Much more is going on than I imagined and it is not receiving the attention it deserves.   Recently the Mail & Guardian has been publishing a number of interesting articles about various persons, unions, bodies and movements.   Here are some articles and  the acronyms that may not be very well known but should be on the radar screens – Nactu, Cosawu, Mewusa and CWI, DSM, DLF, MWT, NDR, SOPA, SECC, SG, COP17, SCM, OKM, UPM and ASM.

Before referring to some of the articles perhaps it is necessary to provide some information on Leon Trotsky taken from a website that deals comprehensively with his life – Leon Trotsky.

Leon Trotsky

Lev Davidovich Bronshtein (he assumed the name Leon Trotsky in 1902) was born in Yanovka, Russia, on 7th November, 1879.   His parents were Jewish and owned a farm in the Ukraine.   When Trotsky was eight years old his father sent him to Odessa to be educated.   Six years later he was transferred to Nikolayev where he was first introduced to the ideas of Karl Marx.

In 1897 he became involved in organizing the underground South Russian Workers’ Union. He was sent to Siberia after being arrested for revolutionary activity.   After four years in captivity, he escaped and eventually made his way to London.   Trotsky joined the Social Democratic Party and while in England he met and worked with a group of Marxists producing the journal Iskra.   This included George Plekhanov, Pavel Axelrod, Vera Zasulich, Vladimir Lenin and Julius Martov.

At the Second Congress of the Social Democratic Party held in London in 1903, there was a dispute between Vladimir Lenin and Julius Martov. Lenin argued for a small party of professional revolutionaries with a large fringe of non-party sympathizers and supporters.   Martov disagreed believing it was better to have a large party of activists.   Martov won the vote 28-23 but Lenin was unwilling to accept the result and formed a faction known as the Bolsheviks.   Those who remained loyal to Martov became known as Mensheviks.

Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM)

Two of the main players are the Trotskyite Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) and the Democratic Left Movement (DSL).

Democratic Socialist Movement.

History has no time for late-comers.   Unless it orients decisively towards the mass struggle the DLF will be left behind as the working class draws conclusions from the struggle and marches towards reclaiming its ideological, political and organisational independence.   The DSM continues to work with the DLF and argue for a mass workers party on a socialist programme.

The researcher and commentator at the forefront of highlighting these developments is Kwanele Sosibo and here are some of his recent articles first published in the Mail & Guardian.   According to his profile he studied journalism at Durban’s ML Sultan Technikon before working at Independent Newspapers from 2000 to 2003.   In 2005, he joined the Mail & Guardian‘s internship programme, and later worked as a reporter at the paper between 2006 and 2008 before working as a researcher.   He was the inaugural Eugene Saldanha Fellow in 2011.

Anglogold miners throw stones at Vavi – 19/10/2012

NUM officials and Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi were pelted with stones by some protesters at AngloGold Ashanti’s mine near Orkney.

Mine workers’ hope lies in mass action – 19/10/2012

After a week that saw mounting arrests to counter the spreading strikes, the Trotskyite Democratic Socialist Movement paused to plot a way forward.

Lonmin on edge again after arrests – 19/10/2012

Although the National Union of Mineworkers has welcomed the police action, mine workers want their colleagues freed, writes Kwanele Sosibo.

Deep Read: The sequel to Marikana – 15/10/2012

The Anglo Platinum strike, which has dragged on for more than a month, has become a metaphor for the post-Marikana backlash.

NUM bleeds both workers and lives – 12/10/2012

A slow, sure, violent implosion appears to be building in South Africa’s largest and formerly most powerful union – the National Union of Mineworkers.

Police thwart Amplats strikers’ march to NUM offices – 10/10/2012

Hundreds of Amplats workers were turned away by police as they attempted to storm the NUM’s Rustenburg regional offices to cancel their membership.

Cheeky newcomers challenge union giants – 17/02/2012

Court case highlights a shift in workers’ allegiances to smaller, more aggressive bodies.

Democratic Left Front comments – 16/02/2012

Delegates that attended the conference leading to the formation of the DLF a year ago have expressed divergent views about its progress.

Another article

Joining the ANC’s out-of-favour list – 11/11/2011

Aphiwe De Klerk

The embattled leader of the ANC Youth League, Julius Malema, joins a growing list of senior members of the party who have been shown the door.


ASM – Azanian Student Movement

COP17 – Since the UNFCCC entered into force in 1995, the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC have been meeting annually to assess progress in dealing with climate change.   The COP adopts decisions and resolutions, published in reports of the COP.

Cosawu – Commercial, Services and Allied Workers’ Union

CWI – Committee for a Workers’ International

DSM – Democratic Socialist Movement

DLF – Democratic Left Movement

MWT – Marxist Workers’ Tendency

Mewusa – Metal and Electrical Workers’ Union of South Africa

Nactu – National Council of Trade Unions

NDR – National Democratic Revolution

OKM – Operation Khanyisa Movement

SOPA – Socialist Party of Azania

SECC – Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee

SCM – Social Civic Movement

SG – Socialist Group

UDM – United Democratic Movement

UPM – Unemployed people’s Movement