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    The Illusion of Foreign Investment Growth? Africa Must Break With the World Capitalist System

    by Abayomi Azikiwe

    African economic growth may be irrelevant, if the fruits of its bounty never reach its people. “If Africa cannot effectively stabilize its own internal situation then no one can honestly say that actual progress is being made which is sustainable.”

    Ford and IBM May Have to Answer for Their Role in Apartheid

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    It’s taken 12 years, but victims of South African apartheid finally convinced a U.S. federal judge to hear their case against IBM and Ford Motor. The plaintiffs say the two multinationals sold the white regime the products it needed to torture and oppress the Black majority – and that the companies intended their vehicles and computers be used for that purpose.

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    Freedom Rider: Talking About Mandela

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Nelson Mandela belongs to history now. We should be able to look at his whole life, his whole record in perspective. That perspective ought to include who is praising Nelson Mandela nowadays and why.

    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."

    Freedom Rider: Obama, Mandela and Dangerous Mythology

    By BAR Editor & Senior Columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The Obamas' visit to South Africa, for people of color on both sides of the Atlantic, is heavy on symbolism and photo-ops, but devoid of any substance for those who hunger and thirst for justice. The ANC won the flag at the end of apartheid, but South Africa's white elite kept the land and the money, after allowing a few well-connected black faces into high places.

    Obama Visits Mandela's Old Cell, But Won't Free His Own Political Prisoners

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    Obama sees no irony in making a pilgrimage to Nelson Mandela’s place of political imprisonment, while holding 80,000 human beings in solitary confinement. “Racist South Africa’s treatment of Mandela and his co-revolutionists was downright benign and enlightened, compared to fate of U.S. prisoners who are deemed a threat to the prevailing order.”

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    Can Black Politics Be Revived?

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Obama’s presidency has been disastrous for African Americans, who have been economically crushed and disconnected from their historical roots in social struggle. Political fantasists now urge us to put our faith in demographics, claiming that change will inevitably flow from the darkening of America’s population. But, that’s a trap which leads to a descent into South Africa-like conditions.

    South Africa: Chris Hani Would be Angry at ANC “Adopting Our Class Opponents' Policies”

    by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa

    In the 20 years since the assassination of South African communist leader Chris Hani, the contradictions inherent in the agreement leading to electoral democracy have come to a head. "Comrade Chris would have condemned the brutal killing and slaughtering of workers in Marikana in defense of the minerals/energy/finance complex ruling oligarchy interests.”

    A Tribute to Chris Hani on the 20th Anniversary of His Assassination

    by Carlos Martinez

    Chris Hani was a man of the people who saw the struggle for socialism and African liberation as inseparable. A leader of both the South African Communist Party and the African National Congress, Hani “realized that national liberation, though essential, would not bring about total economic liberation.”

    Throwing BRICS at the U.S. Empire

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    History has placed the BRICS nations on the path of confrontation with a superpower in decline. Washington is prepared to strangle the world into submission, or drown it in chaos. “Objectively, the United States has positioned itself as the great and implacable impediment to global development.”

    What Happened to South Africa’s Freedom Charter

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    South Africa’s current crisis is rooted in the road wrongly taken 1994, when the African National Congress and its allies agreed not to upset the corporate order, in exchange for one-person, one-vote. Those chickens are now coming home to roost, as the ANC enforces the corporate order and workers reject union leaders who, they believe, work for the bosses.

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    Economic and Social Crisis in Post Apartheid South Africa

     

    by William Bowles

    Has the ANC and its partners in the Tripartite Alliance, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the SACP betrayed their roots and sold out Black South Africa?” The massacre of miners at Marikana, and the Alliance’s callous response to the carnage, seems to answer in the affirmative. “It's as if the clock stopped in April 1994,” when state power was transferred to Black hands.

    The People’s Rage in South Africa

     

    by Mark P. Fancher

    South Africa did not complete its revolution with the transfer of government power to Black hands in 1994. The Marikana mine massacre shows that imperialism “will not tolerate any disruption in the flow of profits from the exploitation of highly valuable natural resources.” The question now comes to a head: Will the poor majority of South Africa tolerate a Black government that defends the interests of imperialism?

    Reflections on Gil Scott-Heron

    by Norman (Otis) Richmond aka Jalali

    Gil Scott-Heron’s repertoire was as wide and deep as the audience that loved him. “He dealt with racism, capitalism, the environment, Pan-Africanism, substance abuse, nuclear power, women's liberation and just plain ‘silly’ little love songs.”

    No FEAR, Chapter 4 continued: The Sound That Freedom Makes

     

    by BAR editor and columnist Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

    Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo has permitted us to serialize excerpts of her new book, No FEAR: A Whistleblower’s Triumph over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA. Dr. Coleman-Adebayo incurred the wrath of EPA when she protested the agency’s alliance with corporations that were poisoning miners in South Africa. This week, we continue with Chapter 4.

    Vanadium, Green Crimes and the White House

    by BAR editor and columnist Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

    The US and the global community use workers as cheap, disposable commodities.” That’s certainly the case with the strategic mineral vanadium, the extraction of which in South Africa has led to the gruesome deaths of many miners. “The victims bleed from every orifice of the body, they defecate and urinate blood, develop cancers of the stomach- esophagus, in addition to kidney and liver failure.”

    South Africa Buries Its Freedom Charter

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    In refusing to even consider nationalizing the mining industry, South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress, has all but repudiated its most solemn (and fundamentally socialist) document: the Freedom Charter. Created and endorsed by a people’s movement in 1955, the Charter calls for national ownership of minerals, but the ANC government vows that will never happen. Under nominal Black rule, the “ANC has transformed itself into a handmaiden of multinational capital.”

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    Part One: No FEAR: A Whistleblower’s Triumph

     

    by BAR editor and columnist Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

    Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo has permitted us to serialize excerpts of her new book, No FEAR: A Whistleblower’s Triumph over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA. Dr. Coleman-Adebayo incurred the wrath of EPA when she protested the agency’s alliance with corporations that were poisoning miners in South Africa. We begin with the forward to the book, by Noam Chomsky.

    South African President Attacks United Nations Over War Against Libya

     

    by Abayomi Azikiwe

    The President of South Africa began his rotating month as president of the UN Security Council with a rebuke of the world body’s relationship with African states. “Although South Africa voted in favor of UN Resolution 1973 that authorized a so-called ‘no-fly zone’ over Libya, the action was clearly designed to engineer the destruction of the country and the overthrow of the government of Col. Muammar Gaddafi.” The UN claimed it acted to protect civilians, but “there was never any real evidence of the massacre of Libyan civilians by the Gaddafi government.”

    March 23: Anniversary of the Beginning of Apartheid's End: The Battle of Cuito Cuanavale

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Bruce Dixon

    Apartheid South Africa responded to Angola's 1974 independence from the Portuguese with a US-backed military invasion.  Declaring that "the blood of Africa" flowed through Cuban veins, Fidel Castro dispatched the Cuban armed forces to confront the armies of racist South Africa in Angola.  Between 1974 and 1988 more than 1100 Cubans laid down their lives in Africa to hasten the end of apartheid.  This week is the anniversary of the historic battle of Cuito Cuanavale, in which Cuban, Angolan and Namibian forces routed the supposedly invincible land and air forces of white-ruled South Africa, eventually making possible the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, and the end of apartheid in South Africa itself, and earning for Cuba the lasting enmity of the United States. If we in the U.S. were serious about racial reconciliation, we too would celebrate the March 23 anniversary of Cuito  Cuanavale. 

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey

    Poor “Shack”-Dwellers Advocate Decries “New Apartheid” in South Africa

    We seem to have a new apartheid” in South Africa, says S’bu Zikode, leader of the poor people’s organization Abahliali base-Mjondolo. In this new order, “the poor are not taken care of, are not part of society.” Zikode, who is touring the United States, says the African National Congress government “wants to create a ‘shack-free’ country where the poor can be hidden,” reserving the cities “for the better-off and the rich.”

    Bloomberg Undermines Living Wage While Jockeying for President

    Billionaire New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is said to be eyeing a run for the White House in 2012, has hired a notorious opponent of minimum wages to study proposals to include subsidized development projects under Living Wage regulations. The mayor’s expert says higher wages kill economic development. But expanded wage protections have been “very successful” in Los Angeles and other cities, says Paul Sonn, of the National Employment Law Center.

    Anti-War Committee Broadens Scope

    A recent mass meeting of the United National Anti-War Committee (UNAC) showed progress in diversifying the peace movement. UNAC co-coordinator Joe Lombardo said a large fraction of participants at the Manhattan conference were Muslim, part of a newly-formed Muslim Peace Coalition with chapters in 16 states.

    Plus…

    Bruce Dixon examines the woeful irrelevance of the Black Misleadership Class; Jared Ball counters Michael Eric Dyson’s outrageous assault on Black youth; and Danny Schecter dissects the banksters’ fraudulent mortgages.

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    In Some Ways, ANC's South Africa Like Obama's USA

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    One should not overstretch the similarities between Black South Africa and Black America. But both communities have been in denial about their nominal leaders. "After all these years of believing that labor - Black labor - was on the inside of power in South Africa, the unionists of COSATU are forced to a different realization." The same realization looms for African Americans.

     

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    South Africa Loses Its War On Poverty

    typical slum dwelling in the new South Africa

    by Patrick Bond


    The African National Congress government in South Africa claims to be engaged in a life and death struggle with poverty, but there’s little evidence of it. The government’s strategy and tactics are considered state secrets, to be concealed especially from the poor, themselves.

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