A Flawed Freedom: Rethinking Southern African Liberation
Twenty years on from the fall of apartheid in South Africa, veteran analyst and activist John S. Saul examines the liberation struggle, placing it in a regional and global context and looking at how the initial optimism and hope has given way to a sense of crisis following soaring inequality levels and the massacre of workers at Marikana.
With chapters on South Africa, Tanzania and Mozambique, Saul examines the reality of southern Africa’s post-'liberation' plight, drawing on the insights of Frantz Fanon and Amilcar Cabral and assessing claims that a new 'precariat' has emerged.
Saul examines the ongoing 'rebellion of the poor', including the recent Marikana massacre, that have shaken the region and may signal the possibility of a new and more hopeful future.
lapped on the beachheads of white power, and its high tide left a residue of aspirations and expectations” of great significance.23 Not even the state’s brutal repression could succeed in smothering the flames now so visible in so many centres throughout the country. Here in fact was a present-day expression, now dramatically magnified, of a long history of urban resistance to the closing fist of apartheid, a fightback cast both within the ANC tradition and outside it. Thus, in 1979-80, there
ANC project, launched itself in 2008 – and contested the 2009 election, not very successfully, as a possible national liberation-linked alternative to the right of the ANC. On Taming a Revolution: The South African Case c 95 tionable but crucial economic policy choices friendly to global capital made during the first half-decade of ANC power, from “agreeing to pay illegitimate apartheid era debt in part by taking on an unnecessary IMF loan of US$750 million (1993) with predictable strings
the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea.”6 And the upshot of that “problem”? DuBois’ “darker races” – “the darker nations” as Vijay Prashad has more recently also termed them7 – had fought back against their oppressors in the latter half of the twentieth century and, no longer as part of the problem but as part of the solution, had won. And won? Well, not quite. For there was rather more to western global power than racism, however important that
49–50 MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola), 23 Mtembu, Jackson, 156 Mtetwa, Phumi, 161 Mugabe, Robert, 11, 23, 25, 26, 27, 144 Mulroney, Brian, 86 Municipal IQ, 151 murder, 167 Murphy, Alan, 161 Index c 191 Namibia, 23, 144; liberation struggles in, 2; regional struggle in, 121; white settler government in, 135 national affiliation, 104 nationalism, 12n14; anti-colonial, exhausted and failed, 143; of Guebuza, 56; radicalization of, 136; resurgent economic, 26;
state and private sectors, both white and black. But how about the mass of southern African populations, both urban and rural and largely black? Not so obviously the winners, I would suggest, and certainly not in any very expansive sense. Has it not been a kind of defeat for them too?5 How much of a defeat? Various country case studies – like those that comprised the body the Africafiles/Roape symposium that this chapter first served to introduce – did, cumulatively, give a very clear sense of