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The Shifting Economics of the ANC: From Liberation Movement to…

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Posted on Dec 12, 2013
Democracy Now!

Leading anti-apartheid activist and former South African Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils told “Democracy Now!” on Thursday that the African National Congress led by Nelson Mandela made a “Faustian pact” with neo-liberalism to end the official policy of segregation and avoid civil war.

Kasrils, who was on the ANC’s National Executive Committee for 20 years, told “Democracy Now!”:

The fact is that if Mandela had a Marxist orientation, which he certainly did, I would say, for some time, that was dispelled when he emerges from prison 30 years or so later, where he immediately, in a major—his first address to our people, he commits himself to the socialist-inclined Freedom Charter and the clause, that is quite emphatic, although it doesn’t use the word “nationalization,” that says that what we committed to is the control of the hearts of the economy, the mines, the banks, the monopoly industry, and it’s inconceivable that that will change. Right.”

“Two years later, he shows a totally different view on the economy by going to Davos, 1992, July, very impressed, clearly, as he was in South Africa, by the voice of monopoly capital. I’m not saying he bows down to it, but he is certainly impressed in terms of what they’re able to do, and comes back from Davos and says that for growth of the economy, we’ve got to look to the private sector. And he says that it’s clear that if we go for radical, socialist approach—he uses the term “nationalization”—we’re not going to get the foreign investment from the capitalist world that we need to make the country run and to overcome our poverty. So it’s a total change.”

Hear the rest of Kasrils’ comments below.

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