Richard Pithouse


The man who walked into the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church with a gun and murderous intent may well end up on death row. But white terror against black people goes back many centuries. It won’t be over until the material basis for inequality, in terms of the exercise of economic and political power, is undone.

When white South Africans see themselves as having a special connection to global whiteness they often succumb to the narcissistic fantasy that their presence in this society, in Africa, constitutes a unique and precious gift.

The assertion that people under 40 have lost nothing to apartheid is one of the most extraordinary statements from the mouth of a cabinet minister since 1994. The pretense that apartheid’s consequences came to an end in 1994 is sheer denialism that is so out of touch with reality.


Murder as a tool for political containment is back in South Africa, as the country is gripped by a largely unacknowledged paroxysm of popular ferment. A new authoritarianism is in the making, organised in the name of tradition and patriotism, and mediated through a shift in power to the police, intelligence and traditional authority.

President Zuma’s speech seemed to equate criticism of the government with disloyalty. The path to national glory has been laid out and no one should ask any questions


It's not only money and military power that count in this world. Popular mobilisation can transform societies from below and it can strengthen states against private and imperial interests.


‘The ANC has had its shameful moments but it has also had its glorious moments; and it has often been far closer to the best of the spirit of the age than any of the forces it opposed.’


‘Fifty years on, Fanon remains an extraordinary example of an intellectual willing to commit to a living politics waged with and not for the damned of this earth,’ writes Richard Pithouse.


Richard Pithouse reflects on the recent five-year suspension of the outspoken South African president of the African National Congress Youth League, Julius Malema, and sees in the disciplinary action traces of the powerful ANC’s hostility to popular organisation outside of its control.


The occupation of Wall Street, which incited other occupations, indicates a crucial realisation that for too long society has been subordinated to capital, writes Richard Pithouse. The only realistic route to achieving meaningful change is sustained organising from below to shift power relations