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Publication Details

Reference
Mzamani  (2003) Mzamani Writing. South Africa Solidarity Network : -.

Summary
Our correspondent in Gauteng, and resident of Motsoaledi squatter camp, writes the inspirations and tribulations of organizing. These excerpts date from 2003.
We have always depended on farming and hunting for our sources of food. Today we no longer have access or control over these sources of life. For us, the victims of starvation, destitution, frustration, violence, suppression and oppression, we have to face these challenges with our bare blood to ensure even the mere crumbs on the table for our community and families to start the next day. While the few live with extravagant food, land, resources, materials, high life style, freedom and democracy, the majority pays the price of these inhuman, ignorant, monstrous and gluttonous interests destroying the wealth of nature. The few set everyone astray to keep up this evil empire. The life we are given, the leftovers that have been baptized in the smudgy, demonized, shallow pothole of capitalist thought, ends up being all we see. It disintegrates our identity as we move around like headless chickens. Blinded by the false lights and sounds thrown before us, hiding the true darkness and pain inherent in the world beyond the screen, people work hard without improving their lives. ("Our Blood")

We all need roof over our heads with a guaranteed future, electricity, water, schools and proper sanitation. We are still using buckets toilets, no electricity and no houses. For us, the poor, the lesson we learned fighting apartheid is that the only our own struggles can change our conditions. The same people who exploited our lives are the same people today who are controlling the basic services such as water, electricity, waste removals and housing. Their only interest is to make profit, not to save lives. This means you cannot live if you don't have money to pay. Therefore we cannot isolate ourselves from the communities, which are directly affected by this product of slavery we always come across in the newspapers, TV and radios. In real life people are being forcefully removed, evicted and their water and electricity cut off. These are ordinary people like us. We are them. We must stay in solidarity to strengthen our struggle. We are many and powerful. ("Community")

Since the new government came into power many people are loosing jobs, which is causing economical and social declination in our communities. Vegetables gardens are becoming the source of bringing some dignity to the people. And is growing as it makes life a lot easier and cheaper, the squatter camps families are the most to have small gardens in their back yards as they are the prime victims to these lunatic government policies. So vegetables gardens becomes the most humble and only possible way to respond to the government's failure to meet its promises to the people on the ground . The government and businesses they seem to sympathize on this autonomous poverty alleviation started by the people with the people to scapegoat from being blamed for destroying our lives. Forgetting that we are getting stronger as we grow back to the self-identity of self-sustainability and networking. That we have to spend the money we don't have on the big supermarket merchant such as Pick'n Pay, Shoprite and Spar who have benefited from the apartheid government and continuously exploit our brothers, sisters and parents employing them only under contracts which is meaning your future relationship with the employment is unknown, it is the future of the day. It will come to an end one day when all of us take up our tools together in our communities to burry all these capitalistic concoctions zooming in our minds forever. ("Vegetables Garden Builds Unity and Hope")

Motsoaledi is one of unheard victims where the warlords took an advantage of its beginning as people were desperate to have a community with peace as some were running away for their lives from the men's hostel compounds and the communities surrounding these hostel where the massacring of innocent people disintegrated families, friends and communities apart. the ringleader of these warlords was Mkabane everyone always remembers or hears of this evil man for his monstrous deeds that left the community in Motsoaledi in fear until today. Even though Mkabane was assassinated and some of his co-criminals got imprisoned and others are still free but powerless because their mob has been dismantled. Many people are still in fear to have their concern heard about the community services earnestly promised by the government. I was very scared I thought they were going to shoot at me their eyes had blood in them. the sanco thugs directly attacked it calling us we are from no where there is no other organisation to call a mass meeting except the anc and the udm only they tired our papers and grabbed our loud hailer and again I was very scared of my life. From that time people when they see me they shouting comrade. Until in October where we started a vegetables garden to create a platform to organise the people to stand up for ourselves. Today is for the first time ever the people of Motsoaledi to have freedom of expression without a fear to be killed. ("Motsoaledi Internal")

The only thing I want in this world is an absolute change to the way we live now. Therefore I am convinced for change to come along it can not only happen through mobilising the people to march ( toyi-toyi) because at the end of the day every one goes back to their miserable lives. Disgracefully so called leaders remain sympathetic to the ideas and laws used and using by the forefathers of the oppressors and of course those who are benefiting and eve ready to protect it. Which have destroyed and are destroying the human nature and its planet for so long, imposing and used to make everyone accept to blame themselves at every inconveniences they are facing at every tick of the clock. everywhere there has been uprising over and over again, one leader after the other. Instead the conditions facing by the people are going from bad to worse. It appears as everyone is free and can do what they like at his or her own time despite of colour, culture and religion. The market and commercial media has infested everyone's sight of glimpse where on the other side people are suffering and at the same time they expected to spend money they never had. There is completely no transformation on the grass roots level. Certainly everyone prefer life at its best nobody can choose otherwise, unfortunately the legacy of slavery, colonialism and apartheid are still as effective as during when they were officially practised. Imperialism and neo liberalism today equals slavery because all those who are in power they must have benefited from the slavery one way or the other. Revolution is coming!! ("Opinion")

since we started to come together on practically involving ourselves on community issues things are starting to show light on where is everyone going. The purpose of the meeting was to merge our gardens, as the people are very impressed the way we are responding to the system because the way we are doing things is genuine as everyone is capable and there is completely no hierarchy everything is done horizontal. We are no longer speaking of a vegetables garden but a community farm the land is so big everyone in the community can one day eat from it. This week is action week we are joining the fence, extending, connecting the water pipe from the main pipe supplying the community to have a water tap in the farm and cleaning up the area which the people as dumping area because is a health hazard. The people in the meeting were very strong and they responded with their feelings, minds and experience. For the first time I clearly realized that the projects are the corner stone of the revolution. On Saturday the 5th there is an anti-war march from Klipspruit to Lenasia in Soweto that we are also going to and we want to make it a challenge to the careerists and hypocrites. There will be a black and red flag and banners' glowing above our heads and our march is going to start from our head quarters in Motsoaledi we want everyone in our community to see the black and red spear so they can become familiar with it. They are already calling me Messiah at long last the fear has disappear I am ready to expose the real challenge to those who think only power can bring change. The comrades are now embedded in the spirit of Anarchism if anything can happen to me there wont be a problem the seed has germinated and the roots are spreading and sneaking in the people's blood. ("The people's instinct responding")

the government officials are circling around the same point where they only come closer to us during the elections using marketing skills to just attract our votes. It doesn't take a geniuses or intellectual or a professional to see that the politicians are crooks and they cannot hide it because we are their ladders. Their lives have changed quite drastically where they became financially stable and they have properties in the up market suburbs we never dreamt of, as is the place where our oppressors hibernate to glutton our blood. Therefore the youth in Motsoaledi is not looking for a trouble or wanting to cause trouble . Is a clearly a collective instinct coming from the tears and depression of their parents inside the shacks and bucket toilets. And the struggle is everyone coming together to resist the propaganda used by the Government officials to divide us so they can keep on milking our blood into their pockets. Everyone needs an immediate alternative to challenge these monstrous behavior of the government and the people are beginning to identify what they are looking for is within themselves of which makes them a possible alternative they want. As already in the country a quite number of communities has started independent community structures to deal with issues around basic services where their working committees are not bias to the government on its empty promises and principles which are the mouth of the rich to make the richer and us the poor poorer. ("The youth is standing to defend the lives in Motsoaledi!!")

At present the situation has improve so much the trust amongst us has improve so much as the comrades are starting to come up with creative ideas on how to build the non hierarchal responsibility amongst us. And I am very sure there will be improvement on spending the problem we r still having is buying tools, food and other needs since we r like new families starting a new life. The comrades in Motsoaledi are almost on their feet's and I think its important to start looking at other communities the comrades in Motsoaledi's most problem will be food for that we can discuss their monthly budget especially on food. About coming to US I am very much looking forward to come I've got to bring back on how comrades there are organizing also to give my experience here, I am burning to tell the world. ("Highly inspirational")

the youth of motsoaledi show a readiness to stand up and fight and i cannot allow to loose this coming fire to burn the anc gov and its petty politics rubish thrown on us to devide us on the ground. however we are becoming well noticed of our main objectives as non heirichal activists. the youth needs an immediate training and political education at east rand we are to form a structure soon people alresdy have gardens but without a structure. cdr we need more support there is so much possibilities showing up here in sa more actvists have to be identified on the ground. we had a political discussion on sunday class and elections. ("more fire")

The vision is clear the only way to revolution is when we are living and sharing together. We highly appreciate your support we certainly the farm will look after us one day and the will be many more farms to come. We feel like we over the moon. People are coming to us without preaching the politics they come to us because of what they see. Pls keep supporting us we are ready to face the country and the world. The real challenge has began ("urgent")

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