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On South Africa

On South Africa
(Coordinator Comment)

The victory over apartheid in South Africa was a kind of revolution. After struggling for generations against Apartheid, the Black and Indian populations of South Africa, led by the African National Congress (ANC), including the South African Communist Party, and with the support of the international community, succeeded by the end of the 1980s in obtaining an agreement for free elections to determine the future of the country. At that point the critical question arose as to whether the process would be characterized by war or peace.

The South African people chose peace, engaging in an unprecedented process, which began with the signing of the National Peace Accord in September 1991 and extended through elections in April 1994 and the establishment of a government of national unity under the leadership of Nelson Mandela.

The Peace Accord was signed by parties that had been locked in combat for a generation: the white majority government and National Party on the one side, and the African National Congress and the Inkatha Freedom Party, on the other. It engaged the entire country in the search for nonviolent conflict management in a process without any precedent on a national level. Their experience proves that a revolution can be carried out through nonviolent means.

The South African Communist Party played a major role in the South African struggle to overcome apartheid and to establish a peaceful transition to democracy. When socialist states collapsed in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in 1989, there was no one better placed to understand its significance than Joe Slovo, the most respected theoretician of the South African Communist Party and a leader of the armed wing of the African National Congress, Umkhonto we Sizwe. His article, Has Socialism Failed? was read and debated by revolutionaries around the world.

In a section entitled Socialist Economic Alienation, Slovo states that the socialist countries failed to overcome the alienation that they inherited from the previous capitalist economies. Socialism requires that the worker has "real participation in the mechanisms of social control over the products of his/her labour; a feeling that the means of production and its products are his or hers as part of society."

The conclusions drawn by Joe Slovo apply to all 21st Century revolutionaries as well as to the Communist Party of South Africa which he addresses: "Our party's programme holds firmly to a post-apartheid state which will guarantee all citizens the basic rights and freedoms of organisation, speech, thought, press, movement, residence, conscience and religion; full trade union rights for all workers including the right to strike, and one person one vote in free and democratic elections. big>

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game administrator Jun. 13 2019,18:22
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