Apartheid Never Died …

Apartheid Never Died In South Africa…

It Inspired A World Order Upheld By Force And Illusion!

by John Pilger

The murder of 34 miners by the South African police, most of them shot in the back, puts paid to the illusion of post-apartheid democracy and illuminates the new worldwide apartheid of which South Africa is both an historic and contemporary model.

In 1894, long before the infamous Afrikaans word foretold “separate development” for the majority people of South Africa, an Englishman, Cecil John Rhodes, oversaw the Glen Grey Act in what was then the Cape Colony. This was designed to force blacks from agriculture into an army of cheap labour, principally for the mining of newly discovered gold and other precious minerals. As a result of this social Darwinism, Rhodes’ own De Beers company quickly developed into a world monopoly, making him fabulously rich. In keeping with liberalism in Britain and the United States, he was celebrated as a philanthropist supporting high-minded causes.
Today, the Rhodes scholarship at Oxford University is prized among liberal elites. Successful  Rhodes scholars must demonstrate “moral force of character” and “sympathy for and protection of the weak, and unselfishness, kindliness and fellowship”. The former president Bill Clinton is one, General Wesley Clark, who led the Nato attack on Yugoslavia, is another.
The wall known as apartheid was built for the benefit of the few, not least the most ambitious of the bourgeoisie.
This was something of a taboo during the years of racial apartheid. South Africans of British descent could indulge an apparent opposition to the Boers’ obsession with race, and their contempt for the Boers themselves, while providing the facades behind which an inhumane system guaranteed privileges based on race and, more importantly, on class.
The new black elite in South Africa, whose numbers and influence had been growing steadily during the latter racial apartheid years, understood the part they would play following “liberation”. Their “historic mission”, wrote Frantz Fanon in his prescient classic The Wretched of the Earth, “has nothing to do with transforming the nation: it consists, prosaically, of being the transmission line between the nation and a capitalism rampant though camouflaged”.
This applied to leading figures in the African National Congress, such as Cyril Ramaphosa, head of the National Union of Mineworkers, now a corporate multi-millionaire, who negotiated a power-sharing “deal” with the regime of de F.W. Klerk, and Nelson Mandela himself, whose devotion to an “historic compromise” meant that freedom for the majority from poverty and inequity was a freedom too far.
This became clear as early as 1985 when a group of South African industrialists led by Gavin Reilly, chairman of the Anglo-American mining company, met prominent ANC officials in Zambia and both sides agreed, in effect, that racial apartheid would be replaced by economic apartheid, known as the “free market”.
Secret meetings subsequently took place in a stately home in England, Mells Park House, at which a future president of liberated South Africa, Tabo Mbeki, supped malt whisky with the heads of corporations that had shored up racial apartheid. The British giant Consolidated Goldfields supplied the venue and the whisky. The aim was to divide the “moderates” – the likes of Mbeki and Mandela – from an increasingly revolutionary multitude in the townships who evoked memories of uprisings following the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960 and at Soweto in 1976 – without ANC help.
Once Mandela was released from prison in 1990, the ANC’s “unbreakable promise” to take over monopoly capital was seldom heard again. On his triumphant tour of the US, Mandela said in New York: “The ANC will re-introduce the market to South Africa.” When I interviewed Mandela in 1997 – he was then president – and reminded him of the unbreakable promise, I was told in no uncertain terms that “the policy of the ANC is privatisation”.
Enveloped in the hot air of corporate-speak, the Mandela and Mbeki governments took their cues from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. While the gap between the majority living beneath tin roofs without running water and the newly wealthy black elite in their gated estates became a chasm, finance minister Trevor Manuel was lauded in Washington for his “macro-economic achievements”.
South Africa, noted George Soros in 2001, had been delivered into “the hands of international capital”.
Shortly before the massacre of miners employed for a pittance in a dangerous, British-registered platinum mine, the erosion of South Africa’s economic independence was demonstrated when the ANC government of Jacob Zuma stopped importing 42 per cent of its oil from Iran under intense pressure from Washington. The price of petrol has already risen sharply, further impoverishing people.
This economic apartheid is now replicated across the world as poor countries comply with the demands of western “interests” as opposed to their own.
The arrival of China as a contender for the resources of Africa, though without the economic and military threats of America, has provided further excuse for American military expansion, and the possibility of world war, as demonstrated by President Barack Obama’s recent arms and military budget of $737.5 billion, the biggest ever.
The first African-American president of the land of slavery presides over a perpetual war economy, mass unemployment and abandoned civil liberties: a system that has no objection to black or brown people as long as they serve the right class.
Those who do not comply are likely to be incarcerated.
This is the South African and American way, of which Obama, son of Africa, is the embodiment. Liberal hysteria that the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is more extreme than Obama is no more than a familiar promotion of “lesser evilism” and changes nothing.
Ironically, the election of Romney to the White House is likely to reawaken mass dissent in the US, whose demise is Obama’s singular achievement.
Although Mandela and Obama cannot be compared – one is a figure of personal strength and courage, the other a pseudo political creation — the illusion that both beckoned a new world of social justice is similar. It belongs to a grand illusion that relegates all human endeavour to a material value, and confuses media with information and military conquest with humanitarian purpose. Only when we surrender these fantasies shall we begin to end apartheid across the world.
John Pilger’s 1998 film, Apartheid Did Not Die *, is available at http://www.johnpilger.com
* APARTHEID DID NOT DIE! @ YOU-Tube:  @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ew-BtAgxhik

About selcoolie

see: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/pdp/profile/A3SF2PCBUWC4UO?ie=UTF8&ref_=sv_w_h__4 briefly: Born in Cape Town, South Africa; moved to Sweden in1969 and completed studies in 1983, then moved to Norway and then to S.A. in 1993 - back to Norway in 2005, and been there ever since! E-mail: selimgool@yahoo.com Web Page: zcommunications/zspace/selcool In My Own Words: ¨ South African born ex-academic now retired, exiled and beyond redemption? Interests South African political economy and history; International Socialism and Marxist/Anarchist thought; anti-militarism and ecological questions My draft autobiography (ALL the "closet secrets" in the open! @ http://southafrica.indymedia.org/uploads/2006/02/an_odyssey___from_cape_town2.pdf Aslo view: http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A2ZHOZT2GTDHU1

4 responses to “Apartheid Never Died …”

  1. Sel Cool says :

    ANC President Zuma authorises use of South African army against miners

    @ http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/sep2012/safr-s22.shtml

    By Julie Hyland

    22 September 2012

    As miners at the Lonmin platinum producer in Marikana returned to work Thursday, President Jacob Zuma authorised the domestic deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to deal with continued unrest in the mining sector.

    After a six-week wildcat strike, workers at the Lonmin mine near Johannesburg accepted a pay increase of between 11 to 22 percent.

    Their determined fight for a rise in pay, from a paltry 5,000 rand ($500) a month to 12,500 rand ($1,513), was conducted in the teeth of brutal police repression, sanctioned by the African National Congress (ANC) government and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

    On August 16, 34 striking rock drillers were massacred by police as the ANC sought to quash the grassroots revolt against the NUM, which is widely reviled as a company union. Some 270 strikers were arrested, as the government implemented a bar on “illegal” gatherings, declared a state of alert and carried out raids on poverty-stricken mining shanty towns in Marikana.

    The miners’ defiance meant Lonmin was forced to include the breakaway Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), as well as representatives of a substantial number of non-union workers in pay talks.
    While the deal falls short of their original demands, miners celebrated it as a significant victory.

    In addition to the pay rise, they are to receive a one-off payment of 2,000 rand to cover their losses during the strike.

    Lonmin acting CEO Simon Scott defended the settlement, stating that it had been made under “extraordinary circumstances” in which the “social fabric of SA” was jeopardised.

    Thousands gathered at the Wonderkop stadium in Marikana to hear news of the deal. Singing victory songs, they denounced the NUM with one banner stating, “Death Certificate; first name: NUM; cause of death: corruption.”
    The pay deal has been denounced by some commentators and sections of the media for potentially encouraging a “contagion” of unrest.

    Nomura International analyst Peter Attard Montalto said, “Lonmin caving in and offering both to tear up the existing wage settlement for this year and then agreeing such a substantial increase for workers surely risks creating moral hazard and contagion.”

    In the Financial Times, Andrew England warned that “Lonmin’s strike was resolved not by the miners’ unions but by informal representatives of the strikers including miners, community leaders and the South African Council of Churches. Workers at other mines, some of whom have also staged disruptive actions during the Lonmin crisis, may see the Lonmin outcome as a precedent. If they conclude that illegal strikes are effective, that can’t be good for the industry’s stability.”

    Representatives from the ANC and the NUM have been most vocal in condemning the deal.

    ANC General Secretary Gwede Mantashe said the settlement had put the nation on a dangerous path, while NUM general secretary Frans Baleni complained, “The normal bargaining processes have been compromised.”

    The NUM was now getting demands from workers across the mining sector for similar pay deals, Baleni said.

    “It does suggest that unprotected action, an element of anarchy, can be easily rewarded, people can do certain wrong things with impunity and that means that it can roll over to other operations.”

    It was fears of “contagion” that had led other platinum producers, such as Anglo American (Amplats) to close their operations at neighbouring mines in the Rustenburg region.

    Emboldened by the Lonmin miners’, workers at Amplats and elsewhere had taken wildcat action to press their own pay demands.

    Amplats re-opened its operations earlier this week but could barely manage a 20 percent attendance. As the Lonmin deal was announced, protesters gathered near the mine. Police used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the protest. A police spokesman said, “we are not tolerating any illegal gatherings.”

    One miner was reportedly run over and killed by a police armoured car. Miners and their supporters barricaded roads with rocks and burning tyres to prevent police entering the area.

    Reuters quoted one community representative stating, “The mood here is upbeat. … The workers are celebrating Lonmin as a victory.”

    Wildcat action continued at Impala Platinum, the world’s second largest platinum producer, and at Samancor chrome, north west of Johannesburg.
    It has also spread to the gold sector, with 15,000 miners at the KDC West operation of Gold Fields on an illegal strike now for almost two weeks.

    They are demanding parity with the Lonmin miners and for the resignation of the NUM leadership at the mine.

    Gold Fields spokesman Sven Lunsche insisted that, “we are not going to negotiate salary, and we cannot.”

    Gold Fields won a court order outlawing the strike last Monday and had threatened to sack its workforce unless they returned to work Thursday. Miners insisted they would remain out until their demands are met.
    “The gold mining industry, unlike the platinum industry, negotiates in a collective bargaining forum”, Lunsche said, adding that this arrangement had worked well for the industry and the trade unions for almost two decades.

    “The best outcome would be if NUM convinces them to return to work”, he said.
    On Wednesday, Zwelinzima Vavi, general secretary of the COSATU trade union federation had hurriedly left the organisation’s 11th annual conference along with NUM officials to try and persuade Gold Fields miners to return to work.

    Vavi warned them they could be sacked if they did not report for work Friday and promised to raise their demands with management. But he was met with cries of “we are not going back to work.”

    On Thursday, workers at AngloGold’s Kopanang mine became the latest to join in wildcat action. AngloGold is the largest gold producer in Africa. Workers at the mine, which employs 5,000, are demanding a monthly salary of 12,500 rand.

    The same day Zuma authorised the deployment of SANDF personnel anywhere in the country to deal with the growing unrest.

    His letter to the National Assembly stated, “I have authorized the employment of one hundred and thirty seven (137) South African National Defence Force personnel for service in cooperation with the South African Police Service in the prevention and combatting of crime and maintenance and preservation of law and order in the Marikana Area, North West and such areas within the Republic of South Africa as needed.

    The employment is for the period 14 September 2012 to 31 January 2013.”
    In fact, some 1,000 troops had already been sent to Marikana the previous weekend to aid police raids, without an official announcement by the president. In order to sanction this blatantly unconstitutional move the Ministry of Defence had issued a backdated notice authorising the deployment.

    On Friday it was confirmed that an arrest warrant has been issued against former Youth League leader, Julius Malema, who was expelled from the ANC in April.
    Malema has sought to use the unrest as part of a factional struggle against Zuma and to press for his re-admittance to the ANC. In the last weeks he has addressed striking miners, supporting their pay demands and calling for the nationalisation of the mines.

    On Monday, police had barred him from addressing a crowd of miners in Marikana.

    Malema’s lawyers said they did not know the charges against him but that he would not be jailed and is expected to appear in court next week.

  2. Sel Cool says :


    South African armed forces protect multinational mining interests

    Submitted by annie on Sat, 09/22/2012 – 20:27
    play stop mute

    KPFA Evening News, 09.22.2012
    Striking miners at the Lonmin Corporation’s platinum mine in Marikana, South Africa, returned to work after accepting a 22% wage increase, but wildcat strikes have spread to other mines in the country’s platinum belt, and South African armed forces have been deployed to contain them. KPFA spoke to David Van Wyk, mining researcher for the South African Council of Churches’ Bench Marks Foundation.

    KPFA Evening News Anchor Cameron Jones: Striking platinum miners in Marikana, South Africa, returned to work this week, after agreeing to a 22% wage increase with the London-based
    South Africa women protesting the South African police massacre of striking Marikana miners.
    Lonmin Corporation, but strikes have spread to other parts of the country’s platinum belt. The Women of Marikana, site of the August 16th police massacre of 34 striking miners, planned to march today, for an end to police brutality and the withdrawal of armed forces deployed to the platinum belt a week ago. However, authorities banned the march and the Women of Marikana then rescheduled it for next Saturday, calling for support from civil society in South Africa and around the world.
    KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke to David Van Wyk, a mining researcher for the South African Council of Churches Bench Marks Foundation, about the multinational mining corporations whose interests are being protected by South Africa’s apparatus of force.

    KPFA/Ann Garrison: Now, you made a presentation to South African Parliament, right?

    David Van Wyk: Yes, actually on Wednesday.

    KPFA: On Wednesday.

    David Van Wyk: That’s right.

    KPFA: With a Bench Marks report.

    David Van Wyk: That’s right.

    KPFA: From your Bench Marks map here, of the platinum belt, with all the mines on it, it looks like there are six companies operating here. One is very recognizable – Xtrata – that’s the largest mining company in the world. Anglo Platinum, is that Anglo American?

    Road sign in South Africa’s platinum belt

    David Van Wyk: Yes, Anglo American. Anglo American has a number of different divisions. It mines uranium, it mines gold, it mines a little bit of copper. It also mines platinum of course. So Anglo is kind of a diversified mining company. It’s this umbrella organization and it has subdivisions, one in platinum, one in coal, one in diamonds. DeBeers belongs to Anglo American, and so on.

    KPFA: Is that related to Anglo Gold Ashanti?

    David Van Wyk: Yes, Anglo Gold Ashanti would also fall under that umbrella.

    KPFA: OK. Then Lonmin, which we’ve been hearing about, a British based corporation, Impala Platinum, and Aquarius.

    David Van Wyk: OK, Impala Platinum is an old company that started off as Gencor, when the Afrikaners wanted to have a stake in the mining industry after 1948 when they came to power – the white Afrikaans speaking part of the population in South Africa who dominated the National Party, which was in power from 1948 until 1994. And of course they then acquired mines from Anglo American, which before that had a near monopoly in mining in the country.

    And one of the groups that they set up was Gencor and Gencor became Impala Platinum. But of course, post-1994, a lot of these companies de-listed from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and re-listed on the London Stock Exchange.

    Lonmin has also got an interesting colonial history, because Lonmin used to be London Rhodesia Mining Company and it was owned by Tiny Rowland. And Tiny Rowland was a big sanctions buster during the liberation struggle for Zimbabwe. He was someone who broke sanctions very frequently to try and sustain the white minority government in Rhodesia.

    Xtrata is a Swiss company but it’s also now listed on the London Stock Exchange, but it’s headquarters is in Zug, Switzerland, and 40 percent of Xtrata is owned by Glencore, and Glencore is the biggest commodity trading corporation in the world. And they are on the verge of buying out Xtrata altogether, which will make Glencore the biggest mining company in the world, and they will have near monopoly control of many strategic minerals.

    Now the other one, in the South African context, is very politically top heavy, with the Sisulu families and Mandela families, and the ANC Womens’ League, having large chunks of shares.

    David Van Wyk, mining researcher for the South African Council of Churches’ Bench Marks Foundation.
    KPFA: That’s Aquarius?

    David Van Wyk: Yah, that is Aquarius.

    KPFA: OK, now regarding the Xtrata-Glencore deal: If they control the majority of the strategic minerals in the world, what will the significance of that be?

    David Van Wyk: Glencore will be hugely powerful in relation to very weak African governments, and it will be able to dictate to them conditions of investment, and control of populations, and levels of democracy and so on in African countries – if it continues to go in the way that it is going.

    KPFA: For Pacifica, KPFA, and AfrobeatRadio, I’m Ann Garrison.

  3. Ann Garrison says :

    Thanks for sharing my KPFA News here. I hope the photo captions appearing without the photos don’t confuse.

    As I try to piece the meaning of these events together from halfway around the world, I’m surprised by how little is being reported in the South African press. Today the transport workers went out on strike and so far I’m seeing it reported only in our press, or rather, by the same wire services republished on many outlets.

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