28 February 2006

Vote for the Vote, and Vote ANC

Vote for the ANC! And vote for the vote itself! This democracy was fought for and won in struggle. The vote must be kept alive. It must be exercised. The SACP has campaigned energetically, and it enthusiastically recommends the vote and a vote for the ANC. So does COSATU. Even Johannesburg’s main English-language paper, The Star, is recommending a vote for the ANC this time round. See the four linked articles below. The Business Day’s Karima Brown attempts to suggest that the SACP-COSATU-ANC alliance is affected by the Khutsong adminstrative boundary changes that have been rejected by the people of that place. That and a lot of other nonsense typical of her wacky views on politics (see link). Perhaps it is time to remind readers of these dispatches that the aim here is learning how to be politically active in this South African context. The aim is not endorsement of people’s views, nor annihilation of their views. Karima Brown’s journalism has been carried often. Her reporting of facts and events is good. It is part of the South African landscape. Using it does not mean acceptance of her opinions as well. Nor should too much stress be put on these introductory notes, which are only meant to draw people’s attention to the material, and not to indoctrinate readers. Some of the feedback says they are impertinent, but others say they are essential. They are written from a point of view. But they are neither meant to be gospel nor provocation. The attribute that is sought more than any other is brevity. Ebrahim Hassen’s article on why one should vote is not brief enough, but it has some shining moments. Thanks, my comrade. (linked) The full text of Arthur Mutambara’s MDC Presidential acceptance speech is now up on the CU site and linked below. Mutambara is an actual rocket scientist, but his politics are not outstanding. He offers liberal democracy, comfort to the bourgeoisie, and precious little for the working class. Usually this distribution goes out in the morning at around 06h00 but in this case because of election duties it will go out the night before. The breaking story of the night is the statement by Minister Erwin that the recent failure of the Koeberg nuclear power station was caused by sabotage. Eskom bureaucrats, to bump up their bid for more public money, were opportunistically using this event as political blackmail. Heads should roll. And the criminals must be caught. Links: Blade Nzimande, SACP campaign for ANC at Park Station (293 words) SACP urges workers and poor to vote ANC in millions (396 words) Vote ANC on Wednesday, says COSATU (401 words) Give ANC 5 more years, Editorial, The Star (553 words) Khutsong, new era for ANC ties with allies, Brown, B Day (777 words) Why a protest non-vote is useless, Ebrahim Hassen (2619 words) MDC, Presidential acceptance speech, A Mutambara (1936 words)

Work This One Out

Zimbabwe’s MDC split last year. The argument was about whether to put up candidates for the senate or not. The factions announced their separate congresses. The first to take place was that of is the pro-senate faction. It elected a new leader, Arthur Mutambara, who immediately declared himself anti-senate. How does that work? One explanation could be that sectarian splits never resolve anything. Each side of the split invariably re-creates the same split again within itself, and the same battles begin all over again. See linked. Today there is a picket from 12h30 of the Zimbabwean Consulate in Anderson Street, Johannesburg, behind Khotso House. It is for peace and the rule of law under democracy in that country, and for its national integrity and sovereignty. One or two years before 1994 I was categorically told by a white anti-apartheid education official that it had been decided that there was to be no mass literacy campaign on Nicaraguan or Cuban lines in South Africa. The reason was political. The CODESA compromise could not allow organised mass voluntary leadership and politicised education to stream out across the country. Instead we got the awful Education Minister Bengu, followed by Minister Asmal. Now we have Minister Pandor, and things may be changing at last. See the linked article. Note the repeated admission that bourgeois-designed programmes do not inspire the masses and simply fail, wasting huge amounts of money. Unlike, for example, the Communist University, which succeeds precisely because it does inspire the masses, and costs practically nothing. The movie “Mrs Henderson” is showing in Johannesburg. It is a tragical comedy of genteel sex-work in London around 70 years ago. Now comes the announcement of an International Sex Worker Rights Day. Maybe it’s about time. See linked. SATAWU has plural on-going disputes with Transnet but the good piece in Sunday’s Business Report about it is not on the Internet. See the linked notice for SATAWU’s other main action: its dispute with Nationwide Airlines. Two mistakes on CU. One is that there is no Wits architecture seminar this evening. The one on “tenements”, so-called, is next Tuesday, March 7th. The other mistake is that the important upcoming SACP Gauteng Provincial Council is to take place on the 5th of March, as I understand it, and not the 12th as announced here last Thursday. Links: New MDC faction leader enters arena talking tough, B Day (546 words) Cuban way to literacy for South Africa, Business Day (1062 words) International Sex Worker Rights Day (Download) SATAWU, Update on Nationwide strike (310 words)

27 February 2006

The Harder They Come

Mosioua “Terror” Lekota was once the people’s champion, nominated from the floor of the Mafikeng ANC National Conference and elected over the leadership’s candidate as National Chairman. He was the Zuma of his day. But it was not long before he took on the role of chief enforcer. See the linked article for what this has meant in Khutsong. Yesterday’s interviews with the President in the Sunday papers all came out differently. The Sunday Independent’s report focused on the President’s admission that he was responsible for a letter that was used in court to convict Schabir Shaik; which conviction was then used to charge Jacob Zuma (and when Zuma was charged, he was sacked by Mbeki). The Sunday Times’ interview was not worth reading – it was a non-story. City Press made their separate interview a front-page item all right, but from a completely different angle – Aids, and how many deaths there are, or are not, according to the President. See link. Yesterday’s Sunday Times led its front page with another shameless funding bid by Eskom’s grabbing, boondoggle-seeking bureaucrats, which the spineless reporters swallowed and regurgitated for the readers without critical examination. Eskom is the state corporation which supplies enormous amounts of power at give-away prices to foreign aluminium smelting corporates on the coast. The aluminium companies bring in the ore (there is none here), convert it with enough South African electricity to supply several provinces, and ship out the product. They only employ a handful of local people. See link. In our on-going “javelin” series, here is none other than Bulelani Ncuka having his ego stroked by the Sunday Times Business section. So relaxed are Ngcuka and his “Amabubesi” friends that they are happy to give the game away right up front. “Our association with decision-makers at the highest level enables us to influence strategic decisions in our country”, they boast. This seems to suggest pillow talk between Ncuka his wife, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the new Deputy President of South Africa. Ngcuka’s Amabubesi company “has a taste for just about everything, from dairy products to industrial cranes.” Yes, we remember the cranes of Dubai very well. The javelin thrown by Ngcuka from government into the corporate world obviously has (apron) strings attached. Or is it some other “association with decision-makers” that is being referred to, and not Mrs. Ngcuka after all? Who knows? We can only guess. See link. The following is the question before next week's architecture seminar at Wits: “Today’s tenement city? Large scale multi-storey private rental in Nairobi”, to be presented by Marie Huchzermeyer. The word “tenement” suggests a prejudice against apartments as opposed, say, to “RDP houses”. In our discussions about women, we have come to regard the remote, discrete, family home as a trap full of drudgery. Flats, on the other hand, can be located near work and all kinds of common services. They are inherently more socialised. Why do the women of the Wits architecture department cling to the fatal Palladian fantasy of the private villa? Go to the 1st floor of the John Moffat building at Wits University on Tuesday evening, March 7th at 17h30 to find out. See linked notice for details of their programme for March. Links: Lekota concedes defeat in Khutsong, Sunday Times (1536 words) No Aids death crisis- Mbeki, City Press (781 words) Scramble to avert national power collapse, Sunday Times (938 words) Scorpion tracks lucrative business deals - Ngcuka in S Times (1034 words) Tuesday 17h30 Wits architecture seminars, Mar 7, 14 and 28 (notice)

26 February 2006

The Seed Is Mine

Why is Penuell Maduna, the former Minister of Minerals and Energy, described as a “revolving-door specialist”? Because “revolving door” is a British journalistic term used to describe people who move between top jobs in government and top jobs in business, and sometimes back and forth repeatedly, through what seems like a revolving door (i.e. they never even have to step outside into the cold British weather). In sunny South Africa, SACP General Secretary Dr Blade Nzimande has used a similar idea: the “javelin”. The high official throws a “javelin” outside the walls of government, then leaves to retrieve the javelin from where it has stuck in the upper levels of capitalist corporates. A good example of a “javelin” expert is Rams Ramashia, who not very long ago was head of the South African Non-Governmental Organisation Coalition (SANGOCO). From there he threw a javelin into government, and lo! He became Director-General of the Department of Labour. But that was only for practice. Next he threw the javelin into the corporate world, and hey presto! He is born again as Rams Ramashia, Chairman of BP Southern Africa (a huge oil company). So where to now, Rams? Comrade Ela Gandhi, a member of the SACP Central Committee, is calling for help organising events throughout 2006 to mark the centenary of the moment in his life when the commercial lawyer M.K.Gandhi became “Mahatma” (“Great Soul”). To be more precise, following his service organising stretcher-bearers for the British during the Bambata uprising, Gandhi gave up work and sex to become a full-time secular holy-man and mystic bourgeois-nationalist politician. See the linked article for details of this transformation and of the events planned. If you wish to get involved please e-mail Ela Gandhi. There is no thought-police in COSATU, or in the SACP. COSATU’s economist Neva Makgetla has her own strong views about the Jacob Zuma rape trial. See link. The Sunday Independent’s front page headline this morning is “Zuma letter was mine – Mbeki”. It means that President Mbeki kept quiet while a letter signed by Zuma (on Mbeki’s instructions) was used in evidence and in Judge Hilary Squires’ verdict, to convict Schabir Shaik, The conviction of Shaik was then used as a basis for the NPA/Scorpions to charge Zuma, and by President Mbeki as a basis to sack Zuma from the Deputy Presidency of the country. And all the time Mbeki kept quiet about the letter. Until now, when he says in an interview with the Sunday Independent that Shaik’s defence lawyers did not ask him about it, but if they had, he would have “explained”. There is more, but this is the basic story. Zuma is innocent of corruption, and Mbeki has known all along that Zuma is innocent of corruption. According to Mbeki, he is not at fault. It is the fault of others because they did not ask him. This is how I understand President Mbeki’s words as reported in the Sunday Independent. But it has come up on the Internet as I have been writing, so I shall link it and you can judge for yourself. No doubt there will be plenty more said and written about this. It seems that the Koeberg nuclear power station almost melted down last week. It could have turned Cape Town into the third in the series Three Mile Island – Chernobyl – ?. Eskom’s spin-doctors have chosen this moment to promote the idea of a second nuclear power station. It looks like some kind of “gonzo” marketing; instead of calming the population that you have almost annihilated, you offer them double! Maybe it will work. Who knows? Maybe both the advocates and the opponents of nuclear power inhabit a common world of post-modern irrationalism. A world that is foreign to the kind of humanist scientists who would be able to control this technology. Links: Gandhi 1906-2006 memorial year events and explanation (2224 words) Women, violence and economic challenges, Makgetla, B Day (733 words) Zuma letter was mine - Mbeki, interview, Sunday Independent (1061 words)

25 February 2006

Class Struggle Continues

The General Secretaries of both the SACP and COSATU have joined ANC President Thabo Mbeki on the local authority election campaign trail. Conspicuously absent from the hustings is Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. The local elections and Khutsong must take the lead today, in spite of other big stories. SACCAWU’s statement on the release of workers to vote is an election story. See linked. The competition tribunal struck down SASOL’s attempted monopoly putsch, which as Communist University people know, involves both Bulelani Ngcuka (husband of Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka) and Penuell Maduna (former Energy Minister and revolving-door specialist). They did not win this time round. Ann Crotty’s coverage in particular has been outstanding all through this saga. See linked compilation. Terry Bell’s Business Report article must suffice to outline the position in the Transnet dispute. The next major action is on March 6th. Note also the position in the Nationwide company. See link. Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) has started a web space at http://swazisolidaritysa.wikispaces.com/ . Two releases from this very active movement are linked below. Links: Khutsong, Rapule Tabane, M and G, plus Mtshali, Star (1722 words, 2 articles) SACCAWU Press Statement on Trading on 1st of March (399 words) Tribunal blocks SASOL monopoly, Crotty and others (3388 words, 5 articles) Erwin, Ramos face trouble, Bell, B Report plus 4-union statement (1020 words, 2 items) SSN on Boateng unbanning call plus lawyer access denial report (1030 words, 2 articles)

24 February 2006

Wisdom and Folly

The Communist University meets at 17h00 this evening at the Women’s Jail, 1 Kotze Street, Constitution Hill, Joahhannesburg, to discuss SACP GS Blade Nzimande’s very recent writing on “The urgency of building a working class-led, progressive women’s movement”. Next week’s session (March 3rd) will be on Liesl Orr’s “Socialism and Gender Equality” (linked below). If comrades would be prepared to purchase at least 20 copies of Umsebenzi for (R25 – resale price R60) then we can make a contribution to the reselling of Umsebenzi at the Siyanqoba election rallies on Sunday. The election is on March 1st, which is next Wednesday, and it will be a public holiday. It’s incredible to think that the great Issa Shivji of Dar-es-Salaam will speak in Johannesburg next week. See linked notice below. Articles on things like fingerprinting don’t come along often. The linked one from Counterpunch below is an eye-opener. The clearing of terrible old buildings to form a square in the centre of Johannesburg is of great interest to those who have battled with the lack of urban public space in this town, for political purposes (in the broadest sense). See linked article. Khutsong still boils. See linked article. Links: Orr, 2001, Socialism & Gender Equality (8877 words) Issa Shivji speaks in Wits Senate House, 13h15, March 6 (242 words) Myth of Fingerprinting, Cockburn - St. Clair, Counterpunch (2422 words) Gauteng provincial precinct tunnel given go-ahead, Star (845 words) Heavyweights fail to calm restive Khutsong, The Star (510 words)

23 February 2006

ZZ Top

In case you didn’t get the message on Tuesday, Umsebenzi is ready in hard copy! The SACP has more copies than expected, and is offering them to sellers at the marginal printing cost - if you pay cash. This means, for example, that if you sell a hundred copies you could make R175 profit for yourself. We are planning a blitz of the Siyanqoba rallies on Sunday. This is a 20-page joint Umsebenzi and Y-Reds edition, cover price R3. For the full offer, click here. Following the resignation of Comrade Bob Mabaso, The next SACP Gauteng Provincial Council (on March 12th) will carry out its constitutional duty to “fill any vacant PEC positions”. The position is expected to be contested by at least two very strong personalities. Communist University will be pleased that both are outstanding Marxian scholars. The contest will above all be a political one. The working class and even the bourgeois media should pay close attention to the debate and the outcome of this important exercise in inner-party democracy. This effective mini-Provincial Congress will be followed in June by the SACP Johannesburg District Congress. There is a Zim picket on Tuesday, February 28th from 12h00, at the Zimbabwe Consulate, Andersen Street, opposite Khotso House, JHB. Presumably that means the back of Khotso House. Download the excellent picket leaflet here. Another excellent letter was in the Business Day yesterday, this time from Cde Malesela Maleka, in response to that paper’s provocative coverage of the Zuma trial (linked) From the City Press, see linked article on Asgisa from the COSATU point of view. Cde Mzala - Revolutionary Intellectual: Northern Cape comrades are organising an event to be addressed by SACP Deputy Secretary Jeremy Cronin. It is on Saturday, February 25th, at the Provincial Legislature, Nobengula Street, Galeshewe, at 10h00 sharp. The Northern Cape comrades have researched and found material from the Late Cde Mzala which will be put up on the Communist University. See link. Ann Crotty continues to expose the living scandal that is SASOL. See link. And (linked) via James Tweedie in London, a strong statement from Venezuela against the second-time-as-farce statements of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Links: SACP offended, Malesela Maleka, Business Day (323 words) Cosatu blasts Asgisa proposals, Irene Louw, City Press (675 words) SACP N Cape PWC on Cde Mzala, Revolutionary Intellectual (791 words) Stop whingeing, market and SASOL, Crotty, B Report (895 words) Workers Reject Imperialist Aggression Against Venezuela (403 words)

22 February 2006

Time to Break Silence Again

The Communist University Archive of current material distributed by e-mail is more than half complete. All the page names have been listed on the CU web site, and about half of them have been uploaded. Last year was extraordinary and dramatic and a treasure-chest for any student of politics. You can find this Archive in the navigation or by scrolling to the bottom of the “LATEST NEWS” page or any archive page. The site also has a good search facility. The work of completing the archive will continue.

If anybody is having trouble with any links please e-mail the details of the problem. Today is the day for the YCL Marxist Class on Humanist Philosophy, at 16h45 on the 13th floor of Old Mutual Building, 29 Kerk Street, between Loveday and Harrison Streets. All are welcome. Next week’s discussion will be on Martin Luther King’s 1967 speech on Vietnam and beyond, linked below. COSATU GS Zwelinzima Vavi’s letter to Business Day yesterday is a lesson in how to do it (see link) Ann Crotty’s reports from the SASOL-Engen oil merger tribunal last year were classics. Most, if not all, are listed in the CU archive. Now the tribunal is winding up its work (see link). The SACP this week called for SASOL’s re-nationalisation. The Transnet strike has become critical. COSATU’s concise statement says it all (linked). From revolutionary Nepal, a good example of the devastating use of humour in the cause of serious political business. See link. Click on these links to open them: 1967, King, M. L., Beyond Vietnam, Time to Break Silence (6687 words) COSATU views misrepresented, Vavi, Letters, Business Day (415 words) Oil industry merger Tribunal to end, Crotty, Business Report (890 words) COSATU reaffirms support for Transnet unions (461 words) What the US Ambassador Taught Nepalis, Counterpunch (2215 words)

21 February 2006

We Are Still Here

Umsebenzi is out and ready for sale in hard copy. We need sellers form now on and for the Siyanqoba rallies on Sunday. Please see the linked document for details of wholesale and retail prices. The Cubans know what Human Rights means. Our Human Rights Day is exactly one month from today. The USA is the global, industrial-scale violator of Human Rights in the world today. Read the linked document about the lying, bullying US attempt to pose as the UN champions of Human Rights. The SACP CC meeting generated some media reaction (see linked). Business Day correctly put the SACP call for re-nationalisation of SASOL, ISCOR and other entities on its front page. Khutsong chased out “Terror” Lekota on Sunday (link). He vowed to return on Monday, but didn’t. Margaret Legum Sees the national job-loss disaster and ASGISA from a liberal point of view (link). Tony Hall is a struggle-veteran and journalist who has just started a blog. Find it here. There is a memorial lecture in honour of the late Cde Mzala on Saturday, February 25th, at the Provincial Legislature, Nobengula Street, Galeshewe, at 10h00 sharp. The SACP Deputy General Secretary will speak Revolutionary Intellectualism in the Liberation Movement and the Building of Socialism Links: Umsebenzi Wholesale Cash and Carry Poster or Leaflet (table) Permanent Mission of Cuba to UN, on US Hijack of Human Rights Council (1219 words) Media reaction to SACP CC, B Day, Star (1282 words) Khutsong vs Lekota, The Star (503 words) Combating a national disaster, Margaret Legum, Star (797 words)

20 February 2006

Time for a Plan

Johannesburg’s Communist University passed the psychologically-important 500-member barrier yesterday. That’s 403 on the Google group and 98 still on the old e-mail list. The CU needs help to keep on growing. Unfortunately, the Google “Help” has the following disappointing message in it: “The ‘Invite’ link is currently available to group owners or managers only, even if you select the ‘Anyone can invite’ option. We're working to make this link available to members of groups in the future.” So if you want your friends to be invited to subscribe and receive these messages, you should ask them to go to http://groups.google.com/group/Communist-University , click on “Join this space”, and follow the instructions. Please report any difficulties to dominic.tweedie@gmail.com . Asgisa We all want Asgisa to be a plan. The working class wants a plan for shared growth, and the bourgeoisie just wants growth (and to hell with the sharing part). In the story of the Emperor’s new clothes, everybody kept quiet until a little boy asked why the Emperor was walking around with nothing on. Has Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka got anything on, so to speak? Itumeleng Mahabane is only a “communications and investor relations consultant”, but he has asked the question out loud. Maybe he has done us all a favour. There is also a good article by Irene Louw today in the City Press Business section (“Cosatu blasts Asgisa proposals”) but it has not been posted on the Internet. See linked article. Peace It seems there are no organised efforts for South Africans to express their solidarity during the March 18th international day of action for peace on the third anniversary of the US/British/Danish invasion and continuing occupation of Iraq. At least we can pay attention to what the rest of the world is doing. See linked article from the USA. SAPS and the Kebble murder investigation The City Press report is that “The police are still ‘in the dark’ over who is responsible for Kebble's murder.” The rest of the report by Lukas Meyer is gossip about the late Kebble’s sex life, told to the media by police officers. The gossip has, as the article admits, “not been linked to the murder.” Then why are these police spreading it around? They can’t solve the case. Why not? But they feel at liberty to brief the press about the victim’s sex life, distressing the family, and destroying the credibility of the SAPS itself. Shame on these officers, and on Rapport and City Press, too. Why are the press not asking questions about this apology for an investigation, instead of conspiring with anonymous police officers to muddy the waters even more than before? The CU will not carry the article, or provide a link. SACP Lyndon Johnson used to say that Gerald Ford could not chew gum and walk at the same time. In other words if Ford wanted to chew his gum, he had to stop walking; or if he wanted to walk without falling over he would have to put the gum away and concentrate. The SACP is not like Gerald Ford. Yesterday morning there were four separate and successful SACP functions in Central Johannesburg alone. The Johannesburg Central BGM, the Johannesburg District bosberaad (in bushy Gandhi Square), the Gauteng Province Political School, and the Central Committee Press Conference all took place as planned. Many other SACP comrades were out on the same day, campaigning to get ANC candidates elected as councillors. Ours is the only political party in South Africa that can successfully do more than one thing at a time. Others don’t even try. See linked CC report. Links: Asgisa not plan but PR job, Itumeleng Mahabane, Sunday Times (847 words) End War, Impeach Bush, Ann Wright interview, Counterpunch (1711 words) SACP Statement on its CC Meeting held 17-18 February 2006 (982 words)

19 February 2006

Political Language

Reading about the cruelty of the Israelis towards the Palestinians can make a person impatient, thinking that he is reading an old story that has been the same for many years. It hardly seems possible that the Israelis could increase the torment they are inflicting on the people they have dispossessed and cast into confinement and misery. Yet indeed the Israelis are still inventing and inflicting worse and worse atrocities to force upon the Palestinians. See, in the short linked article below, what the Israelis are now doing with their checkpoint controls. Likewise, as South Africans we can become impatient with comparisons to our own experience, with the use of the term “apartheid” in other contexts. Yet it seems accurate in this case. All valuable activity has been concentrated by the Israelis within their “own” areas. Israeli goods are dumped in the areas where the Palestinians are also dumped and held under Israeli military control, killing economic activity there. Palestinians who are compelled to seek work over the checkpoints are harrassed and humilated every day. Now these Israeli-made chokepoints are being tightened further. The logic of Israeli colonialism leads inexorably towards disaster. It offers nothing to the Palestinians except pain and increasing pain. The manifest logic of Israeli colonialism, like that of our own past colonialism of a similar special type, leads to one rational conclusion: it must go, it cannot be compromised with, it has to be overthrown. The state constructed with bulldozers must itself be bulldozed. The Israeli’s may say this means they will be driven unto the sea, but the SA whites are not in the sea. Not unless they are having a nice holiday. In South Africa, only a few of our 11 official languages are well served by dictionaries. There are many dictionaries of English and Afrikaans, in these languages, such as the many versions of the Oxford dictionaries. And there are dictionaries for translating other languages in and out of English or Afrikaans. But there are very few dictionaries of the other languages, written in those languages. Any language that does not have its own dictionary, in the language itself, is at a huge disadvantage. Why not propose the construction of “wiki” dictionaries (wiktionaries) for all our South African languages, co-operatively, on the Internet? The wiki principle means that anybody who cares can contribute to the work, from any connected PC, anywhere. This idea comes out of an interaction with a visitor to South Africa from the Basque Country (Euskal Herria) a member of the liberation movement Batasuna named Aitor Txarterina. Aitor told me that these oppressed people, whose language is threatened, conduct study circles in the language, with a “social objective”. Like a Communist University language section. The illegal raids on Jacob Zuma’s properties and on the offices of his lawyers by the NPA/Scorpions, after they had already charged Zuma, are causing the goggas’ corruption case against JZ to fall apart. The claim of a “prima facie” corruption case against Zuma was a complete lie when it was made by the then National Director of Public Prosecuations, Bulelani Ngcuka (husband of the woman who was given Jacob Zuma’s job as Deputy President) nearly three years ago. After Zuma had forced them last year to name a date for the trial, the goggas went on a fishing expedition using Judge Ngoepe’s signature on a document that allowed them to seize “any records” of “any nature” that “might have a bearing on the investigation”. See linked document below and thanks to the Mail and Guardian for telling it like it is for once. Also from the Mail and Guardian, in-depth reporting on the three so-called “cross-border” areas where unilateral administrative action has enraged the population. As one Moutse man said: “We voted for the ANC and now it doesn’t even bother to inform us when it makes important decisions that directly affect our lives. I thought this was a democracy.” Quite. Links: Apartheid Gates, Israeli-only crossings, Counterpunch (528 words) Zuma goes for the KO, Mail and Guardian (528 words) Khutsong, Moutse, Matatiele-Maluti, Mail and Guardian (2019 words)

18 February 2006

A Movement on the Move

Announcements, linked to the archive at http://amadlandawonye.wikispaces.com/: first, the National Union of Mineworkers had a Women’s Conference this week. Meanwhile the “Solidarity” organisation has been meeting US Republican politicians such as Newt Gingrich, and is condemned for racism by COSATU and the NUM. COSATU has taken a strong stand on the “REDS”. These are not communists but “Regional Electricity Distributors” that have been set up over the last few years as vehicles for the creeping privitisation of the electricity network (a network paid for by the South African people). SATAWU strikers are united in their dispute with Transnet over another, different bout of creeping privitisations. The SACP Press Conference on Sunday morning will cover the main points of the Central Committee’s deliberations yesterday and today (Saturday). The last of the five points listed deals partly with the Zuma affair and partly with the Alliance as a whole. People may like to try to guess what the press is going to pick up on from this list Other announcements, not archived separately: News from Swaziland is that Paul Boateng, High Commissioner of Britain to Pretoria and also to Mbabane, has called for the unbanning of political parties in Swaziland. Swaziland won freedom from British colonialism in 1968. Political parties were banned on April 12th, 1973. On the 33rd anniversary of that date there will be blockades of border crossings between SA and Swaziland in solidarity with the oppressed people of Swaziland. Is Paul Boateng serious? If so and the former colonial power really does want to take part in the campaign for people’s power in Swaziland at this late stage, then perhaps we can expect to see Boateng at the blockade? Unless he is afraid of losing his credentials (having presented them to the Swazi king the other day). If you want to subscribe to the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) Electronic Newsletter, go to: news-subscribe@tac.org.za (and respond to the confirmation email). Links: NUM Women's Conference, Lindiwe Hendricks to address (368 words) COSATU, Solidarity and their friends (250 words) COSATU demands immediate halt to electricity restructuring (345 words) Update on Eastern Cape and Transnet talks, SATAWU (192 words) SACP Press Conference following CC meet, 19 Feb 11h30 (157 words)

17 February 2006

Zuma affair or crisis of judicial/political system?

This list is designed for distribution and subscribers don’t expect communcations on it other than the daily Communist University post. I must apologise for making a mistake when I passed on Cde Madoda Mbuqu’s questions this morning. I meant to reply to him personally, but posted his message to the group instead. Nevertheless, Madoda’s questions are strong and direct and deserve to be answered. Let me make my own contribution, and suggest that further comments be added to the blog at http://domza.net/ where these messages are displayed full time. Madoda’s questions were: “What is the relationship between Zuma and communism/socialism. Is he a communist? Do all communists receive the same kind of support from SACP/Cosatu? I am interested in understanding Socialism but the agenda of SACP these days is so dominated by Jacob Zuma, one wonders whether the mission of SACP is solely to have Zuma as a president. “What is behind this support for Zuma? Is it mainly to ensure that justice is done in Zuma's case or does SACP believe that Zuma's leadership will lead to the implementation of socialist policies in government? If so, how?” I am not going to reply on behalf of the SACP, but only in the spirit of the Communist University, trying to uncover some of the politics underlying these current problems. What follows is adapted from an exchange with another comrade written two days ago. (Another exchange on this topic, between David Masondo and Mazibuko Jara is linked from the home page of the Communist University’s web site at http://amadlandawonye.wikispaces.com/ ). Concerning Jacob Zuma, there is no question of supporting a fairly convicted rapist or corrupt person. The demand has always been for a speedy and properly conducted trial. In this respect the Business Day headline (Feb 15 2006) about "Zuma's delaying tactics" is an outrage. Zuma has been hounded for at least five years and there is only a year and a bit before the ANC Conference where he is expected to be a candidate for the ANC Presidency. It is his opponents who have everything to gain from procrastination, and they have put Zuma in a squeeze. Of course he must opt for a proper trial in the circumstances, and not accept any compromised judge. The proximate reason for supporting Jacob Zuma at this moment is therefore to oppose the manipulation of the justice system by the NPA/Scorpions in an attempt to currupt the political system. And with the rapid elimination of four judges in the rape case this week, even the bourgeois press is beginning to wake up to the fact that this affair is a crisis of the justice system, and not just a "Zuma affair" Even leaving this aside, I can't agree with the idea that one can be held to be biased for supporting a person who is innocent, until proved guilty. This would open the door to effective conviction without trial. If a person can be driven down without due process, what need is there then for trials at all? I'm afraid the tone and often the explicit words of media comment on this case are very much of that kind. The question of the alliance is in play as well. An alliance in politics is only necessary and significant if it is an alliance between different (essentially class) forces. Within a particular class we would strive for organisational unity. Whereas between classes organisational separation and autonomy is absolutely necessary and even a precondition for alliance. So the working class vanguard, the SACP, and the big mass organisation of the working class, COSATU, are allied with the ANC precisely because they are autonomous and not identical with it. Otherwise we would all dissolve into one big amorphous blob, and find that we are on a slippery slope heading downwards towards fascism. To make a proper alliance requires interlocutors on both sides who understand the principles of alliance. Jacob Zuma is valuable because he is able to do so, and supports this kind of alliance, even though and especially because he is not a communist or a proletarian. Those who want a dreadful, monolithic polity of "governance", managerialism, technicism, utilitarianism et cetera do not choose to attack the autonomous expressions of democracy directly. Rather, they attack first those on their own side of the class divide who are ready to deal with the autonomous working-class organisations with respect, like Zuma - and he is not the only one who is being attacked. In that sense, we did not choose Zuma as a battleground - the statists did. We have no choice but to defend him, and then it must be wholeheartedly, and not with half-measures, unless and until he is properly convicted of a definite crime. And this is the feeling of the masses, too, at the present time. Of course our approach to alliances does not begin and end with Jacob Zuma. On the contrary it is part of a long historical conversation that is illustrated, for example, by the "generic course" I have got on the web site called the "Cronin Series" (which opens at the stage of the Freedom Charter, but could as easily be taken much further back, even as far back as Marx in Brussels in 1845). It's about the National Democratic Revolution and what that means or doesn't mean. One of the best texts on this is Joe Slovo’s 1988 text, “The SA Working Class and the NDR”. The main thing to grasp is that we are not allying as "identical" forces, but rather as different forces, tactically combined for the achievement of common goals of liberation. It used to be called "unity in action" and before that, "popular front". Finally, neither the SACP agenda nor the COSATU agenda are “dominated by Jacob Zuma”. Subscribers to the Communist University have no excuse for making that mistake, although if you only read the bourgeois media, you will get that impression. Please check the decisions of the COSATU CEC published here yesterday, and the decisions of the SACP Central Committee (which is meeting right now). Then if you can show where we are “dominated” by Zuma, please be my guest. I have to post this now with or without errors.

No Victory Without the Masses

As COSATU’s GS Zwelinzima Vavi has said more than once: “You can’t win in the boardroom what you have not won on the streets.” If a campaigning organisation should decide to take some funding, expand its private contacts with the establishment, neglect to grow its mass base, and settle down as an NGO, then most likely their leaders will become “Next Government Officials”. In other words they will most likely start selling bourgeois and imperialist politics back to the masses instead of representing them. Nowadays it sometimes appears that we are on our way to a better world, as it seemed in the 1960s, and that there is no way back. Recently there have been a string of victories of a “progressive” kind, especially in Latin America, and more are anticipated (e.g. in Nicaragua, Mexico, Ecuador and Peru). There is a revolution going on in Nepal. But if these things tempt us towards an unspecific “global” view and to abandon the “street” - the masses, the people - in favour of the boardroom or the bosberaad, then we are doomed to repeat the disappointments of the latter part of the twentieth century. The Imperialist beast does not change its spots. It should never be given the benefit of the doubt. Just to show that the beast is not sleeping, but on the contrary highly active, you can see the latest US torture revelations all over the Internet today, in pictures. Or you can read the links below about what has been going on in Haiti (but Rene Preval has at least been declared elected President, thank goodness) and about the huge bases that the US is still constructing in Iraq. The duty of leadership is to educate, organise, and mobilise the masses, not to decide for them or on their behalf or to make secret deals with the enemy. That is not "quiet diplomacy". It is betrayal of trust and neglect of the primary duty, which is owed to the masses, not the bosses. Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas. Neither the overt imperialists nor their shyer cousins the liberal democrats have ever funded mass organisations of people’s power, except as part of plots to divert, frustrate, and destroy them. No such autonomous democratic organisations have ever arisen and survived unless they were funded by the contributions of their members. It is a condition of membership of the COSATU federation that affiliates must be entirely supported by their members. Movements that open their planning with proposals about where to get capitalist funding are heading for irrelevance at best, or at worst, to entrapment and scandal. COSATU’s CEC has resolved in accordance with such principles that it will continue its Jobs and Poverty Campaign through local and sectoral mobilisations leading up to four major sectoral national strikes in May. Many other important resolutions were passed, and the whole report constitutes a tactical working-class agenda of depth and breadth. See the linked document below, plus the document giving COSATU’s views on ASGISA. The Communist University meets tonight in the Women’s Jail, 1 Kotze Street, Constitution Hill, at 17h00 to discuss Alexandra Kollontai’s “The Social Basis of the Woman Question” (1909) Muff Andersson will open the discussion. Links: Chaos, Suppression and Fraud in Haiti, Concannon, Counterpunch (2635 words) US permanent bases in Iraq, Tom Engelhardt (2959 words) SACP Statement on 2006-7 Budget (502 words) COSATU Central Executive Committee report, 060217 (2245 words) COSATU Comments on ASGISA (5391 words)

16 February 2006

Umsebenzi and Umsebenzi Online

The new Umsebenzi (linked below as a PDF document) was put up yesterday. It was going to be announced today that the printed version is available. Unfortunately that is not yet the case. Therefore let us make the best use we can of the PDF version. Note that you need the Adobe Acrobat Reader (a free download from the Internet) to read this type of file. Do spread it around please if you can, and as widely as you can. It is a political publication that is produced to be read, not hoarded. The new Umsebenzi Online also came out yesterday. It contains a statement on “The urgency of building a working class-led, progressive women’s movement” from SACP General Secretary Dr Blade Nzimande. If the Communist University has not received the advertised paper on “Transformative Trade Unionism” in time to distribute on Friday for the scheduled discussion the following week, then we can use this one. It is directly in keeping with our current series called “No Woman, No Revolution” (or alternativley “Women, for Women and Men”.) See the link below. Comrade Jacob Zuma has scored his third victory in court in three days. The illegal raids, after he was already charged, of his home and his lawyers’ offices, in a desperate scramble by the NPA/Scorpions to find something to stick on him, have backfired on the goggas. Their claim to have had a “prima facie case” was always a lie and a hollow boast. See linked statements of SACP, YCL and COSATU (three documents in one) The People’s Budget team has put out a statement following the budget. See linked article. Links: 2006-02 Umsebenzi reduced (1496 KB, .pdf) Working class-led women’s movement, Nzimande, Umsebenzi Online (2645 words) SACP, YCL and COSATU on judgment against Scorpions re Zuma (980 words) People’s Budget response to the 2006 Budget (1153 words)

15 February 2006

Y-Reds and Other High Priorities

By my reckoning, the Jacob Zuma rape trial has gone through four judges in one week. It is as if each one has been hit straight to the boundary in a game of legal cricket. The prosecution has also brought new evidence. The late addition of evidence was the prosecution’s tactic in the other Zuma case, also, until a judge ruled that they must stop and fix a trial date. The defence had to ask for a postponement yesterday and the trial is now scheduled to resume, with judge number five, on March 6th. Meanwhile in Braamfontein yesterday there was a lively and well-supported picket of the Swazi consulate in Jorissen Street. Under the banner of the Southern African Solidarity Network (SASN) the next two days of action on Swaziland are as follows: On March 7th, there will be pickets of the Swazi Embassy in Pretoria, the Cape Town Swazi consulate, the Durban Swazi Consulate, the Mpumalanga Swazi Consulate. This is the day when the comrades will be in court for bail hearing. On April 12th there will be Border Blockades at three borders in Mpumalanga: Oshoeck, Mahamba and Matsamo, and one in KZN: Golela. April 12th is the 33 rd anniversary of the bogus "State of Emergency" in Swaziland. In South Africa’s case provocateurs and false-flag operatives working covertly for the state posed as a "third force" and conducted indiscriminate terrorism for years within the country, in the 1980s and 1990s, seeking to blame their atrocities upon the liberation movement. It appears that the Swazi regime is now using the same tactics and even possibly some of the same South African individuals to assist them. We note the employment of white South African lawyers (Dr. Len Els and Anthony Viviers) in the prosecution of the PUDEMO comrades. See the Swazi Newsclips linked below, which are thanks to my friend Comrade Lucky Lukhele, the Great Communicator of the Swaziland Solidarity Network. His e-mail address is lucky.lukhele@gmail.com . It has been difficult to prioritise today. Ron Press’s latest poem deserves a high place. The latest Y-Reds, paper of the YCL, is very high priority. It is a large Adobe .pdf file. Download it if you have the Adobe Acrobat Reader (a free download from the Internet). The SACP’s Umsebenzi will be launched here in this format tomorrow. The tabloid hard-copy versions will also be available from tomorrow at the SACP office in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. They are too large to send as attachments unless requested. The Johannesburg Central YCL Marxist class meets this afternoon at SATAWU offices, 13th Floor, Old Mutual Building, 29 Kerk Street, between Loveday and Harrison. It will discuss Lenin’s, Attitude of the Workers’ Party to Religion (1900). Next week’s session is on Wednesday February 22nd at the same time and place. It will discuss humanist philosophy. See the linked texts below. Links: Swazi News Clips, Feb 14 (1117 words) Gold, a poem by Ron Press (112 words) 2006-02 Y-Reds reduced (574 KB) Tweedie, Humanist Philosophy, 2005 – 2006 (428 words) Alberti and Spinoza compilation (7150 words) Philosophers, text (2566 words)

14 February 2006

They Bark Because We Are Riding

The Imperialist dogs bark because we are riding! Hugo Chavez is quoting from Cervantes' "Don Quixote". This President reads books! See also the Russian attitude to Hamas and the revolution in Nepal. Viva! Comparisons are generally speaking odious, but can we not be forgiven for thinking that Nepal is to India as Swaziland is to South Africa? Roll on the Swazi revolution! To repeat what I wrote earlier, if these messages are looking a little different today, it is because the "Blogger" service is not working. Hence I have had to devise a slightly different procedure in order to get the messages out. Links: Riding High with Hugo Chavez , Whitney, Counterpunch (1470 words) Peacemaker Putin shows up Washington, Justin Raimondo (1310 words) Nepal victory within our grasp - Maoist rebels, Independent (859 words)

Bullying and Budgeting

Yesterday's events are already well known. To sum up, there was a huge crowd outside the High Court in Johannesburg to support Jacob Zuma, who appeared, spoke and sung "Umshini wam'" with them. In the court his legal team called for the recusal of Judge Ngoepe, the judge who had issued the infamous search warrant three months ago, when it became clear there was no "prima facie" case against Zuma after all. The raids turned up nothing. The rape accusation followed immediately after. Ngoepe had to recuse himself and the court reconvenes tomorrow with a new judge. If the new judge postpones the hearing it will not be so good for the Zuma side. We want a speedy result. Zuma's persecutors are determined to run him out of time in an attempt to prevent him being acclaimed as ANC president at next year's conference. But even so, the forced recusal of Ngoepe is a victory against one of the perpetrators of arbitrary persecution. There will be a picket against an entirely arbitrary regime today at the Swaziland Consulate, Braamfontein Centre, Jorissen Street, Braamfontein at 13h00. The full Central Executive Committee of COSATU, currently meeting at COSATU House, also in Braamfontein, will be there. There will be a Food Rights seminar at Elijah Barayi on Tuesday February 21st. See linked document below. Blair, Lamy and Mandelson are all in South Africa at the same time to try to bully us into sacrificing for the sake of the further continuation of Imperialism. Do turkeys vote for Christmas? These colonialists should be sent home with a flea in their ear. Of course the bourgeois press plays them up, as if they are more important than the COSATU CEC, which they are not. Want a budget run-down? Here are two. One is from the People's Budget Campaign and the other from the NEDLAC Community Constituency. These comrades have done research and they are available to comment or to be interviewed. If these messages are looking a little different it is because the "Blogger" service is not working. Hence I have had to devise a slightly different procedure so as to get the messages out. Links: Feb 21 Food Rights Seminar, AIDs-law, NALEDI, COSATU, CHI Blair, Lamy and Mandelson, Imperialist Bluster, B Day, B Rep (2111 words) Peoples Budget Campaign Budget Expectations 2006 (1522 words) NEDLAC Community Constituency Budget Summary 2006 (2495 words)

We Are The News

(This was Monday's post, which could not go on the blog because the Blogger back end was down) The renaming of the former Harrow Road was a well-appreciated and happy event for all concerned. See the linked report below from the Sunday Times Metro section. It is good news that the whole road from the M2 to the M1 is to be fittingly named after the late Comrade Joe Slovo, famous leader of the South African Communist Party. Saki Makozoma is not a communist, but is a member of the ANC. He volunteered his views about the economy in the Business section of the Sunday Times yesterday. It is necessary to read what such people are putting forward. Likewise, Sipho Pityana gave the benefit of his advice, in the guise of a businessman, in an interview in yesterday’s Business Report. The headline the Business Report put on his story praises flexibility, although Cde Sipho explicitly says that labour flexibility is not a problem. A different example of a headline that contradicts the story concerns Mosioua (Terror) Lekota’s intervention in the Khutsong affair. The Sunday Times headline says “Lekota tries to calm Khutsong tensions”. But the story is that Lekota went to talk to the North-West opponents of the Khutsong resident’s movement, and not to the residents themselves. That looks more like provocation than calming. How does ignoring people calm them? The last linked item is a compilation of front-page reports from the three main Sunday papers yesterday on the Zuma rape case which is to be heard this morning in the High Court in Johannesburg. Although the Sunday press ignored Saturday’s funeral of SACP Comrade Juda Tsotetsi, the event was covered on radio on Sunday morning. Yesterday’s COSATU Rustenburg rally has also been covered in the electronic media, and correctly so, as an alliance event relating to the local elections. The Deputy President of the ANC, and the General Secretaries of COSATU and the SACP spoke both the funeral and at the rally. Links: Major Joburg street renamed after Joe Slovo, S Times (320 words) Effective, not political, so SMEs can cure poverty, Macozoma (1325) Tall boys and short boys, Sipho Pityana, Business Report (1351) Lekota talks to North West about Khutsong, S Times (382 words) City Press, Sunday Independent, Sunday Times on Zuma (2819 words)

12 February 2006

Man Called Juda

The late Comrade Juda Tsotetsi passed away recently at the age of 35. His funeral in Witbank yesterday was like a summit meeting of senior office bearers of the most important political institutions of South Africa. In the compilation linked below are the funeral programme, the obituary, and a political history of the late Comrade Juda. The presence of the General Secretaries of the SACP and COSATU, the Deputy President of the ANC, the President of the ANCYL, the National Secretary of the YCL, and others too numerous to mention here, did not seem to attract the attention of the press. Instead, all three main Sunday papers (Sunday Times, Independent, and City Press) lead their front pages with the usual “revelations” leaked by the Scorpions/NPA and designed to smear Jacob Zuma as guilty even before his trial starts tomorrow. SACP GS Blade Nzimande will address a COSATU rally in Rustenburg today. This is bound to be a significant speech, being in the middle of an election campaign. See notice linked below. Jacob Zuma’s trial on Monday needs to be over one way or another so that the rest of the legal business that has hung over his head for so many years can be processed without distraction. His opponents have little to lose from making the process messy and difficult, through inappropriate and obstructive interventions. These tactics have been deployed all along by the NPA-Scorpions. See linked articles below. There will be a selection from the Sunday papers here tomorrow. The Swaziland Solidarity Network has called a briefing for 09h30 next Thursday, February 16th. This clashes with the CSVR’s consultative meeting on the March 18th Iraq peace event announced here yesterday, which is to take place in the CSVR boardroom in Braamfontein at 10h00 on the same day. If an adjustment is announced to either meeting it will be repeated here. Otherwise, we must just try to manage. As the struggle intensifies we become obliged to develop the capacity to work on many campaigns in parallel. Links: A man called Juda - Cde Juda Tsotetsi, 1971-2006, Compilation (1938 words) SACP GS Blade Nzimande to address COSATU rally 10h00 Feb 12 (140 words) Row brews over Zuma trial judge, CBD braced, Star (1022 words) SSN, invitation to political briefing on Swaziland, 09h30 Feb 16 (180 words)

11 February 2006

Setting the Agenda

COSATU’s CEC agenda is a very good political checklist (see below). And COSATU’s economist, Neva Makgetla has done the best short commentary on “Asgisa” so far. Compare it to Vicky Robinson’s and Terry Bell’s in the same document, below. Swaziland’s liberation movement, PUDEMO, has made a strong statement. CSVR has called a consultative meeting on February 16th to discuss the 18th March day of action for peace and against the occupation of Iraq by US, British, and Danish forces. Both these documents are linked below. Links: COSATU Media alert, Central Executive Committee agenda (229 words) Three on ASGISA - Makgetla, Robinson, Bell (2492 words) Swaziland cannot be island of dictatorship in sea of democracy – PUDEMO (1062 words) March 18 Iraq Peace Event, CSVR consultative, 10h00 Feb 16 (200 words)

10 February 2006

All Human Life

The Communist University meets at 17h00 today in the Women’s Jail, 1 Kotze Street, Constitution Hill, to discuss Clara Zetkin’s 1920 interview with Lenin on the “Women’s Question”. Claire Bless will open the discussion. Next week’s session (on Friday, February 17th) will be at the same time and venue and will discuss Alexandra Kollontai’s “The Social Basis of the Woman Question”. Muff Andersson will open that discussion. See below. Today is also the day of the renaming of Harrow Road as Joe Slovo Drive. The invitation from the Office of the Executive Mayor says that a bus will depart from the Metropolitan Centre, Braamfontein, via Harrow Road, to Yeoville Recreation Centre. We presume this means there will be some sort of ceremony on the road itself, but we do not know exactly where that would be, or at what time. This event is organised by the municipality and not the SACP. For more details please phone Ms Rose Mabe at the Metro Council on 011 407 7214. There is also a call for a picket of the offices of NEDLAC at 14A Jellicoe Avenue, Rosebank this morning at 10h00 to protest at the visit of the overbearing, bullying, pro-Imperialist head of the WTO, Pascal Lamy. For more details phone SANGOCO on 011 403 7746. The Siyanqoba (“We Win!”) Rallies will be on Sunday, February 26th. The Johannesburg one will be at Orlando Stadium. We hope to sell the SACP’s paper “Umsebenzi” there in large numbers. COSATU’s releases on land reform and on labour laws have been included in one document, as have reports on two separate cases involving Comrade Jacob Zuma. See below, and also for an obituary for a well-known comrade, Vishwaprea Suparsad. Finally, Standard Bank is recruiting 200 matriculants. See below. Links: 1909, Kollontai, Social Basis of Woman Question, abstract (6618 words) Speed up land reform, No weakening of labour laws, COSATU (498 words) Judge questions raids, Zuma supporters call for picket, B Day (855 words) Vish Suparsad tribute by Yunus Carrim for Natal Witness (1027 words) Standard Bank job advertisement (162 words)

9 February 2006


It’s hard to believe that 16 years after the unbanning of the South African Communist Party to worldwide acclaim, the equivalent of our Young Communist League could be banned in the Czech Republic. Yet this seems to be the case. Thanks to James Tweedie of the London District YCL for bringing it to our attention. In a different kind of fantasy, the ideas of Hernando de Soto seem to feed into the vague, eclectic mix associated with the promotion of our new Deputy President. Ann Crotty points out some of the weaknesses (see below). In a more extreme kind of Bonapartism, the King of Nepal has failed in an attempt to legitimise his coup d’etat by holding local authority elections under absurd and tragic conditions of repression. The Nepalese people rejected this phoney sham of democracy. Links: Czech Communist Youth Movement banning, YCLB (270 words) Open Letter to Czech Ambassador from YCL London District (167 words) Why poor get poorer according to de Soto and P M-N, B Rep (864 words) Mass boycott of Nepal elections hits king, FT (474 words)

8 February 2006


I somehow temporarily disabled the comments facility for the last two posts. So here is (if it works) a free section for any topics in the previous or any other matters.


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A press conference of the Friends of Jacob Zuma Trust will take place this evening at 16h00 at the Booysens Hotel. The event formerly scheduled for Saturday will not now take place. Mobilisation will rather take place around JZ's court appearance at the High Court in Pritchard Street, Johannesburg on Monday. Khutsong, Moutse and Johannesburg are full of protest – see reports below. Ann Crotty’s article reminds us of the root cause of our problems, namely the machinations of monopoly capital. See below. It looks like things are hotting up. Let’s hope the old “combat team” of flying debaters will turn out for the SAIIA event (linked). Links: Battle lines drawn in Khutsong and Moutse, Seale, Star (246 words) Squatters take Jhb to court over evictions, Business Day (564 words) Zuma roundup, case and song, Star and Business Day (1300 words) Competition court muddies water, Crotty, Business Report (1163 words) SAIIA, Feb 14, Liberation, Governments and Democracy (517 words)


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The YCL Johannesburg Central Branch Marxist Classes continue this afternoon with Marx’s Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. The session is at SATAWU offices, 13th floor, Old Mutual Building, 29 Kerk Street, between Loveday and Harrison. Next Wednesday’s session at the same time and place will be on “The Attitude of the Worker’s Party to Religion” by Lenin (see below). This was planned a long time ago but turns out to be very topical in relation to the “cartoon” row. Two articles on the Cuban Five and the general campaign against US-sponsored terrorism against Cuba. Comrades, for our own sakes we need to step up our activities in support of our heroic Cuban comrades. We also owe it to them. And, not least, we love them. Haiti is reported in our own press as being about to vote for the progressive candidate and against the gangsters. We may see five more like this in the near future: Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Mexico. Simon Jenkins is a “Tory”, but in my opinion he has made a very good contribution to the extraordinary worldwide debate on the anti-Muslim cartoons that were published in a Danish paper. Links: Lenin, Attitude of the Worker's Party to Religion (4419 words) Amnesty International on The Cuban Five, Granma (592 words) Cuba crusade against murderer Bush, Star (396 words) Aristide ally set to win Haitian vote, Business Day (438 words) These cartoons threaten, not defend, Simon Jenkins (1407 words)

7 February 2006

Zuma's Back!

I made a mistake last Saturday morning. I complained of late notice for meetings. One of these was a book-launch that is in fact due to take place next Saturday, February 11th, at the Workers’ Library at 13h30. Please see the first linked item below for more details. I apologise to Mazibuko Jara who was kind enough to point out my error, and to the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. The SACP has once again made its support for the ANC in this election very clear – see below. The Friends of Jacob Zuma Trust Fund is having a public meeting in support of Comrade JZ, also on Saturday the 11th, at Kwa maNxumalo, Meadowlands Zone 4, at 10h00. Comrade JZ’s next trial begins on Monday, at the Johannesburg High Court in Pritchard Street. COSATU is planning rolling mass action against the SABC for banning “Zuma’s song”, by Izingane Zoma, from the airwaves (see below). The last two linked documents continue our short series of sampling from the liberal and semi-detached commentariat of the South African press. In this case we have Business Day’s dynamic duo of Brown and Mde on the succession, and Professor Susan Booysen from the Star, on the de facto democracy of the street in South Africa. There is to be a People’s Budget Briefing in COSATU House at 10h30 on Wednesday, February 8th, and a Public Lecture at SAIIA at 13h00 on Tuesday, February 14th. Links: NEPAD & SA imperialism book launch - 11 Feb 2006 (205 words) SACP throws support behind ANC, Phasiwe, Business Day (260 words) SABC ban of Zuma's song by Izangane Zoma, COSATU KZN (463 words) Succession plan may have empty throne. Brown, Mde, B Day (739 words) Democracy not from votes alone, Susan Booysen, Star (1102 words)

6 February 2006

Who's talking?

The blogger Xymphora calls it “the cartoon conundrum” and it seems to me that he and my other fellow-blogger and good e-friend Helena Cobban have nailed the Danish cartoon provocation question fairly well (see linked document below). Which leads to wider thoughts about public debate. For example, the communists and the organised working class in South Africa are admirably quick to comment on any question affecting them. They are experienced enough to know that opportunities for comment must be taken without delay and that second chances are hard to come by in the bourgeois market place. But what are the others saying? What are liberals and those semi-detached intellectuals who have the privilege of the public prints grappling with, if anything? Here, linked below, are a mixed but representative bag of three pieces of writing from the South African bourgeois Sunday papers on the election, the succession, and the arms deal fallout. And what does it amount to? In my opinion, it shows for one thing at least, that the persecution and suppression of Jacob Zuma has not succeeded and will not succeed in altering the fundamental contradictions within the South African polity at this time. Links: Xymphora and Helena Cobban on the cartoons (609 words) Voters are being hoodwinked, Khathu Mamaila, City Press (743 words) Mistake to keep succession under wraps, Gumede, Sindy (718 words) Manuel must account for arms deal, Crawford-Browne, B Rep (530 words)

5 February 2006

Classic Party-Building University

Today at 10h00 the Johannesburg District Political Education Sub-Committee meets in open session in the SAMWU offices, 9th Floor, Renaissance Centre, Gandhi Square. It will discuss the second part of the Communist Manifesto, called Proletarians and Communists. These sessions are designed first and foremost for the Political Education officers of the branches of Johannesburg District. But all are welcome to attend and contribute to the dialogue.The District programme is made up of basic communist texts plus the papers given in the monthly series of the Gauteng Province. The next session of the District programme will be on February 26th, 2006, at the same time and venue. The topic will be Transformative Trade Unionism, by Comrade Langa Zita. If we are not able to get that text on time, we will move straight to the next topic in the series, which is “How to be a Good Communist”, by Liu Shaoqi. Linked below are the latest in our occasional “Revolutionary Classics” series, plus a cheerful party-building document from Vietnam’s equivalent to our Young Communist League, which is the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union. All this material is held on the Communist University web site. These daily messages are initiated at the Communist University blog where you are more than welcome to make your comments. Links: 1880, Engels, Socialism, Utopian and Scientific 3, Historical Materialism (7962 words) Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, strong party builder (444 words)