John Minto to Visit Abahlali baseMjondolo on Saturday, 17 April 2009

18 04 2009

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
Friday, 17 April 2009

In January 2008 John Minto, a militant anti-apartheid activist from New Zealand, shocked the ANC by announcing, in an open letter to Thabo Mbeki, that he would refuse, on principle, to accept an award from the ANC. John stated clearly that:

Receiving an award would inevitably associate myself and the movement here with ANC government policies. At one time this may have been a source of pride but it would now be a source of personal embarrassment which I am not prepared to endure.

John’s open letter to Thabo Mbeki is online at: http://abahlali.org/node/3248

Abahlali were deeply impressed by John’s decision, a decision which very few people would take for the benefit of shack dwellers, the poor and all those who were meant to benefit from the struggle waged by the Halt All Racist Tours movement against apartheid South Africa. We salute that struggle as we salute John’s refusal to accept an award from a small black elite who only enrich themselves at the expense of the poor. Read the rest of this entry »

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Academic: Why Steve Biko wouldn’t vote

18 04 2009

Continuity in the post-1994 era
Andile Mngxitama (2009-04-16)

Source: Pambazuka News

cc April Lynn

cc April Lynn

As South Africa nears its fourth election since 1994, Andile Mngxitama laments the country’s overall lack of progress toward genuine black liberation in the post-1994 era. Highlighting Steve Biko’s emphasis on ‘conscientisation’ to counter the normalisation of black people’s material and mental subjugation to the entrenched white power structure, Mngxitama decries the continued suffering of the poor black majority in post-1994 South Africa, arguing that the race-based understanding of impoverishment once used to describe marginalisation has now been effectively eradicated under the anti-racialist hegemony dominant in national discourse. With the state still essentially rooted in its apartheid-era model of white capitalist accumulation and exploitation – albeit with a new black leadership at the helm – Mngxitama contends that the country has simply moved into a neo-apartheid phase of little discernible distinction from its past, stating that to vote within such a system would merely be to grant it legitimacy. Read the rest of this entry »