The Crisis in South Africa: Class Defense, Class Revolution


  • John S. Saul
  • Stephen Gelb



Race, Inequality


The strikes by African workers first erupting in Durban in 1972 and spreading throughout the country ever since, the outbursts sparked by students in Soweto and elsewhere from 1976 to the present, the actions undertaken by the African National Congress's guerrillas on the ground (most dramatically evidenced) by the Sasolburg bombings of 1980): these and other developments have been clear signs that the tide has at last begun to turn against South Africa's apartheid system. In the 1960s, after the regime's fierce and effective crackdown on the burgeoning opposition movement of the preceding two decades, the forces of liberation were in a state of disarray, the South African people momentarily stunned. In North America, too, there was a danger that opposition to apartheid would be forced into the cul-de-sac of sterile moralizing about an indefensible but apparently unyielding situation. This need no longer be a temptation, and for that reason political work around South African issues takes on a new kind of urgency. Ronald Reagan, Alexander Haig, and their various minions will seek, no doubt, to persuade us that most of the actions mentioned above reflect the working of some sinister Soviet plot.

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