Socialist Worker

How the mighty ANC fell

Issue No. 2460

ANC president Jacob Zuma

ANC president Jacob Zuma

Despite attempts to whitewash government collusion, the official report into South Africa’s Marikana massacre  taints the ruling African National Congress (ANC). Cops opened fire on striking miners in 2012, killing dozens.

The ANC’s heroic struggle against the racist apartheid regime inspired millions around the world. 

But the organisation’s belief that the only way to bring freedom to workers and the poor was to develop South African capitalism was a fatal flaw.

Former revolutionaries adapted to neoliberal ideas and abandoned any commitment to equality as they become fantastically rich company directors. 

Unions are now expected to act in the interests of South Africa’s ruling class, not their members.

The memory of the struggle against apartheid still gives the ANC mass support. But the ANC only sees the interests of the state. 

Horror at Marikana was key to pushing South Africa’s largest union Numsa to set up a new workers’ party. 

It is looking round the world at different parties—including Syriza in Greece—for the best model. 

But each party comes up against the same problem as the ANC. Challenge capitalism or try to set up a “nicer” version and become absorbed into running it? 

The sad decline of the ANC is a warning that reforming the system will not work.


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What We Think
Tue 30 Jun 2015, 16:20 BST
Issue No. 2460
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