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Archive for the ‘South Africa’ Category

Township Violence and the End of Apartheid studies the conflicts between the ANC and the IFP that took place in SA’s industrial heartland surrounding Johannesburg

A powerful re-reading of modern South African history following apartheid that examines the violent transformation during the transition era and how this was enacted in the African townships of the Witwatersrand.
— Roger Southall, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

In 1993 South Africa state president F.W. de Klerk and African National Congress (ANC) leader Nelson Mandela were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize ‘for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime’.

Yet, while both deserved the plaudits they received for entering the negotiations that led to the end of apartheid, the four years of negotiations preceding the April 1994 elections, known as the transition era, were not ‘peaceful’: they were the bloodiest of the entire apartheid era, with an estimated 14,000 deaths attributed to politically related violence.

This book studies, for the first time, the conflicts between the ANC and the Inkatha Freedom Party that took place in South Africa’s industrial heartland surrounding Johannesburg. Exploring these events through the perceptions and memories of combatants and non-combatants from war-torn areas, along with security force members, politicians and violence monitors, offers new possibilities for understanding South Africa’s turbulent transition.

Challenging the prevailing narrative which attributes the bulk of the violence to a joint state security force and IFP assault against ANC supporters, the author argues for a more expansive approach that incorporates the aggression of ANC militants, the intersection between criminal and political violence, and especially clashes between groups aligned with the ANC.

Gary Kynoch is Associate Professor of History at Dalhousie University. He has also written We are Fighting the World: A History of the Marashea Gangs in South Africa, 1947-1999 (2005).

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“What makes I Want to go Home Forever so powerful, is that the stories are told in the words used by the interviewees,” writes Jan Bornman for New Frame

Generations of people from across Africa, Europe and Asia have turned metal from the depths of the earth into Africa’s wealthiest, most dynamic and most diverse urban centre, a mega-city where post-apartheid South Africa is being made. Yet for newcomers as well as locals, the golden possibilities of Gauteng are tinged with dangers and difficulties.

Chichi is a hairdresser from Nigeria who left for South Africa after a love affair went bad.

Azam arrived from Pakistan with a modest wad of cash and a dream.

Estiphanos trekked the continent escaping political persecution in Ethiopia, only to become the target of the May 2008 xenophobic attacks.

Nombuyiselo is the mother of 14-year-old Simphiwe Mahori, shot dead in 2015 by a Somalian shopkeeper in Snake Park, sparking a further wave of anti-foreigner violence.

After fighting white oppression for decades, Ntombi has turned her anger towards African foreigners, who, she says are taking jobs away from South Africans and fuelling crime.

Papi, a freedom fighter and activist in Katlehong, now dedicates his life to teaching the youth in his community that tolerance is the only way forward.

These are some of the thirteen stories that make up this collection. They are the stories of South Africans, some Gauteng-born, others from neighbouring provinces, striving to realise the promises of democracy. They are also the stories of newcomers from neighbouring countries and from as far afield as Pakistan and Rwanda, seeking a secure future in those very promises.

The narratives, collected by researchers, journalists and writers, reflect the many facets of South Africa’s post-apartheid decades. Taken together they give voice to the emotions and relations emanating from a paradoxical place of outrage and hope, violence and solidarity. They speak of intersections between people and their pasts, and of how, in the making of selves and the other they are also shaping South Africa. Underlying these accounts is a nostalgia for an imagined future that can never be realised. These are stories of forever seeking a place called ‘home’.

Jan Bornman recently reviewed this remarkable book for New Frame:

“Our neighbouring countries are taking advantage of the situation in South Africa. Their economies are struggling and they bring their unemployed or people who seek to survive to South Africa.

“It’s easy to go to South Africa illegally. In other countries you are asked to provide proof that you are able to maintain yourself over a period of time.

“They say in South Africa it takes R200 a day to survive and if you don’t have that, it’s hard for you.”

South African-born Kopano Lebelo, 55, was one of 13 people interviewed for a collection of stories titled I Want To Go Home Forever.

Lebelo’s story is not unique. He grew up during apartheid in a township near Pretoria before he was recruited by the ANC to recruit others into the struggle. He went into exile where he lived, studied and worked in various African countries and the United States, until his return to South Africa in 2001.

Despite his cosmopolitan experiences, he still holds the views and opinions echoed by many South Africans when it comes to the migration of other Africans to South Africa.

Lebelo shares views often expressed by grass-roots leaders in South Africa, as well as established political leaders such as Cope’s president Mosiuoa Lekota, who was calling for refugees to be placed in camps earlier this year. Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has also publicly blamed “illegal foreigners” for crime in the city.

What makes I Want To Go Home Forever so powerful, is that the stories are told in the words used by the interviewees. It is a window into lived experience, and actually existing views.

Continue reading Bornman’s review here.

Book details

  • I Want to go Home Forever: Stories of Becoming and Belonging in South Africa’s Great Metropolis edited by Loren Landau, Tanya Pampalone
    EAN: 9781776142217
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Wits University Press announces Open Access Programme

It’s international Open Access week 22-28 Oct 2018 and Wits University Press’ Open Access Programme is well under way.

In accordance with Wits University’s commitment to Open Access and showcasing publicly financed research, Wits University Press is making some publications freely available for downloading.

Titles in subject fields ranging from African history, (These Oppressions Won’t Cease: An anthology of the political thought of the Cape Khoesan, 1777-1879: A selection of source documentation in Dutch), film studies, (Gaze Regimes: Film and Feminisms in Africa), economic law (Competition Law and Economic Regulation: Addressing Market Power in Southern Africa), to psychology (Traumatic Stress in South Africa), urban geography and planning (Changing Space, Changing City: Johannesburg after apartheid – Open Access Selection) and other scholarly fields can now be downloaded for free by any researcher on the planet with an internet connection.

A full list of Wits Press OA (Open Access) titles can be seen here. The list includes monographs as well as multi-authored and edited volumes.

A report in July this year from one of our Open Access partners, Knowledge Unlatched, provided very interesting information on where in the world Wits Press’ books are downloaded. In Africa, scholars from Nigeria and South Africa are leading the way. Globally most downloads, according to this early report, were of The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political Power and Remains of the Social: Desiring the Post-Apartheid.

Wits University Press also partners with OAPEN and is the most recent and only African publisher to be invited to participate in Project MUSE’s new Open Access (OA) Books Program, launched in October 2018.

Andrew Joseph, Digital Publisher at Wits University Press, commented on the statistics reported: “In general there’s a steady increase in usage with the most downloads in Europe, Australia, Canada and the US; and interestingly not that much (yet) in the global south.”

According to the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) by the end of 2017 there were already 10 000 books listed as Open Access.

Wits University Press will expand and develop this programme with further Open Access titles due in 2019.


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Death and Compassion – an original & highly informative study of scientific and nonscientific accounts of elephant ethics and ontology

Dan Wylie combines a lifetime of experience and meditation with specialist knowledge of debates in ecocriticism and animal studies.
— F. Fiona Moolla, Department of English, University of the Western Cape

Death and Compassion is an original and highly informative analysis of scientific and nonscientific accounts of elephant ethics and ontology.
— Kai Horsthemke, Chair of Philosophy of Education and Systematic Pedagogy, KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Germany

Elephants are in dire straits – again.

They were virtually extirpated from much of Africa by European hunters in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but their numbers resurged for a while in the heyday of late-colonial conservation efforts in the twentieth. Now, according to one estimate, an elephant is being killed every fifteen minutes.

This is at the same time that the reasons for being especially compassionate and protective towards elephants are now so well-known that they have become almost a cliché: their high intelligence, rich emotional lives including a capacity for mourning, caring matriarchal societal structures, that strangely charismatic grace.

Saving elephants is one of the iconic conservation struggles of our time. As a society we must aspire to understand how and why people develop compassion – or fail to do so – and what stories we tell ourselves about animals that reveal the relationship between ourselves and animals.

This book is the first study to probe the primary features, and possible effects, of some major literary genres as they pertain to elephants south of the Zambezi over three centuries: indigenous forms, early European travelogues, hunting accounts, novels, game ranger memoirs, scientists’ accounts, and poems.

It examines what these literatures imply about the various and diverse attitudes towards elephants, about who shows compassion towards them, in what ways and why.

It is the story of a developing contestation between death and compassion, between those who kill and those who love and protect.

Dan Wylie is a lecturer in the English Department at Rhodes University, Grahamstown. He has published three books on the Zulu leader Shaka; a memoir, Dead Leaves: Two Years in the Rhodesian War; two books in the Animal Series for Reaktion Books, Elephant and Crocodile, and several volumes of poetry.

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Wits University Press book wins prestigious ASSAf Humanities Book Award

The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) has announced that the winner of its biennial Humanities Book Award is N Chabani Manganyi’s Apartheid and the Making of a Black Psychologist: A Memoir. The book was published in 2016 by Wits University Press.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

N. Chabani Manganyi signs a copy of his book at the launch of his memoir, Apartheid and the Making of a Black Psychologist: A Memoir – June 2016 – CIRCA Gallery, Johannesburg. Picture: Corina van der Spoel

 
In its recommendation for the award ASSAF describes the book as an exceptional autobiography that tells the story of an extraordinary South African life.

Apartheid and the Making of a Black Psychologist illuminates the history of a country through sensitive, insightful, personalised accounts of the devastating effects of rural poverty, family dislocation, migrant labour and Bantu Education on whole communities. The book on the life and times of Manganyi gains its authority as a result of the author’s formidable skills as a psychobiographer, and his remarkable restraint as a writer even as he recounts painful and recurring episodes of personal and family suffering through the course of his life.

“What is different about this is how Manganyi finds in the most oppressive circumstances – whether as a child being caned for missing school or an aspirant academic turned down for a job – opportunities for learning that advance his career; over a long period of time he refuses to yield to the many obstacles on his path as a black man and as a psychologist. This is a book on how ordinary black South Africans reached great heights in their lives and careers.”

Chabani Manganyi and Roshan Cader, commissioning editor – Wits University Press. Picture: Corina van der Spoel

 
The ASSAf Humanities Book Award is a biennial book award for a publication that is a scholarly, well-written work of non-fiction, published up to three years prior to its nomination. The book should be noteworthy in its contribution to developing new understanding and insight of a topic in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Performing Arts.

Veronica Klipp, publisher of Wits University Press, said: ‘We’re delighted that this important book has won such a prestigious award. Chabani Manganyi fully deserves this recognition of his immense contribution to South African scholarship. And as a long-standing member of our board he has provided wise counsel and become a great friend and supporter of the Press. Congratulations!’


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Chabani Manganyi and Prof David Attwell (York University) (L); SACP secretary Blade Nzimande at the launch of Manganyi’s book (R). Pictures: Corina van der Spoel

 
More from the ASSAf’s recommendation:

Chosen from among 32 entries, the memoir presents a picture of the marginal man and the exilic state he experienced in his pursuit of becoming one of the first Black psychologists. The book, as reviewers have commented, weaves a rich and layered tapestry that surfaces not simply autobiographical experience; but is in fact also an autobiography of a black intellectual shaped by the psychosocial intricacies of black subjectivity (especially within the constraints of apartheid social relations).

It is in several ways not a nostalgic storytelling, but a poignant self-reflective and self-reflexive reading (and analysis) of life, relationships, home, work, ideas, loss, alienation and identity. It is a text – while providing a retrospective account of being located in time and place in the past – at best also offers some deep analysis of issues of our time into the future. This is a compelling text that provides unprecedented depth to the current rhetoric about race, racism, and the meaning of higher education inasmuch as it is a story about the life of a remarkable psychologist, human being and intellectual.

More on N Chabani Manganyi:

Prof. N Chabani Manganyi is a clinical psychologist, writer, theorist and biographer. He was the first qualified black psychologist in South Africa. He served as Director-General in the Department of Education from 1994- 1999 and was Vice-Principal of the University of Pretoria from 2003-2006. He has published widely, notably books on artists Dumile Feni and on Gerard Sekoto (Gerard Sekoto: ‘I am an African’, Wits University Press, 2004), and on Es’kia Mphahlele, Bury me at the Marketplace, Es’kia Mphahlele and Company. Letters 1943-2006 (with David Attwell), Wits University Press, 2009).

Apartheid and the Making of a Black Psychologist

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I Want To Go Home Forever: a powerfully original collection of raw and honest personal stories about xenophobia and belonging in Gauteng

Like all excellent ideas the one that animates this book is both disarmingly simple and powerfully original. So much has been written on xenophobia in South Africa, and yet so few have listened with care and precision to the voices of the ordinary people at the coalface. This book unsettles so many old assumptions, like who is host and who visitor, who belongs and what indeed it might mean to belong at all. It does this simply by creating a space in which people bare witness to their lives.
- Jonny Steinberg, South African writer and scholar and author of A Man of Good Hope (2015)

These are raw, honest personal stories – some heartbreaking, some uplifting. Beautifully told, each story is a study of journey-making. No matter where we may have been born, each of us seeks a place where we will be safe and respected for who we are. The stories in this collection illustrate that no journey is easy – each act of leaving and each attempt to begin again is tough. At their core however, these stories grapple with the making of a nation. Taken together, these narratives illustrate the quest for dignity and so they tell the story of humanity and striving, and ambition in the midst of profound difficulty. This book speaks to South African and African concerns but at its heart, it documents a set of global phenomena that are important to anyone who cares about the state of the world today.
- Sisonke Msimang, activist and author of Always Another Country

Generations of people from across Africa, Europe and Asia have turned metal from the depths of the earth into Africa’s wealthiest, most dynamic and most diverse urban centre, a mega-city where post-apartheid South Africa is being made. Yet for newcomers as well as locals, the golden possibilities of Gauteng are tinged with dangers and difficulties.

Chichi is a hairdresser from Nigeria who left for South Africa after a love affair went bad.

Azam arrived from Pakistan with a modest wad of cash and a dream.

Estiphanos trekked the continent escaping political persecution in Ethiopia, only to become the target of the May 2008 xenophobic attacks.

Nombuyiselo is the mother of 14-year-old Simphiwe Mahori, shot dead in 2015 by a Somalian shopkeeper in Snake Park, sparking a further wave of anti-foreigner violence.

After fighting white oppression for decades, Ntombi has turned her anger towards African foreigners, who, she says are taking jobs away from South Africans and fuelling crime.

Papi, a freedom fighter and activist in Katlehong, now dedicates his life to teaching the youth in his community that tolerance is the only way forward.

These are some of the thirteen stories that make up this collection. They are the stories of South Africans, some Gauteng-born, others from neighbouring provinces, striving to realise the promises of democracy. They are also the stories of newcomers from neighbouring countries and from as far afield as Pakistan and Rwanda, seeking a secure future in those very promises.

The narratives, collected by researchers, journalists and writers, reflect the many facets of South Africa’s post-apartheid decades. Taken together they give voice to the emotions and relations emanating from a paradoxical place of outrage and hope, violence and solidarity. They speak of intersections between people and their pasts, and of how, in the making of selves and the other they are also shaping South Africa. Underlying these accounts is a nostalgia for an imagined future that can never be realised. These are stories of forever seeking a place called ‘home’.

Loren B. Landau is the South African Research Chair in Human Mobility and the Politics of Difference at the African Centre for Migration & Society, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Some of his books include The Humanitarian Hangover: Displacement, Aid, and Transformation in Western Tanzania (Wits Press); editor of Exorcising the Demons Within: Xenophobia, Violence and Statecraft in Contemporary South Africa (Wits Press), and contributor to the Wits Press book, Go Home or Die Here: Violence, Xenophobia and the Reinvention of Difference in South Africa.

Tanya Pampalone is the managing editor of the Global Investigative Journalism Network. The former executive editor of Mail & Guardian, has won the prestigious journalism award for creative writing, the Standard Bank Sikuvile, in 2012.

Book details

  • I Want to go Home Forever: Stories of Becoming and Belonging in South Africa’s Great Metropolis edited by Loren Landau, Tanya Pampalone
    EAN: 9781776142217
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

» read article

Yes, we should be worried about state surveillance in South Africa – a Q&A with Jane Duncan, author of Stopping the Spies

In 2013, former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden leaked secret documents revealing that state agencies like the NSA had spied on the communications of millions of innocent citizens.

International outrage resulted, but the Snowden documents revealed only the tip of the surveillance iceberg.

Apart from insisting on their rights to tap into communications, more and more states are placing citizens under surveillance, tracking their movements and transactions with public and private institutions.

The state is becoming like a one-way mirror, where it can see more of what its citizens do and say, while citizens see less and less of what the state does, owing to high levels of secrecy around surveillance. In this book, Jane Duncan assesses the relevance of Snowden’s revelations for South Africa.

In doing so she questions the extent to which South Africa is becoming a surveillance society governed by a surveillance state.

Duncan challenges members of civil society to be concerned about and to act on the ever-expanding surveillance capacities of the South African state.

Is surveillance used for the democratic purpose of making people safer, or is it being used for the repressive purpose of social control, especially of those considered to be politically threatening to ruling interests? She explores the forms of collective action needed to ensure that unaccountable surveillance does not take place and examines what does and does not work when it comes to developing organised responses.

This book is aimed at South African citizens, academics as well as the general reader, who care about our democracy and the direction it is taking.

Jane Duncan is a professor in the Department of Journalism, Film and Television, at the University of Johannesburg. Before that, she held a chair in Media and the Information Society at Rhodes University, and was the Executive Director of the Freedom of Expression Institute. She is author of The Rise of the Securocrats: The Case of South Africa (2014) and Protest Nation: The Right to Protest in South Africa (2016).

Nick Mulgrew recently conducted a Q&A with Duncan for PEN SA. Read their intriguing conversation here:

Play it to us straight: should we be worried about state surveillance in South Africa? And if so, what’s the most worrying, or potentially worrying, thing we should be worried about?

Yes, we should be. We should be most worried about the fact that state and private surveillance capabilities are expanding all the time. However, there are few controls on these capabilities, which makes abuse almost inevitable. The technology has run far, far ahead of the law and policy, leaving ordinary citizens with rights such as privacy on paper only. In reality this right is being violated on a daily basis.

There’s a comforting lie that many of us tell ourselves – and perhaps this is more a delusion of the 90s-born generation – that, with the end of apartheid, the kind of invasive surveillance that was once trained on activists, organisers and artists went away and the state occupied itself with other things. We think that invasive surveillance is now predominantly the purview of overseas intelligence agencies and, increasingly, companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google, which facilitate much of our speech and work. But instead of being turned off, has the gaze of surveillance morphed and been turned onto the South African population-at-large?

Well, there’s no doubt that we’re light years away from those days when surveillance was used to repress the liberation movements with impunity. We have a law (Rica) that makes it illegal to spy on anyone’s communications, with limited exceptions. Any state agency wishing to tap someone’s cellphone or obtain their metadata, for instance, requires a warrant.

But there’s certainly evidence suggesting that South Africa’s state spy agencies are often sticking their noses where they don’t belong, into the communications of journalists, for instance, in order to uncover their sources.

The Right 2 Know Campaign, which I am part of, has documented many cases of trade unionists and political activists being targeted by these agencies in the course of their activism. State spy agencies have accused civil society organizations and social movements of fomenting regime change, to justify infiltration and surveillance of their activities.

These practices contain eerie reminders of a past we thought we’d put behind us.

Counterintelligence is particularly susceptible to abuses, as it focuses on measures to impede threats to national security.

Intelligence abuses are not peculiar to South Africa, though. In the UK at the moment, there’s an enquiry into ‘spycops’ or members of an elite police unit tasked with infiltrating social movements there. Some of these spycops have been so undercover that they’ve formed relationships with women in these movements, and even had children with them.

After discovering how she’d been lied to by her supposed partner, one women complained, triggering the enquiry.

That is what spy agencies the world over do; they spy, and not just on those who are genuine threats to public safety, but on those who the ruling elite consider to be politically threatening and inconvenient.

Continue reading here.

 

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Launch – Shadow State: The Politics of State Capture by Ivor Chipkin & Mark Swilling (28 August)

The 2017 publication of Betrayal of the Promise, the report that detailed the systematic nature of state capture, marked a key moment in South Africa’s most recent struggle for democracy.

In the face of growing evidence of corruption and of the weakening of state and democratic institutions, it provided, for the first time, a powerful analysis of events that helped galvanise resistance within the Tripartite Alliance and across civil society.

Working often secretly, the authors consolidated, for the first time, large amounts of evidence from a variety of sources.

They showed that the Jacob Zuma administration was not simply a criminal network but part of an audacious political project to break the hold of whites and white business on the economy and to create a new class of black industrialists. State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) such as Eskom and Transnet were central to these plans.

The report introduced a whole new language to discuss state capture, showing how SOEs were ‘repurposed’, how political power was shifting away from constitutional bodies to ‘kitchen cabinets’, and how a ‘shadow state’ at odds with the country’s constitutional framework was being built.

Shadow State is an updated version of the original, explosive report that changed South Africa’s recent history.

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Read an excerpt from Ivor Chipkin and Mark Swilling’s Shadow State: The Politics of State Capture

The 2017 publication of Betrayal of the Promise, the report that detailed the systematic nature of state capture, marked a key moment in South Africa’s most recent struggle for democracy.

In the face of growing evidence of corruption and of the weakening of state and democratic institutions, it provided, for the first time, a powerful analysis of events that helped galvanise resistance within the Tripartite Alliance and across civil society.

Working often secretly, the authors consolidated, for the first time, large amounts of evidence from a variety of sources.

They showed that the Jacob Zuma administration was not simply a criminal network but part of an audacious political project to break the hold of whites and white business on the economy and to create a new class of black industrialists. State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) such as Eskom and Transnet were central to these plans.

The report introduced a whole new language to discuss state capture, showing how SOEs were ‘repurposed’, how political power was shifting away from constitutional bodies to ‘kitchen cabinets’, and how a ‘shadow state’ at odds with the country’s constitutional framework was being built.

Shadow State is an updated version of the original, explosive report that changed South Africa’s recent history.

An extract from this definitive book on state capture was recently featured on the Daily Maverick:

In the classical texts, tyranny, as opposed to despotism, refers to a form of government that breaks its own rules.

This is a useful starting point for discussing political developments in South Africa in the past ten years and the civil society response to it. The ANC government under Jacob Zuma became more and more tyrannical as it set itself up against the Constitution and the rule of law in an effort to capture the state.

In moves reminiscent of events in the 1980s, independent journalists, social movements, trade unions, legal aid centres, NGOs, the churches and some academics have helped mobilise South African society against state capture. A new and varied movement has arisen, bringing together awkward partnerships between ideologically disparate groups and people.

What they have nonetheless shared is a broad support for the Constitution, for democracy and for a modern, professional administration, and they are all, broadly speaking, social democratic in orientation.

The publication of the Betrayal of the Promise report, on which this book is based, constituted a key moment, helping to provide this movement with a narrative and concepts for expressing a systemic perspective on state capture that helped its readers to, in the words of former Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan, ‘join the dots’.

The particular instance of so-called ‘state capture’ that we discuss in this book is part of a familiar and recurring pattern in the history of state formation in South Africa. It is, in fact, impossible to understand the evolution of South African politics and statecraft without understanding the deeper dynamics of what we refer to today as state capture.

There is a clear and direct line of sight from the origins of the state in the Cape Colony, when it was ‘captured’ by the Dutch East India Company, through to the era of Cecil Rhodes and ‘Milner’s Kindergarten’ – the name popularly given to the young British civil servants who served under High Commissioner Alfred, Lord Milner – in post-Boer War South Africa.

The world that the first generations of mining magnates, the so-called Randlords, built on the Witwatersrand provided the foundation for the election victory of the National Party in 1948.

The post-1948 state actively supported the build-up of Afrikaner capital in a process which effectively captured the state for decades, with the Electricity Supply Commission (Escom, now renamed Eskom) and the South African Railways (now renamed Transnet) at the very centre of that political project.

The corporate capture of the apartheid war- and sanctions-busting machine has been well documented, with arms manufacturer Armscor (renamed Denel after 1994) at its centre.

Also well documented is the powerful role played by corporate South Africa during the transition, to ensure that a democratic state could do little to change the basic structure of the economy.

This was a form of capture in that powerful elite interests subverted the broad vision of transformation that inspired the mass democratic movement that had brought down the apartheid state.

The most recent instance of state capture has galvanised a broad-based coalition of forces that share a commitment to building an uncaptured South African state.

This is what our Constitution envisages.

The choice must not be between different forms of capture, it must be between capture and no capture. In taking this stand we are going up against the defeatist view on both the left and right that ‘the state is always captured, so why the fuss?’

Continue reading here.
 

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Launch – Shadow State: The Politics of State Capture by Ivor Chipkin and Mark Swiling (21 August)

The 2017 publication of Betrayal of the Promise, the report that detailed the systematic nature of state capture, marked a key moment in South Africa’s most recent struggle for democracy.

In the face of growing evidence of corruption and of the weakening of state and democratic institutions, it provided, for the first time, a powerful analysis of events that helped galvanise resistance within the Tripartite Alliance and across civil society.

Working often secretly, the authors consolidated, for the first time, large amounts of evidence from a variety of sources.

They showed that the Jacob Zuma administration was not simply a criminal network but part of an audacious political project to break the hold of whites and white business on the economy and to create a new class of black industrialists. State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) such as Eskom and Transnet were central to these plans.

The report introduced a whole new language to discuss state capture, showing how SOEs were ‘repurposed’, how political power was shifting away from constitutional bodies to ‘kitchen cabinets’, and how a ‘shadow state’ at odds with the country’s constitutional framework was being built.

Shadow State is an updated version of the original, explosive report that changed South Africa’s recent history.

Event Details


» read article