31 August 2006

Democracy All Round

SADTU is the South African Democratic Teachers Union, a strong affiliate of COSATU. It was addressed yesterday by its President (and President of COSATU) Willie Madisha, and by the Minister of Defence, Mosiuoa Lekota, who is also the National Chairperson of the ANC. Their speeches are reported in the Star today in general terms, while the more specific (to SADTU), relevant and pointed remarks of COSATU General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi made at the same venue are downplayed or ignored. See the link below for the full text of Vavi’s input, and find out something about SADTU and the true political content of the present conjuncture. The Worker’s Survey commissioned by COSATU from its think-tank NALEDI was released yesterday. The document linked below is a short introductory announcement and summary of the report. The report itself (700 KB PDF) can be downloaded from the NALEDI web site. The launch of the Worker’s Survey took place yesterday at the same venue where SADTU is holding its Congress – Gallagher Estate, Midrand, which is also the venue where COSATU is to hold its 9th Congress from the 18th to the 21st of September. The first of the four items from the Business Day linked below was put as the main item on the paper's front page under the headline “Cosatu pours cold water on SACP split from ANC”. The report itself is not bad but this headline (headlines are always written in the newsroom by sub-editors, not by reporters) seems to come from one of those people who learn nothing and forget nothing. Both the SACP and COSATU are already autonomous and do not have to split from anything. The question is: What will be the direction taken by the ANC? In the article, COSATU GS Vavi is quoted as putting it this way: “Cosatu should capture the leadership of the ANC and steer it away from business and the middle classes.” Precisely. The report on the Thint company affidavit released yesterday contains this line: “Thetard (of Thint) had been required to write the “encrypted fax” incriminating Zuma, Shaik and the company in a bribery deal.” This goes a lot further than previous reports. It says that former Justice Minister Penuell Maduna had the charges withdrawn from Thint, not so much to validate an existing piece of paper found in a waste bin, but in fact to forge this evidence from a blank sheet of paper. Who is really on trial for corruption now? Maduna. The court is supposed to reconvene in a few days’ time. See the link below. Karima Brown’s opinion piece, from Tuesday’s Business Day, is partly a variation on the “lame duck” theme, whereby under the US two-fixed-terms presidential system that was somehow forced upon South Africa, the end of the presidency is inevitably dominated, as Brown puts it, by the fact that the President has a “best before” date pinned to his back. See the link below for an interesting read. Finally and for the record, also from Tuesday’s Business Day, it is reported that the anti-mercenary bill has been passed by Parliament. Let us hope that the process is completed soon and that this law in application will have the effect that we want – no more South Africans as hired guns overseas, nor in Africa for that matter. Click on these links: Address to SADTU 6th National Congress, COSATU GS Z Vavi (2985 words) The Workers Survey, COSATU Press Release 13h00 060830 (843 words) COSATU seeks pro-poor ANC, Brown and Musgrave, B Day (537 words) Zuma trial delays hurt Thint business, Ernest Mabuza, B Day (436 words) Life beyond Mbeki sell-by date, Karima Brown, Business Day (832 words) Parliament approves mercenaries bill, Sapa and Business Day (776 words)

30 August 2006

Working Class News

Yesterday there was very little worth posting. Today there is a lot more than enough, so that three items are pushed over to tomorrow, and still there are six documents remaining to be linked below. SACP GS Blade Nzimande gives a remarkably strong and concise statement (linked below) of the situation of the National Democratic Revolution and the way forward for development in South Africa. It comes in the latter part of the document so keep reading. COSATU’s Mpumalanga Province gives an equally direct statement on Swaziland. See link. Then there are two serious labour disputes. One is the FAWU BOKOMO strike. The other is the SATAWU call for national mass action on Friday in solidarity with the contract cleaning workers they organise. Join in! See the details in the linked documents. In an article from the Business Day that has been given a deceptive headline, Amy Musgrave reports on the situation leading up to the COSATU Congress. See the link below. Finally, Karima Brown and Ernest Mabuza report on the Zuma – Thint matter coming up next week, and the “Heads of Argument” in the case. See the linked document below. Click here to access the affidavits and Heads of Argument in the Zuma and Thint case in Pietermaritzburg in PDF download format. These are historic documents indeed. Click on these links: SACP GS Blade Nzimande, Address to SAMWU 2006 Congress (2575 words) COSATU Mpumalanga, Make Swaziland Ungovernable, 060729 (406 words) FAWU, Bokomo Foods cereal workers on strike from 060827 (289 words) Mass action for SATAWU contract cleaning workers 060901 (908 words) NUM may not re-elect Cosatu top brass, Amy Musgrave, B Day (384 words) Arms-deal letter pivotal in Zuma battle, Brown, Mabuza, B Day (579 words)

28 August 2006

Democracy, Class and State

British Conservative Party leader David Cameron has visited Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg and made a statement repudiating the policies of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in relation to South Africa (she called Mandela a “terrorist”). See the linked item from the London Observer. In response Peter Hain is quoted as saying: 'For those of us in the struggle - a bitter struggle, a life-and-death struggle - the Tories were the enemy as much as Pretoria”. Is this true? Let us see. Hain, born and bred in Johannesburg, was prominent in Britain’s Young Liberals in the 1960s and 1970s, and as such, rejected the democracy and the discipline of the Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM). So it is possible that he is simply ignorant of the fact that from the very beginning of the AAM in the 1950s, the movement took great care to try to win Conservatives (“Tories”) to its ranks. One founding member was the Tory Lord Altrincham, and Christabel Gurney records that this man was used at nearly every meeting in the early days, precisely to make the non-sectarian point that Hain has never grasped. The Anti-Apartheid Movement was a democratic mass boycott movement of ordinary British people. Nothing is more ordinary in Britain than the Tory Party. Hain can speak for himself and his undisciplined adventurist group of show-offs. Most of the AAM were very keen to get Tories on board. One supporter was Fulham MP Martin Stevens. Another was an MP called Hugh Dykes. Both Conservatives - and there were others who played a role. Lord Barber, a former Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) was a member (together with Olusegun Obasanjo and Shridath Ramphal) of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group (EPG), which met Nelson Mandela in prison in 1986. Hain is now a member of the British Labour Party government. He is Northern Ireland Secretary. In other words he is as near as he could get in 2006 to being a British colonial governor. So it is perhaps natural that he should try to keep any Tories off the struggle turf that made him famous. He is wrong, of course, and Nelson Mandela was right to meet the Tory leader. The Tory leader was also right to reject Thatcher, so much of whose philosophy has since been embraced by the so-called Labour Party of Hain and Blair (most especially her war-mongering Imperial policies). According to the City Press, supporters of Thabo Mbeki’s campaign for the ANC Presidency in 2007 are busy going around the country trying to procure advancement for their faction and to get what amount to oaths of loyalty (like Jomo Kenyatta used to do). The City Press report (linked below) says that the success of this campaign is mixed. The ANC Parliamentary caucus refused. A branch in Port Elizabeth, on the other hand, enthusiastically embraced not only Mbeki but also Nosimo Balindlela. Also linked today is a brief report of the three-day session of the National Committee of the Young Communist League (YCL) of South Africa, from their spokesperson, the talented Castro Ngobese. The Second National Congress of the YCL takes place from 14th to 17th December 2006, in Durban. Click on these links: Cameron, We got it wrong on apartheid, Ned Temko, The Observer (1034 words) Mbeki loyalty plan flops, Mpumelelo Mkhabela, City Press (919 words) Intensify campaign v unemployment and monopoly, YCLNC (1621 words)

27 August 2006

Tortured prose

The link below connects to an article by Tim Cohen from the Johannesburg Saturday newspaper, the “Weekender”, yesterday. It is almost impossible to guess what the man is really trying to say. He is scared to come out with it. He could be saying that President Thabo Mbeki has been corrupted. Judge for yourself. Click on the link and read it. Why he writes in such a peculiar way is also not clear. Cohen is an experienced and senior journalist who is quite capable of expressing himself. He may be afraid of his editor, as he suggests, or of litigation. At least this much is certain: The “underlying facts” that Cohen mentions are nothing to do with Jacob Zuma, unless in the sense of Jacob Zuma being the “fall guy”, the one who is “framed” to “take the rap”. Sometimes the prose of high-paid professional writers like Cohen is harder to understand than US gangster jargon. Click on this link: Elephant in room wants out, Tim Cohen, Business Day Weekender (638 words)

26 August 2006

The Street Is A Medium Of Mass Communication

What is now called “spin” is what used to be called “gloss”. A good example of gloss is the opening line of the Sapa article printed by The Star yesterday. It says: “Reaction to Desmond Tutu's calls for Jacob Zuma to abandon his presidential ambitions has been muted.” But the article actually reports that a Zuma supporter wrote that Tutu "was crying like a baby during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for us to forgive apartheid murderers, but now he urges the public not to forgive Msholozi. What hypocrisy, bishop Tutu." How is such a statement called “muted”? Writing of The Star's, and Sapa's, usual kind is not for the purpose of telling you something you don’t know. It is rather for the purpose of telling you what to think about something - often something that you do already know. Another example is yesterday’s Mail and Guardian article by the paper’s anti-Zuma hired gun, Sam Sole. After no less than ten preliminary paragraphs of his own private composition, Sole arrives at the matter upon which he is reporting, which he calls “court papers” (actually an affidavit). Then there is a short quote, followed by a shameless invention of Sole’s, namely the rubbish idea that Bulelani Ngcuka was “suckered into withdrawing charges against Thint”, the French arms manufacturer. Readers of the Star (see here) know very well that former Justice Minister Penuell Maduna offered this withdrawal of charges on his own initiative through the agency of Tony Georgiades, Frederick de Klerk’s wife Elita’s ex-husband. This was in exchange for Thint (also known as Thales) standing up the flimsy “encrypted fax” so as to convict Schabir Shaik, as a stage in their campaign against Zuma. Maduna continued to pester the Thint company for money and free travel, together with his wife, right up to last year. All this is clearly spelled out in the same affidavit. Yet Sole glosses this as Maduna “representing Thales as an attorney”, which is an outrageous lie. Sole rises to his climax towards the end of the article, writing: “the overwhelming impression is of a strategy designed to make sure Zuma never has to meet the case we all want him to answer.” Who is this “we”? Not COSATU, for sure, because COSATU has demanded that all charges against Jacob Zuma be dropped. Neither is it the huge crowds who fill the streets of South Africa in support of “Msholozi”, (Jacob Zuma). No, the “we” is basically Sam Sole and his boss, Mail and Guardian editor Ferial Haffejee, hoping to speak for an indeterminate (but certainly small) number of middle class snobs who oppose Zuma for basically racist reasons, in other words because they don’t think he is sufficiently assimilated for their liking. The Mail and Guardian’s circulation is around 40,000, out of 40 million South Africans. See the link below for this example of despicable journalism. Terry Bell’s glossing (see link) is even more devious than Sole’s. He starts in the same way with several deceptively general paragraphs and then goes for his target using passive aggression. “The press has taken a lot of flak from COSATU”, he writes. The fact that this is not true doesn’t bother Terry, and of course he quotes no examples. Passive aggression is the tactic of falsely accusing people of attacking you, so as to create an excuse for you to attack them. Sure enough, Terry’s attack follows and it carries the unmistakeable stench of red-baiting in the form of a lot of guff about democratic centralism. Then comes this classic weasel line: “Many trade unionists, even at the most senior levels, admit that it is silly to maintain that there is unanimous support within Cosatu for the positions adopted in support or defence of Zuma.” The word “many” is a sure sign of sick journalism. How many? And then how many dissenters does it take before support is no longer “unanimous”? One dissenter, actually, among 1.9 million members of COSATU, means that support is not unanimous. That one might even be Terry Bell himself. Who has ever claimed such “unanimous” support for Jacob Zuma, or any other policy of COSATU? Nobody. What, then, is Terry Bell saying? Nothing. He is just making a bad smell. Democratic unity is about winning a majority, and more especially about the minority accepting the decisions of the majority. Unanimity has nothing to do with it. Unanimity is for fascists. Thank goodness for Neva Makgetla. She writes: “many commentators love the labour movement — it’s unions they can’t stand.” Terry Bell, nailed, with one sharp line. See her excellent article linked below. Those who can’t see popular unity under their noses probably just don’t want to see it. Others, and especially communists, are thrilled by the knowledge of masses of people in combination for a common purpose. The heroism of tens of thousands of Lebanese people returning to their shattered towns and villages without even one day’s hesitation will be an everlasting inspiration to us. See the link below for a full appreciation of what this extraordinary and world-historical mass action really meant. Click on these links: Only God judges, Tutu told, Sapa, The Star (295 words) Zuma, Thint go for broke, Sam Sole, Mail and Guardian (1121 words) Sleight of hand by Terry Bell, Business Report (793 words) In praise of labour movement virtues, Neva Makgetla, Business Day (743 words) Lebanese Civilians Thwarted Israel, James Marc Leas, Counterpunch (1156 words)

25 August 2006

No News Today

It was never a Zuma Affair. It’s always been a Maduna Affair. But just when you would have thought the Maduna Affair was cooking, following what Jeremy Gordin rightly called “explosive” revelations, the word has gone around the newsrooms: “Shut it down, lads and lasses”. So they all went shtum. In place of such investigations, Steven Friedman was wheeled out to give a sermon on how we should all stop being nasty to one another. Then the grandstanding old sky-pilot, Desmond Tutu, was propped up to preach against Jacob Zuma, such a friend of his, more in sorrow than in anger, et cetera, et cetera. And someone prodded Xolela Mangcu into offering a fly-blown American plague on all the houses he could make out from his elevated plane of consciousness. All of it humbug. No news today. At least the Communist University still has something relevant to say. It will meet this evening at 17h00 in the Women’s Jail, Constitution Hill, to discuss Karl Marx’s 1845 “Theses on Feuerbach”, of which the last and most famous says: “Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it” The following Friday (September 1st) we were scheduled to discuss an SACP Gauteng Provincial political education paper called “What is the World Social Forum?” by the well known expert on lumpen proletarians, Comrade Vishwas Satgar (he who has held the position of SACP Gauteng Provincial Secretary for many a year). Unfortunately, the Province uses the e-mail very sparingly. Perhaps they are trying to save money. As a result, and not for the first time, the Communist University is unable to distribute the current Provincial Text. We will have to improvise for next week. Our resources are splendid, and well up to the task. Hence we are able to offer an alternative in the form of “Socialism, Utopian and Scientific”, by Frederick Engels, as a thoroughly suitable alternative to the study of the World Social Forum. See the link below. Today’s text is short. This next one is long, but every page and paragraph is worth reading, so read as many as you can. In the subsequent week, on Thursday September 7th, South Africa’s home grown version of Karl Kautsky, Joel Netshitenzhe, will appear on Constitution Hill to revive Kautsky’s Imperialist Economism under the rubric of “Political Parties, Labour and the State”. On the following evening, September 8th, the Communist University will discuss “Why Revolutionaries Need Marxism”, by Dialego (John Hoffman), which will be distributed next week. Click on this link: Socialism Utopian & Scientific, Engels, 1880 (16228 words)

24 August 2006

Chickens Home To Roost

The Star front page (1st Edition) yesterday carried, in two articles, the most extraordinarily complete and concise exposition of the machinations of Penuell Maduna and Bulelani Nguka in relation to the Thint company, as well as Jacob Zuma (who was the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa) that has so far been seen by the CU. It comes as a consequence of the arrogance of these two, in concert with Vusi Pikoli and Leonard McCarthy, when they recently placed tendentious affidavits before a court of law. The result is exposure and reversal of fortune. The hunters have become the hunted. Especially Maduna. According to the rebuttal reported yesterday, Maduna double-crossed the Thint company so many times it is quite hard to count them. At the beginning Maduna used Tony Georgiades, F W de Klerk’s wife Elita’s former husband, as his go-between. Maduna demanded money, free travel, expenses, and time in London with his wife from Thint, and got these things. After the case that he had organised forced Schabir Shaik to sell his shareholding, Maduna tried to buy it. The man had no restraint or shame at all. Please read Jeremy Gordin’s lucid summary of this incredible story, that went on for so many years under the eyes of the press, while they ignored it, or, like the very same Star newspaper, became cheerleaders for the Maduna/Nguka party. It is linked below, with a separate article on the specific campaign against Jacob Zuma. Revelations seem to come in waves. For the first time in the eyes of the CU there is evidence of some substance in the so-called “hoax e-mail” case, also from the Star, and linked below. Up to now, the explanations of the Minister, Ronnie Kasrils, have always seemed sufficient to gain the benefit of any doubt in the matter. But now it is very clear that there was a government cover-up, and that Saki Macozoma (like Maduna, a previously untouchable rich person in the ANC) was allowed to interfere in state proceedings, and then left out of the subsequent investigation. The chickens are coming home to roost, and the geese are going to be cooked. Bourgeois class behaviour is generalised in the political literature. But like the atrocities of war, it always comes down to specific times, dates, places, acts done, witnesses, documents, pictures and other evidence. There are always individual perpetrators. The Durban judge in the Thint/Zuma case can bring a lot of the truth to the surface. More likely, he will abandon the case before any more comes out. There will be intimidation. There has been intimidation all along. But what was in the Star yesterday ought to be enough, even if the judge goes to sleep, to cook the geese. Booysens Hotel is where plots are supposed to be hatched, if we believe everything we read. If you fancy hanging out there with the “plotters”, here is an excuse: go there at 18h00 hours this evening. Listen to what is called worker poetry (from the USA), have some free light refreshments and/or avail yourself of the cash bar – and by all means report any plots you hear about back to the Communist University. See the linked notice for details. Zimabawe Solidarity Forum appears to be losing the services of Pamela Masiko and Richard Smith. Since it is not a constitutional mass democratic organisation, it is hard to imagine what it can do. Somebody’s friend of a friend will be suggested and nodded through by the stakeholders, presumably. Let us hope it all turns out for the best. There is a press conference in Randfontein for the Merafong (Khutsong) campaign against exclusion, today at 11h00 (West Rand municipal offices). SATAWU campaigning for cleaners continues, with the support of COSATU and affiliates. Details of specific actions will be relayed when known. Click on these links: Zuma, Thint fight back, Jeremy Gordin, The Star (850 words) Banished to political purgatory, Zuma, Oellermann, The Star (531 words) Hoax e-mail probe draws scathing report, Angela Quintal, The Star (614 words) Flyer for Worker Poetry, 18h00, Booysens Hotel, 060824 (notice) Zim Solidarity Forum at CSVR 09h30, Braamfontein, 060831 (notice)

23 August 2006


The ANC’s Joel Netshitenzhe is rumoured to be the master-mind behind the recent press attacks on COSATU and the SACP. Usually found in Pretoria, he is scheduled to brave the political piranha pool of Johannesburg on September 7th in one of the Harold Wolpe Seminar series on Constitution Hill. Comrades of the Johannesburg Communist University and all class-conscious proletarian forces should be there to confront and contradict the anti-working “legal Marxist” sophistry that is behind the elite anti-working-class campaign of recent months. See the link for full details. Drinks and snacks will be served from 5:15pm on the day. TAC is the Treatment Action Campaign, a very good cause. But surely it is not too much to ask for a bit of tactical foresight from them. Here, linked below, is a “Global Call for Action” issued on Sunday August 20th and supposed to be actioned on Thursday, August 24th – tomorrow. The Communist University got the notice yesterday. The call is for mass protests across South Africa and many other things. There is not enough time. Six weeks’ notice would be more like it for a conception of this size. “GLU” is the Global Labour University, which sounds like a monopolising hegemonic project. It is funded with money from the Germany Bourgeois Republic (GBR). For those prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt, they are offering a Masters course “in the Field of Labour Policies and Globalisation”, to be taken at Wits University in Johannesburg. Scholarships are available. See the linked notice below. Let the Communist University take this opportunity to hail our comrade “organic university”, the University of Abahlali baseMjondolo. This “out of the ground” university is celebrated in the book “Yonk’indawo umzabalazo uiyasvumela: new work from Durban”, which is Volume 1 of the 2006 research reports of the Centre for Civil Society (CCS). The whole book can be downloaded in PDF format (the file is large) using a link from the CCS web site. The University of Abahlali baseMjondolo is described in report No. 42, written by Raj Patel, on page 81. Click on these links: Parties, Labour and State, Netshitenzhe, 17h15, 060907, Con Hill (notice) Treatment Action Campaign Global Call to Action Tomorrow (1316 words) GLU Masters in Labour Policies and Globalisation, Wits (notice)

Out Of The Ground

The concerted attack of Msomi, Monare and Letsoalo on COSATU was a little bit like the Israeli attack on Lebanon. They had the freedom of three of the best weapon platforms that bourgeois Imperialism could afford: the City Press, The Star, and the Mail and Guardian, armed with the best verbal stand-off ordnance, calculated to do as much damage as possible without any danger to the brave keyboard warriors. Then to their surprise “out of the ground” like Hezbollah came the resistance. What the three thought they had taken, they could not hold. A good example of the fighting spirit of COSATU can be found in the linked short and direct statement of COSATU’s North West Province. The bourgeoisie and their stooges are going to learn not to mess with the organised South African proletariat. COSATU scored another victory yesterday when the five remaining comrades in court in relation to the border blockade of Swaziland last April were released with all charges dropped. These comrades included Comrade Joe Nkosi, COSATU’s First Deputy President, who is one of those who have been carelessly attacked in the above newspapers. See the linked document, which contains both COSATU’s statement and that of the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN). Returning to the Israeli colonialist aggressions and what he rightly calls the “infamous Zionist media shield”, Gilad Atzmon, an Israeli exile in London writes: “Somehow, since the war began, since Israel revealed once again its murderous tendencies and Hezbollah proved to be the new Robin Hood, these voices are caving in.” He is saying that the Imperialists are being out-written as well as out-fought and that as a result their arrogance is disappearing. See his extraordinary article by using the link below. On the anti-Imperialist side there is no necessity to shrink from the truth. It is true that the Israeli colonialists have devastated Lebanon with their cowardly bombing, but they have not destroyed the people. Link to this eye-witness report below. Click on these links: COSATU North West response on the political environment (271 words) SSN and COSATU, Dropping of charges against 5 COSATU leaders (682 words) Cosmic Judeo Bunker No More, Gilad Atzmon, Counterpunch (1554 words) Journey to South Lebanon, Ramzi Kysia, Beirut, Counterpunch (1001 words)

22 August 2006

A Job and Events

Swaziland Solidarity Network together with Southern Africa Contact is advertising the job of Project Co-ordinator for the Foundation for Socio-Economic Justice, a 12-month contract at R5000 per month. See the linked one-page advertisement with contact details. Please pass the message on if you can. SACP GS Dr Blade Nzimande’s speech to the Institute of Retirement Funds is a significant round-up of the work of the Financial Sector Charter Council. See the link below. On Friday, August 25th, the Young Communist League is holding a Youth Seminar on the 10th floor of COSATU House, with speakers from the tripartite alliance formations and topics including State Power, and ASGISA. See the leaflet linked below. On Saturday, August 26th, at the Drill Hall, corner Plein and Twist Streets, Joubert Park, Phyllis Naidoo’s book “156 Hands”, which is about the Treason Trial that started fifty years ago, will be launched at 14h30. Now, more on the SACP Johannesburg Central Branch AGM of Sunday, August 20th… The Communist University’s report was accepted. See the link below. The normal monthly Branch General Meeting (BGM) meeting dates are to be changed to the first Sunday of the month, instead of the third. Therefore the next BGM will be held at 10h00 on Sunday, September 3rd, 2006. The venue is the SATAWU offices, 3rd floor, Old Mutual Building, 29 Kerk Street, between Loveday and Harrison Streets, Johannesburg. We were fortunate to have present at our AGM the new Chairperson of the SACP Gauteng Province, Comrade Councillor Zico Tamela, who is a member of our branch, and was nominated for the position by our branch, and then duly elected by the Gauteng Provincial Council. Further elections will now follow for the vacant Additional Member positions onb the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC). Click on these links: SSN - FSEJ, Job advert, project co-ordinator (473 words) Dr Blade Nzimande, speech delivered at the IRF conference (2029 words) YCL Seminar Leaflet for 060825 11h00 - 16h00 plain (notice) 156 Hands, Phyllis Naidoo, Treason Trial book launch 060826 (notice) SACP Jhb Central Pol Ed Report for AGM, 20 August 2006 (541 words)

21 August 2006

Succession No Problem for Jhb Central

The Annual General Meeting of the SACP Johannesburg Central Branch was successfully held yesterday. The following were elected to the new Branch Executive Committee: Secretary, Nosipho Rosemary Thobejane Ndoqo; Chairperson, Makhi Ndabeni; Deputy Secretary, Nathaniel Komano; Deputy Chairperson, Helen Diatile; Treasurer, Martin Rall; Additional Members, Khefilwe Binang, Mosidi Maboye, Sibusiso Mchunu, Dinga Sikwebu, Tengo Tengela. It is the mark of a strong structure that it is able to hold its AGM, quorate and in good time, and to elect a full BEC composed of capable cadres. Johannesburg Central is an asset to the working class. Long live! The Johannesburg Young Communist League’s next political education session will take place on Sunday August 27th in the SATAWU offices, 13th floor, Old Mutual Building, 29 Kerk Street, between Harrison and Loveday Streets, Johannesburg. The text under discussion will be the 1921 documents of the Third Congress of the Communist International (3CCI for short) on Women (Basic Principles, Declaration and Resolution). See the linked text below. City Press editor Mathatha Tsedu (on the SAFM Sunday morning show “The Editors”) called what his paper is doing “scratching around”. Like chickens, presumably. The trouble is these chickens are scratching in the same dusty patch this week as they scratched in last, week with the same scant results. Christelle Terreblanche and Xolani Mbanjwa of the Sunday Independent did come up with a new angle: “the unintended consequence of giving (COSATU GS Zwelinzima Vavi) underdog status”. There may be a grain of truth in that one, at least. Certainly the excesses of the City Press Msomi gang and counterparts Monare in the Star and Letsoalo in the Mail & Guardian have put a lot of people on their guard. Cadres have quietly gone to work all around the country. There will be no stampede of the kind the movement’s false new friends would love to see. The name of the Communist University’s favourite industrial-strength sociologist, Eddie Webster, also pops up in this story. See below for the link. It is all very reminiscent of the satirical British “Private Eye” magazine, which used to have a joke all-purpose headline for tendentious gutter-press hype: “SHOCK HORROR PROBE ROW LOOMS!” “Public engagement should never be mistaken for attempts to trample and drown out dissenting voices” says ANC Youth League President Fikile Mbalula, collapsing the preachy Barney Pityana, in yesterday’s City Press. Link below. Next Saturday at 14h30 at the Drill Hall in Johannesburg there will be a book-launch for Phyllis Naidoo's latest. The book includes profiles of the 156 Treason-trialists of 1956. More details of this project will follow when known. Click on these links: 1921, 3CCI, Women, Basic Principles, Declaration, Resolution (8032 words) COSATU president denies probe, Terreblanche and Mbanjwa, Sindy (702 words) ANCYL speaks out on ANC succession, Fikile Mbalula, City Press (595 words)

20 August 2006

The Caravan Moves On

Yesterday it was stated here that the Communist University distribution would not come out today. Immediately afterwards, material started to come in which could not be put aside. The movement never sleeps. The first item linked below is COSATU GS Zwelinzima Vavi’s input to the NEHAWU National Bargaining Conference presently taking place in Benoni, east of Johannesburg. COSATU affiliate SACCAWU has released a statement condemning anonymous slanders in the media. See the document linked below. The militant and fast-growing COSATU affiliate SATAWU has announced a programme of escalation in its dispute with employers in the cleaning sector, including demonstrations at airports, private hospitals, and malls on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday next week. See the linked item for details and call for secondary action. Swazi trade unionists appreciate COSATU’s solidarity, in terms both of the fact-finding mission and report, and the border blockade of April 12th, 2006. The linked document from four Swazi unions backs COSATU unreservedly against its critics in that country. SACP GS Dr Blade Nzimande is to make a significant statement tomorrow at the annual conference of the Institute of Retirement Funds in Durban. See the attached notice for details. In case you are still not aware, today is the Annual General Meeting of the SACP Johannesburg Central Branch, taking place from 10h00 at the SATAWU office, Old Mutual Building, 29 Kerk Street, between Loveday and Harrison Streets, Johannesburg. The branch fully expects to consolidate its position in preparation for an active year giving service and leadership to the organised working class and the poor in general. The Communist University today reached second position, out of a total of 6, 561 public “wikispaces” in the world, in terms of the total number of “page views”. The CU total of page views to date is 262, 563. The top spot is occupied by a cell-phone fanciers’ site, which scores about 2500 page-views per day, as compared to our present average of approximately 1000 per day. To increase our readership, we need more e-mail addresses to add to this Communist University circulation list, which currently numbers about 870. Please assist in getting more subscribers for the CU list if you can. Click on these links: COSATU GS Z Vavi to NEHAWU National Bargaining Conference (2336 words) SACCAWU Media Release On Alleged COSATU Leadership Wrangle (881 words) Secondary strikes for Cleaning sector, SATAWU (167 words) Swaziland, SNACS-STAWU-SATU-SNA Statement (889 words) FSCC Chairperson and SACP GS Dr Blade Nzimande to address IRF (92 words)

19 August 2006

On Another Planet

There are three newly-discovered planets up there. They are Planet Msomi, Planet Monare, and Planet Letsoalo. S’thembiso “SM” Msomi sends a strangely smoky signal from his way-out orbit to the City Press. Moshoeshoe “Looney Tunes” Monare transmits from his weird region to the Independent (of reality) Newspapers. Matuma “M-L” Letsoalo sends his crackly and distorted short-wave to the Mail and Guardian. These three planets are not “aligned”, as the astrologers say. So, for example, COSATU First Vice-President Joe Nkosi, seen from Planet Msomi, appears as a “Zuma Supporter”, whereas from Planet Letsoalo the same Joe Nkosi is positively identified as an “Mbeki Supporter”. Back on Planet Earth it is plain to see that Joe Nkosi is no more or less than a COSATU man. See the link below for COSATU President Willie Madisha’s article published in the Comment section of Friday's Mail and Guardian. Comrade Madisha will be giving a Press Conference today at 12h00 at the Coastlands Hotel, West Street, Durban following the SADTU PEC meeting there. For further details please see the bottom of the same linked document. Most of the journalists in South Africa are ignoring the cacophony emanating from the three wacky new planets, because they are familiar with COSATU and with its solid and valuable place within the South African polity. See the article by Karima Brown and Amy Musgrave, linked below. One of the two soldiers captured by Hezbollah (the Party of God) last month, and still in captivity, is a born and bred South African. How many more of the Israeli colonialist armed forces are white South Africans would be interesting to know. William Lind is a US military expert with a particular interest in what he calls “4GW”, or in other words fourth generation warfare. The meaning of this is quite clear within his article on the recent defeat of the Israeli colonialists by the armed forces of the Party of God, linked below. Tomorrow is the day of the SACP Johannesburg Central Branch AGM, due to start at 10h00 in the SATAWU offices, 13th floor, Old Mutual Building, 29 Kerk Street, between Loveday and Harrison Streets, Johannesburg. Hence there will be no CU distribution tomorrow. Click on these links: Economics, politics and Cosatu, Willie Madisha, Mail and Guardian (947 words) COSATU says no divisions in leadership, Brown and Musgrave, B Day (482 words) Captured Israeli soldier born in SA, Paula Slier, The Star (682 words) Beaten - Why the IDF Lost in Lebanon, William Lind, Counterpunch (911 words)

18 August 2006

Reality and Fantasy

The Communist University meets this afternoon at 17h00 in the Women’s Jail, 1 Kotze Street, Constitution Hill, to discuss Lenin’s 1900 “Attitude of the Workers’ Party to Religion”. Next week at the same time and place we will be discussing Karl Marx’s famous 1845 “Theses on Feuerbach” (see the link below). Don’t forget the SACP Johannesburg Central Branch AGM on Sunday, August 20th at 10h00, in the SATAWU offices, 13th floor, Old Mutual Building, 29 Kerk Street, between Loveday and Harrison Streets, Johannesburg. There are some journalists who think they are smarter and more powerful than mere politicians. They have infantile delusions of omnipotence. There are journalists who think that if they can only tickle the keyboard in front of them in just the right strength and combination, then the earth will move. Such a one is Moshoesoe “Looney Tunes” Monare of the Independent group of newspapers. In one over-excited day he brought forth three deeds of embarrassment, one in the Johannesburg Star, one in the Pretoria News, and one in the Cape Times. The Communist University will not dignify them with space in its archive. Monare is the fantasist who divined weird interpretations from the new issue of Umsebenzi Online, as mentioned yesterday. What was he smoking? The SACP has taken the opportunity to respond (in general terms) to these articles. So has COSATU’s Mpumalanga Province. See the first two links below. The real world of COSATU is better shown by the linked report from SACTWU on how this COSATU-affiliated union has out-organised the FEDUSA union NULAW in the leather industry. NULAW is a union that is highly praised by the so-called “Free Market Foundation” (which is actually a monopoly market foundation), e.g. here. COSATU opposed NULAW’s sweetheart ways as long ago as 1998. COSATU lives and grows. The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on. The South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (SATAWU) has interesting things to say about race in SAA Technical. See the last link below. Click on these links: Theses on Feuerbach, Marx, 1845 (789 words) SACP Statement on current developments within COSATU (560 words) Defend COSATU against faceless leaders, COSATU Mpumalanga (362 words) SACTWU gains, NULAW loses, majority in the leather industry (293 words) Lily white at the top and pitch black at the bottom, SATAWU (589 words)

17 August 2006

Proletarian Movement

Some of the South African papers (but not all) have gone into a frenzy, to the extent where they seem to have invented so many plots that they have lost track of all of them. One paper even seized upon the latest “Umsebenzi Online” this morning, trying to twist some weird hidden message out of it. The plain version, in full, is linked below. Yesterday's Business Day’s editorial is not sensationalist. Nor is it a commercial for the South African Communist Party, although it does acknowledge the Party’s bravery in facing the question of elections. They are right. The SACP has not flinched form this question, and will continue to drive forward. Meanwhile, according to the radio, there is more chance of constituency-based election in South Africa, after all. This is not a surprise to the Communist University. The maths are simple. Louis Luyt proved the point. Proportional representation as we have it means that even one individual can make an impact, let alone a widely-supported party like the SACP. Hence first-past-the-post constituency-based elections are bound to become more popular with the bourgeoisie, as the prospect of SACP contestation looms closer. Which is not a bad thing in itself. A constituency-based parliament, with security of tenure for the individual MP, would be a much more lively place than the present echo-chamber, for sure. The Business Day’s editorial is linked below. The Swaziland Solidarity Network has issued a statement on the occasion of a Southern African Development Community (SADC) meeting in Maseru, Lesotho. See the link below. Wellington Chibebe is the Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU). On Tuesday he was assaulted and detained by police at a roadblock. See the link below for the ZCTU statement and COSATU’s prompt statement of support and demand for the release of Wellington Chibebe. Click on these links: Proletarian character of TU movement, Umsebenzi Online, 16 August 2006 (1899 words) Let us just wait and see, Editorial, Business Day (680 words) Costly silence of SADC, Swaziland Solidarity Network (427 words) ZCTU Secretary General assaulted and detained, ZCTU and COSATU (445 words)

16 August 2006

Israel Doomed

There was very little “news” yesterday. That is to say, there were few new stories in the hard-copy newspapers and the many Internet sources that the Communist University scans each day. Sure, the columns and the web sites contained the usual number of words, but there was hardly anything worth passing on. CU policy is different. If there is no news, our output becomes less. Yet there is more to this particular lull than simply a freak of nature. There is a strong feeling of the whole world being “gobsmacked”, or struck dumb, by the enormous thing that has happened – the defeat of Israel after more than fifty (but not yet sixty) years. The Zionist project is doomed. So says As’ad Abukhalil, the Angry Arab, one of the world’s great bloggers – one the CU consults every day for its style and its writing quality, as well as for its good content. Use the link below to reach the particular entry on the dooming of Zionism.. These are amazing days we are living through. The incredible Robert Fisk – not a young man – who stayed in his Beirut flat throughout the Israeli bombing, now reports from South Lebanon, standing among ruins, together with jubilant Hizbollah supporters and fighters, looking clear across the border into Israel, and “only one tank in sight”! He gives the lie to the report of his own paper, the London Independent, a few days ago that “30,000 Israelis” had moved into Lebanon before the ceasefire. That was only fog of war. Link to Fisk’s report below. This type of thing is called “reversal of fortune”. A really big one in this case. So big that the Imperial “West” cannot think what to say about it. Actions have already spoken louder than any possible words. Back in South Africa, COSATU’s economist Neva Makgetla points out that what women need more than anything else is what men also need – well paid employment for all. Click on these links: The Zionist project is doomed, Asad Abukhalil, The Angry Arab (1374 words) A Victory for Hizbollah, Syria and Iran, Robert Fisk, Counterpunch (914 words) Women, hidden violence of discrimination, Neva Makgetla, B Day (734 words)

15 August 2006

Interesting Times

The march celebrating sixtieth anniversary of the 1946 Black Mineworkers’ strike was not covered by the South African or foreign press. The occasion was marked by the ANC’s Magazine of political discussion, Umrabulo (No.26). Click here to go direct to their article on the strike. See the link below for COSATU’s press release following the march. Are the cases of Ephraim Seloga and Johannes Malatjie, fought to a finish with the help of their COSATU-affiliated union, NUMSA, extraordinary, or typical? Shocking is at least one word that is appropriate, anyway. See the linked NUMSA release, below. COSATU hits back hard against the flurry of anonymous scuttlebutt and skinder in the bourgeois print media, aimed at character assassination and the promotion of their own preferred candidates prior to the COSATU 9th Congress, due to be held from 18th to 21st September. Vusi Pikoli is the man who inherited the mess left by disgraced former Scorpion-in-Chief Bulelani Ngcuka. Why Pikoli did not immediately dump Ngcuka’s useless and self-defeating campaign against Jacob Zuma is yet to be revealed. If he carries on with it he may end up as the second (after Ngcuka) Head Scorpion to be squashed in consequence of this tainted and bogus legal quagmire. To paraphrase Uri Avnery (on the Israeli invasion of Lebanon), the Scorpions are conquering Jacob Zuma the way flies conquer fly-paper. For their own good the best advice is the same for the Scorpions as for the Israelis: Quit while you still survive, and before you are squashed, stuck and "Doomed". Document of the day has to be the COSATU office-bearer’s rebuttal of the Sunday’s clumsy attempts at interference from the Empire Road offices of the City Press. Click on these links: COSATU, A March to remember in 1946 (240 words) NUMSA, Forklift drivers six-year fight pays off (356 words) COSATU Pre-Congress discussions (270 words) COSATU responds to Pikoli (498 words) COSATU statement on City Press allegations (548 words)

Boycott Israel Now!

Twice in recent days the system whereby a Communist University blog post generates a burst of e-mails via a Communist University Google Group has indicated that it has failed, twice in a row. On the third attempt, all three succeed at once. Sorry about that. The reliability over 250 postings is good, as a percentage, but it is annoying if it happens twice in a short period of time. If it happens again there may have to be a slight change of system. Meanwhile, sorry for the inconvenience. Can you believe that the mighty Marxists Internet Archive is being X-rated by the McAffee “Site Advisor” web site. Click here to see for yourself. It says “We recommend that you not use this site.” MIA has been a source of many of the texts used by the Johannesburg Communist University. Perhaps we have not said so often enough. If you can think of ways of protecting that huge and wonderful resource from electronic terrorism, please put it into practice right away. The London Independent newspaper is hardly Marxist but it does carry some choice truth-telling on occasions. See the first two linked articles below, pointing out the limitations of the bogus “Israeli ceasfire”. Israeli ceasefires have always meant: “You cease fire, I increase fire”. This one is no different, except that this time the Israelis are being hammered on the ground. This is their “-grad”, the equivalent of Stalingrad. People are calling it Nasrallahgrad. Viva, Hezbollah, Viva! Xymphora bangs the boycott drum in a short piece linked below. Boycott will save lives. Do it. Also linked is the Palestinian Omar Barghouti’s more detailed argument for the boycott, made just over a year and a half ago, in the USA. And lastly, the statement of the Lebanese Communist Party of August 12th is linked below. There will be a second posting today, containing South African working-class news. Click on these links: Lebanon ceasefire, the real war begins, Robert Fisk, The Independent (1019 words) Huge Israeli offensive launched despite ceasefire, The Independent (1104 words) Anti-Zionist boycott follow-up, Xymphora (541 words) The Case for Boycotting Israel, Omar Barghouti, Counterpunch (4316 words) Lebanese Communists on the UN resolution (1174 words)

13 August 2006

Scares, Lies, Selective Memories, and Truth

This is Monday’s distribution, sent early for the sake of the (linked) SACP CC statement. The Communist University does not normally dwell upon the lies of the yellow bourgeois gutter press. We usually pass over the works of those who spend time complaining about daily media lies, rather than using the time to tell more of the truth. But it could sometimes be useful to study the techniques of sellout aspirant-bourgeois hacks - with a view to retaliation, perhaps. One example could be the following extract from an article in the Sunday Independent Business Report headlined “US may foot post-Castro restitution bill in Cuba”, by Randy Nieves-Ruiz, sourced from the agency SAPA-AFP: “When Castro refused to pay for the property his government grabbed, the US government retaliated by imposing an economic embargo on the island in 1962.” This is saying that the 44-year blockade of Cuba is “retaliation”! AN ENORMOUS LIE! The Business Report buys it and prints it, probably without thinking at all. This could be a good opportunity for a letter. Send to The Editor at business.report@inl.co.za . You can spot such lies when you know a bit about the subject. Robert Fisk is an Englishman living in Beirut, Lebanon. He knows Britain, and he also knows what terror is. He laughs bitterly at the huge scare the plodding British police have created by arresting 24 people and accusing them of trying to blow up aeroplanes with hair gel and “fizzy drinks”. See the link below. Sunday’s City Press shows what a contrary thing a newspaper can be. Cameron Duodu (see link) is a veteran African journalist resident in London. He, too, “smells a rat” in the British policemen’s story (which caused disruption to air traffic on a world-wide scale), and he exposes it. Yet the same issue of City Press carries a pack of deliberate, blatant and outrageous lies on its own front page. This is actual corruption. It is an editor’s corruption, hurting individuals in a vicious attempt to damage the entire political fabric of the country. See the link. The City Press is also somewhat petty and stingy when it comes to putting its articles on the Internet. It puts up very few articles and often, as in this case, only part of an article. The hard copy contains the following additional quote from COSATU GS Zwelinzima Vavi: “It is tensions time, there is no doubt about it. There is a congress coming up and the debate about the leadership question has begun. But if this debate rolls to the level of personal attacks against me, then it is quite a regrettable development. “The reality is that we are facing the most testing times in the history of our federation. Never has our unity been challenged like it is now. Never has there been this phenomenon of people talking anonymously to the media and launching faceless campaigns against the leadership in the media. It pains me that COSATU has to deal with nonsense of this kind.” The same paper, divining or perhaps outright inventing (why should we believe that anonymous sources even exist?) tittle-tattle from the SACP Central Committee, tries to stir the pot in an attempt to damage the SACP. SACP GS Blade Nzimande corrects them. See the link. The way to defeat this phenomenon is not to shrink back into silence, but to lead with clear (and not anonymous) statements of the truth That is what COSATU and the SACP have done. Likewise with Trevor Manuel’s selective memory about the GEAR policy. Pulled from ANC Today, his article popped up again in the Sunday Times. SACP Deputy GS Jeremy Cronin and COSATU GS Zwelinzima Vavi correct some of Manuel’s omissions in the Sunday Independent (see the linked article below). The question, as Jeremy Cronin points out, is: Where are all the jobs you promised, Trevor? The full statement of the SACP Central Committee, issued on Sunday, is linked below. It deals, among many other things, with the call for a consumer boycott of Israel. Click on these links: How London terror scare looks from Beirut, Fisk, Counterpunch (1169 words) UK government's credibility is under threat, City Press (621 words) Vavi, Madisha at war, Msomi, City Press (317 words) Divisions over Zuma at SACP meeting, Msomi, City Press (472 words) Cronin and Vavi reject Manuel Gear defence, Terreblanche, Sindy (789 words) Statement of the SACP Central Committee (1465 words)

Freedom Is A Social Institution

The Johannesburg YCL study circle generally meets on Sundays at 10h00 in the SATAWU offices, 13th floor, Old Mutual Building, 29 Kerk Street, between Loveday and Harrison Streets, Johannesburg (but next week we will be having our Jhb Central Branch AGM at that venue). If you wish to take part in the YCL school, please contact the Johannesburg Central YCL. The next in their series is Alexandra Kollontai’s 1909 “Social Basis of the Woman Question”. The text is linked below. The Progressive Women’s Movement (PWM) was launched, but not launched. The linked document, undated and unsigned, is taken this week from the ANC web site. Yet the Progressive Women’s Movement has refused to institutionalise itself. It says it is: “Organic - not a formal structure”. This is a contradiction in terms. Organic means formed into set of organs that can together make a living thing. In this case it can only mean constitution, democracy, office-bearers, local structures and annual general meetings or congresses, and whatever else it takes to make an organisation. The Progressive Women’s Movement has refused all of these. The result will be that the PWM exists as a kind of undead zombie, that will only have life when it is dug up from time to time and dressed in a sponsor’s tee-shirt and cap, for whatever purpose the sponsor of the day should want. These sponsors will be bourgeois sponsors. The Communist writer Christopher Caudwell understood the kind of foolishness that declares a constitution that is not a constitution, creating neither rights nor duties. He wrote: “Implicit in the conception of thinkers like Russell and Forster, that all social relations are restraints on spontaneous liberty, is the assumption that the animal is the only completely free creature. No one constrains the solitary carnivore to do anything. This is of course an ancient fallacy. Rousseau is the famous exponent. Man is born free but is everywhere in chains. Always in the bourgeois mind is this legend of the golden age, of a perfectly good man corrupted by institutions. Unfortunately not only is man not good without institutions, he is not evil either. He is no man at all; he is neither good nor evil; he is an unconscious brute.” - Christopher Caudwell, from Liberty, a bourgeois illusion, in “Studies in a Dying Culture”, 1938. What applies to “man” in this case, must also apply to women. It is institutions, and only institutions, that can make them free. The lip-service paid to “Working class biasness” in the PWM document is completely inadequate. As it stands this PWM is either a waste of time or, worse, it is a step backwards for South African women. The Friends of Cuba Society (FOCUS) now, at last, has a web site. Please make it one of your “favourites” and pass it on to others in any way you can. Put links to it on web sites, if possible. On the FOCUS web site is a FOCUS Constitution, never seen before by the Communist University. This is a great step forward, even if the particular form chosen is a little bit more elaborate than perhaps it needs to be. See the linked document below. The biggest breakthrough in this constitution is the institution of FOCUS Local Networks (FLNs!) – see clauses 8.9 to 8.11 of the FOCUS Constitution. Forward to the Johannesburg FLN! Vukani Mde’s Political Diary in the “Weekender” as usual provides abundant wit and insight, as well as an example of good newspaper writing. See the sample (2 items in one document) below. Lastly, and so as not to forget the war in Lebanon, see the linked document of William Lind, a military theorist, who shows how the Israeli colonialists can kill and terrorise, but cannot win. It is even possible that they will suffer a catastrophic defeat, quite soon, and the same applies to their US partners in crime. Click on these links: Social Basis of Woman Question, abstract, Alexandra Kollontai, 1909 (6618 words) A Progressive Womens’ Movement of South Africa, ANC (1347 words) Friends of Cuba Society, Constitution (4901 words) Is NEC the executive board of ANC Inc, Vukani Mde, Weekender (671 words) Collapse of the flanks, William S Lind, Counterpunch (762 words)

12 August 2006

ANC Today, Gone Tomorrow

Going shopping today? Don’t go to Shoprite, Checkers, OK Furniture, OK Foods, OK Mini Markets, House & Home, Hungry Lion, Usave, Freshmark, 8 ‘til late, Computicket, Rainbow Finance, Meat Market, or Sentra. There’s a boycott on. Go to another shop today. And if you see a picket line, don’t cross it, just say a few words of encouragement to the strikers and pass on. See the linked article below about the SACCAWU strike against Shoprite Checkers, the consumer boycott of that group, and COSATU’s support for it. The article says that in Southgate the SACCAWU members sang: "My mother was a kitchen girl, my father a garden boy that's why I'm so stubborn!" The 1946 black mineworkers’ strike, 60 years ago today, was a milestone in South Africa’s political development. COSATU issued a Press Statement and the ANC put an article in their on-line publication, “ANC Today”. See below for both of these. The SACP is in the middle of a Central Committee meeting and will issue a full press release tomorrow. In the same “ANC Today” there appeared an article by Finance Minister Trevor Manuel. COSATU’s e-mail Daily Labour News picked it up and relayed it to subscribers. Immediately thereafter, Manuel’s article, and then the link to it from the ANC Home page, disappeared. Who pulled it, and why? Read the article, linked below, for clues. At least we can say this: The ANC is not monolithic, and its pronouncements are not “cast in stone”! Also linked below, from the Israeli/Palestinian peace organisation, Gush Shalom, is an article by Uri Avnery showing in lay person’s terms how Imperialism works as between Israel and the USA. NUMSA GS Silumko Nondwangu is the Mail and Guardian candidate for COSATU GS. The support of this slack bourgeois tabloid will no doubt be the kiss of death to Nondwangu’s dreams this time around. Imagine appearing at the COSATU Congress as the favourite of the bourgeoisie! How he could he even think of launching a campaign this way, in a bourgeois scandal-sheet, is so not known to the Communist University, which studies such things. But it looks like a subjective factor, such as, for example, foolish pride, or recklessness. The Mail and Guardian claims that Comrade Silumko has support from his union NUMSA, and from SACCAWU, SADTU, NEHAWU and POPCRU out of the 20 COSATU affiliates. We will be amazed if even one of these unions stands up for Nondwangu against the proven leadership of Zwelinzima Vavi. Comrade Vavi has now fully confirmed that he is standing again for the position of COSATU General Secretary at the 9th Congress to be held next month from 18th to 21st September. The Communist University predicts that even his own NUMSA delegates will abandon Silumko Nondwangu at the Congress and leave him and his M&G supporters with zero support and egg on their faces. Click on these links: COSATU calls for Shoprite boycott, Sapa, IOL (502 words) 1946 mineworkers Strike, COSATU (1926 words) 1946 Mineworkers Strike, ANC Today (1373 words) No contradictions between RDP and GEAR, Trevor Manuel (1513 words) Who’s the dog? Who’s the tail? Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom (1728 words)

11 August 2006

Organise, Organise, Organise

Read the shocking story of Oscar Mabori. Picked up from a casual line-up at the side of the road by a bakkie. His first day on the site, no terms, conditions, safety, or even an agreement to pay him anything. He survives a sixteen-storey fall. But the company does not even visit him in hospital. See the linked item from COSATU, below. SATAWU’s Randall Howard is the new President of the 4.5 million strong International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), one of three South Africans currently at the head of world trade union federations. See the two liked items for details. In our on-going series on the boycott movement against the Israeli colonialists, here are two more examples from the recent past. The first is the British architects boycott, and the second the British academic boycott. Read the two linked items below. There are also a great number of items to be found in Google, if, for example, you feed in the words “Boycott Israel”. Click on these links: COSATU sends wishes to Oscar Mabori, 16 floor drop survivor (401 words) SATAWU announcement, Randall Howard acceptance as ITF President (605 words) COSATU congratulates Randall Howard (257 words) Architects boycott Israel over apartheid barrier, Independent (730 words) Lecturers back boycott of Israeli academics, The Guardian (820 words)

10 August 2006

Educate, Organise, Mobilise

The COSATU 9th National Congress is the political event of 2006. It is already an example of democracy in action. COSATU’s pre-Congress document on “Fundamental Change” is being discussed in structures all around the country. The 9th Congress programme linked below is taken from COSATU’s web site. The proposal for a consumer boycott against the Israeli colonialists is arising more or less spontaneously in many different places. Linked below is an invitation to an education workshop to be run by the Anti-Racism Education Forum this coming Saturday in Durban, which is also a planning workshop for this consumer boycott. Gilad Atzmon was born in Israel but lives in London. He is proud of being a jazz saxophonist. Let’s hope his playing is as good as his writing, which is in the tradition of the great Jonathan Swift. Click on these links: COSATU 9th National Congress Programme, 18-21 September 2006 (418 words) AREF boycott campaign planning, IPCI, Durban, 09h30 Sat 12 Aug (909 words) Operation Security Roof, Gilad Atzmon, Counterpunch (912 words)

9 August 2006

Truth Comes Out

SACCAWU is to go on strike on Thursday at all outlets of Shoprite Group. These include Shoprite, Checkers, OK Furniture, OK Foods, OK Mini Markets, House & Home, Hungry Lion, Usave, Freshmark, 8 ‘til late, Computicket, Rainbow Finance, Meat Market, Sentra. SACCAWU is also calling for a full-scale boycott of all these outlets. See the linked item below. Peter Bruce is the editor of the Business Day. He likes to say: “The truth will always come out”. But last year he sacked David Gleason for exposing the lethal struggles between bourgeois factions in the ANC. Now Karima Brown (see linked item below) writes in the same Business Day of the “newly rich” that: “Their intervention in the party’s succession challenge has been all but destructive as various business interests attempt to “buy” ANC factions.” What was once denied has now to be accepted. The truth is coming out. The SACP Central Committee meets on Friday and Saturday with a long and important agenda, set out in the document linked below. This may be a good moment to revise certain aspects of our newly-published SACP Constitution. The next document linked below contains a page of relevant extracts from our Constitution about the relationship between structures within the SACP hierarchy. The well-known blogger Xymphora has added his weight to the call for a boycott of Israel. See the linked document. The MDC (Mutambara) is one part of the split legacy of Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change. The MDC(M) in South Africa is organising a march against arbitrary night-time raids on the flats of Zimbabwean victims of the Mugabe regime in Johannesburg. The march will assemble at Berea Park in Hillbrow tomorrow at 10h00 and will proceed to the office of the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety at 78 Fox Street, Johannesburg, where a petition will be handed over at 13h00. Click on these links: SACCAWU announce August 10 strike, boycott of Shoprite Group (1467 words) A few billion reasons to question ANC, Brown, Business Day (790 words) SACP to hold Central Committee meeting August 11 and 12 (244 words) Selected extracts from the SACP Constitution (283 words) The anti-Zionist boycott, Xymphora (1150 words) MDC Mutambara march, Berea Park to Fox Str, 10h00 August 10 (161 words)