Elite Politics

The state led by the African National Congress (ANC) has become a mixture of what Marx would call an instrument of power in the hands of bourgeoisie and what Fanon would call a means of private advancement, says Ayanda Kota of the Unemployed People’s Movement. Recent protests have been met with militarised policing. In 2011, police killed Andries Tatane during a protest in Ficksburg. In 2012, police killed 34 striking mineworkers at Marikana. The message that is backed by state violence is very clear: “Go back to your caves!”

Fanon says a party that cannot marry national consciousness with social
consciousness will disintegrate: nothing will be left but the shell of a party, the name,
the emblem and the motto. He says, “The living party, which ought to make possible
the free exchange of ideas which have been elaborated according to the real needs of
the mass of the people, has been transformed into a trade union of individual

This is exactly what the ANC has become. Institutions such as parliament and local municipalities are made to serve individual interests and the state is made into an instrument for elite looting. The Protection of State Information Bill (Secrecy Bill) has the apparent intention of silencing whistle blowers and placing corruption under the protection of state security. This reaction to dissent is taken to other countries as well. At the African Union meeting on the situation in the Central African Republic, President Jacob Zuma spoke emphatically against rebellion aimed at dethroning presidents.

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