South African Communist Party
Red October Campaign, 6 November 2016, Sebokeng, Gauteng Province
Build a larger, but quality, activist and vanguard SACP to drive a second more radical phase of our transition!
Address by Comrade Blade Nzimande, General Secretary
Dear comrades, two days ago, on Thursday 3 November, news broke out that, on that day, Clive Derby-Lewis died. Derby Lewis is one of the cowardly murderers of our late General Secretary Comrade Chris Hani. Derby-Lewis was a ruthless man; he died without making full disclosure of the truth about all the circumstances that led to the murder of Comrade Chris Hani.
As Communists we are human, caring, and cannot celebrate human death. But Clive Derby-Lewis‘s family is better off, compared to the Hani family. Derby-Lewis’s family did at least anticipate his death in their application for medical parole, and at the age of 80. On the other hand, Comrade Chris Hani was robbed of his life at a much younger age, and the Hani family was abruptly denied a husband and a father through the barrel of a gun organised by the cold-blooded murderer, Clive Derby-Lewis.
The SACP is often criticised that it is not willing to let off the matter of the murder of Comrade Chris Hani, even by some within our movement. We want to say this is not true. Instead what we would not let go is the whole truth surrounding the murder of Comrade Chris Hani.
As the SACP, we continue to express our solidarity with Comrade Limpho Hani and her family. Every time something happens involving the now late Derby-Lewis and the other murderer, Janusz Walus, the Hani family is taken back to their painful past experience. Given this impasse in getting to the truth – and the whole truth – our next Central Committee meeting scheduled to take place early December, will have to reinstate our call for an official inquest into the whole truth and circumstances around the assassination of Comrade Chris Hani.
For example, one of the outstanding issues on this matter is that the wife of Derby-Lewis was found, immediately after the assassination of Comrade Chris Hani, in possession of a list of names and residential addresses of many of our ANC and SACP leaders, including that of Comrade Nelson Mandela.
This was never adequately followed up or investigated by the apartheid police. Clearly there was a wider conspiracy! No wonder Gaye Derby-Lewis is today still a praise singer of her late husband who killed Comrade Hani. She is also saying her Clive Derby-Lewis told her a secret she will keep until she goes to her grave. She definitely has an explanation to make.
Let us advance and defend our national democratic revolution!
Let us intensify the struggle against the abuse of state organs aimed at advancing parasitic accumulation!
Comrades, if half of what is in today's Sunday papers is true, that there is a renewed plot to charge the Minister of Finance again, and that some of the state organs are targeted at tarnishing the image of, amongst others, the Secretary-General of the ANC, Comrade Gwede Mantashe and other comrades, the SACP wishes to say today: “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH and NO MORE!” We are today drawing a red line and we call upon the people of South Africa, especially the workers and the poor, to stop this rot and abuse of state organs for purposes of serving narrow accumulation agendas.
As the SACP, we are prepared to fight this scourge in the same manner as we fought in defence of Comrade Jacob Zuma some ten to thirteen years ago when we believed state organs were being used to pursue narrow political agendas. If we do not do so, all of us will be in the queue of being harassed for narrow political reasons.
As the SACP, we are also acutely aware that those who are pursuing these political agendas have no interest of our country at heart, but are prepared to, if need be, sink our country into a political and economic abyss in order to hide their parasitic interests. We call upon all South African Communists and other patriots to say: “Enough is enough!” We must stop the plundering of our state resources and the use of its organs by a parasitic bourgeoisie!
We must also be vigilant and defend our state owned companies as institutions aimed advancing the economic interests of the overwhelming majority of the workers and poor of our country. Part of our Red October Campaign must be to intensify our defence of our state owned entities like the SABC, Eskom, Telkom, Transnet, PRASA, the Post Office, PetroSA, SAA, SA Express, Denel and so on.
Let especially the organised workers of our country like Cosatu and its affiliates stand up and loudly say: “Our state is not for sale!” Organised workers have a very important role in defeating the corporate capture of the state. Organised workers cannot afford to be seen hesitating, or indecisive, or uncertain, on these crucial matters. The SACP calls upon Cosatu in particular, and organised workers in general, to firmly cement their alliance with the SACP around waging a principled fight and struggle against the corporate capture of the state! Corporate capture of the state only serves to undermine the interests and struggles of the workers and poor of our country!
These and other entities that are wholly or part-owned by the state must serve our people and national interest. They must serve democratic transformation and development imperatives. The working class must stand up and defend these institutions from corporate capture. Our state owned entities are not entities to be plundered by parasites, but are there to drive an economic agenda that is in the interests of the majority of the people of our country. The SACP, acting together with all progressive forces in our broader alliance and movement must act in a united fashion to defeat the corporate capture of our state institutions and entities.
The SACP wishes to use this occasion to restate that monopoly capitalism remains our principal strategic opponent and obstacle in advancing a radical national democratic revolution. But parasites like the Guptas are no alternative to monopoly capital. Instead their parasitic acts can only serve to weaken the capacity of our state and struggle to defeat monopoly capital. We therefore need to fight both monopoly capital and the Guptarisation of our state with the same ferocity and vigour. Today we call upon all Communists, the workers and poor of our country to intensify the struggle against monopolisation and the Guptarisation of our state.
Let us drive a second, more radical phase of our democratic transition!
Addressing the national grievance of the reality of racism and racialised reproduction of South African situation, requires a fundamental transformation of the semi-colonial economic trajectory of our country. Our Red October Campaign therefore places, at the centre of its campaigning and message, the necessity to drive a second radical phase of our transition.
For the SACP, the heart of this campaign must be the intensification of the campaign to transform our financial sector campaign. At the Centre of this campaign is the mobilisation of the resources in the financial sector towards investment in the productive sectors of our economy, as well as support for SME (small and medium enterprises) development and co-operatives.
Our primary Red October message:
Rebuild our movement's contact with, and leadership in, our communities and workplaces!
The SACP has deeply reflected on why and how the ANC lost some of the big metros and got less support in the August 2016 local government elections. Much as we must appreciate the fact that the ANC won the elections in many municipalities, we however must not lose sight of some of the major setbacks suffered by the ANC in these elections.
The opposition parties never gained any significant new votes; the problem is that our own voters stayed away. Why? Amongst other reasons they felt that the ANC, and the ANC-led Alliance, were no longer listening or taking them seriously. This is an important lesson to take to heart and for our movement to undertake very serious introspection.
Serious introspection calls for a number of things that we as a movement must do. Firstly, it means that we need to humbly accept our very serious political, moral (e.g. declining revolutionary morality) and organisational weaknesses, including the reality of corruption within our ranks, as well as the capture of some of our structures and key centres of power by moneyed interests.
Serious introspection in the current period must also mean accepting the establishment of a judicial commission to investigate contemporary trends in the corporate capture of the state. We commend the ANC for its acceptance of the need to establish the commission. As a movement we must not be seen to be afraid of such, instead our co-operation with such initiatives may help us to rebuild the trust of the movement amongst the people.
In order to rebuild the confidence of our members, the voters and our people broadly, it is going to be important to wage an intensified internal organisational struggle against factionalism. There is a mutually reinforcing tendency between factionalism and parasites inside our own movement. Parasites need factions in order to advance their narrow accumulation agendas. In turn, factions need parasites to fund their factionalist agendas inside our organisations. Therefore in order to rebuild our movement we need to defeat both factionalism and its twin parasitism inside our own organisations. Let us use this Red October campaign to expose and defeat these terrible twins inside our movement and society at large.
Build a larger, high quality, vanguard SACP in order to build a stronger and capable movement and entrench its democratic revolutionary character!
Our alliance, comrades, remains an important force in the struggle to overcome the challenges and solve the problems facing our people and our country. But we must fix its weaknesses. We must make it to function effectively and optimally. Its mode of operation is – and this is our view as the SACP – most possibly outdated. The alliance’s workings must keep pace with the ever changing times. This is one of our most important discussions towards our next Central Committee meeting, and our 14th National Congress to take place in July 2017.
The alliance needs an ever strong and therefore larger vanguard SACP, inasmuch as it needs a strong ANC and Cosatu. It also needs a strong and better organised Sanco. The alliance needs strong democratic mass organisations in every sector of our society. In all of this, political education and vibrant campaigning is essential. The movement must be seen both in the streets and in elected public bodies providing leadership on issues and the day-to-day struggles of our people.
It is by building such a capable movement and entrenching its democratic revolutionary character that we will be best able to reclaim lost ground in our communities, be they townships, villages, or workplaces. This is the thrust of our Red October Campaign 2016-2017.
It is clear now more than ever before that unless we build a larger and more activist, vanguard SACP, our goals of deepening the national democratic revolution will not be realised!!!!!
On behalf of the Central Committee of the SACP, I call upon all SACP cadres to go all out to recruit more members for the SACP, as a critical component of driving a second, more radical phase of our democratic transition. Going hand in hand with this is the standing necessity for a thoroughgoing political education of our recruits, so that we not only grow the Party in terms of membership numbers but membership quality. This is very important, but not enough on its own. Communist cadres must share their knowledge acquired from political education and transmit their Communist activism in the community, at the workplace and in the economy in general, in the struggle of the battle of the hegemony of ideas, and everywhere it matters!
As one of the world’s outstanding revolutionaries Frederick Engels once said: “Practice without theory is blind. Theory without practice is sterile. Theory becomes a material force as soon as it is absorbed by the masses.”
It is on this terrain that we will bring closer our goal of a socialist South Africa and the complete destruction of the barbarism of capitalism.
Issued by the SACP, 6 November 2016