South Africa

Free Education: The Right to Call Our Souls Our Own

by Veli Mbele

The South African student struggle is about much more than high fees and limited Black representation at universities. “Black students are fighting against a system whose foundation is white supremacy, capitalism, anti-Blackness and now neo-liberalism.”

A Rare Conviction of Killer Cops in South Africa

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The conviction of eight Black South African policemen in the grizzly murder of a Black cab driver represents a break from the culture of impunity that surrounds the cops. South Africa’s police are deeply implicated in government corruption, political assassinations of poor people’s and labor organizers, riots against foreign workers, and the massacre of 34 miners, at Marikana, three years ago.


The Fight For A Socialist South Africa

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

South Africa’s most militant labor leaders are pressing forward with plans to build a real socialist party to challenge the ANC government’s capitulation to global capitalism. ANC loyalists this week locked the country’s largest union and the labor federation’s former general secretary out of a COSATU special Congress. The two traveled to the U.S., last week, seeking help from activists that supported the “Free South Africa” movement in the 80s.

Danny Schechter (1942-2015): Media Activist and Clandestine Courier

by Ronnie Kasrils

Danny Schecter, the “media dissector,” prolific writer and tireless activist, once acted as a secret courier for the South African freedom movement, and “forged strong personal links with many South African comrades such as Joe Slovo, Ruth First, Pallo Jordan, Zanele Mbeki, Sue Rabkin, and Nelson Mandela himself.”

Black Agenda Radio, Week of April 1, 2015

Bottom Line: Fire Some Cops

A U.S. Justice Department report shows Philadelphia police are five times as trigger happy as cops in New York City. The report contains 49 findings and 91 recommendations on better training and community relations, but Linn Washington Jr., a professor of journalism at Temple University, isn’t impressed. Over the past 25 years, the city’s police department has been the subject of “two dozen reports, federal consent decrees and executive orders,” said Washington. “The issue is not the ideas, the issue is implementation and enforcement. The bottom line is, you have to make police accountable. The police who engage in misconduct need to be fired.” But, that seldom happens in Philadelphia.

The Limits of Criminal Justice Reform

Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Ras Baraka held a third public hearing on his proposal to create a Civilian Complaint Review Board with subpoena powers. Larry Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress, which would be empowered to appoint one member to the board, has no illusions that the board will compel cops to respect Black people’s rights. “We fight for reforms in the hope that these reforms will ameliorate the suffering of the people,” said Hamm. “But, we also fight for reforms because we believe that people have to go through the reform process to deepen their understanding of the need for more fundamental, structural social change.”

Black Martyrs, Old and New

Cinque S. Djahspora, a 20 year-old online MIT student shot in the back by a policeman last November, is among the many victims of racist violence who will be honored on April 4, in Jackson, Tennessee. The town is near the site of Fort Pillow where, on April 12, 1864, hundreds of Black soldiers and civilians were massacred by Confederates under the command of General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who went on to become the first Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. “What we want folks to understand is that the killing of one person, based on his membership in a group, is genocide,” said Dr. Randy Short, one of the organizers of Black Martyrs’ Day, in Jackson.

“Black Lives Matter” Resonates in Johannesburg

South African labor and social activists marched on the American embassy in Johannesburg in solidarity with the U.S.-based Black Lives Matter mobilization. United Front organizer John Manana said South African Blacks are all too familiar with police brutality. “Our protesters everywhere in South Africa continue to suffer the same way from the capitalist regime.” Police killed 34 striking miners at Marikana in the summer of 2012, accelerating a split between leftists and the ruling African National Congress regime.

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: One hour.


South Africa and Zimbabwe: A Tale of Two Land Reforms

by Harold Green

When Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe attended the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, he “received the loudest cheers and applause” among the dignitaries. Zimbabwe’s successful land reform stands in stark contrast to South Africa, where “barely 10% of farm land has been redistributed,” and the wealth gap – which is a race gap – “has become one of the most unequal in the world.”

Reconciliation is Not Decolonization

by BAR columnist Jemima Pierre

Nelson Mandela certainly led an inspirational life, but the “liberation” of South Africa has been the continent’s most spectacular failure. Mandela and his party “reneged on their own Freedom Charter which promised that land, the national mineral wealth, the banking systems, as well as all other industry and trade be nationalized and used to the benefit of South Africa’s majority.”

Nelson Mandela, The Contradictions Of His Life And Legacies

by Anthony Monteiro

Nelson Mandela lived a long life, with 3 careers, one before he was locked up, another while in prison, and a third after his 1990 release. Dr. Anthony Monteiro reflects upon the life, the lessons and the legacies of Nelson Mandela.

Eyewitness to America Betraying Mandela's South Africa: The Gore - Mbeki Commission

by Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

Nelson Mandela's ANC leadership negotiated the form of the new South Africa on two tracks, the political wrangling in one set of meetings, & the decisions on the nation's economic future separately at another location, headed by Thabo Mbeki. The results were predictable, as Miriam Makeba said: "We got the flag, but they got to keep the money."


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