Melanie Samson and Lucien van der Walt, September 2000, “Samson, van der Walt – Communities Mobilise – interview with Virginia Setshedi of the SECC,” Anti-Privatisation Monitor, number 1, pp. 1-2
An old interview with Virginia Setshedi, at the time an activist in the Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee (SECC), a key affiliate of the Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF). The APF, centred in Gauteng, had been launched earlier that year; as one of its two Media Officers, I was also editor of the Anti-Privatisation Monitor.
One of my dozens of tasks in that role.
In 2006 (by which time I was out of the APF and focused on other work, including writing Black Flame), the contradictions in the 2000s-era “new” movements started to explode.
In December that year, the Abahlali baseMjondolo squatters’ movement and the (Western Cape) Anti-Evictions Campaign protested at the Social Movemen’ts Indaba (SMI) summit at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). The SMI was meant to be a coalition of movements like the APF, founded in 2002.
Protestors cited a lack of democracy and NGO manipulation and also protested the dismissal of Faizel Khan, Richard Pithouse, Richard Ballard and Raj Patel from the Centre for Civil Society (CCS) and/ or UKZN (the CCS being closely linked to the SMI) (also here). They were joined by students linked to Democratic Student Movement (DSM), now part of the Workers and Socialist Party (WASP).
Setshedi was among those who subsequently labelled the actions of Abahlali baseMjondolo as violent “tsotsi” (gangster/ thug) politics (V. Setshedi, 18 December 2006, “Report Glosses Over Tsotsi Politics,” Mail and Guardian). The Anti-Evictions Campaign described this as action as her “eternal shame,“and Abahlali denied the claims, providing raw footage of the protest that presented a very different picture: see here.
The SMI issue marked a major dividing line in the 2000s.
Anyway, get the PDF from 2000 below.
Get the PDF here.