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Township Politics: Civic Struggles for a New South Africa


Paperback, 288 pages
ISBN: 0-85345-965-7
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.

Choice, American Library Association

Mzwanele Mayekiso studied urban planning in the United States, where he served as international representative of the South African National Civic Organization. His articles have appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, Southern Africa Review of Books, Southern Africa Report, Multinational Monitor, and Red Pepper. Mel King is director of the Community Fellows Program of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at Massaschusetts Institute of Technology. During his term as a Massachusetts state legislator, King successfully led the effort to end the state’s business dealings with apartheid South Africa.

Format Clear
SKU: mrp9657 Categories: ,
Topics: History Places: Africa

Publication Date: January 1996

Number of Pages: 292

Paperback ISBN: 9780853459651