The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

South Africa:
Apartheid lives

Sep 8, 2008

If you thought apartheid ended in South Africa 18 years ago, think again.

In 2005, a white South African construction boss was sentenced to life for ordering a black worker beaten and then thrown to lions. Only some bones were left of the worker.

Last month, this monster of a boss was released from prison, “on parole,” after serving only three years!

How could something like this, thought possible only in the darkest days of apartheid, happen today?

It’s because the end of apartheid in 1990 left the old power structure in South Africa in place. It’s true that a few black people were able to become bosses and politicians, but the same white wealthy class, which installed apartheid and benefitted from it for 42 years, remained in charge.

Today, black and white politicians share responsibility for keeping in place the capitalist system that gave birth to apartheid.

Legal apartheid may have been done away with. But social apartheid – with the black population in its vast majority confined to the poorer layers of the laboring population – remains.