TONIGHT ON THE TERRORDOME: Dennis Brutus on the Corporate-Apartheid Axis

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When South Africa’s revolution finally overthrew Apartheid in 1994, few of the revolutionaries knew then that they were about to be betrayed by some of their own leaders, who had been collaborating behind the scenes to create Neo-Apartheid.

Under that system, South Africa created the largest middle class on the Afrikan continent, but continued the economic exploitation of the majority of the population.

Many have described the current economy as Thatcherite and Neo-liberal. Clearly—and in a lesson that Afrikan-Americans should note very carefully—the complexion of the president says nothing, in and of itself, about the complexion of justice.

To discuss the imposition of Neo-Apartheid, we’ll hear today from poet, revolutionary and former political prisoner Dennis Brutus. Brutus was born in Zimbabwe in 1924, and later taught English and Boer Dutch in South Africa for fourteen years. Drawn into the anti-Apartheid movement, he became president of SANROC, the South Africa Non-Racial Olympic Committee, whose work led to South Africa’s exclusion from international sports, and his own arrest.

The regime re-arrested him when he escaped bail, and when he attempted further escape, he was shot in the back, and then sentenced to eighteen months of hard labour on Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned with other revolutionaries.

Brutus went into exile in the United States and pursued university teaching and poetry, and eventually returned to South Africa in the 1990s. He’s currently involved in a lawsuit against American companies which profited from Apartheid, a lawsuit that the Neo-Apartheid regime in South Africa opposes.

Tonight we’ll hear from Dennis Brutus in a conversation recorded at Tribeca Radio in New York, on Mitchell Cohen’s Steal This Radio on July 09, 2008. Brutus began by discussing when and why the regime arrested him for the first time, and later how his house came to be a hideout for Nelson Mandela. Shortly after he discusses his opposition to the new South Africa’s Neoliberalism and Structural Adjustment Programmes or SAPs.

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