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Stephen Bantu Biko was the first president of South African Student Organisation (SASO), a black student’s organization that was focused on the resistance against and liberation from apartheid. On 16 August 2012, the South African Police Service opened fire on a crowd of striking mineworkers at Marikana, some 100km northwest of Johannesburg in the North West Province. In 1955 a small group of white middle-class women who were predominantly English-speaking formed an organization called The Women's Defence of the Constitution League.
South Africa’s democratic system was endorsed by voters drawn from across the country’s racial divide in April 1994. As the 1950s gave way to the 1960s the African National Congress (ANC) and Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) both announced plans to tackle the pass laws for blacks (both men and women) with massive protests, civil disobedience and pass burnings.
When the famously oil-rich Rockefeller Brothers Fund announced in September that it would be ridding its nearly $1 billion portfolio of fossil fuel investments, it was not only a coup for the student-led divestment movement that began a couple years earlier in the United States, but also further recognition of the South African anti-apartheid struggle, whose successful use of the tactic served as inspiration. What is still largely new for South Africans is actually being the ones to launch a divestment campaign.
Nevertheless, both acknowledge that South Africa needs to address its carbon emissions, which rank among the worst in the world due in large part to coal production. South Africa needs to address its carbon emissions, which rank among the worst in the world. Yet, despite all signs suggesting South Africans are not interested in a divestment campaign against fossil fuels, students, faculty, staff and alumni at the University of Cape Town, or UCT, launched one last year. 350.orga€™s Africa and Middle East team leader Ferrial Adam, who is helping Fossil Free UCT develop its campaign, said that the organizing is influenced by more than the anti-apartheid struggle. Demonstrations are held outside Eskoma€™s headquarters attended by the many poor affected by outrageous prices and pollution. Meanwhile, Durban-based political economist and Fossil Free UCT supporter Patrick Bond argues that organizers should also find inspiration in lessons learned.
Best-selling author and journalist Naomi Klein, whose book a€?The Shock Doctrinea€? documents this transition and its fallout, is also a major supporter of the fossil fuel divestment movement. If he and Klein are right about the potential of fossil fuel divestment, then no matter how South Africans engage with it, they will have played a crucial role. Bryan Farrell is an editor at Waging Nonviolence, where he writes about environment, climate change and people power.

People hold South African flags as they attend the 20-year Democracy Anniversary celebrations at the government's Union Building in Pretoria, South Africa, Sunday, April 27, 2014. JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- South Africans on Sunday celebrated 20 years of democracy with song, prayer and praise for those who guided their country into a more peaceful, tolerant era, although some noted that economic inequality and other problems have undermined the nation's promise since the first all-race elections ended white rule on April 27, 1994. The focus of the Freedom Day commemorations was in Pretoria at the Union Buildings, the century-old government offices where President Jacob Zuma and dignitaries, including foreign diplomats, gathered to reflect on the long struggle against apartheid and ensuing efforts to build a better country.
The anniversary precedes elections on May 7 that are likely to see the ruling African National Congress return to power with a smaller majority, reflecting discontent with the movement that opposed white domination before its candidate, Nelson Mandela, became South Africa's first black president.
In a speech, Zuma said South Africa had a good story to tell, referring to its stable electoral system, its constitutional commitment to human rights as well as advancements in health care, welfare grants and water and electricity in the past 20 years. Election candidate Julius Malema, the expelled head of the ruling party's youth league and now leader of an upstart party that wants to redistribute wealth, has told supporters that events surrounding Freedom Day, which is a national holiday, are a sham because many poor South Africans still lack basic services. The mood was festive at the Pretoria ceremony, where balloons were on display and many people waved small South African flags. Messages of congratulations to South Africa for the 20th anniversary of democracy came from around the world.
Many of the messages delivered in South Africa on Sunday reflected the rough-and-tumble of an election season, rather than the lofty rhetoric surrounding the advent of democracy.
On Thursday, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe spoke in London about the 20th anniversary of democracy, noting the challenges that lie ahead as South Africa struggles to overcome unemployment, poverty and inequality. The fateful event left 34 mineworkers dead, 78 wounded and more than 250 people were arrested. As was common during the scramble for Africa in the latter half of the nineteenth century, the territory was claimed and occupied by an expansionist European power, in this case Germany. These include the conflicting political ideologies of imperialism and republicanism, the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand, tension between political leaders, the Jameson Raid and the Uitlander franchise. Founder members were Jean Sinclair, Ruth Foley, Elizabeth McLaren, Tertia Pybus, Jean Bosazza and Helen Newton-Thompson (among others). There is little doubt that coming from a history of a racially divided society, people voted for their skin colour in 1994 over policies. Here's how South Africans are starting to apply those same lessons to addressing climate change.

He argues that this action made business in South Africa untenable and played a bigger role in ending apartheid than the divestment of American companies from their South African subsidiaries. To make matters worse, the current government also supports widespread fracking, increases in coal exports and deep-sea drilling.
The latter has been a leading issue for Earthlife, which regularly holds demonstrations outside Eskoma€™s headquarters attended by the many poor people who are affected by the utilitya€™s outrageous prices and pollution. Although they have yet to persuade the university, or any other institution, the campaign is still in the design and research phase, with ambitions of spreading beyond South Africa, to include regional targets. His work has also appeared in The Guardian, The Nation, Mother Jones, Slate, Grist and Earth Island Journal. The scandal comes amid a troubling inequality between rich and poor that the government says is partly a legacy of old racial divisions, noting that the income of the average white household is six times that of a black household.
Women ululated and the crowd sang the national anthem, which incorporates several of South Africa's official languages in a show of unity.
The South African Press Association quoted prepared remarks from a speech by Bantu Holomisa, head of the opposition United Democratic Movement and a former member of the African National Congress. Now he is advising the same strategy for the BDS movement against Israel, which has actually had a South Africa campaign since 2010. What is still largely new for South Africans, however, is actually being the ones to launch a divestment campaign.
Despite being closely associated with the tactic, it was actually the work of international activists. As a result, there seems to be a sense among South Africans that such efforts are best left to wealthier countriesa€”not to mention some skepticism about the actual importance of divestment to toppling apartheid.

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