This article by Imraan Buccus was published in The Mercury and the Sunday Independent.
A REVOLUTION seems to be building in South Africa.
As inequality and developmental deficits persist, South Africans are standing up and demanding social justice. The “rebellion of the poor” has most often emerged from the informal settlement. But since the beginning of regular protests from informal settlements, protests have also spread to the mines and to university campuses.
But the informal settlements have been more or less constant sites of struggle. There is no doubt that shack-dwellers have often been given the short end of the stick in their attempt to carve out an existence on the fringes of the cities. Despite this, one often hears middle-class citizens talking about how frustrated they are “with these people constantly protesting”. The poor are often spoken about in truly derogatory ways. The middle-class often express prejudices that sound like they come straight from the colonial script. Continue reading →
Police states do not announce themselves like melodramatic thunder and lightning after a hot summer’s day on the Highveld. Police states creep up on you slowly. That means we should look out for the signs of violence becoming synonymous with state power over time, and a rule-bound society systematically becoming less governed by lofty democratic principles such as the rule of law.
On Tuesday there was a thuggish group outside the home of South African Communist Party (SACP) second deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila, chanting: “Hands off Zuma!” A charge has reportedly been laid against them. The intimidation came a day after Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema — who seems to be a reliable political sangoma nowadays — warned ominously that Mapaila’s life might be in danger, especially since, unlike other senior SACP leaders, he is not in government and is therefore freer to speak out against state capture. Continue reading →
On June 4 activist Napoleon Webster will have spent 150 days in Rustenburg prison.
He has been charged with the murder of an ANC councillor in Marikana, in the North West province, but his lawyers and supporters are adamant it is a stitch-up.
They contend that Webster, an Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) member who has been involved in support campaigns linked to the 2012 Marikana massacre and in Marikana’s housing struggles, is being persecuted for his activism. Continue reading →
On Monday the Foreman Road community in Clare Estate, Durban, came under serious police assault after a road blockade that had been organised earlier that morning. That protest was disruptive but it was also peaceful. Baby Jayden Khoza, two weeks old, lost his life during the brutal police assault on the community. The next day the headline on the front page of The Mercury said that baby Jayden had died during a protest. We wish to be clear: baby Jayden did not die during a protest. He was killed during a police assault on the Foreman Road community following a protest. Continue reading →