I will 
argue in The Rainbow Regime that the Mandela regime (and those who got stupendously 
wealthy off it including Tokyo Sexwale, Patrice Motsepe and Cyril Ramaphosa) was the 
logical culmination and realisation of the strategy of the old PW Botha regime: that so 
long as real, structural apartheid kept the unwashed poor apart from the precious 
classes?and the continuity under the ANC of Group Areas-styled town planning is 
breathtaking?the Nationalists had achieved in Mandela and the ANC what they were incapable 
of achieving themselves because of their lack of a popular mandate under apartheid. In the 
ultimate recognition of their doctrinal similarities, the New National Party (NNP) was 
absorbed into the ANC in 2005.

Mandela's earlier rapprochement with the Nationalists in the 1990s, albeit a thorny path 
with many switchbacks, meant he was not always a unifying force within the ANC. I well 
remember the murderous faction-fighting in Bhambayi, KwaMashu, on the outskirts of Durban 
on the eve of the 1994 elections between pro-Mandela "exile" and anti-Mandela "internal" 
factions of the ANC?the last assignment of photojournalist Ken Oosterbroek outside of 
Joburg before he was killed on the East Rand. The two sides were at each others' throats 
over what the internals perceived to be the hijacking of the struggle for democracy by 
exiles who had lived comfortably abroad while the internals died in their thousands at the 
hands of the police and proxy forces, exiles who moreover were committed to the rescue of 
the apartheid capitalist state which had lived for 46 years off the cheap labour of a 
black underclass it considered to be little more than draft animals.

On 26 July 1990, barely months after the icon's release from prison, a secret signal from 
Ambassador Bill Swing at the US Embassy in Pretoria informed US Secretary of State James 
Baker III that a US intelligence source reported that in an interview with SACP leader Mac 
Maharaj on the very morning before he was arrested for Operation Vula, Maharaj confessed 
that "Plan B" of Vula, should it fail to insert an insurgent leadership into South Africa, 
was "to assassinate Nelson Mandela to provoke a national insurrection."
Maharaj flatly denied this to me in person, but it was clear to all observers at that time 
that Mandela's conciliatory approaches towards the Nationalist government were deeply 
distrusted by many in the SACP and ANC. It is ironic not only that the ANC and NNP merged 
but that Maharaj was the gatekeeper who presided over Mandela's final days.

Between Mandela's 1990 release and the first democratic elections in April 1994, some 
15,000 people were killed in an orgy of internecine violence, largely between the ANC and 
its black opponents?and no, I don't mean only the Zulu nationalist IFP, but also 
progressive forces such as the Azanian People's Organisation (Azapo), and the 
Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC). We all recall with a chill Mandela's wife Winnie Mandela 
endorsing terror by the ANC's favoured "necklace" method of torture-murder, placing a 
rubber tyre around the shoulders of a victim, pouring petrol over them and lighting them 
up like a Roman candle. My anarchist comrade Bobo Makhoba, who lived in Dlamini, Soweto, a 
former Azapo stronghold, told me of walking to school, terrified by the corpses of Azapo 
members left lying at the roadside after the previous night's bloodletting by the ANC. In 
some areas, the party literally murdered its way to power, and members still regularly 
resort to murder in holding on to such power-bases.

Black Anarchist & Shackland Youth Today on Mandela


So how are we to assess his legacy? Listen to the voice of one of our non-voting youth, 
Tina Sizovuka, writing this year: "Nelson Mandela has become a brand, 'Brand Mandela,' his 
image, name and prison number used to generate cash and to promote the legend of Mandela. 
In July 2012, for example, the 46664 clothing line was launched (all 'Made in China'). 
'Brand Mandela' is more than just an opportunity to sell stupid trinkets to tourists and 
celebrities. It is also a dangerous myth, based on Mandela-worship, promoted daily in the 
public imagination to serve far more sinister interests. The myth of Mandela is used to 
give the vicious South African ruling class credibility by association, and to legitimise 
the ruling African National Congress."

Sizovuka challenges the ruling party's "using the image of Mandela as a living saint," 
saying that the Madiba myth "has been a decoy to obscure the far less heroic story of the 
ANC in power... Like any other nationalist propaganda, Brand Mandela has been used by the 
rich and powerful to perpetuate a rotten class system?a system the ANC helps maintain 
through its neo-liberal policies, elite 'empowerment' deals and police massacres. A system 
that has caused misery for the millions of poor South Africans Mandela is said to have 
'liberated'."

In their June 2013 Youth Day press release, Abahlali base Mjondolo (Movement of 
Shack-dwellers), wrote that "Freedom and Democracy was supposed to be for everyone. Today 
it is for the rich. Rich people are getting the multi-racial education and the poor still 
have the third-rate education which back then was known as Bantu Education. Rich people 
get jobs. They have cars. They have nice houses. They can get married and move on with 
their lives. They are safe. This is Freedom to them. The poor have to survive as we can. 
We go in circles and not forward.

"We live in shacks. We live in shit and fire. We are evicted. We have no safe and easy 
transport. The police treat us as criminals. They beat us if we try to organise. If you 
are young and poor you are treated as a threat to society and not as the future of 
society. Hector Peterson, Chris Hani, Steve Biko and other comrades who died for our 
Freedom and Democracy did not die for this. We do not respect their sacrifice by accepting 
that this is Freedom."
Sizovuka ended her piece saying that it is important to put the record straight: "Mandela 
was not the one-man author of the country?s liberation?even if he played an important 
role... For the advances made in 1994, the black working class majority and its allies of 
all races, have only themselves?their own collective strength and solidarity?to thank."