South Africa: the EFF v. the ANC & the Bundestag Resolution on the Armenian Genocide


We’d been discussing here some of the alarming things that have been afoot for the past several years in South Africa.  One of our denizens had mentioned Mandela in a not-so-favorite light, but we’d been speaking of the sharp return to neo-liberal, neo-colonial policies, including the state murders of striking gold and platinum miners in Marikana.  Jacob Zuma had called for investigations, but as I recall, both sides pointed blame fingers at one another.  The strikers had raged at the gate-keeping complicity of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), a trade union that was famously active in the black-liberation struggle and that currently forms part of the African National Congress (ANC)–led ruling coalition, and that was about it.  Not black v. white, but black compradors against black workers, in other words.

Marsha Coleman-Abedayo (BAR) has posted  ‘South Africa’s EFF: Julius Malema and the Struggle to Continue the Revolution’; “A new generation of Black activists have determined that the fight for power, land and the future of Black folks in South Africa can no longer be held in abeyance.”

“The African National Congress adopted neo-colonial policies and maintained the deadly economic structure of apartheid that exacerbated white supremacy, inequalities and class divisions in the “new” South Africa. The creation of an opportunistic comprador black class was necessary to maintain a neo apartheid state. The economic survival of these Black actors is inextricably woven to the preservation of white supremacy and global capitalism. As cheeky, white South Africans would arrogantly muse to me during my trips to South Africa, “if we only knew that post-Apartheid South Africa would be this good we would have let Nelson Mandela out of prison long ago.” Mandela’s legacy, in addition to his role as a freedom fighter, political prisoner and the first Black president of South Africa, was to preside over the implementation of neo-apartheid economic policies.  The creation of neo-apartheid economic policies produced an artificial construct, namely the black comprador class.

It was this comprador class that was implicated in the Marikana Massacre of platinum mine workers seeking a living wage. Cyril Ramaphosa, one of the leaders of the anti-apartheid struggle demonstrated that this comprador class was trustworthy and would protect white wealth at the expense and lives of the black working class. From the vortex of compromised and sold-out leadership, a new organization, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) emerged to provide a voice for students, the working class and land dependent populations.”

Malema, a long-time supporter of the ANC, was the originator of the socialist EFF, which gained 25 National Assembly seats in the first year. He’s called for Zuma’s resignation partially due to Zuma’s Panama Paper discoveries, but also has challenged the ANC’s hegemony; the party expelled him in 2012.  The EFF is calling for total implementation of the ANC’s 1955 Freedom Charter.  A simple scan indicates that it’s a humdinger of a people’s charter.

“The EFF would implement the nationalizations of mines, the banking sector and redistribution of land to the masses without compensation to the settler class that stole both the wealth and land in South Africa.”

This take of Coleman’s is just too damned sad:

“Apartheid leaders and its international US and European partners strategically delayed the release of Mandela until potential competitive uncompromising leaders, such as Steve Biko and Chris Hani had been eliminated. With Biko and Hani gone, international capital had a free reign to implement neo-colonial policies and to create the delusional myth of South Africa as a Rainbow Nation – the parallel of a false post-racial America.  The problem with promoting South Africa as a rainbow nation and the US as post-racial is the staggering level of disproportionate poverty and state-sponsored violence to which black communities in both countries suffer.”

Coleman links to a long video of a speech Malema gave at Oxford in which he outlined the EFF’s goals, and noted that the EFF could never form an alliance with the corrupt ANC whose priorities are in direct conflict with the black working class.  When asked pointed questions about ANC sell-outs, he’d called Deputy Prez and comprador founder of the NUM Cyril Ramaphosa such, but he’d ‘stopped short of calling Mandela a “sell-out” in response to a question but rather justified Madiba’s policies of “economic apartheid” by saying that Mandela was old when he took office and had taken the revolution as far as he could:

The deviation from the Freedom Charter was the beginning of selling out the revolution. When Mandela returned from prison he got separated from Winnie Mandela and went to stay in a house of a rich white man, he was looked after by the Oppenheimers….He stayed in one of their houses, they had access to him 24 hours.  They told him what he represented would not be achieved, that’s when he turned against himself…The Freedom Charter is the bible of the South African revolution. Any deviation from that is a sellout position.”

No, the ANC has not sat idly by, but has accused Malema of treason, and tossed him and his elected comrades out of Parliament as they demanded Zuma answer questions over financial corruption.  But this is bound to bring you a laugh or two:

“Under pressure from the EFF and internal contradictions, the ANC has advanced a new rationale for failed neo-apartheid policies, accusing the US of promoting regime change.  However, the EFF is quick to point out the irony in that position since the ANC is advancing neo-liberal economic policies that provide strategic advantages to US and multinational interest over that of South Africa’s Black working class.”

The link to accuses Washington of regime-change plotting irregularities, and I’m sure it’s the case.  But the US ambassador strongly denied the allegations, noting that (all those young people brought to the Embassy for a mere six weeks of ‘education’) are part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for young leaders, an initiative started by Barack Obama in 2014.”

Oh yes, much as Kambale Musavuli of Friends of Congo had noted, remember?  And I’d dug up:

USAID Invests $38 Million in New YALI Centers to Support Young, Emerging Leaders in Africa’

“The Centers will focus on engaging leaders between the ages of 18 and 35 from a variety of backgrounds and a diversity of experience, providing accessible leadership training, incubating organizations and entrepreneurship, and supporting professional connections among African leaders. Based in Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, and South Africa, each center will be run as a public-private partnership, capitalizing on the ingenuity and dynamism of the private sector and the programmatic and educational resources of USAID. Ten private sector partners and foundations have joined USAID in supporting the effort.”

Ha ha ha: just look at the list of the ‘private sponsors’, ooh-la-la.

Related, and also at BAR, ‘The Centrality of Africa in the Class Struggle to Come’ by Danny Haiphong; “The long history of solidarity between the Black liberation movement and Pan-Africanism should inform the struggle today.”

Africom now expanded into 51 of the 53 African nations, US Imperialism by way of the IMF, NGOs, destabilizing governments, infiltrating local militaries, proxy wars, allying with murderous regimes, stealing everything but the kitchen sink, because: China is also there, all of the most depressing and usual narratives.


The first commenter quoted:

‘When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.’

 ~ Desmond Tutu


Next: ‘What is behind the Armenian resolution passed by the German parliament?’ from Johannes Stern at  I’ve certainly wondered about this seeming disconnect.  It was adopted with one Nay vote and one abstention; Merkel, the Foreign Minister, and Vice Chancellor were (ahem) not present.  Turkey’s government immediately recalled its ambassador, and claimed the resolution to be ‘null and void’.  An umbrella organization of 500 Turkish organizations in Germany flipped their zoris over it, needless to say.  Boo, hiss…it was never a genocide; such slander!

“The resolution states, “The German Bundestag is of the opinion that the remembrance of the victims of the massacre and expulsion of the Armenians, taking into consideration the German role, including conveying this to Turkish and Armenian citizens, represents a contribution to integration and peaceful co-existence.”

This is obviously absurd. Even the government’s integration commissioner Aydan Özoguz (SPD) said on the ARD TV channel that it “could be expected that this vote would rather close doors and even impede the working through of the history between Turkey and Armenia.”

Why this sudden u-turn after past similar resolutions had been tabled?

“An editorial that appeared in the Süddeutsche Zeitung on the day of the vote is very illuminating. Under the headline “A good feeling,” Nico Fried, the head of the paper’s Berlin office, writes that “The timing and circumstances of this decision” showed that it was “not only about the events of 100 years ago, but at least as much a statement against the current political backdrop.”

With a view to the refugee deal forced through between the EU and Turkey, Fried writes that the resolution had to be passed solely “because otherwise, parliament stood accused of having betrayed its moral principles in favour of closed borders and the goodwill of a gruff autocrat.”

In conclusion, Fried then explains that the real value of the resolution will only become clear “when the Bundestag has to vote not on the remembrance of a past genocide, but the possible attempt to prevent an impending genocide with German help.”

To put it in a nutshell: the Armenian resolution is not about peace, but is a declaration of war. The Bundestag is insisting on “moral principles” in order to prepare the next intervention by the Bundeswehr (Armed Forces) in the name of the “prevention of genocide.” Both the Yugoslavia war in 1999 and the Libyan war of 2011 were justified using this pretext.” [long snip]

“With the Armenian resolution, German imperialism is trying to open up new policy options in the Middle East. Above all, right-wing circles in the CDU/CSU have long attacked the refugee deal, which the EU concluded with Turkey on the initiative of Chancellor Angela Merkel. They believe this binds German foreign policy too closely with the interests of Turkey, making it dependent on Ankara.

Now the Bundestag has made a corresponding foray. It is consciously taking a worsening of relations with Ankara into its calculations in order to win greater influence in the strategically important Caucasus region and more room for manoeuvre in the Syrian conflict. Armenia, which welcomed the resolution, plays an important role in this.

For the moment, the German government is staying in the background because it is still trying to save the dirty refugee deal with Ankara. This was why Merkel, Steinmeier and Gabriel stayed away when the vote was taken.”

Yes, Germany seems to be expanding its options in financial and geopolitical alliances, even with Russia, I think, as well as insulating itself on potential future war crimes.  Some bi-lateral energy deals between The Bear and Germany were struck some years ago as I remember it.  But Stern then mentions some content of a parliamentary report prepared by the Left Party, it accused Turkey of encircling Armenia, and its allies Georgia and Azerbaijan, and using military exercises to protect oil and gas pipelines to Turkey.

As before the First and Second World Wars, German imperialism is again looking towards the resource-rich Caucasus and is seeking ways to exploit the growing conflicts in the area to advance its own economic and geostrategic interests, if necessary through military intervention under the pretext of preventing genocide. That is the real significance of the resolution passed by the Bundestag.”

Fascinating, plus it has the added value of making sense.

18 responses to “South Africa: the EFF v. the ANC & the Bundestag Resolution on the Armenian Genocide

  1. This is (the) Real News? am i supposed to give a fuck about teevee star power prez endorsements?

    wot next? we care that ricky martin, cher, and whazzits are raising money for the Google Candidate?

  2. I will have to read this important essay more carefully, wendye, but thanks very much for posting it. And I am wondering (perhaps I missed it) what Desmond Tutu would be saying in his most recent pronouncements as well, such a supporter of the reconciliation process he was.

    But it all brings further emphasis to the Rob Urie paragraph I put on a previous thread, plus this from Michael Hudson to bring Russia and Greece into the picture (a realnews bit that Yves has transcribed):

    PERIES: So, Michael, what do you make of these recent research and what it’’s telling us about the death total in this country?

    HUDSON: What it tells is almost identical to what has already been narrated for Russia and Greece. And what is responsible for the increasing death rates is neoliberal economic policy, neoliberal trade policy, and the polarization and impoverishment of a large part of society. After the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, death rates soared, lifespans shortened, health standards decreased all throughout the Yeltsin administration, until finally President Putin came in and stabilized matters. Putin said that the destruction caused by neoliberal economic policies had killed more Russians than all of whom died in World War II, the 22 million people. That’s the devastation that polarization caused there.

    Same thing in Greece. In the last five years, Greek lifespans have shortened. They’’re getting sicker, they are dying faster, they’’re not healthy.
    Sort of knew that about Greece currently, but t’is an eye opener about Russia; could understand now why there has been regret for the loss of communist social programs there.

    South Africa, sigh. Thank you, wendye.

    • please let me know if i’ve misinterpreted the framing of your questions and comments, juliania. after i’d answered, it bothered me that i had, and in fact wondered if you’d meant something about tutu’s quote about the bible or the clay feet of mandela and the ANC.

      i suppose there are many on the planet who have no idea about the degree to which chrisitan missionaries aided the colonization of africa. i like history in prose style, and barbara kingsolver has written extensively on the subject, and its attendant horrors from a very personal perspective.

      as to putin, i read it wrong, though, as many have bemoaned some of his neoliberal policies, but maybe fewer, at least according to hudson. but oh, my, tsipras. the leftist/socialist/communist twittersphere is completely appalled by his selling out by now. some had a lot of fun with this:

      @tsipras_eu Jun 6 Greek ship-owners are characterized by openness, insight and their innovative thinking in investment opportunities and decision-making.

  3. how can one say what desmond tutu, or even OJ ekemode or ladysmith black mambazo say now, juliania? how many blacks still think that O is the best prez evah, and and that we live in a post-racialist rainbow world? of course we know better, don’t we, but we saw that the dalai lama has said that the EU should not take more refugees (from syria and otherwise i imagine, as i hadn’t clicked in). wot? how crazy and nationalistic the world is getting, from ukraine (O, the reports from there) to any where the war against ISIS’ is allegedly being prosecuted….

    i must have 20 links on Important Stories to bring, and i reckon i remember the language you’ve quoted a this:

    sorry to be so harried once again, but things happening around mr. wd’s dying father (or not), and inter-familiar…understandings, ways to proceed, are sucking up so much of the oxygen in my room.

    p.s. hudson may not always get it right, but remember that putin has his own oligarchs to contend with. peace to you.

    • d. tutu is still w/us. and just so screw the dalai lama already. cia stooge.
      this didn’t start w/Pres. BO, just greatly accelerated, but don’t people have some pause, some hesitation about the rearmament of Germany & Japan? ugh.

      best wishes in dealing w/the RW today.

      • ta, jason. i put all that on hold and transplanted my almost-microscopic basil seedling into the tardis. i reckon they may as well not grow outside as…not grow inside. ;-)

        yep: and viet nam, wasn’t it? or was that some other stoopid capitalist action? but indeed the archbishop is still with us, and on facebook and twitter, gawd love him. dalai lama a cia asset? wot next? is that one reason is cringed while trying to read his book on ‘happiness’? i kept imagining something had been lost in translation, but…i finally closed the book.

    • aha, juliania! at least we can know what desmond said in 2011 and 2013, not that i agree w/ all of his reasoning…

      ‘Desmond Tutu’s warning shot: Zuma and ANC worse than Apartheid Govt’, from 2011

      “Well known anti-Apartheid leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu blasted the South African ruling party and its leader Jacob Zuma back in 2011. Biznews managed to get hold of the piece and transcribe it below. It’s a message that’s run through the party like water off a duck’s back. The number of incidents that have brought the country into disrepute since this message can’t be counted on two hands. It’s a scathing attack where Tutu separates himself from the president and the ANC. He makes reference to both Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Gaddafi, both powerful leaders with vast majorities that fell. And as is Tutu’s way, he calls it a warning out of love. Incredible passion. And with the State of the Nation around the corner, one wonders if now anyone’s been listening”. – Stuart Lowman

      (the transcript and related links)

      tutu on the anc in 2013

    • Not to worry, wendye. I think I was probably only stating the obvious to anyone but me. I did go to wikipedia, and Bishop Tutu has done a very great deal before retirement, including some comments critical of the powers that be at various stages of his ministry. There were so many interesting quotes there, but I got sidetracked into some ‘sobernost’ links that would not be of interest on this forum, have been reading many articles in connection with that to pass the time as heat turns into overcast and the promise of rain here.

      Best of strength and courage to you in this personally critical time. And love to Mr. WD. Losing a parent is life intensely lived.

      • Sorry, these nested comments got me flummoxed, and obviously I hadn’t read down far enough to see Jason’s and your further remarks. But let it stand. I have to say my knowledge of what has been going on in South Africa is minimal at best.

        (This should be going in under my previous latest comment – hopefully!)

      • good-o, then juliania. i’ll pass your love on to mr. wd, and thank you. we both hope that one night soon he simply crosses over in his sleep; he at least seems to know he’ll see his wife in heaven now.

        i may just have to drop out of the inter-family emails, as my frustration is growing unwieldy. i’ve researched all of the further tests mr. wd’s sibs and a couple nurses want to put him through, and when i ask what seem to be good questions as to why, i get no answers, nor does mr. wd come to that.

        not knowing much about south africa…hmmm. well, i may interrupt my regular blogging program to write up some very puzzling (or not) stories about the tiny african nation of eritrea. perhaps readers can help me sort out fact from fiction; i’m at a bit of a loss, as eritrea’s barely been on my radar save for some calling it ‘the cuba of africa’. and yanno how the world responded to that revolution. ;-)

  4. Great work, Wendy. Can’t imagine what one could add to this except to say that it’s good to finally see someone comment on the timing of the Bundestag’s “resolution”. It’s like, nobody but nobody here in the press or elsewhere has been asking why the fuck this… now? I’m grateful to you for the link and commentary.

    I’d love to be forebodingly ominous and say look out for who the next Bundespresident is (Gauck essentially just announced his retirement for next year, on the heels of his own doing), but maybe that won’t mean shit, given his or her largely symbolic role. But still, there are things a Bundespresident can say or do… or sign.

    • morning, davidly, and you’re welcome, but all credit goes to stern and fried, really.

      but thank you for going a-huntin’ on joachim gauk; i knew nothing about his position, so obviously that his announcement that he won’t run in 2017 has caused such a stir. but this is the guardian’s take, fwiw:

      “His decision is likely to create difficulties for the already embattled chancellor, Angela Merkel, triggering a cross-party race for possible successors to be chosen less than six months before a 2017 general election.” [snip]

      His successor will not be decided by direct vote, but by the political parties, along with a congress consisting of sportspeople, celebrities and other public figures (really?)

      While they might agree on a single candidate, it is more likely the parties will put up rival ones, particularly at a time when there is a lack of unity over Merkel’s refugee policy, most notably within her own grand coalition government of the Christian Democrats (CDU), their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the Social Democrats (SPD).

      Mooted candidates for the post so far include Merkel’s own CDU finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble; the current foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier of the SPD, who is one of Germany’s most popular politicians; the speaker of the Bundestag, Norbert Lammert (CDU), and the only female candidate, Gerda Hasselfeldt of the CSU.”

      why mooted? but the ‘embattled chancelor‘ link went to a page concerning the refugees and (largely) right wing violence and crime, thus the rise of the right wing, as with this issue and austerity….driving some voters to turn to marine le pen and her ilk. so i reckon she’s trying to thread some weird needles placating erdogan while envisioning a resurgent germany. i do wish i’d seen this earlier essay by peter schwarz at wsws earlier, though. it helped my understanding as to ‘why now’.

      ‘German chancellor boosts anti-refugee deal in visit to Turkey

      meanwhile, of course, ahead of the nato summit in warsaw in july, this demonstration of military might against…russia, yanno, just in case putin’s about to invade poland. nah, none of it’s about The Bear, honest! oh, and nato says that georgia is inching its way into nato. kewl.

  5. Commonalities in the histories of settler colonialist states. “Liberation” winds up creating a comprador elites from an indigenous or former slave class.

    • yes, clearly, but i don’t see pepe’s as relevant to the above ‘anakonda’, myself. if it’s not his latest, might you have brought the link?

      on edit: if you’re just phonin’ it in after a long hard day, i, above all folks here…should understand it.

      • Yes, I phoned it in.

        This one:
        My ruminations relative to this and South Africa had to do with the “S” in BRICS and Escobar’s observation that the US is asserting its position around the world as the sole superpower, something that worked briefly as mythology, but W brought to reality by trying to actually use the military to muscle US policy. Obama seems to listened to the military brass and intelligence community even closer in the sandbagging of Brazil, co-opting of South Africa, enlisting the new government in India, and confrontation with Russia and China in Ukraine and the South China Sea.

        Kinda the obvious conclusions from what Escobar analyzes.

        • thanks, thd. existential issues here; tomorrow for me. fook: just saw ‘modi’. yep, what extra horrors an alliance w/ him.

        • yes, but when i saw china… i do remember his take on the B in brics being the key reason for the putsch against dilma, though, and on to the others, but not india, iirc. what a thug modi is, but soon he may be ‘our thug’, eh?

          oh, in the newer one, i did have to look up ASEAN again, dagnabbit.

          can’t be no multi-polar world, no sir! that wouldn’t be right!

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