7 February 2007

Dogs Bark, Caravan Moves On

Today at 17h00 in the SACP Boardroom at the third floor of COSATU House, 1 Leyds Street Braamfontein, Cde George Raphela, National Organiser of the YCL, will open a Communist University discussion of the 2005 version of the SACP Constitution.

There are several points of interest. One is the famous Rule 6.4, which is the key that has unlocked mass democracy on a huge scale in South Africa. Another is the rights of members and the procedure of Provincial and National Congresses. There is supposed to be a Gauteng Provincial Congress on 24th and 25th March (i.e. next month) and the 12th SACP National Congress is scheduled for 11th to 15th July 2007. Another point of interest is the quorum rules.

There are some comrades in the Party, and outside it, who think it is fine to make up arbitrary new rules as they go along. These are the types of people Karima Brown calls “flunkies”, referring to ANC flunkies in the first article linked below. But there are also some flunkies in the SACP. Ebrahim Steyn, for example, objected to the
CU post of 29th January where Zico Tamela was criticised for attacking COSATU in public print for not doing organising work when he himself had conspicuously neglected that same work while wearing his SACP hat. Steyn’s attack was backed up by his fellow-YCLer Bigboy Kekana. This was in last Sunday’s SACP Johannesburg Central Branch meeting.

These comrades, and Cde Tamela in particular, had previously insisted on the disclaimer that nowadays hangs over the Communist University, as you may have seen. But now Tamela accuses the CU of “getting around” the disclaimer! This piece of political lunacy would be laughable if Cde Tamela was not currently the Chairperson of the SACP Gauteng Province, an ANC PR Councillor in Johannesburg, and the International Secretary of COSATU affiliate SATAWU.

The demand last year for a disclaimer means that the Branch and the Province have disowned the CU and this is not a reversible situation. They have made their bed and they must lie in it. The Branch Executive Committee (BEC) will meet this evening at the same time that the CU is busy studying the Constitution. There will be sound and fury at the BEC but it will signify nothing. The disclaimer is there at their insistence and it will not be withdrawn. The SACP Constitution is also in place and it will not be re-written in any way until the 12th Congress in July, if at all.

Brown was commenting on the FNB demarche on crime that never was. She thinks, on balance, “the democratic space is not only there, but it is widening.” Well, fine, but the democratic space is only widened by effort, and as the above example shows, there are always plenty of flunkies around who want to close it down again. The struggle must be taken up again with each new day.

The Business Report led well yesterday with further material on the terrible Fidentia scandal, where it appears that the promoters of the company, who came from nowhere but were highly recommended, simply helped themselves to hundreds of millions of rands of money belonging to deceased mineworkers’ widows and orphans, and may well have shipped the money abroad. This is international monopoly finance capitalism. It is not a distant theory. It is a daily, predatory reality. See the linked item below from Tonny Mafu.

Finally, the imperialist war hysteria against Iran has spread to France. Diana Johnstone reports from there that whereas that country (together with South Africa, we recall) was one of the main opponents of the war on Iraq four years ago, now the French media and the main bourgeois political parties there are singing the same tune as their US counterparts (see the link). Johnstone puts this down to a shift in the allegiance of the very large Jewish population of France. But the foundation of belligerence against Iran or any other country that is outside the direct sphere of Imperial dominance is not ethnicity. It is only the same capitalist Imperialist driving force that has tortured the globe with warfare for more than a hundred years.

Click on these links:

Bank on patronage, not principle, Karima Brown, Business Day (812 words)

Fidentia sent funds offshore - FSB, Tonny Mafu, Business Report (525 words)

War frenzy in France against Iran, Diana Johnstone, Counterpunch (2454 words)


Post a Comment

Post a Comment