Date: Thursday, 22 August, 2013
Venue: CCS Seminar Room 602, 6th Floor, MTB Tower, Howard College, University of KwaZulu-Natal
This weekend’s meeting of the Southern African People’s Solidarity Network in Lilongwe, Malawi, corresponded with doubts about the integrity of the annual regional heads-of-state summit, not only on grounds of the overall decay of democracy and development in the region (notwithstanding higher than usual GDP growth rates). In addition, the July 31 Zimbabwe (s)Election was hotly debated, given the 2 million + disputed votes and the new, more sophisticated means of repression faced by Zimbabwean social justice activists. Are Southern Africa’s civil society organisations impotent in the face of heightened regional autocracy, rights violations, corruption, inequality, capital flight and environmental destruction? Or will they take inspiration from the world’s wave of mass uprisings?
China Ngubane is the coordinator of the CCS Dennis Brutus Community Scholars, and has supported SA-Zimbabwe solidarity initiatives since arriving in Durban nearly a decade ago. He was in Malawi representing the CCS ‘brics-from-below’ project. Joy Mabenge is a CCS doctoral student and along with Tafadzwa Maguchu have built solidarity capacity in the Zimbabwe Crisis Committee’s Johannesburg office.