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Why is the history of communism in a country at the bottom of the African continent still important enough to warrant this book? South Africa is one of the few countries in the world that still has a strong communist party whose views are not only taken into account by the government, but whose members hold important positions in both the cabinet and in government offices. This is the first account of the history of the Communist Party of South Africa based on archival sources. The initial accounts were written by party members and had very little to do with reality. The months that Mia Roth spent in the newly opened Russian and South African Archives in 1998 and the number of years she spent in writing it, revealed to her not only the racism in the South African party but also the role it played in destroying the ICU, the only genuine African mass movement of that time. Its depiction of the part played by African communists was only a facade.

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