31 May 2006


The YCL Johannesburg Central political school meets today at 17h00 at the SATAWU offices, 13th floor, Old Mutual Building, 29 Kerk Street, between Loveday and Harrison. They will be discussing excerpts from Lenin’s 1902 “What is to be Done?” It is this book more than any other that outlines the clear difference between “mass” and “vanguard”. Those who believe that the mass workers’ organisations on their own can emancipate the working class are called by Lenin: “Economists”. Lenin argues that over and above the defensive, experiential, mass organisations of workers (Trade Unions and others) the working class must also possess a class-conscious revolutionary Party. Hence this book is sometimes regarded as the origin of the Communist Parties as we know them. Critics of this understanding often refer to “vanguardism”, forgetting that Lenin’s idea is not of one, but of two kinds of organisation, of which the mass ones are as important as, or even more important than, the vanguard. The YCL is studying great stuff these days. Next week’s session, at the same time and place , will discuss Chapter 3 from Frantz Fanon’s “The Wretched of the Earth” (Les Damneés de la Terre), called “Pitfalls of National Consciousness”. This work is a merciless exposeé of the post-colonial national bourgeoisie. See link below. What happens when we apply Lenin’s question “What is to be Done?” to post-colonial Zimbabwe? Firstly, there is no vanguard party of the working class there. There is a Trade Union Movement, but when it moved to promote a formation that would challenge for political power, it chose to incorporate a party of capital, and not a dedicated proletarian revolutionary party. In the external movement of solidarity for the Zimbabwean people, something like the opposite is the case. There is no democratic mass formation of solidarity. Hence, when 130 people gather in the Devonshire Hotel in Braamfontein one year after Murambatsvina, convened by the good offices of NGOs (funded by who?), the impression given is anti-climactic, or bathetic. There is a lot of condemning and calling, but really, so what? See link below. The South African Trade Union movement did not even attend this event in any form, although COSATU and its affiliates have been in the forefront of action on Zimbabwe. Only a democratically constituted mass solidarity organisation of South Africans for Zimbabwe will be able to advance from the level of funded declaratory gatherings in hotels, towards national leadership on this question. Click on these links: Pitfalls of National Consciousness, Frantz Fanon (18460 words) Acclamation of Zim Solidarity by 130 at Devonshire Hotel 17 May 06 (556 words)

30 May 2006

Leadership, Strategy

"The true revolutionary is guided by strong feelings of love. It is impossible to think of an authentic revolutionary without this quality." Che Guevera We learned this quotation from our young comrade Thando Tshangela, who includes it in all of his e-mails. It is impossible to read Zwelinzima Vavi’s address in farewell of the outgoing NUM General Secretary Gwede Mantashe without being made aware of the strong bonds of personal affection that bind our revolutionary proletarian leadership. Read it! This is something you do not often see in a lifetime. See the link below. COSATU’s Jobs and Poverty Campaign, in line with decisions taken last year and of a meeting of affiliated General Secretaries yesterday, will move into a new phase. This campaign becomes more focused and at the same time more concrete as it gets tempered in the fire of struggle. See the linked, simple and direct statement, which includes a declaration of intent to mobilise the unemployed. The National Union of Mineworkers comes out of its 12th Congress stronger than before and with a united leadership, and this is as it should be - if Cde Vavi’s recollections of Gwede Mantashe’s guidelines are correct, which indeed they are. Note also the remarks about the same Gwede by another ex-GS of the NUM, ANC SG Kgalema Motlanthe: “Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa was general secretary of the NUM then he became secretary general of the ANC. I myself followed the same path. Comrade Gwede leaves the union and he must not break that tradition!” See the linked item. The early bird catches the worm. The tardy press statement misses the bus. The ANC Press Statement from the NEC meeting that finished on Saturday was only released on Monday at 15h21. It says that the succession debate may open concerning “the broad expectations regarding its leadership collectives” from now on but not “debate on or nomination of individuals”. The latter is not supposed to happen until May 2007. See the link below. The statement refers to the document “Through the eye of a needle? This five-year-old Umrabulo article walks on eggshells through the leadership minefield, and raises as many questions as it answers. On the one hand it says that people have rights to stand and to lobby for support and that leadership must be encouraged to come forward, but on the other hand it puts up a pious etiquette of goody-two-shoes qualities (as opposed to political and especially agitational qualities) that these leaders are supposed to have. Zweli on Gwede is a better guide. The NEC statement also refers to another article containing "reflections of the NEC Political Education Sub-committee", which has been trailed in the press, but has not yet fully surfaced in the public realm (if anybody has a copy, please send it in!) It seems that there will be two concurrent officially-sanctioned discussions going on: one in the SACP, and another in the ANC. That is not a bad thing. Click on these links: COSATU GS Z Vavi, farewell address to outgoing NUM GS Gwede Mantashe (2565 words) COSATU strategy for Jobs and Poverty Campaign, 29 May 2006 (331 words) National Union of Mineworkers, Press Release, 28 May 2006 (471 words) Statement of the ANC National Executive Committee, 29 May 2006 (1946 words)

29 May 2006

Far Out

The ANC National Executive Committee met on Friday and finished on Saturday. So far there is no communiqué or press release, only speculation based on leaks and interviews with “analysts”. In other countries, politicians use weekend releases systematically. If it has its press conference today the ANC NEC will have missed the Sunday morning papers, the Sunday evening television news, and the Monday morning dailies, not to mention all the major radio programmes over two evenings and two mornings. This may be complacency, or it may be that there is a committee after the committee, still haggling over the wording of the press release. It does not look good. Let us hope for the best, because class alliance is the tactical business of politics and it will be far better to fix this one than to start building another. Edwin Naidu is a good writer who can illuminate a ghastly situation with humour, not to sugar the pill, but to show up the sour side in a clear contrast. What a great, short piece of writing is this (linked) merciless mockery of Minister Mdladlana for his laziness during the security guards’ strike. “People want to know that God has Sex. Then maybe it'd be okay if they have sex too.” Read more from Dr Susan Block, a highly gifted sex-doctor from the USA, also gifted in the literary department, on the Da Vinci Code flick. (See lubricious link below) Allen Ginsberg was a beatnik poet. Actually he was the beatnik poet, now dead. It is unfair to say that all US intellectuals are like him. Obviously Lenni Brenner, another gifted writer from the Far Side of the Atlantic, is not nearly such a silly liberal as Ginsberg was. Lenni still sizzles. See link. Another seminar on Con Hill is coming. “17h00 for 17h30” usually implies “refreshments”, which is nice. Con Hill has also been a great host for the Communist University for nearly a year. But we have to ask, are these NGOs well placed to tell us how to “understand people’s power”? Or, are our politics being commodified, monetised, and sold back to us as “analysis”? At least this gig is free, and “the people” might even be able to get a word in towards the end, if the four Speakers and the Chairperson don’t chow all the time. Freirean, it isn’t. See link. Click on these links: How many must die before Mdladlana speaks, Edwin Naidu, Sindy (684 words) God Has Sex, Makes Big Box Office, Susan Block, Counterpunch (1990 words) Allen Ginsberg, Silly Liberal, Lenni Brenner, Counterpunch (1736 words) Understanding Peoples Power Seminar, Con Hill, 30 May 17h00 (Notice)

28 May 2006

No Talisman

The National Executive Committee of the ANC finished its meeting yesterday. There has been no press conference, and it would be useless to speculate on the content or outcome of this particular meeting. The Sunday Times and the City Press pretend they have something. But they are only displaying the front-page priority the bourgeois press so often gives to their own prejudice. They do not have the story. This NEC was a “no hiding place” NEC, where the political quality and the moral courage of each and every member would have been tested. There is very little other political news – only unclear reports from East Timor, and an earthquake in Java. Meanwhile, our little Communist University met on the ridge overlooking Johannesburg while the NEC was gathering. We debated for the first time the South African Communist Party’s discussion document on State Power. If you go to the document on our site you will now find an icon at the top where you can click to download the file in PDF format. And if you do a Ctrl-End, or scroll to the bottom, you will find links to the main preceding works referred to in the document. Our CU discussion was rich and passionate and indicative of a huge amount of work still to be done. A lot of the talk was of alliance, and of who should lead, as if this could settle the matter. Some of our comrades read Trotsky, and it is good that they do. They should read everything while they have the chance, and read widely now during the period of discussion in the Party. Hence some of our thoughts turned to Trotsky on this question and especially to the following passage from Trotsky’s 1937 “Stalinism and Bolshevism”. Whatever else Trotsky may have been at different times, and notwithstanding his pitifully grandiose optimism concerning the “Fourth International”, he was definitely a “struggle veteran” of the Great October Revolution in Russia. This short work in particular carries the mark of experience. Here is Trotsky: “Is it true that Stalinism represents the legitimate product of Bolshevism, as all reactionaries maintain, as Stalin himself avows, as the Mensheviks, the anarchists, and certain left doctrinaires considering themselves Marxist believe? … ”The flaw in this reasoning begins in the tacit identification of Bolshevism, October Revolution and Soviet Union. The historical process of the struggle of hostile forces is replaced by the evolution of Bolshevism in a vacuum. Bolshevism, however, is only a political tendency closely fused with the working class but not identical with it. And aside from the working class there exist in the Soviet Union a hundred million peasants, diverse nationalities, and a heritage of oppression, misery and ignorance. The state built up by the Bolsheviks reflects not only the thought and will of Bolshevism but also the cultural level of the country, the social composition of the population, the pressure of a barbaric past and no less barbaric world imperialism. To represent the process of degeneration of the Soviet state as the evolution of pure Bolshevism is to ignore social reality in the name of only one of its elements, isolated by pure logic. One has only to call this elementary mistake by its true name to do away with every trace of it. ”Bolshevism, in any case, never identified itself either with the October Revolution or with the Soviet state that issued from it. Bolshevism considered itself as one of the factors of history, its ’Conscious’ factor - a very important but not decisive one. We never sinned on historical subjectivism. We saw the decisive factor - on the existing basis of productive forces - in the class struggle, not only on a national scale but on an international scale. ”When the Bolsheviks made concessions to the peasant tendency, to private ownership, set up strict rules for membership of the party, purged the party of alien elements, prohibited other parties, introduced the NEP, granted enterprises as concessions, or concluded diplomatic agreements with imperialist governments, they were drawing partial conclusions from the basic fact that had been theoretically clear to them from the beginning; that the conquest of power, however important it may be in itself, by no means transforms the party into a sovereign ruler of the historical process. Having taken over the state, the party is able, certainly, to influence the development of society with a power inaccessible to it before; but in return it submits itself to a 10 times greater influence from all other elements in society. It can, by the direct attack by hostile forces, be thrown out of power. Given a more drawn out tempo of development, it can degenerate internally while holding on to power. It is precisely this dialectic of the historical process that is not understood by those sectarian logicians who try to find in the decay of the Stalinist bureaucracy a crushing argument against Bolshevism. ”In essence these gentlemen say: the revolutionary party that contains in itself no guarantee against its own degeneration is bad. By such a criterion Bolshevism is naturally condemned: it has no talisman.” There is no such thing as politics without class alliance even after a proletarian revolution, let alone before it. For example, the Bolsheviks led the working class into an alliance with the peasants. Peasants are bourgeois. They are the stuff out of which the bourgeoisie grows. They are more individualistic and personally acquisitive even than the big bourgeoisie. The Bolsheviks in power gave the peasants what they wanted, namely land. What do the South African poor (as in “workers and the poor”) want? Those that are still substantially peasants want land. What do the others want? Education, health care, support for the elderly – and then what? Bread and circuses like the idle Roman proletariat? The 2010 World Cup (perhaps as mere spectators as COSATU warns)? Or to be socialised in productive work, with quality jobs? All politics is class politics and all class politics is class alliance politics. If one alliance should fail, another one will have to be constructed from the ruins. All alliances share one characteristic: The allies must have an agreed common and material goal. What is that goal? Linked below are Trotsky’s “Stalinism and Bolshevism” and for comparison, Lenin’s 1919 lecture “The State”. Click on these links: Trotsky, Stalinism and Bolshevism, 1937 (6294 words) Lenin, The State, 1919 (7209 words)

27 May 2006


According to the their programme, and as far as we know, the SACP Gauteng Province political school convenes tomorrow at the NUM office, LUCS Building, corner Smit and Rissik, Braamfontein, to discuss a presentation by Cde. Rob Davies titled: “What are the lessons of the NDR in the 20th Century?” If the CU had Cde. Davies’ paper we would circulate it, but we do not have it. Cde. Bongani Masuku has communicated to the CU and also kindly sent us a PDF of the new Swazi Labour Academy Manual. Both Cde. Bongani’s letter (which contains important programmatic information) and the new Manual itself are linked below. Click on these links: Swazi Labour Academy Manual and POA, Bongani Masuku (299 words) Swazi Labour Academy Manual and Cover (PDF download)

26 May 2006

No Drum Majorettes

The Communist University convenes this evening at 17h00 in the Women’s Jail, 1 Kotze Street, Constitution Hill, to discuss the SACP Central Committee’s discussion document on State Power. Next week (Friday June 2nd) at the same time and place we will discuss Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s 1967 paper “African Socialism Revisited” (see link below). The matter at issue between Kwame Nkrumah and Leopold Senghor is scientific socialism versus irrational “negritude” (Africanism). It is an exact parallel with the contradiction we have dicovered in feminism between the historical materialism and humanism of Angela Davis and Meera Nanda on the one hand, and the post-modernist, anti-scientific, cultural-relativist position of Vandana Shiva and Judith Butler on the other. In both cases, that of Africanism and that of feminism, resolution of this contradiction lies in a proper answer to the question: “What is freedom?” Yesterday was a day of releases of substantial documents from COSATU, the SACP, the ANC and the YCL. These are organisations that give content to our democracy. COSATU’s CEC statement has made headlines all day for the warning included in it that South Africa may be approaching a condition of a dictatorship (without drum majorettes). Serious as this is, there is much more in the COSATU statement. The document is a good example of how such reports should be given. It is broken into clear parts, each of which deals with a distinct but critical matter in a direct and frank manner. Long live working class democracy! See the link below. At the NUM congress in Midrand, SACP GS Dr Blade Nzimande addressed 1000 delegates on the CC discussion document, urging them to take it back to the shop floor and discuss it. This speech of our GS can assist us in our discussion this evening. See link below. ANC Deputy President Jacob Zuma addressed the same Congress. See linked document below for a transcript of his speech. The YCL announces the launch of Youth Month from a rally to be held in Khutsong on May 27. Khutsong is the area that was bureaucratically cut away from Gauteng in contempt of the express wishes of the residents, as revealed in a consultation exercise initiated by government. When government failed to get the result it wanted, it over-rode the process it had started itself, showing bad faith. See the link below to a notice of this event. The ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) meets today. The atmosphere is electric. Will there be storms? Will there be catastrophe or peace and new growth? Click on these links: African Socialism Revisited, Nkrumah, 1967 (2587 words) COSATU CEC Media statement 25 May 2006 (2778 words) SACP GS Nzimande, Options of working class relationship to state power (3142 words) Deputy President Jacob Zuma to NUM Congress 24 May 2006 (2746 words) YCL Youth Month and 84th Anniversary Rally Khutsong 10h00 May 27 (Notice)

25 May 2006

Silver Lining

The Business Day editorial in its anonymous main editorial column yesterday was moved to say: “the SACP document is more than worthy of public debate” and more. See link below. ANC Deputy President Jacob Zuma addressed the Congress of the National Union of Mineworkers in Midrand yesterday. See the link below for his speech as reported by News24. Our YCL comrade Castro Ngobese (this is his debut on the CU) has been kind enough to let us have his input to a “post Jacob Zuma rape trial seminar” in Johannesburg, written in his nice fresh style. See below. Meanwhile our illustrious Swazi comrade Bongani Masuku has written another tour de force about the structure of imperialism in southern Africa. See link below. Ann Crotty is the CU’s favourite bourgeois journalist. She is also well liked by her colleagues. They gave her an award recently. Her article in yesterday’s Business Report on Liberty Holdings, “Theatre of the absurd”, is well up to her best witty form. Note that a “pyramid” structure is one where a minority holding, housed in a company that does nothing but collect dividends, is rigged to control a much larger amount of ordinary shareholders’ capital. Such monopoly-finance structures are supposed to be banned but somehow some of the biggest ones (in a similar manner to Dr Goebbels’ lies) have managed to survive. Read on (see link below). Communist University students can also have fun, can’t they? See “Stalin vs. Hitler” (link provided by James Tweedie). According to AND: “Media reports say that Mark Thatcher - the wealthy son of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher - has "links" with Omega Security Company whose employees have been detained on suspicion of plotting to destabalise the country” (the Democratic Republic of Congo). It makes a change from “links with Al Qaeda”. The boot is on the other foot. Thatcher is only walking free because he was given a deal by the NPA/Scorpions. Otherwise he was going to go down for a long time on account of his links with the coup plot in Equatorial Guinea. Click on these links: Silver Lining, editorial on SACP discussion document, Business Day (633 words) ANC not in crisis, Zuma at NUM 12th Congress, News24 (550 words) YCL input post Jacob Zuma rape trial, Castro Ngobese (1700 words) Global economy, apartheid plan, and Swazi economy, Masuku (6954 words) Theatre of the absurd, Liberty Holdings, Ann Crotty, Business Report (947 words)

24 May 2006

Burning Questions

The Johannesburg Central YCL political school will convene this evening at 17h00 in the SATAWU office, 13th floor, Old Mutual Building, 29 Kerk Street, between Loveday and Harrison, to discuss excerpts from Rosa Luxemburg’s “The Mass Strike”. Next week (May 31) at the same time and place they will discuss excerpts from Chapter 4 of Lenin’s 1902 “What is to be done?” See link below. Meanwhile we have Comrade Thando Tshangela’s report today from the Marx in the 21st Century conference in Havana, Cuba, which he attended on behalf of the Communist University of Johannesburg, the YCL of South Africa, and the South African Communist Party. Comrade Thando is also the convenor of the YCL Johannesburg Central political school. See link. Paul Craig Roberts is not anything like a communist but is a very great writer. His prose is clear, his points are sharp, and he is brief. Brevity is the soul of wit! Viva PCR, Viva! Peace in Iran! See link below. Why is there suddenly such a lot of police brutality in South Africa? After the assault on the SATAWU strikers in Cape Town last week, now comes a horrible attack on a group of protesting pensioners, with batons and pepper spray, forcing out into the freezing cold in the evening. Those who may be reading this from outside South Africa should know that it is freezing cold here at the moment. See the story linked below. Finally, a further ANC Gauteng release, linked below, on their campaign to revive branches. It is not completely clear whether the campaign will encourage political schools at branch level. Let us hope so. Click on these links: 1902, Lenin, What Is To Be Done (8369 words) Report of Havana Marxist Conference, Thando Tshangela (909 words) How Bush Brewed the Iran Crisis, PCR, Counterpunch (858 words) Pensioners hit with batons and pepper spray, The Star (693 words) ANC Gauteng campaign to revive branches, Makhura, Papo (916 words)

23 May 2006

Thank God For Communists

The SACP’s press conference following the Central Committee meeting at the weekend, together with the launch of the “State Power” discussion document the previous Wednesday, have created unprecedented goodwill and interest in the Party, expressed beautifully by Jon Qwelane in the Sunday Sun and News24 with the sentence: “Thank God for the communists” – see link below. Meanwhile the Business Day (see link) had the SACP as its front page splash (following COSATU on Friday), and editor Peter Bruce concluded his Monday “Thick End of the Wedge” column as follows: “ANYONE who read the attack on us by the ANC website recently would have figured that what bugged them was an editorial we wrote mildly criticising President Thabo Mbeki for not appearing before Parliament often enough. This was grounds for the website to accuse Business Day of hatching a plot to destroy the government and the party with unidentified “partners”. “Last week, one of the ANC alliance partners, the South African Communist Party (SACP) made almost exactly the same criticism to, so far, deafening silence from the ANC website. If its editors have any balls they will deal with the SACP observations in the same way they dealt with ours.” Succession struggles are not confined to the ANC. NUM issued a statement yesterday, countering suggestions of tribalism in its ranks. See link. Back in the Business Day, a letter by Mike Berger takes on Xolela Mangcu with wit and style. Linked. William Blum, author of the book “Killing Hope”, writing in the great on-line publication Counterpunch, takes apart the myth of the Marshall Plan, often praised in South Africa, even by people who ought to know better. See link. The last link is a piece about Cassinga, lest we forget; see link. This is a something very emotional for a lot of people. The cabinet was reshuffled yesterday, seemingly on a technocratic basis. In other words utilitarianism is the face of South African government politics for the moment. Click on these links: Thank God for communists, Jon Qwelane, News24 (953 words) SACP blames powerful presidency for ANC ills, Brown, Mde, B Day (638 words) Tribalism a red herring to a leadership contest, Lekorotsoana, NUM (366 words) Myth and African renaissance, Mike Berger, Letters, Business Day (364 words) What About the Marshall Plan, Bill Blum, Counterpunch (1792 words) The Massacre of Cassinga, Piero Gleijeses (2243 words)

22 May 2006

A Week Is A Long Time In Politics

The South African Communist Party’s Central Committee met this weekend. Its Press Statement is of high quality and will clear up misunderstandings raised by the deplorable half-baked leaks published in the Sunday Times and Sunday Independent. See the link below. The latter paper’s report concluded with this sentence: “Insiders described the issue of the SACP going it alone in elections as a "red herring", as those senior members in favour were largely the same ones who insisted Zuma should succeed Mbeki as ANC president.” This sentence is a non sequitur – the second part in no way follows from the first. Nor is there any basis for reporting that any SACP leaders are insisting on a Zuma succession. This is a true red herring. The record shows a principled defence of ANC Deputy President Jacob Zuma’s rights and of the democratic process as a whole - the very opposite of a partisan lobby. The “State Power” discussion document has nothing whatsoever to do with Jacob Zuma’s case. It would be nice to know who these “insiders” (or “insider”, singular) are or is. Or whether the Sunday Independent’s Moshoeshoe Monare and Christelle Terreblanche, who are in possession of the “State Power” document, somehow divined this construction from imaginary circumstantial evidence. In any case it is poor journalism. South African democracy is not beholden to any constitutional piece of paper. It is a living reality and never more so than when, in the same week, the SACP CC, the COSATU CEC, and the ANC NEC (due to start on Friday) all meet. See the linked press announcement of the content of COSATU’s CEC, starting today. The City Press had the best front page story yesterday. Unfortunately they are quite stingy in terms of what they put up on their web site. Their story of the withholding of a film about Thabo Mbeki from being broadcast on SABC as printed in hard copy is much longer. However, the linked version below gives a good sense of what is at stake. Are the Scorps on the skids again, as the miserable fiasco of their prosecutions of Jacob Zuma is progressively exposed? Lets hope so! See linked City Press article. Comrade Hope Mankwana Papo, among other illustrious positions, has the distinction of being a member of the SACP Johannesburg Central Branch. In his capacity of ANC Gauteng Provincial Spokesperson, he announced last Thursday an event which took place yesterday, namely the launch of a drive to rebuild the ANC’s branches in Gauteng. See the linked document for a description of the intended scope of this Imvuselelo/Tsoseletso Campaign. Finally, from across the Atlantic Ocean, the blogger xymphora tells it like it is for the people of Sudan. See the linked document. Click on these links: SACP CC 19 and 20 May 2006 Press Statement (1089 Words) COSATU CEC meeting, 22 to 24 May 2006 (Notice) SABC cans Mbeki film, Japhet Ncube, City Press (368 words) SAPS ready to absorb the Scorpions, Mkhabela, City Press (545 words) Launch of Gauteng ANC Imvuselelo Campaign, Hope Papo (403 words) Zionist rain of death on Sudan, Xymphora (792 words)

21 May 2006

For the Record

Johannesburg Central Branch requested the CU to circulate our agenda for today (10h00, SATAWU offices, 13th floor, Old Mutual Building, 29 Kerk Street, between Loveday and Harrison) and minutes of the previous branch general meeting (BGM). See the link below. This is how we do our business. SACP General Secretary Blade Nzimande addressed the vast crowd assembled in central Johannesburg during last Thursday’s general strike. His notes are linked below, brief and to the point. The strike was soberly reported on the front page of the Business Day, next to a picture of a sea of red-clad workers in Johannesburg’s Beyers Naude Square. Very little attempt was made to disguise the impact of the strike. See link. Only Terry Bell, the struggle-veteran turned labour journalist for Business Report, struck a bum note. On Friday he ignored the previous day’s COSATU-led general strike and instead reeled back to Tuesday’s security-guard march in Cape Town, using his column to attack the marchers. For pictures of the police attack on the marchers, go to the CU web site home page and scroll down. See the link below for Bell’s treacherous report. The capitalist class is organised as the state, which is its executive committee. Below state level there is constant and vicious conflict between bourgeois factions, and shifting pacts and rivalries, which the communists cannot ignore. The working class imposes some minimum standards of behaviour when it is able to do so, such as “innocent until proven guilty.” The bourgeois Business Day on Wednesday went after the capitalist factionalist Mzi Khumalo on their front page in a big way, and again on the following day in their lead editorial column. Both articles are linked below. It is entirely possible that the Business Day could now swing all the way from the Mzi camp right back to Jacob Zuma’s. Stranger things have happened. Meanwhile Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is pursuing mumsy photo-opportunities in Taung, on the edge of the Kalahari Desert - the only part of the country where she can be reasonably sure of not being booed in public. Maybe the Business Day has begun to understand this, and decided they would rather not be stranded on the side of a lame duck. Hugo Chavez spoke for hours in London – and the Londoners loved it! "Oooh, Aaah, Chavez no se va!" See link. Click on these links: SACP Jhb Central Draft Minutes 23 Apr and Agenda 21 May 2006 (555 words) SACP GS to COSATU General Strike, 18 May 2006 (832 words) COSATU one day strike hits mines sector hard, Business Day (593 words) Striker orgy of destruction will exhaust goodwill, Terry Bell, B Rep (787 words) Mzi Khumalo in new BEE share sale dwang, Business Day (998 words) Chavez Takes London, Counterpunch (1756 words)

20 May 2006

Solidarity Forever

The Johannesburg Central Branch of the SACP has a Branch General Meeting (BGM) on Sunday, May 21st in the SATAWU offices, 13th Floor, Old Mutual Building, 29 Kerk Street, between Loveday and Harrison, Johannesburg. The Communist University had a full house yesterday evening and a first-class discussion. We decided to use the new SACP Central Committee “State Power” document next week, instead of Lenin’s “3 Sources and 3 Component Parts of Marxism”. We had a wonderful and detailed report-back from Thando Tshangela on his visit to Cuba, which we hope Comrade Thando will put into writing so that it may go up on the Communist University web site. COSATU GS Zwelinzima Vavi was deported from Zimbabwe once again. He left for that country immediately after the General Strike rally in Library Gardens, Johannesburg, to attend the ZCTU Congress. He had been invited as a guest to represent COSATU at the National Congress of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions which is to take place on 19-20 May, but, along with several other international invited guests to the Congress, including those from Norway, Zambia and Swaziland, he has been barred from attending by the government. COSATU affiliate CEPPWAWU is the first (to our knowledge) to propose solidarity action with SATAWU to resolve the security guards dispute with their vicious and reactionary employers. And about time! See link. The same South African union, CEPPWAWU, is also acting in solidarity internationally with the United Steelworkers (USW) in the USA. See link. This is the way to go. On the other side of the street of the street from the solidarity side, there are the dividers, moving in the opposite direction. Yesterday we looked at the AIDC. On the AIDC web site there is a list of “partners”. Whether they are funders or just chums is not clear. One of those listed is “Jubilee South Africa”. AIDC and Jubilee SA are partners. The same day, a tragic message was received from this Jubilee SA. From the point of view of its National Executive Committee (NEC), it relates how the Jubilee staff took over the offices and the bank account, spent all the money and denounced the NEC. Now the money is gone and the staff have run away. It is a sad story of degeneration, but a very good case study. It all started, thinks the NEC, when Eddie Cottle went to Cape Town. He demanded to continue receiving his salary, even though the office is in Johannesburg. The subsequent row got ugly. See how it happened, according to the NEC. It would be nice to know on which side of the row the partner AIDC is sitting, and where Eddie Cottle is now. Another Cape Town resident is British Socialist Workers Party hack Terry Bell, who now has a regular column in the “Business Report”. His latest column is a treacherous stab in the back for our comrades in SATAWU. It is a case study, for after the strike, in how a bourgeois journalist tries to set up the working-class movement against a phantom “public opinion” of which they themselves pretend to be the mouthpiece. This is the Murdoch style of journalism, brought to South Africa by a sub-Trotskyist paranoid sick self-pitying sellout. Click on these links: CEPPWAWU proposes solidarity action with SATAWU (193 words) US Steelworkers in mutual support and action with SA TU, CEPPWAWU (790 words) Jubilee South Africa collapse, George Dor and MP Giyose (2759 words)

19 May 2006

Campaigns and Patronising Projects

The Communist University convenes this evening at 17h00 in the Women’s Jail, 1 Kotze Street, Constitution Hill. The scheduled topic is the first part of Karl Marx’s 1848 “Communist Manifesto”, “Bourgeois and Proletarians”. Comrade Thando will also be present to report back from Havana, Cuba. Next week’s (May 26th, same time and place) topic is scheduled to be Lenin’s “3 Sources and 3 Component Parts of Marxism” (see link below). However, we must discuss tonight as to when we can take the new SACP “State Power” document. Hard copies of both documents will be available. The launch of the State Power document was extensively covered in the media. The SACP Central Committee is meeting from today. Yesterday’s General Strike was an outstanding success. Linked below is COSATU’s own report. Peter Dwyer has responded to yesterday’s remarks here about the “Right to Work Campaign” run by the NGO AIDC in Cape Town. He says that he will happily answer questions. Perhaps he does not understand. The question is: How can we have a mass organisation run out of a funded NGO? It makes no difference whether AIDC is funded from overseas or not. The point is that NGOs have to obey their funders, or perish. They cannot place themselves under a democracy of people whom Peter is careful to call “activists and people who attend our local meetings”. These are not members of anything, they are just hangers-on, and basically unorganised, dependant, and without any power. But if on the other hand they actually are organised, with their own elective structure, then it would be nice to know about that. So far, Peter isn’t telling. See his linked message The name “Right to Work Campaign” is a blast from the past. The linked extract from Denver Walker’s 1985 book “Quite Right Mr Trotsky!” provides a brief re-cap. To anybody with even a slight acquaintance with British politics the term “Right to Work Campaign” is like a big flag saying “Socialist Workers Party” or “IS”. Peter Dwyer is from Britain. He knows all this. So the next question for Peter is, if he did not wish to be confused with a sectarian sub-Trotskyist organisation, why on earth did he choose the name “Right to Work Campaign”? Does he want to look like a political missionary? COSATU is the principle autonomous federation of trade unions in South Africa. A condition of affiliation, which is the material basis of COSATU’s independence, is that unions must be supported by the contributions of their members. The SACP is the vanguard party of the working class, explicitly recognised as such by COSATU. COSATU and the SACP are both in a liberation alliance with the ANC. The nature, history and possible future direction of this alliance is examined in detail in the new discussion document of the SACP on State Power. AIDC is a small NGO supported by donor funding. As to Peter Dwyer’s account of his relations with COSATU officials, that is not the business of the CU. President Fidel Castro Ruz of Cuba has taken down Forbes and company very nicely. See link. Finally, a notice for a Black Reflection event at Johannesburg’s Horror Café on June 13th – see link. Click on these links: COSATU Jobs and Poverty Campaign General Strike 18 May 2006 (1145 words) Three Sources & Three Component parts of Marxism (Lenin) (1838 words) Peter Dwyer and the Right to Work campaign (544 words) The original Right to Work campaign, from Denver Walker (648 words) Fidel refutes Forbes (718 words) Black Reflection 13 June 2006 (Flyer)

18 May 2006

General Strike, State Power

The document known within the SACP as the “State Power” document was released publicly to the press yesterday by SACP GS Dr Blade Nzimande. The event was good-natured but also serious, as befits a new document of this stature. See the link below for the text, which can also be downloaded from that page in PDF format. This document must now be at the centre of political education activities. Umzebenzi Online this fortnight is on the General Strike which is the main business of the day today. It also includes the foreword of the State Power document. COSATU’s publication COSATU Weekly has put out a General Strike edition, linked below. The remarkable thing about this general strike is the way it has “snowballed” from a limited, sectoral concept up to a full-scale general strike for jobs and against poverty. Yesterday’s remark here about the Cape Town NGO called AIDC has drawn to the CU the old familiar cry: “Stalinist!” The first AIDC “Right-to-Work” e-mail is not to hand (technical problems) but a later one is available (see link). It is from AIDC’s Dr Peter Dwyer, in the listserv “DEBATE”. The main question is: How can you support a campaign while at the same time organising a rival one? COSATU has a Jobs and Poverty campaign, so AIDC, denouncing the leadership of COSATU and the ANC, starts a competing one called by an old familiar name: “Right to Work”. And if one then points out a difficulty in this contradiction, why does one thereby become a “Stalinist”? These questions are specific to this moment, and they are also general questions. They have to do with spontaneity versus science, and with mass versus vanguard. They cannot be shooed away with epithets. Incidentally, the old “DEBATE” forum is in deep trouble. Following passionate enthusiasm for the accuser of Jacob Zuma (who lied, but has not yet apologised), and the consequent disappointment of her corner, an attempt at censorship has been launched and the “DEBATE” is now in a crisis. Past experience indicates that heavy moderation will never satisfy the fundamentalists, while the free spirits will leave. This forum (run by Professor Patrick Bond) has been going for many years. It will be missed. Click on these links: Bua Komanisi V5 No 1, Special Edition on State Power, no banner (20517 words) Umsebenzi Online, V5, No. 56, 17 May, General Strike, State Power (2030 words) COSATU Weekly General Strike Special 17 May 2006 (3933 words) AIDC Right to Work campaign anti ANC and COSATU (287 words)

17 May 2006

World Class, Part Two

Where the bosses do offer an international link to workers, it will not be to other workers in struggle. It might be to Disneyworld, as in the case of the Pick ‘n Pay supermarket chain. And even that can be pulled away if the boss decides not to like you any more. See the link for one of the most miserable but revealing stories of 2006. International is what Hugo Chavez is. In the last few days he has been in Europe, London, and Libya. The USA have tried to cook up a diplomatic stunt to take the shine off Chavez’ tour, but Chavez has turned the tables on them. See link. Back in South Africa, Karima Brown. political editor of the Business Day, is becoming more honest about the “camp” that is pushing Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. See link. At the same time Sandile Memela lambastes Xolela Mangcu. In a unity and struggle of opposites, the black intellectuals are sharpening their skills upon each other. Click on these links: Denied Disneyworld for taking the Mickey, Shelley Banjo, The Star (478 words) Chavez ridicules Washington weapons ban, Business Day (252 words) Only special ANC indaba will end politics of smear, Brown, B Day (872 words) Bash government and flourish, Sandile Memela, Business Day (426 words)

World Class, Part One

The Johannesburg YCL meets this afternoon at 17h00 at the SATAWU offices, 13th floor, Old Mutual Building, 29 Kerk Street, between Loveday and Harrison. They will discuss Clausewitz “On War”. Next week at the same time and place they will discuss Rosa Luxemburg’s “The Mass Strike”. See link to document, below. Things move fast. One union after another has committed to the mass stayaway scheduled for tomorrow and likely to continue through until Monday in many places. See the Northern Cape SACP flyer linked below (download it, edit it, use it). In Cape Town Tony Ehrenreich, Evan Abrahams and maybe 40 others un-named are at present probably still in prison following a police attack on a SATAWU march yesterday. Those who watch TV must have seen police firing into the backs of a crowd of jammed up people struggling to get away, and one person after another falling to the ground. See the link below for News24’s version. The bourgeoisie likes to boast of being “world class”. But it is the working class that is the truly international class. Joint action by SAPPI employees in South Africa and the USA proves it once again – see link. The most perfectly stupid communication of the week of SA’s general strike in favour of jobs is a pathetic proposal from the two-and-a-half foreign-funded revolutionaries of a tiny Cape Town NGO called AIDC to start a different thing. COSATU’s millions of striking members are not the point, from their point of view. They want the working class to drop everything it has done and is doing, and instead follow their half-baked, thumb-sucked prescription. Their idea is to cross out “Jobs and Poverty” and replace it with something called “Right to Work”. Why? So that they can split the movement at this moment of high class struggle, for the sake of their petty-bourgeois egos, or perhaps for the sake of their overseas funders, or both. To the back of the class with them! Click on these links: The Mass Strike compilation, C1, 4 and 8, Luxemburg, 1906 (11361 words) SACP, COSATU National Stayaway Flyer for 18 May 2006 (Notice) 40 held after Cape Town rampage (910 words) Joint Statement of CEPPWAWU and USW (392 words)

16 May 2006


There is a full scale General Strike organised by COSATU for Thursday, May 18th (and probably in effect Friday, too). This action will reinforce the Jobs and Poverty Campaign and create an honest mass basis from which to challenge the politics of back-biting, public relations, obscurity, and smear. It takes the working class to remind the nation where its priorities really are. See the linked announcement, which contains a full schedule of actions around the country. ANC Deputy President Jacob Zuma is fully back in good standing with the movement. See the ANC statement linked below. The SACP rightly and firmly corrected an article that was published as the front page “splash” in yesterday’s Business Day. The incorrect statements are about our comrade Minister Ronnie Kasrils, from whom we are still very interested to hear, however. See the two links below. The following incidental statement also appears in the Business Day article: “Trepidation has also risen in the camp, following indications that the corruption case against Zuma was not as watertight as previously thought.” The corruption case against Jacob Zuma and against Schabir Shaik is a dead duck. The crucial prosecution evidence is gone. Especially the crucial January 2001 SCOPA letter, and the alleged Thint “fax”. The NPA/Scorpions in court yesterday once again failed to produce an indictment against the Thint company after six years of baseless accusations. The scandal is now, and rightly so, turning on the scandal-mongers. Under capitalism, everybody must be paid by somebody. “Independent analysts” are mercenaries like anybody else in the bourgeois state. The food on their tables does not come from heaven. They are already proven liars as soon as they tell us they are “independent”. They are only journalists who don’t admit to being such. None of them can be trusted. Other journalists are “embedded”, as the US armed forces put it. Whether or not they actually sleep with the boss, they are always at the side of the boss, telling the story from the boss’s point of view. Then there a few righteous ones like Jon Qwelane, who speaks truth to POWA. See the link below. Finally, if you can, please rally round the Workers’ Library on May 19th. It may or may not be a disaster for them to have a hotel built next door. But in other ways this is an institution that is certainly in need of rescue. See the last link below. Click on these links: COSATU General Strike, Jobs and Poverty Campaign, 18 May 2006 (1539 words) ANC NEC, Full Resumption of Duties by ANC Dep Pres Zuma (648 words) SACP statement on the article in Business Day of 15 May 2006 (165 words) SACP set to grill Kasrils on role in Zuma trial, Business Day (771 words) Zuma was a victim of conspiracy, Jon Qwelane, News24 (1657 words) Meeting, Future of Workers Library and Newtown, 14h00 May 19 (516 words)

15 May 2006

Class Confirmed

Yesterday’s SACP Gauteng Provincial Council ground on for six hours or more of mainly monologue. The Secretary set the comrades an endurance test once again. It’s as if he thinks he is no longer Vishwas Satger but has become Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez. He was finally obliged to concede in a few short minutes what was clear from the start (and at the previous PC). The delegates want an election as soon as possible to replace the six missing PEC members. All the platform’s manoeuvres failed, and were bound to fail. “State Power” was also monologued, but hardly discussed. The Khutsong issue could not be resolved because of conflicting reports of decisions taken elsewhere. On Gautrain, the PEC proposed a rival initiative to that of COSATU, without really explaining why. On the Gauteng “Global City Region” boondoggle, the platform revealed its absence of serious urban theory. Satgar's reliance on a formulaic opposition of blanket “neo-liberalism” with a liberal, unscientific, ag-shame reference to “workers and the poor” was inadequate. In this matter slogans, though necessary, are insufficient. Mike Davis’s critique dispatched by the CU on Saturday refers. Peter McLaren whose coming SA tour was announced here yesterday (thanks to information from Patrick Bond) is not just a critical pedagogist (the most prominent in the world). He is also one of the foremost exponents of humanist Marxism in opposition to irrational theories of post-modernism, including post-modernist feminism. As such he is consonant with Angela Davis, Evelyn Reed, Meera Nanda, Teresa Ebert and James Heartfield, whose works we have previously studied in the CU. See the linked article from his web site, written with Valerie Scatamburlo-D’Annibale. YCL National Chairperson David Masondo has written an excellent antidote to the wave of Mother-Grundyism cooked up around the recent Zuma trial. See linked Sunday Times article. Robert Greig is ratty about the recent Government-sponsored “Native Club”. His writing has such a sharp bite to it that it is a pleasure to read even if one can’t quite get as indignant as he does in such a case. Surely if the “Native Club” is so dubious, it will collapse in its own contradictions? And if not, not. Professor Sipho Seepe’s observations were more measured, and more useful. See linked Sunday Independent article. CIVICUS is a meta-NGO based in Johannesburg and headed by Kumi Naidoo, an otherwise respectable struggle veteran. We had a go at him and his non-anti-imperialist outfit recently. Now it gets a mention in a thorough critique of missionary NGOs by Joan Roelofs in Counterpunch (see link). The struggle continues. India continues to provide an open laboratory for revolutionary practice. In the case of the linked Counterpunch article by Vijay Prashad the long experience of Indian communists of combining electoral politics with dual-power institutions, called panchayats, is of interest to South African communists involved in campaigns in similar circumstances. It would be nice to have a closer and more detailed comparison done by an Indian or South African communist. See link. The Communist University wiki web site (amadlandawonye) has risen one place and is now fourth in the world total of 3745 public wikispaces in terms of “page views”. The top-25 league table is here. The statistics of the site itself are also very interesting – see here. Why not help us by making the CU your home page? If you do that, then each time you open your computer it scores a “view” for the CU. Click on these links: Class Dismissed, Valerie S-DA, Peter Mclaren (8607 words) Leave private life out of this, David Masondo, Sunday Times (748 words) State and intellectuals in lethal dance, Robert Greig, Sindy (1290 words) NGOs and the Imperial Uses of Philanthropy, Counterpunch (2153 words) The Indian Road, red panchayats, dual power, Counterpunch (2096 words)

14 May 2006

Procedure, Plot, Looting, and Critical Pedagogy

The SACP Gauteng Provincial Council (PC) will meet this morning at 09h00 at the NUM offices, LUCS building, corner Rissik and Smit Streets, Braamfontein. This is a crucial meeting. In particular, there are six vacant positions on the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC), a motion for the holding of an early Provincial Congress, and notice that the remaining existing leadership is unwilling to serve and not prepared to seek re-election to the PEC at that Congress. The SACP is organised at Branch, District, Provincial and National levels. In Gauteng, the Provincial level is the weakest link at present and it urgently needs to be strengthened. The rump of the PEC is arguing (for the second time) for postponement of elections, in favour of discussing other items. These are State Power, Khutsong, Gautrain, and a Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) document that is not yet on the GPG web site, about some “world-class” globaloney of theirs. Putting these matters before the question of leadership, in circumstances when the Provincial leadership are by their own admission no better than unwilling caretakers, is putting the cart before the horse. Decisions taken will have no effect at Provincial level so long as there is no effective leadership at that level to execute those decisions, as has been the case for a long time now. The Provincial leadership should be replaced immediately and in its entirety, and a Congress held as soon as possible, and not in the dog-days of November as has been proposed. This is only a critical-pedagogic view. The PC, and not the CU, will decide. See links, for SACP Constitution and Hannington’s Rules and Procedure. Contrary to gerrymandering claims made by some officials, the PC receives “delegates representing each branch in proportion to its membership" and not a flat limit for each branch. In any case, the SACP Johannesburg District will hold its own Congress on 24th and 25th June 2006 at Elijah Barayi Memorial Training Centre, 49 Old Harrow Road, Cnr Alexandra and Saunders Street, Yeoville. Branches will have to elect their delegates for this District Congress at their next BGM. There is only a little more than one month between now and the Congress. The ANC Youth League has asserted that Bulelani Ngcuka, husband of Deputy President of South Africa Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, “has been an instrumental element of a plot to deal (former Deputy President of South Africa and still Deputy President of the ANC, Jacob) Zuma a debilitating political blow.” Ngcuka is war-dancing, pretending he will sue the ANCYL, but he will not sue because that will put the former Scorpion in court himself - just at the time when Jacob Zuma is coming loose from the legal traps that Ngcuka set for him (while Ngcuka’s wife was being given Zuma’s job). That would be a nice reversal of fortune, if it were to happen. See link. President Ahmadinejad of Iran wrote a good letter to President Bush last week. Among other things it says: "The people of Africa are hardworking, creative and talented. They can play an important and valuable role in providing for the needs of humanity and contribute to its material and spiritual progress. Poverty and hardship in large parts of Africa are preventing this from happening. Don't they have the right to ask why their enormous wealth – including minerals – is being looted, despite the fact that they need it more than others?" See the link below for the full text of President Ahmadinejad’s letter. The Communist University follows the method of Critical Pedagogy. So it is a matter of great interest that Peter McLaren, the foremost exponent and advocate of Critical Pedagogy in the world, and pupil of and successor to the late Paulo Freire, is coming to South Africa to do an event called Travelling Critique, between May 29th and June2nd (see link). Patrick Bond writes: “I gather McLaren, De Lissovoy and Jaramillo will be in CT from 21-24 May, and doing a Wolpe Lecture at CCS on 25 May and a School of Development Studies seminar on 26 May, and on to Jo'burg from 4-6 June.” Click on these links: SACP Constitution (5131 words) Procedure of Meetings, Rules of Debate, Hannington (1516 words) Ngcuka uses lies and deception, ANCYL, News24 (253 words) President Ahmadinejad of Iran, letter to Bush, Asia Times (4025 words) Travelling Critique, Peter McLaren, Paulo Freire Institute (Notice)

13 May 2006

Cease Fire on the Cities

The first of the links below is yet another statement, for the benefit of anyone who may still be in doubt, that the whole Alliance holds the position of “innocent until proven guilty” in relation to the ANC Deputy President, Jacob Zuma. From ANC Today, Bolivia nationalised its energy resources on worker’s day, May 1st 2006. Now it is going to nationalise the land. A better world is possible! A better world is happening! See link. Not all US intellectuals are corrupted. Mike Davis is a great illuminator of urbanism. The linked article is the second part of two, but contains most of the good material in the article (even the good US writers are given to writing too long). The link to Part 1 is in the document, if you want it, but at least read Part 2. There is nowhere else that you will get this extraordinary but absolutely necessary stuff. Virginia Tilley is another good US intellectual, who happens now to be in Johannesburg (at the Centre for Policy Studies). See the link below for the full, shocking truth about the US/Israeli fraudulent coercion of the Palestinians. James Tweedie sends, for our information, Mayor of London Ken Livingston’s invitation to a rally for Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, when he visits there tomorrow. See link. On Tuesday, May 23rd, very much in line with all of the above, there will be an AGM in Braamfontein of the Ceasefire Campaign. This is South Africa’s actually-existing peace campaign. Let’s build this campaign, comrades, and give it a mass content and presence in the land. What is more important than peace? Our comrade CU delegate to Havana, Thando Tshangela, is believed to be home safe at last. Click on these links: Democratic institutions on a firm footing, ANC Today (593 words) Bolivia targets land for nationalisation, Business Day (279 words) Mike Davis, Green Zones and Slum Cities, Pt 2, Tomdispatch (3540 words) Hamas and Israel's Right to Exist, Tilley, Counterpunch (2253 words) Welcoming President Hugo Chavez To London, Ken Livingstone (Notice) Cease Fire Annual General Meeting 23 May 2006 (Notice)

12 May 2006

Proletarians and Bourgeois

After nearly 24 hours down the Communist University wikispace web site came back to life. Adam at Wikispaces wrote: “That was a problem with a site update we made yesterday. Your space was affected because of a rare combination of factors all of which was our fault.” Thanks to all those who sent e-mails to Wikispaces on behalf of the CU. The items listed yesterday are now available, archived under “Comrade Wolf” (dated 2006-05-11). The CU will meet this evening at the Women’s Jail, 1 Kotze Street, Constitution Hill, at 17h00. Comrade Thando is held up in Madrid on his way back from the “Marx in the 21st Century” conference in Havana, Cuba, so we will not get his report-back this week. Instead, Comrade Makhi Ndabeni, chairperson of the SACP Johannesburg Central Branch, will open a discussion on “State Power”. The reading for next week (Friday, May 19th, same time and venue) is the first part of the “Communist Manifesto” (Bourgeois and Proletarians) linked below. Two major statements came from COSATU yesterday. The first was COSATU GS Zwelinzima Vavi’s input to the AGM of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry South Africa (Chamsa) on “The Role of Government in Creating an Environment for Economic Growth and Private Sector Development” (linked below. The head of the massed ranks of the unionised proletariat addressed the institutionalised bourgeoisie – an unusual occasion well used by Cde Vavi. The second was a detailed memorandum handed to the Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy by COSATU Gauteng Provincial Secretary, Siphiwe Mgcina, at a picket of the embassy by COSATU members, on the WTO and NAMA, as part of the Jobs and Poverty Campaign. See link below. SAMWU in Johannesburg has sent a statement about their strike yesterday, linked below. The ANC Youth League has declared its support for Jacob Zuma in the succession race for the ANC Presidency and subsequently the Presidency of South Africa. In spite of what the bourgeoisie’s mercenary “independent analysts” may say, this is a significant move by an ANC structure, which is within its rights to express a view on this matter. This follows President Mbeki’s open canvassing for a “woman president” (of which there is only one in the field at the moment, namely Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka - wife of the man the ANCYL refers to as “Malume Ngcuka”). There is now an open, public contest for the Presidency of the country. See the linked item below. Click on these links: Marx, Engels, Manifesto, Bourgeois and Proletarians (5181 words) COSATU GS Z Vavi, Role of Government, input to CHAMSA (1349 words) COSATU memorandum on WTO handed to US Embassy (972 words) SAMWU Johannesburg Strike Statement (402 words) ANCYL wants Zuma for president, News24 (223 words)

11 May 2006


The site http://amadlandawonye.wikispaces.com/ is not opening. It is where the documents are archived. The major part of this distribution depends upon links to that site. If you can access the site, please send me an e-mail to that effect. If not, please could you send a short few words to help@wikispaces.com ? In such a way that they are made aware that this is a problem for many people and not just one person? That's all I would ask at this stage, if you have a moment to do these things. Otherwise, I'm sorry for the delay and for the incomplete message below. Yours in struggle, Dominic. The question of war and peace is more crucial than any other. The USA is threatening war and nuclear war against Iran in these days. The President of Russia has said "We are aware what is going on in the world", and more. See link. COSATU's Jobs and Poverty Campaign was one of the successes of the year of class struggle, 2005. Now it begins again, like a rising drum-roll. See link. SATAWU accepted the negotiation offer provisionally, but when they put it to the workers, the workers refused to withdraw their action, quite rightly. The employers should not make such conditions. Karima Brown and Vukani Mde have reunited as a team and given us a piece on ANC Deputy President Jacob Zuma in the Business Day which tells it somewhat more like it is than has been the Business Day's habit. When it comes to TAC, the question is, have they broken ranks with their consistent allies, COSATU and the SACP? Read this document. The Communist University is seeking clarity on it. The ANC and COSATU both pay tribute to the late Jimmy Seepe. See link. Click on these links: Putin hits out at Comrade Wolf in Washington The Guardian (501 words) Jobs and Poverty Campaign 11 May 2006, COSATU Media alert (142 words) SATAWU rejects Employers conditions (112 words) When the wheel of fortune turns, Brown and Mde, Business Day (1132 words) TAC statement on verdict in Jacob Zuma trial (684 words) COSATU, ANC, tributes to Jimmy Seepe (309 words)

10 May 2006


The Johannesburg Central YCL meets tonight at SATAWU Offices, 13th floor, Old Mutual Building, 29 Kerk Street, between Harrison and Loveday Streets, Johannesburg, at 17h00 to discuss “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism”, by V. I. Lenin. Next week at the same time and place they will discuss “The Prince”, by Machiavelli. If ever there was a book of politics made easy, this is it, enjoyed and famous for almost 500 years. See link below. In Skowhegan and in Westbrook, Maine, USA, workers are in struggle, in solidarity with South African workers, against a South African company that has exported its capital to that place. The company is trying to withdraw benefits and to introduce a two-tier contract of the kind rejected by the ANC NGC last July and subsequently by the French workers and students in mass action. See link. In South Africa, NUMSA members (metalworkers) are gearing up for their sectoral general strike next week, part of COSATU’s Jobs and Poverty campaign. Professor Sipho Seepe is the brother of the well-known journalist Jimmy Seepe, who according to the radio very unfortunately passed away yesterday. We who also inhabit the world of journalism, academia and politics feel his loss keenly and extend humble condolences to Prof. Seepe, whose article from yesterday’s Business Day on the “Native Club conference” happens today to be linked below. Raymond Suttner has written another letter to the Business Day. As an SACP member he enjoys the right to write what he likes and where he likes. But if others in the Party should write in response, it amounts to “silencing”, according to Suttner. The readers of the Business Day will surely notice this self-contradiction of Suttner’s. See link. The SACP and COSATU have both issued brief statements welcoming Jacob Zuma’s public apologies yesterday. See link. Click on these links: 1512, Machiavelli, The Prince (excerpts, 5131 words) Sappi workers demonstrate at Boston, USA HQ, USW (739 words) NUMSA pickets pave way for general strike next week (303 words) Not black and white at Native Club, Prof Sipho Seepe, B Day (1092 words) Raymond Suttner, Sacred Word, Business Day (199 words) SACP and COSATU Statements on Zuma apology (446 words)

9 May 2006

Verdict: Not Guilty!

The ANC-SACP-COSATU Alliance position of “innocent until proven guilty” was a brave, principled and dignified stand and all concerned have every right to be proud of themselves, now that the trial is over. All those who rushed out with intemperate statements during the trial have been made to look stupid. The masses are not fooled and the country is full of joy today following the acquittal of Jacob Zuma. The corruption cased that lies ahead for Msholozi is already cracked and tatty since the prosecution double-crossed their former witnesses. The Thint company had previously been given immunity in return for standing up the phoney “fax” from the waste-paper basket, used in the conviction of Schabir Shaik. Thint sold itself. Now, after all, it is to be charged. Its evidence is tainted and worthless. Even more crucially the State President, Thabo Mbeki admitted (conveniently too late for the Shaik trial), that he and not Zuma was the author of a memorandum which constituted the other main piece of evidence that Hilary Squires used to convict Shaik and to smear Jacob Zuma in absentia with the cheap insinuendo of a “generally corrupt relationship”. The Zuma corruption trial is going to turn back upon his accusers, just as the Zuma rape trial did. COSATU’s Pat Craven writes: “The After-Eight Debate on SAFM at 08h05 tomorrow, 9 May, in on the question: “Should Jacob Zuma continue as President of the ANC?” You can join in by phoning 0891 104 207. Please do!” The historic united Alliance statement on the Zuma acquittal is linked below together with that of the Young Communist League. Jon Qwelane reveals a second in-camera news briefing (recalling the infamous briefing of “senior black journalists in which Jacob Zuma and others were secretly smeared by the Scorpions/NPA). See link. In the United States, the United Steelworkers’ Union is up against the South African company SAPPI, in a united action with our CEPPWAWU. See link Once again there are far too many notable things happening to be covered in this daily educational selection. For example an in no particular order: NEHAWU (the South African Health Workers’ Union has released a statement in celebration and support of the Jacob Zuma (which will presumably appear later on their web site). Hundreds of FAWU members and supporters are to participate in a massive protest march at 10h00 today Tuesday 9 May 2006 in Paarl in support of about 300 striking workers at the Pioneer Foods’ Klipheuwel (Durbanville) plant. And among the enormous number of report in the ANC Daily News Briefing is President Thabo Mbeki’s appointment of Safety and Security minister Charles Nqakula as a facilitator for the Burundi peace process. This difficult mission was previously, and skillfully, headed by Jacob Zuma. Nqakula is Chairperson of the SACP. Also from Mbeki and from the same ANC feed, this quote: “…as far as I am concerned the next president of South Africa should be a woman," (Mbeki told hundreds of women in Phuthaditjhaba in the Free State last Friday). In the Business Day its editor Peter Bruce in his personal column Thick End of the Wedge yesterday admitted: “BEE merely changes the colour of the economy, not the way it works.” So it is remarkable to receive from Dale McKinley a rant to the effect that nothing we the Communists and our alliance can do stands comparison with his friends the APF, whose web site has not been updated since December. Dale claims that these struggles don’t need the Internet or, apparently, any other manifestation in the general public realm – yet for him, for example, all the workers’ struggles led by COSATU are insignificant by comparison, and not worthy of mention. This is what is called “delusion of grandeur”. He is also notably hostile to political education. See link below. Click on these links: Alliance on judgment, ANC Deputy President Jacob Zuma case (566 words) YCL statement on the ANC Deputy President rape trial verdict (517 words) The plot to get Zuma, Jon Qwelane, News24 (527 words) United Steelworkers rally to demand justice at SAPPI USA (267 word) South Africa today according to Dr Dale T McKinley (462 words)