6 April 2007

Working Class Core

The next session of the Communist University is scheduled for next Wednesday, April 11, at 17h00, in the SACP boardroom, 3rd floor, COSATU House, 1 Leyds Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg. The topic for discussion is the 1979 ANC document known as The Green Book (see the link below). The discussion will be opened by the SACP National Spokesperson, Cde Francis Malesela Maleka,

The document was produced under the direction of a Commission of 6 comrades headed by the then ANC President O R Tambo and including Thabo Mkeki, Joe Slovo, Moses Mabhida, Joe Gqabi and Joe Modise. Other comrades involved included Yusuf Dadoo, Reg September and Jack Simons.

Among others the document contains the following words:

“It should be emphasised that no member of the Commission had any doubts about the ultimate need to continue our revolution towards a socialist order…

“The seizure of power by the people must be understood not only by us but also by the masses as the beginning of the process in which the instruments of state will be used to progressively destroy the heritage of all forms of national and social inequality. To postpone advocacy of this perspective until the first stage of democratic power has been achieved is to risk dominance within our revolution by purely nationalist forces which may see themselves as replacing the white exploiters at the time of the people's victory.”

It will be seen from the document that all the problems we are now experiencing were foreseen.

Zimbabwe Independence Day is April 18. Zimbabwe comrades are holding a braai at Zoo Lake in Johannesburg on April 28 to commemorate the occasion. See the linked flyer.

Next is an article about Zimbabwe which appeared in the Morning Star, a British communist national daily newspaper published in London.

On 2 April a press conference of the MDC (Mutambara) was held in Harare. See the linked document.

The ZCTU stayaway report-back message is modest and clear. See the link below.

The South African media continues to play down the working-class content of the current passage of Zimbabwean history. So, for example, the TV journalist Ben Said sneered while reporting from the Johannesburg demonstration that it had “failed to attract the expected numbers”. Nobody had ever said anything about expected numbers. All of us, even Ben Said, must know that the liberation process is long and involves demonstrations and other actions both big and small, over a sustained period that might be years. The unbanning of the SACP, for example, took 40 years

The journalists’ desire for an immediate decisive result, today, to solve the undoubted brutalities in Zimbabwe (or wherever else it may be) appears infantile. But the true reason for playing down the working-class dimension is political. The net result is ironic, and finally serious. Because it leaves the journalists themselves in the front line with nothing else to do but to appeal to government for help, because they have already discounted the popular movement.

Just such a tragedy is apparent in the FXI statement linked below. A cameraman, Edward Chikombo, has been killed in Zimbabwe. The journalists, having been instrumental in the denigration of the mass movement, now find themselves with no natural support. They turn on the government, whom they have already defined as the only source of a solution. But as Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz Pahad has pointed out, the government cannot act without mass support. Instead of sneering at the working class component of the Zimbabwe struggle, the media should have given it more attention.

The cartoon above is by Martin Rowson, from The Guardian, London, and followed the release of the 15 military who had been captured in Iranian waters.

Click on these links:

1979, ANC, The Green Book (10658 words)

Zimbabwe Independence celebrations, Zoo Lake, 28 April 2007 (flyer)

Zimbabwe workers confront Mugabe, D Tweedie, Morning Star (1019 words)

MDC-Mutambara statement, Harare, 02 April 08 (1261 words)

ZCTU stayaway report-back, 5 April 2007 (311 words)

FXI on murder of Zimbabwean cameraman Edward Chikombo (600 words)


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