20 January 2007

Leadership, Dealership

In this Communist University pride of place has to go to new writing. Mohubetswane Alex Mashilo wrote the first linked item (see below) for the SACP Mamelodi Branch Communist School. It is a strong and serious contribution to the debates that must lead up to the SACP 12th Congress in July this year. In Comrade Alex’s writing we can feel the Party moving towards a strong synthesis at that Congress.

The ANC on the other hand is in a great deal of difficulty. The Imvuselelo campaign exists, and yet is hard to find, just like the Imvuselelo handbook that is mentioned in the article on branch life from yesterday’s ANC Today (and was also mentioned by the President in his ANC 95th Anniversary speech). The handbook is not on the ANC web site. But see the link below. The emphasis on branches is correct, but it does not go far enough, and it is not energetic enough or speedy enough.

The handbook could have an effect if it appears, although it will not be sufficient in itself. Meanwhile branches are still having hasty general meetings (BGMs) at very short or zero notice, to elect delegates to higher bodies, after which no other meetings are held until the next time such delegates are required.

The Carol Paton articles in the current Financial Mail are revealing, but not in the way people might think. The atmosphere of corruption she ably describes is not a surprise. In fact what is revealed is how little has changed since the statement of ANC Secretary-General Cde Kgalema Motlanthe at the ANC National General Council in July 2005, which is the principal basis of the Paton articles.

But that alone is very serious. For if things have not changed in a year and a half, how are they going to change in time? The ANC Policy Conference is in June. How are the ANC branches going to discuss the policies, if they are not even meeting?

Two of the four Paton articles are linked below. Her remaining two are case studies of the Western Cape Province and of the Telkom shares (Elephant Consortium) scandal. They may be published here later, if there is space.

Lastly, we can report that in London yesterday, outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, an initial Hands Off Somalia demonstration was held. Think yourselves cursed that were not there. In South Africa, in the Mail and Guardian, the serious foreign policy write Richard Cornwell gives good reasons why South African troops must not be sent to Somalia. There is no good that we can do there. No possible benefit to the Somali people could come from the presence of foreign military forces on their soil. But there is plenty of disaster that could happen to us, and them, as a result of such a foolish intervention, if it should happen.

South Africa’s role is to champion peace, freedom, independence, and national sovereignty, and to give unconditional opposition to Imperialism. It is not our business to mediate between Imperialism and its victims, or to broker deals on behalf of Imperialism, let alone to apply armed force in such a shameful, pandering cause.

Click on these links:

Relation of working class to state power, Mohubetswane Alex Mashilo (4991 words)

Place the branch at the centre of struggle, ANC Today, 070119 (857 words)

ANC and business, soul for sale, Carol Paton, Financial Mail (2948 words)

ANC finance, untold millions, Carol Paton, Financial Mail (1209 words)

SA should not send troops to Somalia, Richard Cornwell, M and G (754 words)


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