[Marxism] GLW: SOUTH AFRICA: The will of the people?

glparramatta glparramatta at greenleft.org.au
Wed Mar 15 16:42:53 MST 2006

``This should also be an instructive lesson to publications
like 'The Green Left Weekly' and the much respected 'Monthly Review'
should tread with caution in their projection of who represents the left
in South Africa. The centre of the left in South Africa is still in the
Tripartite Alliance!''

Blade Nzimande, SACP General Secretary, writing in Umsebenzi, Vol. 5 No. 52


See GLW's latest article from Percy Ngonyama on the March 1 election 

SOUTH AFRICA: The will of the people?

Percy Ngonyama, Durban

South Africa’s local government elections — held on March 1 — were
neither an expression of the ``will'' of the people nor a sign that ``our
democracy is maturing'' as President Thabo Mbeki, in collusion with the
Independent Electoral commission (IEC), wants us to believe.

Instead, the elections should be viewed in the correct context: an
unequivocal message to the ruling African National Congress (ANC) that
the country’s poor masses are gatvol (have had enough). Despite the
ANC’s victory, a substantial number of voters have rejected the top-down
neoliberal policies that have exacerbated the country’s poverty.

The government's apartheid era-style repressive response to organised
election boycott campaigns needs to be condemned in the strongest
possible terms. Just two days before election day, the ANC-controlled
Durban City Council and the police brutally attempted to prevent a legal
march by Abahlali base Mjondolo, the ever-growing movement of the shack

Mainstream institutions and ``experts'', who are always quick to remind
South Africans of how wonderful our ``democracy'' is, did not condemn this
move to suppress freedom of expression, nor the police repression in
Khutsong, another poor community that successfully boycotted the poll in
protest at the ANC government’s anti-poor policies. These attacks were
not condemned by the IEC and all those who have concluded that the March
1 election reflected ``democracy in action''.


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