The Democratic Left Front (DLF) joins many activists in South Africa and around the world in mourning the death of Neville Alexander, leader of the Workers Organisation for Socialist Action (WOSA). We extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, comrades in WOSA and the Truth Conference and especially his life-partner Karen Press.
Although Neville Alexander was an internationally acclaimed intellectual, linguist and educationist he remained until his death a revolutionary socialist and a humble grassroots activist.
Neville’s life of commitment and sacrifice for the total emancipation of working people, especially women should serve as a beacon for South Africans pained by deepening inequality and corruption. His contribution to the struggle for freedom and his commitment to a socialist Azania reminds us, in the face of the rewriting of history by the acolytes of the ANC, of the significant role different currents and movements played in the struggle for national liberation and socialism.
As a movement that seeks to unite left political currents, social movements and other popular organizations into an alternative political movement we are inspired by a life that was devoted to building a united front against racial capitalism and for national liberation.
In the coming days, weeks and months much will be written appreciating his work on language, multi-linguism, nation building, race and racism. Less will be said of his politics and opposition to the current regime, the capitalist system and the relevance of the pursuit of a democratic socialism. In a recent address titled SOUTH AFRICA: AN UNFINISHED REVOLUTION? (13 May 2010) Neville spelt out his views, very clearly on what is taking place in SA:
The working and unemployed masses are voting with their feet. … (T)he thousands of township uprisings, countrywide strikes and serial metropolitan protest actions have one simple meaning: WE REJECT YOUR POLICIES AND YOUR PRACTICES AS ANTI-WORKER AND ANTI-POOR. … They are saying very clearly and very loudly that the appeal to nationalist, blood and soil rhetoric has lost its power and that we are standing on the threshold of a politics that will be shaped by a heightened sense of class struggle. It is this understanding that should inform our analysis and our estimation of the prospects for a more principled socialist-orientated direction of the struggle in South Africa.
In the light of the Marikana–Lonmin massacre these prophetic words must act as a rallying call for our people to unite to save our country from the ravages of a capitalism in crisis and a state captured by a parasitic elite.
In this cause we will be honouring the memory of a great African fighter for freedom and carrying his life’s work forward.
Hamba Kahle Neville Alexander!!!
28 August 2012