Mphutlane Wa Bofelo

Source: The Heinrich Böll Foundation

This essay explores the historical consciousness of young workers in South Africa, focusing on young black women workers. It draws on Lucaks ideas on history and class consciousness and Freirean participatory pedagogy to facilitate a critical reflection and dialogue between young Black working women on their memories and perspective of the conditions, realities and experiences of Black working women in colonial, apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa.  

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The crisis facing South Africa and the world today has its roots in: (1) the barbarism and injustices of market supremacism, racial supremacism and patriarchy; (2) the inadequacy of liberal democracy; (3) the excesses of commandist communism and vanguardist Marxism and (4) the failure of the dominant discourse to locate racism and patriarchy as much central to the problems we face as capitalism. The crisis can only be appropriately dealt with by appealing to the radical humanism of more

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Campaigns demanding the fall of something or someone have been a feature of the South African movements scene in recent times. How far have these campaigns succeeded in articulating and achieving their agendas? The author argues that fallism represents both continuity and discontinuity of the traditions of the historic liberation movements and emergent social movements in South Africa.

We have no stereos
Droning love ballads
To lull us from our reality
The only music we
Know is the wordless symphony
Of the buzzing stars
The bright eye of the night
Candles our hope
We don’t know
Various shades
Of lamps and globes but
We know the colour
Of the moon
The only show
Our eyes can
Afford us is
The flaunt
Of the rising sun &
The display
Of the falling night...


I’m no supporter of Osama bin Laden but the assertion that his killing ‘marks the triumph against global terrorism’ is ‘laughable and absurd’, writes Mphutlane wa Bofelo. Why won’t the West recognise that it is its own disregard for the lives and worldviews of people in the Global South that fuels rage and resistance against it?


The arrest of six policemen for last week’s murder of protestor Andries Tatane is ‘a quick ploy to take attention away from the systemic factors that inform police brutality’, says Mphutlane wa Bofelo. Shouldn’t the country’s police force protect the interests of communities rather than criminalising service delivery protests?

Back to the front
No more heckling at the back
No more ranting in the dark
No more pontificating from a distance
No more writing behind the scenes…


Mphutlane wa Bofelo explores the role of the newly-established Democratic Left Front in dealing ‘creatively and proactively’ with the challenges of neo-apartheid and neoliberal capitalism in South Africa.

people of the motherland!
from now on
for the sake
of balancing
our patriotism
with our loyalty
to our art
we will ask
you to be patient…


South Africa’s President Zuma is defending the funding of political parties by business ‘on the basis that corporate citizens should invest in democracy’. But, observes Mphutlane wa Bofelo, these donations are not about supporting democracy, they are attempts to ‘cajole and capture the political establishment and the state to be beholden to and defensive’ of corporate interests.