Democratic Left Front

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The Democratic Left Front was formed as a non-sectarian and non-authoritarian anti-capitalist front in South Africa.[1][2][3] It was formed from the Conference for a Democratic Left launched in 2008, at an event held in Johannesburg in January 2011.[4][5] It played a notable role in solidarity campaigns, most notably concerning the Marikana massacre. With the rise of the United Front (South Africa), and following divisions within the DLF, the formation disappeared.


The South African Unemployed Peoples' Movement welcomed the DLF as an "historic opportunity".[6] The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front expressed reservations about the entirely middle class nature of the leadership of the DLF[7] and internal emocracy/[8] The leadership of the DLF included notable figures pushed out of the South African Communist Party, like Mazibuko Jara, and the party therefore kept its distance, and has, for several years, proposed instead a "left popular front."[9]


The DLF was notable for its public campsigns. These included strong support for the rights of LGTBI people against violence.[10] The DLF was actively involved in the Occupy Johannesburg movement in coordination with Taking Back South Africa! on 15 October 2011 as part of the global Occupy movement.[11] The DLF supported the Marikana miners' strike in 2012[12] and was centrally involved in the Marikana Support Committee.[13]

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Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Call to the 1st National Conference of the Democratic Left
  2. ^ It’s time for new left politics, Mazibuko K. Jara, Mail & Guardian, 2009
  3. ^ New Left would expand political debate in SA Archived 2011-07-26 at the Wayback Machine, Imraan Buccus, 2010
  4. ^ Declaration of the Democratic Left Front
  5. ^ Emergence of the new struggle, KWANELE SOSIBO, The Mail & Guardian, Jan 28 2011
  6. ^ The Rebellion of the Poor Comes to Grahamstown, Unemployed People's Movement, February 2011
  7. ^ The “Democratic Left”: A Small Step Towards United Working Class Struggle, Anarkismo
  8. ^ Towards a Truly Democratic Left, Jonathan Payn, December 2011
  9. ^ South African Communist Party Central Committee, 21 September 2018, "Building a left popular front: Central Committee political report", online at
  10. ^ Democratic Left: Call for Support of 18 July 2012 Picket Against Homophobic Violence & Killings
  11. ^
  12. ^ Marikana a spark for a new South Africa - DLF, by Trevor Ngwane, Politicsweb, 10 November 2012
  13. ^ Interview: South Africa after Marikana, Peter Alexander, International Socialism, 8 January 2013