Ulrich, 2004, “Remembering and Learning from the Past: The 1976 Uprising and the African Working Class” (Zabalaza)

Nicole Ulrich, 2006, “Remembering and Learning from the Past: The 1976 Uprising and the African Working Class,” Zabalaza: A journal of southern African revolutionary anarchism, number 7, pp. 22-23. 

PDF here, text below

This year [2006] marks the 30th anniversary of the 1976 Soweto uprising in South Africa, which marked the start of the fall of apartheid, and inspired activists worldwide. African working youth played a leading role, and their sacrifices showed us that ordinary people can make a difference to the injustices of our world. Revolutionaries should commemorate this struggle, but also learn from its failings.

RACE AND CLASS

The 1976 uprising was sparked by the imposition of Afrikaans-language teaching in African schools, seen as an act of national oppression. But there was more at play. The 1970s saw growing inflation creating much discontent amongst urban African youth. South Africa’s economy, which boomed in the 1960s, entered crisis in the 1970s. Unemployment grew steadily, reaching levels unseen for decades.

This was fuelled by under-funded, racist and authoritarian government institutions like the local government township administrations, the Bantu Education system and the miserable conditions in the segregated township schools. Although the government and large companies such as Continue reading “Ulrich, 2004, “Remembering and Learning from the Past: The 1976 Uprising and the African Working Class” (Zabalaza)”

Shawn Hattingh, 2007, “BHP Billiton and SAB: Outward Capital Movement and the International. Expansion of South African Corporate Giants”

From here Get the PDF here Citation details: HATTINGH, S. 2007. BHP Billiton and SAB: Outward capital movement and the international expansion of South African corporate giants. Available at: http://www.taxjustice.net/cms/upload/pdf/Ilrig0809South African giants.pdf [accessed 2014-02-18].         Shawn Hattingh (ILRIG), 2007, “BHP Billiton and SAB: Outward Capital Movement and the International Expansion of South African Corporate Giants” Abstract From the 1940s until the mid-1970s, the largest South African corporations, … Continue reading Shawn Hattingh, 2007, “BHP Billiton and SAB: Outward Capital Movement and the International. Expansion of South African Corporate Giants”

Profiles: Bobo Makhoba, 1975-2016, ZACF founder member

Bobo Makhoba of Soweto, South Africa, was a founder member of the Zablaza Anarchist Communist Federation (later, Front), and active in the Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee, largest affiliate of the Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF), a coalition of post-apartheid protest movements in Gauteng. He later moved to Trostkyism. This obituary from here. Hamba kahle comrade Bobo Makhoba (1975-2016) 1 October 2016, by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF) The … Continue reading Profiles: Bobo Makhoba, 1975-2016, ZACF founder member

Profiles: Abel Ramarope, 1961-2005, South Africa

Abel Ramarope was a political prisoner from the nationalist Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC), who did not receive amnesty in South Africa’s transition to a parliamentary, post-apartheid state. He was in contact with the Anarchist Black Cross, a project of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (later, Front), and ran an anarchist study circle in Pretoria. Obituary from ZACF here. Obituary from mainstream media here. Continue reading Profiles: Abel Ramarope, 1961-2005, South Africa

Profiles: Mandla Khoza, 1974-2019, ZACF anarchist-communist and Swaziland activist

A pioneering member of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF) in South Africa and Swaziland, Mandla Khoza (“MK”) passed away in 2019, having suffered ill-health for years. See here. Continue reading Profiles: Mandla Khoza, 1974-2019, ZACF anarchist-communist and Swaziland activist

Interviews: ZACF Interviews Two Libertarian Socialist Activists from Zimbabwe, 2008

From here

A member of the ZACF poses the same set of questions to two activists from Zimbabwe.

The first interviewee, Biko Mutsaurwa, is an anarcho-communist from the Uhuru Network and facilitator for the Toyi Toyi Artz Kollektive in Harare.

The second interviewee is Comrade Fatso, AKA Samm Farai Monro, a cultural activist and artistic facilitator for Magamba! The Cultural Activist Network.

The interviews were conducted in Johannesburg on 21st of June, 2008 – the day before MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai announced his decision to not participate in the June 27 presidential election run-off.


Interview with Biko Mutsaurwa, anarcho-communist from the Uhuru Network and facilitator for the Toyi Toyi Artz Kollektive. Conducted in Johannesburg on 21st June 2008 by the ZACF.

ZACF: Have you heard about the regime’s alleged 3-stage election scheme (“electoral cleansing”, falsify the vote, declare a state of emergency)?

Biko: About the regimes intentions to outrightly rig the Zimbabwe electoral outcome I could say that i am convinced merely from watching the regimes reactions to the 29th March elections results that Mugabe has refused to accept that he was defeated in that election. The state media has continued to propagate the myths that there was no election winner. So I’m clear that their intention was to rig the election. With regards to how the regime is actually intent on cleansing after the elections, decimating the middle lay of activists within the Movement for Democratic Change I could say that I have second hand information, actually I got it from my mother who was forced-marched to a ZANU PF rally this Wednesday, 18th June 2008 where war veterans from the Zimbabwe Liberation War Veterans Association addressed that rally and they came to say that they were not there to campaign but they were there to inform the people that ZANU PF was not going to accept the electoral victory of MDC and also that they were going to come back to beat up the residents of Chitungwiza, where I stay with my family, primarily because Chitungwiza has been traditionally voting for the MDC.

ZACF: Can you tell us something about conditions on the ground in Zimbabwe, the extent of repression etc.. We’d like to hear about something else other than the repeated arrests of Tsvangirai & other MDC big-shots.

Biko: The arrests of senior MDC leaders comes in the wake of ZANU PF’s realisation that this time around the MDC leadership is prepared to call upon the masses of Zimbabwe to rise up and defend their vote using peoples power.The specific incident that gave rise to this awakening in terms of ZANU PF’s Continue reading “Interviews: ZACF Interviews Two Libertarian Socialist Activists from Zimbabwe, 2008”

Interview: Lekhetho Mtetwa, 2013, on Soweto anarchism, Landless Peoples Movement (LPM)

A 2013 interview with Lekhetho Mtetwa of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF), focused on his work in the Landless Peoples Movement (LPM), a post-apartheid social movement. The name notwithstanding, the LPM was mainly involved in urban squatter communities, not amongst farm-dwellers and farm-workers. Full reference details are included in the PDF. Get the PDF here. Continue reading Interview: Lekhetho Mtetwa, 2013, on Soweto anarchism, Landless Peoples Movement (LPM)

Interview: Lucien van der Walt, 2010, on Johannesburg anarchism, Wits 2001, NEHAWU, Anti-Privatisation Forum

Interview from the Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF) archives,  created by Dale McKinley, held at the South African History Archive (SAHA), at Constitution Hill, Johannesburg. In this interview Lucien van der Walt talks about his background, the anarchist and left movement in Johannesburg in the 1990s and 2000s, and experiences in the APF, a major coalition of post-apartheid movements founded in 2000. He also draws some lessons … Continue reading Interview: Lucien van der Walt, 2010, on Johannesburg anarchism, Wits 2001, NEHAWU, Anti-Privatisation Forum

Phillip Nyalungu, 2019, “Experiences of an Activist and ZACF Anarchist-Communist in Soweto, 2002-2012”

Phillip Nyalungu, 2019, “Experiences of an Activist and ZACF Anarchist-Communist in Soweto, South Africa, 2002-2012,” Anarchist Studies,  27 (2), pp. 61-76. Get the PDF here   Continue reading Phillip Nyalungu, 2019, “Experiences of an Activist and ZACF Anarchist-Communist in Soweto, 2002-2012”

Solidarity with the pro-democratic movement in Swaziland (ZACF, 26 January 2006)

Source: here

Solidarity with the pro-democratic movement in Swaziland: Swaziland Youth Day and the Sixteen Pro-Democracy Activists Facing the Death Sentence

Statement and appeal for international solidarity with Swaziland and the 16 pro-democracy activists facing the death sentence.

A woman is dead as a result of the injuries incurred from her torture, by the Swazi police, for being married to a member of the Peoples’ United Democratic Movement, PUDEMO. Another 16 pro-democracy activists, arrested in December after a spate of firebomb attacks, whose charges have now been upgraded to High Treason, await their sentences of possible death or life imprisonment. And dozens of pro-democracy leaders and activists are fleeing the country in fear of their lives.

We don’t endorse the bombings, as the ZACF has consistently been against terrorism in favour of mass mobilisation; and we don’t assume that the 16 PUDEMO and SWAYOCO members did it; but we defend them and demand their release whether they did it or not. The fact that people have resorted to violence Continue reading “Solidarity with the pro-democratic movement in Swaziland (ZACF, 26 January 2006)”

Jabulane Matsebula (PUDEMO): Swaziland “Sexing up Threats to National Security” (January 2006)

Article from the People’s Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), explaining the wave of repression in Swaziland in 2005 and 2006, and how spurious claims of a terrorist offensive were used by the state. It includes a discussion of how the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (ZACF), which was then active in both South Africa and Swaziland, was falsely accused of bombing (for a ZACF statement on this issue, see here; for repression affecting ZACF in Swaziland, see here and here).

Sexing up threats to national security

Swazi King orders more arrests to justify fresh emergency powers under the new Constitution

Signed: Dr. Jabulane Matsebula
PUDEMO Representative (Australia, Asia and the Pacific Region)

Swaziland police have arrested two more pro-democracy activists in what has become a regular occurrence. These arrests bring the number of incarcerated political activists to sixteen and occur in the wake of the fatal torture of LaFakudze. Mphandlana Shongwe and a university student, Wandile Dludlu faced similar prospects of death by hanging as the other fourteen activists. These charges range from malicious damage to property to high treason.

As a pro-democracy stalwart and the most fearlessly outspoken critic of the state, Mphandlana Shongwe has experienced the brunt of this hatred. In 1990, he was among thirteen people accused of high treason. It will be remembered that no charges were proved in this “case”. Since then he has been detained and tortured on several occasions. He is constantly under police surveillance and has been denied the right to work as a schoolteacher because of his political convictions and membership of PUDEMO.

We maintain that these charges have no real basis Continue reading “Jabulane Matsebula (PUDEMO): Swaziland “Sexing up Threats to National Security” (January 2006)”

ZACF Response to “The Times of Swaziland” on alleged bombing (18 January , 2006)

ZACF Response to The Times of Swaziland: Zabalaza DOES NOT claim bombing of police van
(18 January , 2006)

(A letter to the editor of The Times of Swaziland, which carried an article in the January 15th edition falsely saying that the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation claimed responsibility for bombing a police van).

In The Times of Swaziland, Sunday Edition of January 15, under the headline “Zabalaza’s claims of bombing police van” by Mduduzi Magagula it seems to us that he has misread the report when he says “Also shocking in the claims is that they stoned and petrol bombed a police vehicle in Manzini during a PUDEMO organised demonstration recently.”

The newspaper quotes our website Continue reading “ZACF Response to “The Times of Swaziland” on alleged bombing (18 January , 2006)”

Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation statement on alleged armed struggle tendency of Swaziland pro-democracy movement (7 December, 2006)

Armed struggle a viable substitute for the mass movement? 

Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation statement on alleged armed struggle tendency of Swaziland pro-democracy movement (7 December, 2006)

Recent reports in The Star (25/11/06) allege that the development of the “armed struggle” tendency within a section of the pro-democracy movement in Swaziland could be accelerating. Given that the pro-democracy movement has set itself the goal of liberation in 2008, it is understandable that frustration has led some comrades in this direction.

We do not believe that an “armed struggle” approach is appropriate. The dangers inherent in such an approach are many. We support the right of the oppressed to self-defense against repression.

However, “armed struggle” is generally not a Continue reading “Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation statement on alleged armed struggle tendency of Swaziland pro-democracy movement (7 December, 2006)”

ZACF Statement on the Murder of PUDEMO Deputy President Dr. Gabriel Thandokuhle Mkhumane (8 April 2008)

Source: here ZACF Statement on the Murder of PUDEMO Deputy President Dr. Gabriel Thandokuhle Mkhumane Tuesday April 08, 2008 by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front was saddened and concerned to learn of the murder of People’s United Democratic Movement Deputy President Dr. Gabriel Thandokuhle Mkhumane. Although the truth behind his murder seems unclear, with some mainstream newspapers in Swaziland reporting that … Continue reading ZACF Statement on the Murder of PUDEMO Deputy President Dr. Gabriel Thandokuhle Mkhumane (8 April 2008)