Students saved South Africa

The Nelson Mandela Centenary will be making headlines around the world on July 18. But 50 years ago, Mandela was in prison and the ANC were virtually defunct within South Africa. Instead, it was a students’ organisation that reignited the struggle against apartheid.

As we celebrate the 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela and his contribution to the defeat of apartheid in South Africa, as well as the inspiration he still holds for oppressed people around the world, we must remember to also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the South African Students’ Organisation (SASO). Read more of this post

Winnie Mandela er død

Winnie Mandela døde i dag, 81 år gammel. Hun var en af de mest centrale personer i kampen mod apartheidregimet i Sydafrika.

I medierne omtales Winnie Mandela ofte mest som Nelson Mandelas hustru, som en karismatisk men kontroversiel politisk populist, og for meddelagtighed i mordet på Stompie Seipei i 1989. Anklager som hun dog altid har benægtet. Read more of this post

Ramaphosa – fra kommunist til stenrig minemagnat

Som ANCs nye partileder, og afløser for den skandale- og korruptionsramte Jacob Zuma, bliver Cyril Ramaphosa sandsynligvis også snart Sydafrikas næste præsident. Stenrige Ramaphosa vil dog næppe gøre hverdagen lettere for landets mange fattige.

Jeg husker stadigvæk den dag i marts 1997 på Københavns Universitet, da Cyril Ramaphosa fortalte om sin rolle i kampen imod apartheid og arbejdet med at skrive verdens nok mest progressive forfatning. Read more of this post

Students must lead the struggle in Swaziland

Njabulo, first from the right (brown jacket) 300pxIn the small absolute monarchy of Swaziland the struggle to get a decent education is connected to the struggle for political freedom. Student activist Njabulo Mazibuko has written about what implications this understanding has for himself and his fellow students.

“We are not masters of our political fate, but slaves of circumstance. The paths of rationality are blocked, and as students we all have to take responsibility for addressing the political issues that are overlooked day after day”, Njabulo Mazibuko writes in his essay, which is called The Need for More Student Activism. Read more of this post

Skoleelever har afdød sydafrikansk frihedskæmper som helt

CAM00406Hvis man spørger danskere, og ikke mindst unge mennesker i Danmark, i dag om hvem deres helte er, forventer man, at de nævner en fashionabel tennisspiller, en X-Factor-deltager, eller en der har besteget Mount Everest eller gennemført en Ironman som en ”personlig udfordring”.

Vores tid er trods alt præget af mange mere eller mindre egocentriske og medie-profilerede ”helte”, der ofte kun udsætter sig selv for farer eller svære udfordringer, for deres egen (vindings) skyld, i stedet for at bruge deres mod, kløgt, overskud og energi i et forsøg på at hjælpe andre.

Men denne forventning passer i hvert fald ikke på fire elever fra 8.A. på Enghavegaard Skole i Gladsaxe. De har valgt at skrive om en sydafrikansk anti-apartheid aktivist i deres projektopgave. Read more of this post

Biko’s legacy lives on in Swaziland’s civil society

Looking at South Africa today, it is clear that the approach of the ANC has not ensured socio-economic justice for the majority of South Africa’s blacks. Indeed, the rich-poor divide has broadened, and South Africa has become the most unequal country in the world.

The same can be said of many other countries in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. But as South Africa’s tiny neighbour, Swaziland, is finding out, the solution might lie in the past, so to speak, more than in a future that has failed the test of time. Read more of this post

The relevance of Black Consciousness today

To truly be able to determine whether Black Consciousness is relevant today, an analysis of the way South Africa has fared under the ANC’s administration is necessary, something that is outside the scope of this article. Nevertheless, it is possible to suggest some overarching areas in which Black Consciousness can still inform or develop present day South Africa.

Steve Biko, by pointing out that any “change in color of the occupier does not necessarily change the system” and thus that true liberation requires social change, is alluding to the same neo-colonial tendencies that Fanon warned of. The relevance of Black Consciousness in a social context is therefore to be judged on whether South Africa has achieved real social change, as well as on the quality of Black Consciousness’ social and political alternatives to the present-day policies of the ANC. Read more of this post