Sheep magazine Archive 2: issues 10-17


Lefty online magazine: issue 10, May 2016 to issue 17, November 2016


force that is understood to have betrayed

the national struggle by entering into a

self-serving set of alliances to sustain the

enduringly colonial structure of society. The

horizon of struggle is much longer, and

often more modest. Progress is understood

to be a matter of resilience and resolve over

the long haul, with most gains taking an

incremental form.

But with a widening split within the ANC,

and trade unions and organized students

breaking from the ANC, there are new

prospects for building alliances and

solidarities outside of the ANC – alliances

that could potentially enable a greater

political reach on the part of what Abahlali

baseMjondolo have termed, with reference

to the self-organization of the oppressed,

“the strong poor”. The splits in the ruling

party have already offered some respite to

the movement and, in one neighborhood,

a tactical local alliance with Communist

Party structures has helped to secure the

– previously unimaginable – arrest of two

ANC councilors for the assassination of an

Abahlali baseMjondolo leader.

If the idea of the commune has a future

here it will have to be appropriated by the

oppressed and rethought from within their

actually existing strivings and struggles. This

would have to include the work of making

sense of a moment of political opportunity

as the collapse of the moral authority of the

ANC spreads from the shantytowns, to the

mines, factories, parliament and university


Richard Pithouse

Richard Pithouse teaches politics at the

university currently known as Rhodes

University in Grahamstown, South Africa.

His new book is Writing the Decline:

On the Struggle for South Africa’s

Democracy (Jacana).

From 2003, about Durban’s Cato Manor

township ColdType Modern Classics


‘White Man Walking’ by Denis Beckett

Free to download at


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