The crisis facing South Africa and the world today has its roots in: (1) the barbarism and injustices of market supremacism, racial supremacism and patriarchy; (2) the inadequacy of liberal democracy; (3) the excesses of commandist communism and vanguardist Marxism and (4) the failure of the dominant discourse to locate racism and patriarchy as much central to the problems we face as capitalism. The crisis can only be appropriately dealt with by appealing to the radical humanism of Socialism.

NOTE: This Strini Moodley Memorial Lecture was delivered on 19 July 2017 at Howard College Theatre, Howard Campus, Mazisi Kunene Avenue, University Of Kwazulu-Natal (UKZN).

Respected leaders and members of the UKZN community, Umtapo Centre, the Steve Biko Transformative Educational Project and broader KZN civil society, I greet you in the name of the oneness, unity and fellowship of humanity:  Sanibonani, Shalom, Namaste, Assalaam Alaykum, Kgotso ebe le lona.  As frightened as I am by the word ‘memorial lecture’ and equally surprised when I saw the official invite to this event falsely accusing me of being a “lecturer”, I am greatly honored to be part of the speakers at this memorial lecture of Comrade Strinivasa Raju Moodley – the man fondly known as Connection. The Connection nickname symbolized Comrade Strini’s inclination to interact with and bring people together beyond social, political, cultural and geographic borders.  A memorial is, indeed, a fitting tribute to a man whose political and cultural work was by and large against de-historicizing the many social, political and economic problems facing humanity.  The symbolic and political significance of the concept of memorial in this context is also due to the fact that Comrade Strini subscribed to the Black Consciousness philosophy, a philosophy that has articulated the relationship between memory and being very well. Indeed Black Consciousness – like other philosophical branches Africana Philosophy[1] such as Pan Africanism[2], Black Existentialism[3], Black Existential Feminism[4] and Critical Race Theory[5] - stresses  the importance of remembering , particularly critical interrogation of the past and its link to the present and the future as a political act, that has either liberating or oppressive consequences depending on the meaning that one attaches to their place in history and their role in the making of history.  

Black Consciousness has properly identified the impact of the colonialist project of denigration, disfiguring and mutilation of the histories and traditions of an oppressed people; as denying people a sense of being and belonging and, therefore, denying them their humanity.  The Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) – of which Strini was a co-founder in Azania[6] – identifies the re-humanization of the oppressed people and their mental and physical liberation as the central aim of national and class struggles the world over and as the central focus of our struggle in Azania.  The BCM articulates Black Self-realization, as the key mover of the agency of Black people as the most downtrodden of the exploited under-classes of Azania.  It proposes Black Solidarity and Black Power as the most potent instruments to confront and challenge the structures of racial-capitalism that deny Black people their humanity, and advocates egalitarian Socialist values and practices as the medium through which the humanity of all people – irrespective of the colour of their skin, their gender, their sexuality etc - can be reclaimed.

This takes us to today’s theme. I must admit that the first challenge I had in deciding how to approach my talk was deciding on which of the two proposed topics to speak on:

1. How can the flames engulfing the country be extinguished?

2. Socialism and humanism: Are they two sides of the same coin?

My struggle with the topics was precisely because I found them to be so intertwined that it would be difficult to talk about one without speaking to the other.  I found the implied framing of Socialism and humanism as discrete and separate ideals and goals problematic. I also struggled with the notion of extinguishing the flames.

What flames are we referring to?  Are we referring to the flames of spontaneous, organic and organised resistance engulfing the country as exemplified by Rhodes Must Fall, Fees Must Fall, popular land repossession actions and nationwide protests against the squeeze of the continuities of apartheid-capitalism and neoliberal policies on poor and working-class people’s lives?  Or which flames are referring to? There are so many flames engulfing the country. The country is engulfed by the fires and flames of industrial pollution that endanger the lives of thousands of people particularly poor working-class communities such as the people of Durban South basin. For decades these people have endured the assault of air pollution, oil pollution, water, noise pollution and land degradation on their lives and wellbeing caused by the activities of SAPREF[7], Engen Refinery[8] and several polluting industries ranging from waste water treatment works, numerous toxic waste landfill sites, a paper manufacturing plant and a multitude of chemical process industries. The people of Zamdela in Sasolburg for 50 years have been subjected to poor air quality as a result of high concentration of sulphur dioxide emissions and fine particulate matter courtesy of the Sasol Chemical Industry.[9] And several communities in the country for more than two decades after democracy are still literally breathing raw sewerage.

Azania is engulfed by socioeconomic violence unleashed on poor communities by neoliberal capitalist policies that churn out unemployment, poverty and inequality.  It is engulfed by rampant maladministration and corruption in the private and public sectors. Azania is engulfed by the continuities of apartheid-capitalism and racial, class and gender disparities.  Azania is engulfed by what, for a lack of better words, I refer to as internecine wars  between various fractions, appendages and outlets of capital in the scramble over who must turn the state into its private property and cash-cow the most.  

The various kinds of flames engulfing Azania are related to the flames engulfing other countries and other people all over the world.  What I know, however, is that the Strinivasa Moodley we know, would have been more interested in igniting and kindling to high voltage the flames of popular resistance and revolutionary war against social, political, economic, gender and environmental injustice.  And to my understanding, Strini perceived Socialism as a scientific expression of humanist ideals.

This understanding influences me to use my poetic license and abuse the position of being the speaker to reformulate the my topic today as: Reclaim the humanism of Socialism to extinguish the flames engulfing the country.

Herbert Marcus poignantly expresses the point we make that Socialism is humanism, when he states:

“In the Marxian conception, Socialism is humanism in as much as it organizes the social division of labor, the "realm of necessity", so as to enable human beings to satisfy their social and individual needs without exploitation and with a minimum of toil and sacrifice. Social production, controlled by the "immediate producers," would be deliberately directed toward this goal. With this rational organization of the realm of necessity, human beings would be free to develop themselves as  "all-round individuals" beyond the realm of necessity, which would remain a world of want, of labor. But the qualitatively new organization of the realm of necessity, upon which the emergence of truly human relationships depends, in turn depends on the existence of a class for which the revolution of human relationships is a vital need. Socialism is humanism in the extent to which this need and goal pre-exist, i.e., Socialism as humanism has its historical a priori within capitalist society. Those who constitute the human base of this society have no share in its exploitative interests and satisfactions; their vital needs transcend the inhuman existence of the whole toward, the universal human needs which are still to be fulfilled. Because their very existence is the denial of freedom and humanity, they are free for their own liberation and for that of humanity. In this dialectic, the humanist content of Socialism emerges, not as value but as need, not as moral goal and justification but as economic and political practice—as part of the basis itself of the material culture.”

I would like to agree with Marcus that Socialism and humanism in its radical sense are inseparable.

My view is that the political, social and economic crisis facing the world today has its roots in (1) the barbarism and injustices of market supremacism, racial supremacism and patriarchy, (2) the inadequacy of representative liberal democracy and social democracy, (3) the excesses of commandist communism and vanguardist Marxism, and (4) the failure of the dominant discourse to locate racism and patriarchy as much central to problems we face as capitalism. Therefore this crisis cannot be appropriately dealt with without appealing to the radical humanism of socialism. It equally cannot be adequately addressed without locating Socialist and radical humanist thought in the quest for forms, expressions and organs of power beyond the state, the market and formal political parties.  Most importantly,  the rediscovery and resurgence of the humanist goal of Socialism, or what Biko and the BCM refer to as the vision of an egalitarian socialist society that bestows a human face to the world, will be just a matter of chasing shadows if Socialist and leftist thought in general is not located to the specificities and peculiarities of the conditions and problems faced by Black people, women, the gay-lesbian-transgender-intersex and queer communities, refugees and immigrants, disabled people and other disempowered , powerless , silenced and marginalised people.

It is clear that to rediscover and articulate the mission of the quest for humanity, Socialism has to disabuse and redeem itself  from the myth that Socialist ideals and practices begin with Karl Marx and Frederick Engels and end with Vladmir Lenin (with  Leon Trotsky[10] and Rosa Luxemburg[11] said in hushed tones,  Mao[12] somehow tolerated, Antonio  Gramsci[13] somewhere in the background – Frantz Omar Fanon[14] and CRL James[15] as the bastard kids; IB Tabata[16], Archie Mafeje[17] and Neville Alexandre[18] too Black to be in the canons and Black socialist women completely left out.)  Most importantly, Socialism has to rid itself of the twin devils of statism and economism to explore participatory democratic politics and collaborative, cooperative, communal, social and sustainable modes of production and distribution of wealth and knowledge. 

This means that we have do discard and bid goodbye to a predictive and commandist kind of Socialism that not only claims to have all the answers but also claims that only a particular party and a particular inner-circle within this party possess the spiritual powers to see the future and, therefore, the rest of society must depend on the brains and eyes, guts and whims of this group of intellectual sangomas for its destiny and future. It is ludicrous to subscribe to the notion that one party can be the leader of society instead of it taking its cue from public demands, societal issues and the dynamics of time and place. It is absurd to portray one party as the vanguard of the working-class instead of the under-classes as the vanguard and a Socialist party drawing from the daily experiences and struggles of the wretched of the earth.  It is ridiculous for one political organization to impose itself as the sole authentic representative or torchbearer of a particular philosophy and to deny the plurality of voices and diversity of perspectives and slants within one philosophy, ideology or movement. As a matter of fact, the very notion of which social force is the vehicle should be interrogated in a critical manner that avoids being essentialist about the questions of class, race and gender and also avoids being  prescriptive and dogmatic on the agents and forms of struggle. As Herbert Marcus correctly asserts: 

“Socialist theory, no matter how true, can neither prescribe nor predict the future agents of a historical transformation which is more than ever before the specter that haunts the established societies. But Socialist theory can show that this specter is the image of a vital need; it can develop and protect the consciousness of this need and thus lay the groundwork for the dissolution of the false unity in defense of the status quo.”

Indeed Strini perceived Socialism, Radical Humanism and Black Consciousness as the way out of the mayhem in which we find ourselves where children and women are unsafe in the streets, at home, in schools and at every space; and wherein everyday there is one or other form of protest in demand of very basic necessities that should be a given in a normal society. 

Strini understood that in the context of Azania any project aimed at re-humanizing the people who are at the intersection of the ravages of racial, class and gender oppression that does not have the insight of Black Consciousness, Black Feminism and Ecological perspectives and does not take into cognizance of all forms of social exclusion, marginalization and powerlessness is bound to fail. This comes out very clear in Strini’s input on the beginning of Umtapo where he clearly articulates a Radical Humanist and Socialist perspective on the notion of peace activism in our context.  Strini mentions that Umtapo was established in response to internecine violence in the community, particularly internecine violence among political parties and that it was aimed towards intervention programs that would make people to be in solidarity with one  another, to work together to address the root of the problem instead of fighting one another. (The Beginnings of Umtapo. Explaining that in the context of all the wars and violence in Africa and the world peace has acquired a new meaning (ibid), Strini states that:

“ …the whole notion of a peace activist is not different from the old days. In the old days we were freedom fighters. I think today every freedom fighter has to be peace activists. What is a peace activist? A peace activist is not a person who is only interested in the absence of war but is more concerned about the quality of life of every human being.  A peace activist will be fighting for development of the quality of life of every human being in the world. Not just in your own community, not just in your own family, not just in your own neighborhood, but the world over. That is what Umtapo sets out to do… to multiply themselves in the community.  The way we want to go about with this is to establish a leadership institute that will train young people to be leaders who are committed, accountable, incorruptible, who are  able to have a keen awareness of their own self and their own history and are able to mould and design a new country that will have leaders who are gonna make it their role to eliminate violence, corruption and unemployment and all the things that have riddled the country, primarily the problem of poverty.” (The Beginnings of Umtapo. 

Here Strini clearly articulates the idea that genuine struggle and achievement of peace lies in the struggle for and realisation of social, political, economic, gender and environmental justice and in the creation of an egalitarian society wherein all human beings have at their disposal the human, social, political, economic, cultural and environmental conditions required for their overall wellbeing or for meaningful human existence. He stresses:

the importance of solidarity, self-realization and focusing on the roots rather than the symptoms;

 the role of activists as facilitators of individual and collective agency  to mobilize collective action for social change;

  the need for committed, accountable and incorruptible leadership

  the vision of a development agenda that radically deals with the intersection of problems that is injurious to the welfare and wellbeing of people and the environment.

 Strini’s emphasis of the importance of focusing on the roots rather than the symptoms of a problem is evocative of Jose Marti’s assertion that to be radical means to go to the roots. It is no wonder that within the BCM Strini was known as the irrepressible prophet of the revolution.  At the personal level my most unforgettable memory of Strinivasa Moodley was of him workshopping us on Freirian pedagogy.  I remember specifically his statement that has lived with me for all my life and that has shaped my social, cultural and political activism: “The role of a facilitator is to kill himself\herself.”

What I understood Strini to be saying was that the role of facilitators is not that of a gate-keepers of knowledge, power and resources; nor is the task of facilitators to build an empire for themselves or to consolidate the establishment but rather to create a world in which their services is no longer required, a world in which knowledge production and education and active participation in social, economic, political and cultural life is not the preserve of the propertied and the elite.

That as activists, in any terrain – be it in academia, organised civil society, organised labor and in social and political movements, etc - we should assume the role of facilitators rather than that of lecturers, teachers and leaders who know all the problems. What Strini is telling us is that we should see ours as the struggle against establishments, hierarchies, orthodoxies, dogmas and canons and rather than the enterprise propping up the system that is based on various forms of social stratification, social disenfranchisement and social exclusion.

That our task is to smash the gated pedagogy that entrenches inequalities and commoditizes education and other social services in the name of standards and the bottom-line.  There is, therefore, no doubt that if Comrade Strini was here he would be among those calling for expropriation of the expropriators, for socialisation of land  and the major means of production, for equal redistribution of wealth, for the public control and social ownership of the commanding heights of the economy, for free and de-colonial education, for free, decent and habitable housing, free and quality public healthcare and quality and safe public transport, shouting at the top of his voice:

Rhodes Must Fall!

Fees Must Fall!

Outsourcing Must Fall!

Capital Must Fall!

Racism must Fall!

Patriarchy must fall!

South Africa must fall for Azania to rise!

The point we would like to make here is that Socialism and humanism, to be specific, radical humanism, are two cups of the same liter or rather Socialism minus humanism is Socialism minus its core.  By humanism here we are not referring to many variants of utopian and liberal humanism.  By now it should be common knowledge that Western humanism or liberal humanism has been exposed and rendered false in its promise of human freedom without altering the capitalist relations of production that foster unequal, inequitable and unjust power relations. Western liberal humanism has also been rendered a falsity by its failure to confront the structures of racism and patriarchy and has its indecisiveness in the face of the ecological disaster associated with unbridled accumulation.

The humanism of Marxism has been undermined by a rigidly statist and economistic paradigm characterised by vanguardism and bureaucratic centralism. The falseness of the democratic and humanist postures  of former Stalinist, one-party and  bureaucratic centralist communist regimes lies in the fact that they seek to become more humanistic by making arrangements with Western imperialism  or by using the Socialist lexicon  to implement the neoliberal capitalist agenda.  We can see this playing itself in Azania with the tendency by those in power to pay lip service to the concept of people’s power while propping up the power of capital and entrenching systemic, structural and institutional arrangements that create a form of democracy that is effectively an empire of the social, political and corporate elites.

But for genuine socialists and communists there is no denying of the fact that any liberatory project worth its salt has to be based on the humanist notion that enslaved human beings must accomplish their own liberation  and, therefore, of a frontal attack  on all structures that serve  as barriers  to human agency for liberation.  Such an understanding implies that the task of Socialists is to engage in a simultaneous process of cultivation of individual and collective agency and exposure and confrontation of the systemic, structural and institutional arrangements that constrict, suffocate and throttle human agency.

Herein lies the humanism of Socialism: The idea that human beings are makers of their own history and should be at the centre of all social, political, economic and cultural activities and processes that have an impact on their life and shape their destiny; and that all structures, systems and institutions that deny human beings this should be fought and smashed by any means necessary. As Herbert Marcus observes, “the human reality is an "open" system: no theory, whether Marxist or other, can impose the solution...”

I find myself in agreement with Marcus that the task of all who are activists and intellectuals, all those who are still free and able to think (and bold to act), is to develop the conscience and consciousness of enslaved human beings who must accomplish their own liberation…. to make them aware of what is going on, to prepare the precarious ground for the future alternatives.

This Socialist humanist ideal fits hand-in-glove in the Black Consciousness idea that the oppressed people should be the agents, subjects and objects of their own liberation; it resonates with the motto of the disability movement in Azania, ‘Nothing about us without us’, and with the maxim that has since been hijacked and commercialized as clothing label: for us by us.  Indeed a true liberatory project is one that is by the people for themselves and the role and work of a revolutionary activist in this regard is summed up in the advice of Lao Tzu[19]:

“Go to the people. Live with them. Learn from them. Love them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say 'We have done this ourselves.”

Some of the practical things we could do to deal with the flames engulfing the country and the globe are:

Revitalizing anti-sectarian radical popular-education, civic education, worker-education, worker-culture and theater for social transformation, centering these on the organic struggles and campaigns of the labor, student, youth, women and community organizations and using them to strengthen initiatives such as Fees Must Fall, Outsourcing Must Fall, Anti-eviction campaigns and popular protest for housing and land.

Exploration and experimentation with or consolidation of existing grassroots-based community development programmes and solidarity economy initiatives that tap into the principles and practices of eco-socialism and sustainable living approaches.

  Identifying spaces within and outside of existing formal and informal education platforms and broader labor, civic and social movement platforms  to explore and experiment with the ideals  of a  cooperative higher education[20] and the building of a broader movement for transformation of public higher education from  what Henry Giroux[21] refers to as a "bordered" or "limited" enterprise to a "borderless," socially and politically conscious sphere directed towards the project of democratization and borderless pedagogy that moves across different sites - from schools to the alternative media - as part of a broader attempt to construct a critical formative culture that enables people to reclaim their voices, speak out, exhibit moral outrage and create the social movements, tactics and public spheres that will reverse the growing tide of authoritarianism.

Explore the idea of bringing radical socialist and broader left groupings that are not beholden to the current neo-liberal state and capital around a National Socialist Forum that explores a common platform of action around issues of common agreement and common interests that could include, among others:

A series of workshops, seminars and campaigns to advocate for human, political, social and economic development policies and programs   that  serve to radically democratize the society, the state  and the economy  and to move South Africa towards the  nationalisation  and socialization of the primary means of wealth, the commanding heights of the economy  and essential social services.

A national summit on land redistribution, agrarian reform, sustainable industrial development and social and economic transformation aimed at consolidating and linking current struggles and campaigns on these issues and developing a cogent policy and political program on them.

An ongoing campaign and advocacy against gender-based violence that will include a series of gender and sexuality workshops and seminars at schools, universities, communities and workplaces as an educational initiative aimed at tackling the attitudes, practices and systemic and structural factors that account for the explosion of various forms of violence and oppression against women and children and against the GBTQI community. 

Campaign for a popular constituent assembly that will do away with the sellout constitution that came out of the fraudulent Codesa process.

The radical humanist Socialist approach we propose to tackling the issues must attack and completely breakaway with the dominant narratives promoted by racism, capital and patriarchy that seek to portray Black people, workers, women, the GLBTQI community, refugees and immigrants, homeless and landless people as a problem instead of as people faced with particular economic, social and psychological challenges and problems caused by racism, capitalism and patriarchy. 

As Biko correctly responded to the racist notion of the black problem, ‘there is no such thing as the ‘Black problem’ but that the problem is quite simply white anti-Black racism.’ We should offer the same answer to those who turn Black students and Black youth into a problem rather than as people faced by the problem. When Black youths in particular are assailed with social rhetoric that asks them not to make any reference to the apartheid past or its impact on their social realities and are encouraged to restrict their focus on seizing the abundant opportunities and spaces for self-development opened up by post-apartheid legal and constitutional framework.  When Black youths are told that an enabling environment has been created for them through the bold heroes and sheroes of the struggle, and theirs is the new struggle of pulling themselves up by their own bootstrings to occupy the spaces and seize the opportunities.

When Black youth are bombarded with the rhetoric that overemphasizes individual effort and individual agency above collective agency aimed at structural change and social transformation such as “phanda, pusha, play”[22] (Hustle, push and play), “vukuzenzele” (wake up and do it for yourself), #uzoyitholakanjani uhlel’ekhoneni?” (How will you find it when you are sitting at the corner?” Socialist Humanism and BC will enable the poor black rural and township child bombarded with “uzoyitholakanjani uhlel’ekhoneni?”Occupy your space” to respond:

i am not at the corner

out of my own volition

it’s the only space

left for me to occupy

the hospital has no space

for a bed for my TB

my numeracy is too wanting

for me to know the safe number

for me to raise at a specific

time and place to a particular

person in the prison space

my mind is an occupied space

campus culture declared me a dropout

the arts architecture history lectures landed me in Venice

literature left me in London of bygone days

the curriculum spoke to me in a strange language

the fees kicked me out of the space

at home i wrestled with the rats in bed

fought with roaches for a place at the table

till the red ants evicted

my family from our shack-house

because we spoiled the value

of the house of mister mayor

i am not at the corner

out of my own volition

i put a table on the street corner

to sell potatoes and cigarettes

metro police came with guns and the law

to kick me out of the very corner

me and my buddies gathered

around the corner to wash

cars for some money for bread

the rich man came with fancy machines

  produced papers the local government

& took away the corner and the clients

i relocated to another corner

only for municipality to ask

me to produce business license

i am not under the bridge

out of my own choice

i identified a good space

where i can stand guard

on people’s cars  for  R30 for the shelter

big business came up with elegant uniform

donkiepiel & superficial smiles

Indeed Socialist Humanism will arm the youths and students, the poor and the unemployed with the political consciousness to boldly declare that as long as the systemic , structural and institutional arrangements  not only push them to the corner but also allow for the rich and propertied to even colonize the very corner  they are quarantined  to : sizohlala sizinyova ne government ..Until there is truly a government of the people by the people for the people!!!

Without any apology: Izwelethu I Afrika. I Afrika Izwelethu! One Azania: One People! One Nation: One Azania!

*MPHUTLANE WA BOFELO is an anti-establishment underground poet\essayist and popular-education and worker-education facilitator currently based in Durban in the Kwa-Zulu Natal province of South Africa.


[1] “Africana philosophy” is the name for an emergent and still developing field of ideas and idea-spaces, intellectual endeavors, discourses, and discursive networks within and beyond academic philosophy that was recognized as such by national and international organizations of professional philosophers, including the American Philosophical Association, starting in the 1980s. Thus, the name does not refer to a particular philosophy, philosophical system, method, or tradition. Rather, Africana philosophy is a third-order, metaphilosophical, umbrella-concept used to bring organizing oversight to various efforts of philosophizing—that is, activities of reflective, critical thinking and articulation and aesthetic expression—engaged in by persons and peoples African and of African descent who were and are indigenous residents of continental Africa and residents of the many African Diasporas worldwide. In all cases the point of much of the philosophizings has been to confer meaningful orderings on individual and shared living and on natural and social worlds while resolving recurrent, emergent, and radically disruptive challenges to existence so as to survive, endure, and flourish across successive generations.

[2] Pan-Africanism is a worldwide intellectual movement that aims to encourage and strengthen bonds of solidarity between all people of African descent. Based upon a common fate going back to the Atlantic slave trade, the movement extends beyond continental Africans, with a substantial support base among the African diaspora in the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States. It is based on the belief that unity is vital to economic, social, and political progress and aims to "unify and uplift" people of African descent. The ideology asserts that the fate of all African peoples and countries are intertwined. At its core Pan-Africanism is "a belief that African peoples, both on the continent and in the diaspora, share not merely a common history, but a common destiny

[3] Black existentialism or Africana critical theory is a school of thought that "critiques domination and affirms the empowerment of Black people in the world.  It is existential philosophy produced by black philosophers that addresses the intersection of problems of existence in black contexts.

[4] Black feminism is a school of thought stating that sexism, class oppression, gender identity and racism are inextricably bound together. Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. Existentialism is a philosophical and cultural movement which holds that the starting point of philosophical thinking must be the individual and the experiences of the individual, that moral thinking and scientific thinking together are not sufficient for understanding all of human existence, and, therefore, that a further set of categories, governed by the norm of authenticity, is necessary to understand human existence. Existentialist feminists emphasize concepts such as freedom, interpersonal relationships, and the experience of living as a human body. They value the capacity for radical change, but recognize that factors such as self-deception and the anxiety caused by the possibility of change can limit it

[5] Critical race theory (CRT)[1] is a theoretical framework in the social sciences focused upon the application of critical theory, a critical examination of society and culture, to the intersection of race, law, and power

[6] For the use of the name Azania read Azania – by George Wauchope available at Citing Runoko Rashidi and Ivan van Sertima (editors), African Presence in Early Asia, Tenth Anniversary Edition, Transaction Press: New Brunswick: 1995,  Black Consciousness stalwart and Maoist theorist,  advocate  Imrann Moosa asserts that the etymology of Azania to the Zanj Rebellion( 869 – 883 A.D.). The Zanj rebellion constituted of a series of small revolts that eventually culminated into a large rebellion that saw the 500 000 slaves sacking Basrah and setting up their own state, advancing to within seventy (70) miles of Baghdad itself. The Zanj built a city in the marshes known as al-Moktara (the Elect City) that was almost impregnable due to its watery location, and they also built a fortified town, al-Mani’a. They even minted their own currency. The Zanj thus took over the Caliphate and maintained a marooned state for some fifteen (15) years.  You can also go to for the different ways in which the name Azania has been used in history, politics, geology and literature. 

[7] SAPREF is a joint venture between Shell SA Refining and BP Southern Africa

[8] Engen Refinery in South Durban is a business unit of the Engen Petroleum Limited, a wholly subsidiary of Engen Limited, South Africa. Engen Limited is a subsidiary of a Malaysian National Oil Company, Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas

[9] Sasol Limited is an integrated energy and chemical company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The company was formed in 1950 in Sasolburg, South Africa, and is the world's first oil-from-coal company.[2] It develops and commercializes technologies, including synthetic fuels technologies, and produces different liquid fuels, chemicals and electricity

[10] Leon Trotsky was a Marxist revolutionary, theorist, and Soviet politician. Initially supporting the Menshevik Internationalists faction within the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, he joined the Bolsheviks ("majority") just before the 1917 October Revolution, immediately becoming a leader within the Communist Party. He would go on to become one of the seven members of the first Politburo, founded in 1917 to manage the Bolshevik Revolution. Trotsky's ideas formed the basis of Trotskyism, a major school of Marxist thought that opposes the theories of Stalinism. He was written out of the history books under Stalin, and was one of the few Soviet political figures who were not rehabilitated by the government under Nikita Khrushchev in the 1950s. It was not until the late 1980s that his books were released for publication in the Soviet Union, which dissolved a short time later.

[11] Rosa Luxemburg (5 March 1871[1] – 15 January 1919) was a Marxist theorist, philosopher, economist, anti-war activist, and revolutionary socialist of Polish-Jewish descent who became a naturalized German citizen. She was, successively, a member of the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania (SDKPiL), the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the Independent Social Democratic Party (USPD), and the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). Due to her pointed criticism of both the Leninist and the more moderate social democratic schools of socialism, Luxemburg has had a somewhat ambivalent reception among scholars and theorists of the political left. Nonetheless, some have regarded Luxemburg and Liebknecht as martyrs of the socialist cause.

[12] Mao Zedong or Mao Tse-tung (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary, poet, political theorist and founding father of the People's Republic of China, which he governed as the Chairman of the Communist Party of China from its establishment in 1949, until his death in 1976. His Marxist–Leninist theories, military strategies, and political policies are collectively known as Maoism or Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.

[13] Antonio Francesco Gramsci (22 January 1891 – 27 April 1937) was an Italian Marxist theorist and politician. He wrote on political theory, sociology and linguistics. He attempted to break from the economic determinism of traditional Marxist thought and so is considered a key neo-Marxist. He was a founding member and one-time leader of the Communist Party of Italy and was imprisoned by Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime. He wrote more than 30 notebooks and 3,000 pages of history and analysis during his imprisonment. His Prison Notebooks are considered a highly original contribution to 20th century political theory. Gramsci drew insights from varying sources – not only other Marxists but also thinkers such as Niccolò Machiavelli, Vilfredo Pareto, Georges Sorel and Benedetto Croce. The notebooks cover a wide range of topics, including Italian history and nationalism, the French Revolution, Fascism, Fordism, civil society, folklore, religion and high and popular culture. Gramsci is best known for his theory of cultural hegemony, which describes how the state and ruling capitalist class – the bourgeoisie – uses cultural institutions to maintain power in capitalist societies. The bourgeoisie in Gramsci's view develops a hegemonic culture using ideology rather than violence, economic force, or coercion. Hegemonic culture propagates its own values and norms so that they become the "common sense" values of all and thus maintain the status quo. Hegemonic power is therefore used to maintain consent to the capitalist order, rather than coercive power using force to maintain order. This cultural hegemony is produced and reproduced by the dominant class through the institutions that form the superstructure

[14] Frantz Omar Fanon (20 July 1925 – 6 December 1961) was a Martinique-born Afro-Caribbean psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary, and writer whose works are influential in the fields of post-colonial studies, critical theory, and Marxism. As an intellectual, Fanon was a political radical, Pan-Africanist, and Marxist humanist concerned with the psychopathology of colonization,[2] and the human, social, and cultural consequences of decolonization. In the course of his work as a physician and psychiatrist, Fanon supported the Algerian War of Independence from France, and was a member of the Algerian National Liberation Front. For more than five decades, the life and works of Frantz Fanon have inspired national liberation movements and other radical political organizations in Palestine, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and the United States. In What Fanon Said: A Philosophical Introduction to His Life and Thought, leading Africana scholar and contemporary philosopher Lewis R. Gordon remarked that "Fanon's contributions to the history of ideas are manifold. He is influential not only because of the originality of his thought but also because of the astuteness of his criticisms...He developed a profound social existential analysis of anti-black racism, which led him to identify conditions of skewed rationality and reason in contemporary discourses on the human being." He wrote numerous books, including, most notably, The Wretched of the Earth. This influential title focuses on the necessary role that Fanon thinks violence must play in decolonization struggles

[15] Cyril Lionel Robert James (4 January 1901 – 31 May 1989) who sometimes wrote under the pen-name J. R. Johnson, was an Afro-Trinidadian historian, journalist and socialist. His works are influential in various theoretical, social, and historiographical contexts. His work is a staple of subaltern studies, and he figures as a pioneering and influential voice in postcolonial literature. A tireless political activist, James's writing on the Communist International stirred debate in Trotskyist circles, and his history of the Haitian Revolution, The Black Jacobins, is a seminal text in the literature of the African Diaspora. Characterised by one literary critic as an "anti-Stalinist dialectician",[4] James was known for his autodidactic, for his occasional playwriting and fiction — his 1936 book Minty Alley was the first novel by a black West Indian to be published in Britain[5] — and as an avid sportsman. He is also famed as a writer on cricket, and his 1963 book, Beyond a Boundary, which he himself described as "neither cricket reminiscences nor autobiography",[6] is often named as the best single book on any sport, ever written.[7]

[16] Isaac Bangani Tabata (known as I.B. Tabata) was a South African radical Marxist who was one of the founders of the Anti-Coloured Affairs Department group (Anti-C.A.D.) and was active in the Non-European Unity Movement (NEUM) from its inception in 1943. He later founded the African People's Democratic Union of Southern Africa, which was intended to be an individual-membership body affiliated to the AAC and the NEUM, and became its president. His writings include,” The Rehabilitation Scheme- A Fraud” ,”Boycott as a Weapon of Struggle”, and “Education for Barbarism”. For more on IB Tabata  go to

[17] Known as an intellectual pathfinder, Archibald ‘Archie’ Mafeje is a South African scholar, intellectual and political activist who joined politics through the Non-European Unity Movement (NEUM) and later belonged to the Society of Young African (SOYA) which was an organisation associated with the All African Convention (AAC).  Read

[18] Neville Edward Alexander (22 October 1936 – 27 August 2012) was a proponent of a multilingual South Africa and a revolutionary activist.  He gained political consciousness and was introduced to the readings of Marx and Lenin through the Teachers’ League of South Africa (TLSA) and the Non-European Unity Movement (NEUM).  He later established the Yu Chi Chan Club (YCCC) to promote guerrilla warfare, and subsequently founded the National Liberation Front (NLF) to bring together people who were committed to the ‘overthrow of the state, irrespective of their political ideology, and was and detained with other members of the YCCC and charged and convicted of conspiracy to commit sabotage. In April 1990, Alexander headed the Workers’ Organisation for Socialist Action (Wosa) which was created to promote working-class interests. WOSA registered the Workers List Party in alliance with the International Socialist Movement to participate the first national democratic elections in 1994.  Workers List Party only garnered   4,169 votes, and was soon abandoned.

[19] Laozi (Lao Tzu- literally "Old Master") was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He is known as the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching, the founder of philosophical Taoism, and a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions.

[20] The idea of cooperative higher education is grounded in a theory of critical pedagogy (Student as Producer1), the history of radical workers’ education, functional governance and management model, a legal constitution and financial plan, as well as the framework for a transnational network of co-operative higher education.  In their briefing paper , Beyond public and private: A model for co-operative higher education, Joss Winn - Jwinn Mike Neary proposes that the organising principle for the co-operative university can reconstituted as collaboration, sharing and commoning, already core academic values, against the exploitative values which characterise the capitalist business. They argue that cooperative higher education is an imperative that a democratic alternative to the market-based model for social and political development is created for the benefit of humanity and the natural world.

[21] See

[22] Phanda , pusha, play is the motto  used in the adverts used to encourage people to bet in the  National Lottery Powerball game