March 2016 - ROAPE
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March 2016

In this far-ranging analysis of recent events in South Africa, Elizabeth Cobbett argues that a ‘soft’ coup is effectively taking place. Cobbett argues that an ‘oligarchical coup’ is being carried out by wealthy families and senior ANC figures, with Zuma at the heart. The Gupta family’s power to replace key ministerial positions is a graphic example of the operation of this coup, as the wider ANC remain passive or, through Zuma, complicit. ...

Written in 1978 from inside a Mozambican prison camp Wilfred Mhanda’s devastating Treatise, published for the first time with roape.net, exposes the reality of Zimbabwe’s so-called war for liberation. Known by his nom de guerre, Dzinashe ‘Dzino’ Machingura, Dzino explains that the guiding principle of the Zimbabwean nationalist movement was the pursuit of personal and clique power and not the attainment of revolutionary ideals. Mhanda presents an extraordinary, critical view of the liberation struggle, providing a Fanonian analysis of the role of the so-called liberators of contemporary Zimbabwe. This invaluable, unpublished text is introduced by David Moore. ...

In November 1961 thirteen Italian airmen were murdered in the chaos of Congolese power struggles that followed independence from Belgium, the Italian artist Alberto Burri commemorated the men by producing a collage, Grande Sacco. Following a retrospective of Burri's art Meredeth Turshen considers the Italian, African and colonial history that lives behind Burri's work....

Raymond Sango writes about the Chiadzwa mining area in Zimbabwe, describing the dramatic ‘diamond rush’ following the expiration of DeBeers mining licence in 2006, the massacre of informal workers in the area in 2008 and the ‘looting’ partnership between government bureaucrats, Chinese and other foreign companies which has limited the potential of diamond production to improve the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans...

Claims of rigging aside, Uganda’s opposition leader, Kizza Besigye, and the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) clearly made significant inroads into various regions in the country’s recently concluded general elections. This achievement was particularly striking in the Acholi sub-region where voting highlights the limits of money and intimidation, and the importance of persuasion. ...

In this intensely personal and moving celebration of Martin Legassick, John Saul writes about his friend and comrade. It is, John says, to Martin Legassick’s enormous credit that he has kept the banner of real socialist common-sense, of class-struggle common-sense, aloft over and against the banner of capitalist “common-sense.”...