South African Communist Party
Moses Kotane Provincial Congress
Plunged into unchartered waters
Address by Cde Blade Nzimande, General Secretary
Matlosana, Moses Kotane Province, 17 November 2017
Today the Minister of Justice and Correctional Affairs Adv. Michael Masutha announced that the cold blooded murderer of Comrade Chris Hani will not be granted parole. The SACP welcomes the news that Janusz Waluś will remain in Prison. Waluś does not show any remorse for murdering our General Secretary. Still there is no full disclosure of the truth. On behalf of the Central Committee I want to reiterate our call as the SACP, of an official inquest to investigate all the circumstances surrounding the assassination of our former General Secretary.
There are other issues the SACP is concerned about, including what the objective of revoking the murderer’s citizenship while in jail serving a life sentence was. This occurred during the time when we were opposing his parole application!
The revolution has been plunged into unchartered waters
The national democratic revolution has been plunged into unchartered waters. The revolution is facing a difficult, and an uncertain, situation. Key instruments of the state that should be at the service of the revolution, to advance the interests of the people, are being destroyed. The productive sector of the state, made up of state owned enterprises and public entities, has particularly been plunged into a major crisis.
On the surface, the crisis manifests itself as a crisis of governance decay and mismanagement. Yes it involves both governance decay and mismanagement, and the rot must be dealt with decisively and brought to an end. However, the crisis is essentially a direct result of primitive wealth accumulation on a private basis. The crisis was caused by those who are using public resources to pursue self-enrichment.
The crisis finds its profound expression in money matters and procurement, in tenders. The Central Energy Fund, Denel, Prasa, PetroSA, SAA, SABC, our erstwhile trusted SARS, other public entities and key state institutions were plunged into crisis because of the greed.
Beware false radical economic transformation!
Instead of supporting the SA Post Office; instead of supporting and building the capacity of the SA Post Bank to become a vibrant state owned developmental bank to serve the people; a tender was created and unlawfully awarded to Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to distribute social grants to over nine million South Africans. CPS is a subsidiary of Net1, a foreign monopoly listed in Nasdaq Stock Market, an American stock exchange. The tender involves Grindrod Bank, which is made up of, notably, apartheid era financial monopoly interests. What we have seen are efforts that perpetuated the unlawful social grants distribution tender. This is visibly continuing. The agenda is also creating uncertainty affecting social grants recipients.
The SACP pledges its solidarity with social grants recipients. Instead of the false radical economic transformation involving the creation and perpetuation of tenders unlawfully awarded to private apartheid era and foreign monopoly capital; the state should be leading in implementing the second, more radical phase of our national democratic revolution underpinned by true radical economic transformation.
The second, more radical phase of our national democratic revolution, inclusive of true radical economic transformation, will not come from collusion with sections of either domestic, apartheid era, or foreign, monopoly capital. In addition, it will not come from collusion with parasites. The second, more radical phase of our national democratic revolution, inclusive of true radical economic transformation, will not come from an excessive focus on private Black ownership. It will come from a greater emphasis on empowering, developing and deepening public and social ownership.
Instead of building internal productive capacity; instead of building vibrant public enterprises and effective public service to serve national developmental imperatives; our state is being turned into an instrument of enriching tenderpreneurs. Instead of building a capable democratic developmental state to deliver quality services to the people; our state is being diverted towards a tender state.
Instead of using state power to selflessly serve the people wholeheartedly; our state is being used to serve corporate, personal, family and factional interests; our state is being used to build factional and dynastic empires, such as the Guptas.
Instead of using state power to advance, deepen and complete the liberation of the people; certain sections of former comrades, former liberation stalwarts who are at the helm, are doing what the apartheid regime used to do. They are spying on comrades. They are repressing those who express genuine concern about corporate state capture and corruption. They are working together with parasites, opportunists and even historical enemies of our liberation struggle to spy on comrades.
Instead of using state power to mobilise the working class and the poor to end economic exploitation, inequality, unemployment, poverty and social insecurity; the revolutionaries gone wrong are distorting the radical content of our national democratic revolution. The whole revolution is reduced to radical economic transformation; and radical economic transformation is misinterpreted to mean, and hijacked towards serving capitalist elite empowerment and radical looting interests.
What is to be done?
The SACP was the first organisation in South Africa to use the concept of corporate capture to characterise the malfeasance, venality and grand corruption.
In our Augmented Central Committee statement on 30 November 2014, we said “unless corruption and corporate-capture are dealt with severely and decisively these problems risk becoming systemic and difficult to reverse”. We said “The best weapon against these dangers is two-fold: 1. Decisive state action including criminal prosecution of those allegedly involved in corrupt activities; 2. Anti-corruption state intervention needs to be combined with active communities and a united and mobilised working class.”
We played a leading role in driving the mobilisation. It was during this just political action that, again as the SACP, we became the first organisation to call for a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture. A while later, the former Public Protector concurred – in her report entitled the “State of Capture”. But since then the commission has not been established.
Given the reluctance to appoint the commission, as well as everything else that has been done to set aside the report, there are reasonable doubts whether, everything remaining constant if not getting worse, an INDEPENDENT commission of inquiry will be appointed.
This Congress must discuss strategies on deepening the mobilisation until we have rid our society of the rot. It is important to recognise that while an INDEPENDENT commission of inquiry into state capture is important, commissions and courts on their own will not fundamentally alter the balance of forces. It is also important to pay attention to the situation in the province. The SACP in Moses Kotane Province must be seen intensifying work to end corruption and to have government at all levels serve the people.
Without revolutionary organisation there can be no revolution.
Strengthen the vanguard character of the SACP!
Building our vanguard role as the SACP requires that we deepen our inviolable ties with the masses of our people. At our 14th Party Congress held in July, we resolved to build the broadest possible patriotic front to protect our constitution. We also resolved to build a popular left front to defend, advance and deepen our national democratic revolution towards its logical conclusion, the indispensible basis for an advance to socialism. This requires, in the here and now, that we intensify the struggle for socialism.
It is crucial, as part of the work, to pay unceasing attention on the trade union movement and on the struggles of the workers in general. The SACP is very concerned about divisions in trade unions and trade union rivalries. To this extent our work is cut out to build unity and cohesion. This is not a boardroom exercise but a question ultimately of active involvement in the daily struggles of the workers to forge a common platform.
The SACP in this province must therefore be seen more involved in the struggle facing the workers in the mines and other sectors of the economy. Our Party’s leadership is deeply concerned, in this regard, about the mass retrenchment facing workers in the mining sector both in this province of Moses Kotane and in other provinces.
The mass retrenchment of workers by the capitalist mining bosses is aimed at one thing and one thing only, namely profit maximisation to accumulate wealth on a private basis. In addition to rigorously confronting the greed, we must intensify the struggle for socialism – which is the only sustainable way forward.
Rather than treat socialism mechanically and postpone it to some distant future, we must build the elements of, capacity for, and momentum towards socialism in the here and now. This is what we mean when we say: “Socialism is the future: Build it now!” Reactionaries refuse to see or hear the words “Build it now!” They selectively see or hear the words “Socialism is the future”. They then use their selective hearing or sight to accuse us of postponing the struggle for socialism.
When we say “Build democratic working class hegemony in all key sites of struggle and significant centres of power”, reactionaries accuse us of abandoning the “Dictatorship of the proletariat”. No amount of engagement can covert people who are refusing to learn. This is the context in which the emergence of a parallel state, which is also a securocrat state, is coupled with the tendency of anti-intellectualism. Intellectual engagements are met with distortion, paranoia and activities of rogue intelligence units.
We must not retreat in the face of rogue intelligence units, regardless of whether they fabricate and press charges against some of us in the coming period. Rather, we must fight against concocted charges and abuse of state authority until we achieve victory. After the victory, we must investigate and hold accountable those who abuse state power and authority.
This Congress must pay a dedicated attention on building the SACP to become stronger, every moment than ever before. We need to build the SACP as a large vanguard Party. However, as our Party Political Programme, the “South African Road to Socialism” clearly states, there is a difference between a large vanguard Party and a mass organisation.
The size of a vanguard Party is decided from the tasks at hand, and, unlike a mass organisation, a vanguard Party is made up by vanguard cadres, defined by the renowned leader of the Great October Socialist Revolution, Vladimir Lenin, as Professional Revolutionaries.
Professional Revolutionaries are well-trained cadres. Professional revolutionaries dedicate their activism, and organise their lives, everywhere they are, on consistently propagating, agitating, educating and mobilising the masses to advance a socialist revolution. The importance of political education and ideological training cannot be overemphasised in our organising programme to build produce professional revolutionaries and not merely Party members.
In addition, the membership and structures of a vanguard Party, unlike a mass organisation, are always active. They are not activated in the run up to congresses or elections and deactivated after congresses or elections. The vanguard Party must be active in everyday struggles of the people in communities, at the workplace, in institutions of learning, and in other sites of societal power.
The SACP and state and popular power
At our 14th Party Congress we resolved that the SACP must actively contest state power through elections. We added at least one new element to our 12th and 13th Congress resolutions on state power adopted in 2007 and 2012. Mainstream commentariat failed to identify any new elements in the 14th Party Congress resolution of the relationship between the SACP and state and popular power.
Our electoral participation was limited to a reconfigured alliance until the 14th Party Congress. The Congress removed the limitation. It paved the way for the SACP to contest elections directly or through a popular left front in the event of a continued refusal to have the alliance reconfigured.
Next month the first Augmented Central Committee following our 14th Party Congress will consider and adopt a roadmap to give practical effect to the resolution. This includes engagements with our allies, worker and progressive formations.
While developing the roadmap, the Politburo received a special request on 6 and 7 October from the Free State Province for the Party to contest by-elections in Metsimaholo municipality. The alliance was completely non-existent except through occasional and meaningless rhetoric. It was in practice marginalised. Workers were dismissed en masse from the municipality following a participation in a strike in 2014. Our efforts to have the workers reinstated were met with arrogance and consistent intransigence.
Service delivery suffered severely after the workers were dismissed. When, finally, they were allowed to come back to work, others were left out, which was factional. Instead of reinstatement, the workers were re-employed. They reported to work only this month on the first after a long period of time. The re-employment – note not reinstatement – took place after the SACP, requested by community members decided to contest the forthcoming by-elections. This decision to contest the by-elections in Metsimaholo is a principled decision that the SACP is taking forward to the by-elections day on 29 November.
Reconfiguration of the alliance
When we say the alliance must be reconfigured we mean it!
We all fought for the achievement of democracy in our country. We were guided in the struggle by the principle, summed up in the Freedom Charter, that: “The people shall govern”. It is unprincipled to allow the alliance to be converted into an electoral machine to win elections only to be marginalised thereafter until the next round of campaigning for another electoral victory.
The prevailing situation whereby the leadership of one alliance partner alone, or, worse, an individual or faction, makes key decisions, is not building the alliance. The absence or lack of democratic consensus-seeking consultation on major policy and deployment decisions is undermining the strategic importance of the alliance. When we campaign we say: “Together we can do more”. But thereafter we are being told about prerogatives, as if they were acquired privately and independently of any mandate, the ANC and the alliance.
Our movement is not a club of liberals. Ours is a revolutionary movement guided by the principles of collective leadership and accountability. It is wrong to expect alliance partners to rally behind unilateral decisions and, worse, wrong and factional decisions.
The alliance must be seen together in decision-making on major policy and deployment considerations, and on holding accountable those deployed in the state to implement its shared programme, the national democratic revolution.
In order for the alliance to become successful it must be based on internal democracy. It must build people’s power. It must give effect to the Freedom Charter’s clarion call that the people shall govern, rather than one alliance component alone, rather than either an individual or a faction!
Lessons from the Zimbabwean situation
The politico-military intervention that has taken the centre stage this week in Zimbabwe is a culmination of decades of divisions that have been unfolding within Zimbabwe’s national liberation movement. With the governing party, ZANU-PF as the epicentre, the divisions have found expression in key state establishments and throughout the Zimbabwean society. The result is a breakdown of national unity. Underlying these divisions are deep seated structural economic problems that were not created solely from within Zimbabwe or by any one man acting alone.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have actively been involved in the production of Zimbabwe’s economic problems. The two Bretton Woods institutions imposed an economic policy regime in Zimbabwe, either causing or worsening the country’s economic problems. The IMF and the World are dominated mainly United States and also by Britain and other imperialist states. These imperialist states must not be allowed to get away with murder.
As a result of Zimbabwe’s economic collapse, many Zimbabweans left the country in search of greener pastures elsewhere. South Africa is host to many of them. Others are dispersed in other Southern African countries and other African continental and global regions. What is happening in Zimbabwe must be handled carefully.
The SACP is calling for national unity in Zimbabwe based on democratic and peaceful government transitions and solving national problems by addressing both their symptoms and root causes. The SACP will be exploring ways by which it can assist politically to bring about national unity in Zimbabwe.
The centenary of Great October Socialist Revolution and the Red October Campaign 2017-18
The Great October Socialist Revolution brought an end to an oppressive regime in Russia. The Revolution established the first government of the people under the leadership of the majority, the working class in alliance with the peasants. The Soviet Union, the direct state outcome of the Great October Socialist Revolution, contributed immensely to our struggle to bring an end to colonial rule and apartheid in our country.
The support our liberation struggle received from the Soviet Union included arms, ammunition, other necessary supplies and military training to our joint SACP-ANC military-wing, uMkhonto weSizwe. The support we received was not limited to military capacity building. We received support also for peaceful development. This included education, which produced professionals in important fields of life and social transformation.
All support offered was motivated by international solidarity. It was unconditional. The history of our defeat of the apartheid regime would be incomplete without recognition of the support provided by the Soviet Union following its establishment after the success of the Great October Socialist Revolution.
Inspired by the success of the Great October Socialist Revolution, let us intensify our programme to realise the objectives of our Red October Campaign 2017-18!
Let us work together to combat the scourge of crime and violence in general and gender based violence in particular.
Let us promote education and awareness to bring an end to the scourge of gender based abuse and discrimination of other people based on their sexual orientation.
Let us build effective street committees and functional community policing forums that work to curb violence against women and crime in general.
Let us build an increasingly vanguard leadership and support progressive organisations, including NGOs dedicated on achieving transformation of gender relations. Let us work together with them in combating femicide, the murder of women, and child homicide and infanticide in our communities.
Let us equally fight sexual abuse and rape of boys in our communities and boy child learners at school.
On behalf of the Central Committee and the entire membership of our Party across the country, I wish both your deliberations and Provincial Congress a success!
Thank you comrades!
Issued by the SACP, 17 November 2017