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False Start in South Africa
Disappointments of post-apartheid rule, marred by mass unemployment and corruption, amid the enrichment of a new black elite. Does the arrival of Zuma, and new salience of the SACP within the ruling alliance, portend a lurch to ethnic conflict and capital flight?
John Saul replies
Idon’t think I have misrepresented Alex Callinicos’s position. I do know that he has misrepresented mine. He says that one of my two criteria of a ‘structural reform’ (as distinct from a measure of ‘mere reformism’) is that it ‘form[s] part of an irreversible process of change’, and proceeds to . . . read more
Violence and Mr de Klerk’s Line of Duty
In the mid seventies I wrote a novel in which the body of an unknown man, found murdered, was shovelled by the police under shallow earth among reeds. When the drought broke and the river rose, so did he. That body comes back to me as a metaphor for what . . . read more
Reform and Revolution in South Africa: A Reply to John Saul
F.W. de Klerk’s speech of 2 February 1990, in which he announced the unbanning of the African National Congress and the other main anti-apartheid organizations, ushered in what has proved to be a complex, difficult and dangerous phase in South African history. Participants in and sympathizers with the liberation struggle . . . read more
South Africa: Between 'Barbarism' and 'Structural Reform'
It is easy to lapse into reformism now, socialism (whatever that might mean) being in retreat on so many fronts. On much of the Left, the language of ‘reasonableness’ replaces the language of revolution, with those who conform to the nostrums of ‘Marxism–Leninism’ and/or ‘Trotskyism’ seeming more antiquated and naive—more . . . read more
Come Back Africa
the second most impressive thing about Come Back Africa is that it was made at all. Lionel Rogosin, its creator, spent a year in South Africa simply getting to know the Africans, and after months of wrangling with suspicious white authorities, got permission to shoot a film, ostensibly praising apartheid, . . . read more
Morals for Sale?
The demand for Britain and the outside world to take action against apartheid in Southern Africa can be justified on grounds of selfinterest as well as of morality. As the likelihood of any internal solution has receded in the six years since Sharpeville, so the chances of nonracial co-operation have . . . read more
South Africa: The Question of Strategy
In June 1976 the students of Soweto forced South Africa back onto the front pages of the world’s newspapers. Subsequently there has been a certain ebb and flow to the resistance in that country, but such has been the growth and consolidation of the forces pressing for change that it . . . read more
Whose Africa Year?
on sunday, March 27, the London police stood shoulder-to-shoulder around South Africa House to guard it against possible attack by the demonstrators in Trafalgar Square. From South Africa came news that the South African police had announced that they would not enforce the pass laws for the time being “to . . . read more
Introduction to 'The White Working Class in South Africa'
There are few concepts in Marxist vocabulary which have been so inadequately studied and so frequently abused as that of ‘labour aristocracy’. Popularized by Lenin, the term was never rigorously defined by him. Different passages from his writings can be used for widely contrasting versions of it—from the notion of . . . read more
Black Workers' Strikes in South Africa
The massive outbreak of black working-class resistance which hit South Africa and South West Africa in 1972 and 1973 was the reflection of structural changes which had been taking place in the settler economies and which have altered the context of the opposition movement. When South Africa left the gold . . . read more
The White Working-Class in South Africa
At present, there is no liberation movement in South Africa which seriously regards the white working class as a potential ally, because of the benefits that this section of the settler community derives from Apartheid. Some currents within it have recently even revealed symptoms of political sympathy for the extreme . . . read more
Cuba and Southern Africa
After eight months of talks in Geneva between Angola, Cuba, South Africa and the United States, 1988 is drawing to a close with the distinct possibility that Pretoria may have been forced to end ten years of procrastination and redraw its regional strategy in such a way as to allow . . . read more
Race and Politics in South Africa
The revolutionary struggle of the black masses in South Africa is at its inception, and the problems of what path it must take—rural or urban guerrilla, a strategy based on the Reserves, on foreign base-camps or on the city ghettoes and shanty-towns—are still unsolved. It goes without saying that as . . . read more
Behind the Boycott
economic boycott has been used increasingly in the last few years as an instrument of political struggle in Africa; in Northern Rhodesia, some years ago, Africans boycotted traders who operated separate counters for Africans, and won their battle; TANU in Tanganyika ran a successful boycott of European beers last year; . . . read more