Mphutlane Wa Bofelo


Moves to create a new leftist platform focused on addressing issues that affect people and on building socialism from the ground up rather than through state power are noble and worthy of support, Mphutlane wa Bofelo writes in this week’s Pambazuka News. But, says wa Bofelo, for the ‘soul-searching efforts to find and build a new platform for building power from below to yield a united socialist front’, they must be informed by and acknowledge the ‘multiplicity, plurality and diversity of more

Mphutlane wa Bofelo reviews 'Bantu Ghost: A stream of (black) unconsciousness', by Lesego Rampolokeng and finds that the South African writer, playwright and performance poet ‘is to literature and theatre what Fanon and Biko are to sociopolitical analysis and activism’.

P Keller

As protests against poor service delivery spill out across South Africa, Mphutlane wa Bofelo is irked by leaders who suggest that a third force is at play, mobilising communities against their local and provincial governments, with the implication that the poor are incapable of self-organising to improve their lives. There is a third force, wa Bofelo tells Pambazuka News, but it is not some ‘amorphous, abstract animal’ – it is ‘poverty, homelessness, hopelessness and despair’, and the ‘ more

Nelson Mandela is undeniably ‘one of the most charismatic, suave and diplomatic statesmen that South Africa and the world ever had’, writes Mphutlane wa Bofelo, as Madiba celebrates his 91st birthday. Despite ‘efforts to romanticise and deify’ him, however, wa Bofelo reminds Pambazuka readers that Mandela was also ‘the architect of neoliberal, neo-capitalist dispensation’, publicly recanting the Freedom Charter’s stance on the nationalisation of the mines and mineral resources, following more

cc Deeply dissatisfied with the South African government's current economic record and policies, Mphutlane wa Bofelo calls on the country's leaders to implement a model of socio-economic redistribution. Rather than pursuing the spending cuts and reduced public sector prescribed by classic neoliberal orthodoxy, the Zuma administration should instead work towards the real and lasting more

cc Imprisoned at 17 as an anti-apartheid activist, Mphutlane wa Bofelo emerged even more determined to confront the system. It was the dream of ‘the freedom of our people’ that people act with boldness and bravery, he writes, even though ‘we knew the ultimate price could be death’. Yet 33 years after the 1976 youth uprising, confronting living conditions in Durban’s Kenville squatter more

cc Mphutlane wa Bofelo comments on the ‘barbarity of wage-slavery’, after confronting working conditions at a hotel in Mauritania, where staff work long hours for meagre wages. This situation prevails in the restaurant and hotel industry throughout the world, writes wa Bofelo, with big South African companies ‘paying their workers as little as three hundred rand per month more

When the incidents of cholera in Zimbabwe were first reported, the government in that country went on a denialism trip. It insisted that the disease was nowhere nearer to reaching epidemic proportions and that there was no humanitarian crisis in the country. This response was an effort to dismiss the view that the outbreak of cholera was a consequence of social policy failures and a result of the general decline of the Zimbabwean economy. Such obfuscation and obscuration of social reality by more

cc. Citing the absence of viable political alternatives to ZANU-PF and the MDC, Mphutlane wa Bofelo laments the deadlock continuing to grip Zimbabwe. Considering a broader history of continental political developments and the entrenched dominance of particular parties within post-colonial African states, wa Bofelo discusses what lessons Zimbabwe’s experience offers for more

Exploring the growing support for the newly formed Congress of the People (COPE) in much of South Africa, Mphutlane wa Bofelo cautions against people’s unquestioning backing of the party. The author argues that for all the hope it inspires in many South Africans, COPE is likely to be even more unfavourable to social spending than the African National Congress (ANC).