"How can you claim to be a private citizen?” he fumed. “There is nothing like that. South Africa is ruled by the ANC. We all belong to the ANC, like it or not!” Comrade Mayor, South Africa 2011.
"There is something wrong that is happening in this country. That is not what we struggled for.” Archbishop Tutu, 2009.
The Archbishop's latest run-in with the ANC State, over the Dalai Lama being refused entry to South Africa, ought to have drawn quite a bit of unwanted high profile attention to that country's growing deficit in the values of freedom that the self-styled "Rainbow Nation" was once claimed to uphold.
When are those in the international community who supported the fight against Apartheid going to wake up to what's really being done in the ANC State now. As Pedro Alexis Tabensky wrote in February this year: "The poor are steadily getting angrier and they are preparing for something. They have relatively little to lose, except the hope that drives their movements, informed predominantly by desire for justice for those who are systematically dehumanized in our country today."
Toussaint Losier in a detailed piece from "Left Turn" further explains: "[O]nce elected, the ANC government failed to live up to its campaign promises, as commitments to neoliberal trade agreements and the paying-off of apartheid-era debt quickly overruled its social democratic proposals. In 1996, the ANC reiterated earlier agreements with South African capital and the International Monetary Fund by formally adopting the Growth Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) policy as its economic program."
"Reflecting a neoliberal approach to development, GEAR has promoted market deregulation, fiscal discipline, wage restraints, and the privatization of government services. In place of redistributive policies, GEAR relies on foreign direct investment and integration into the world market to ‘trickle down’ benefits to the poor and working class. As a result, the government has largely relied on bank-financing and private construction firms to meet the vast housing backlog."
With the new South Africa looking like a very scary chimaera of totalitarianism and neo-liberalism, little wonder then that it also presents naturally fertile ground for the blossoming #occupy global movement.
"We will occupy Grahamstown in the name of freedom. We insist that all people have the right to organise themselves according to their own free choices. We denounce the ANC for the murder of Andries Tatane and all the others. We denounce the ANC for the repression of the Abahlali baseMjondolo, the Landless People's Movement, the Anti-Eviction Campaign and all the others. We denounce the ANC for their attempts to censor the media. We denounce the ANC for continuing to claim that the movements of the poor are a Third Force. The ANC insult us by making us live like pigs and excluding us from all decision making and then, when we rebel, they insult us again by saying that it must be a white academic that is making us rebel. The ANC is incapable of understanding that poor black people can, like all other people, think for ourselves. The ANC is incapable of understanding that they do not and have never had a monopoly on struggle. The ANC is incapable of understanding that they are the real counter-revolutionaries."
From the Unemployed People's Movement Press Statement, 13th October 2011
@ Abahlali baseMjondolo