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South African leader tours U.S.; says conditions worse than apartheid

by African People's Solidarity Committee Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2007 at 2:09 PM

Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) tour exposes ongoing South African oppression and poverty under Mbeki and Mandela; conditions for most South Africans today - "Worse than Apartheid!"

South African leader...
skwatsha-picture_200w.jpg, image/jpeg, 200x267

Mfanelo Skwatsha, Executive Secretary of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) of Azania (South Africa), will be a featured speaker at African People's Solidarity Day events, October 13-21 in cities throughout the U.S.

During the PAC's first U.S. tour in more than 25 years, Mr. Skwatsha will discuss the urgent need to build political and economic power for the growing millions of South Africans who have been pushed into greater poverty and oppression by the ruling African National Congress' "Rainbow Nation."

As Wendy Snyder, organizer of African People's Solidarity Day, explains, "Many people around the world who supported the struggle against the apartheid system in South Africa erroneously believe that since the installation of Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress in 1994 conditions in South Africa have improved.

"However, as Mr. Skwatsha will show, the reality is the opposite. Many African workers say life in South Africa today is 'worse than apartheid.'"

Statistics from the Southern African Regional Poverty Network (SARPN) expose that since the official end of apartheid in 1994, "those households living in poverty have sunk deeper into poverty and the gap between rich and poor has widened."

Sixty-one percent of people in South Africa now live below the poverty line, with more than a third subsisting on less than a day. The racial gap is greater with 96 percent of arable South African farmland still owned by white people who make up only 13 percent of the population.

Formed in Soweto, South Africa in 1959, the Pan Africanist Congress was the popular party that led the campaign to end the notorious pass laws that required African people to present official identification to police upon demand under the apartheid system. PAC led the South African-wide movement following the Sharpeville Massacre against pass law protestors in 1960 and is the party of Steve Biko, leader of the Black Consciousness Movement.

PAC is still based in African communities throughout South Africa today. PAC organizes on many fronts for "true self-determination for African working people with the belief that Africa's colonial borders must be abandoned in favor of one united Africa," according to Snyder.

Mfanelo Skwatsha has been a member of the Pan Africanist Congress for more than 20 years. He has been a leading member of the organization on regional and then national levels since his student days at the University of Transkei where he holds degrees in social science and labor law.

Sponsored by the African People's Solidarity Committee and the Uhuru Movement, African People's Solidarity Day events will take place:

October 13 - 14 in Oakland, CA at Beebe Memorial Church, 3900 Telegraph Avenue

October 16 in St. Petersburg, FL at The Studio@620, 620 1st Avenue South

October 20 - 21 in Philadelphia, PA at International House, 3701 Chestnut Street

More information about African People's Solidarity Day is available at www.apscuhuru.org.

More information about Mr. Skwatsha and the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania is available at www.burningspearuhuru.com.

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