South Africa
SIPHIWE SIBEKO/REUTERS

Municipal elections in South Africa returned the poorest result for the ruling ANC party since coming to power at the end of minority white rule in 1994. But the ANC is not the only once-dynamic party in Africa that has been ruined by party leaders who get infected with a sense of entitlement after they have led their parties through successful struggles against white rule.

Ryan on Africa

Last week’s local government elections in South Africa were marred by racial slurs, ethnocentric witch-hunting, mudslinging and outright physical elimination of political opponents. The country’s electoral commission remained indolent and incapable of taking bold steps to put an end to the blatant abuse of citizens’ right to choose their own leaders. Free and fair elections remain a big challenge in the rainbow nation.

It is very disturbing that the very same municipality that gave permission for people to build and provided the building material is now illegally and violently tearing these shacks down. If the govrernment continues to rule impoverished people in a violent, unlawful, corrupt and criminal way, there will be a risk of retaliation from the oppressed.

csimpson80.com

Started 10 years ago, South Africa’s shack dwellers movement Abahlali baseMjondolo has mounted a remarkable struggle – often at a terrible cost - to protect and promote the rights of impoverished people in the towns. This inspirational story shows what poor people can achieve when they organize themselves outside the state, political parties and NGOs.

The Soweto Uprising of June 16, 1976 did not just drop from the sky. The Black students of South Africa did not wake up one day and begin resisting Bantu Education. The uprising was carefully organized and led secretly by leaders of the underground political movement, most of them militants of the banned Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC).

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