Saturday, April 11, 2009

Better under apartheid?

"My life was better during apartheid," says Vincent Ntswayi, 53, who held a steady job in Johannesburg during white rule but has only been intermittently employed since. "Freedom turned out to be just a word. Real freedom, real power, that comes from money — and I haven't got any money."

Let us be clear: Socialists were pleased to see the demise of apartheid in South Africa but warned at the time that capitalism with its attendant 'problems' including bad housing, inadequate health care, cheap schooling, unemployment, poor transport, police brutality, and pollution would continue. But, later this month - some 19 years after the release of Mandela - workers will have the opportunity to vote in South Africa's parliamentary and presidential elections. The result is already known: they won, we lost. Mass murderer Mbeki is no longer seeking to represent the capitalist class and is likely to be replaced in this role by Zuma, whose alleged background in corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering should serve him and those he represents well. The equally odious and corrupt 'Mother of the Nation' Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, is almost certain to be elected too. Thus the rich will stay rich and the poor stay poor in the land of rape and money.

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