Paperback, 288 pages
Released: January 1996
Foreward by Mel King
This insider’s account of an extraordinary period of national political transition is also a primer on a new radical philosophy, the street–smart Marxism that developed in South Africa’s sprawling townships between 1985 and 1995 and rendered them ungovernable for the apartheid state. Mzwanele Mayekiso, a young leader of the “civics”—as South Africa’s popular community organizations are called—spent almost three years in prison as a result of the civics’ militant organizing. Here, he interlaces his personal story with caustic assessments of apartheid’s hand–picked township leaders, with rebuttals of armchair academics, and with impassioned but self–critical analyses of the civics’ struggles and tactics. He ends with a vision of an international urban social movement that, he argues, must be a crucial component of any emancipatory project.
An insider’s story, one of the few and one of the very best that has emerged from the crucible of opposition to apartheid during the 1980s.