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Bill Andrews and South Africa’s Revolutionary Syndicalists
southern africa | history | opinion / analysis Tuesday April 05, 2016 18:44 by Lucien van der Walt tokologo.aac at gmail dot com
Published in Tokologo: Newsletter of the Tokologo African Anarchist Collective, numbers 5/6, p. 24
If W. H. "Bill" Andrews (1870- 1950) is remembered today, it is usually as a founder and leader of the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA, today the SACP). In that role, he served as party chair, member of the executive of the Communist International, leading South African trade unionist, visitor to the Soviet Union, and defendant in the trial of communists that followed 1946 black miners' strike.
However, in his earlier years, Andrews was a leading figure in the revolutionary syndicalist International Socialist League (ISL). Born in Britain, Andrews was a skilled metal worker and came from the unions. After a brief stint in parliament for the SA Labour Party, Andrews joined other radicals in the newly-founded ISL in 1915.