[Marxism] SACP-ANC and South Africa

Patrick Bond pbond at mail.ngo.za
Tue Feb 13 11:31:33 MST 2007


Rohan Gaiswinkler wrote:
>    (and most on this list would know that this is just the tip of the iceberg):

Some of Joburg's leading indy-left activists - at the Freedom of 
Expression Institute - had a typical experience this morning:

More acts of brutality against peaceful picketers at the SABC Headquarters

By Faith ka-Manzi – Independent Media Center

A picketer was seriously injured and other activists also suffered some
minor injuries including FXI’s Head of Media and ICT’s Virginia
Magwaza-Setshedi, after a full-on attack by the members of the South
Africa Police Services (SAPS) during another yet a peaceful picketing
outside the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) buildings at
Radiopark today.

Mandla Phangwa, the Chairperson of Golden Triangle Community Crisis
Committee was pistol-whipped in his mouth and also suffered injuries in
his stomach. Phangwa who was taking pictures of the picket was then
handcuffed, while the beating continued. He said that the policemen
refused to lay charges against him, as they were interested in what he
was capturing. When Naeem Jeena, FXI Director - Operations intervened,
while the police were assaulting, Phangwa, he had got harassed. The
memory card of the digital camera has been lost however, Torong Ramela,
the Organiser of FXI did manage to capture the some incriminating
evidence of the injuries inflicted upon Phangwa with his cellphone.

Magwaza-Setshedi and Jeena had after Phangwa’s assault taken him to a
private doctor who had insisted that he be taken to a nearby hospital
for x-ray and stitches. Phangwa is now being treated at the Helen Joseph
Hospital.

Today’s picketing was a follow-up from last week’s where also the SABC
security guards were alleged to have beaten up and the Head of Security
allegedly calling the picketers kaffirs. Among today’s assaulters were
not only members of the SAPS but also members of a private security
company, ADT.

“We will continue to expose the SABC’s arrogance and the brutality of
the police who continue to prove that repression still exists in this
country,” said Magwaza-Setshedi. Magwaza was pepper sprayed after asking
the police why were they telling the picketers to stand ten meters away
from the SABC building and where was it written in the Gatherings act.
She added that the assaulted Phangwa would seek damages for the brutal
attack he had suffered at the hands of the SAPS.

Even though Ramela admits that this is not a war which is going to be
won immediately, the struggle for SABC’s independence is not over and
that other various strategic confrontations are going to be used in this
struggle. “The right to picket is a right many South Africans fought for
in this country and we are not going to surrender but we will continue
to picket and engage in other innovative ways of the struggle like
marches, signing of petitions sit-ins”. He said that a majority of South
Africans do not identify with the current programming of the SABC.
Communities feel strongly that they should also influence the
programming of the public broadcaster. He said these social movements
and FXI were aware that the term of the current board of SABC expires in
2008. “These board members should be removed now because they run SABC
like an army camp,” said Ramela.

Ramela said that they would also be seeking advice from human rights
organizations because the people picketing represent their community
structures from which they come from. He also added that this struggle
was not just for communities represented by the picketers but was also
for some SABC staff members who were not able to freely express
themselves and pursue their calling.







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