26 October 2007


Gillian Slovo is the daughter of Ruth First and Joe Slovo and still lives in England like many of the children of former South African exiles. They call themselves “diaspora”. Gillian’s reflection on the recent honouring of O R Tambo in Haringey, London demonstrates an equal understanding of that place and of South Africa. See the first link below.

The writer of the CU was, in the mid-1980s, the Chairperson of Haringey Anti-Apartheid. We built up a four-figure membership and we were the biggest contributor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement’s coffers in the entire country.

Haringey is a “Borough”, a collection of suburbs, shopping centres and businesses, standing in relation to the metropolis of London roughly as Edenvale or Roodepoort do to Johannesburg. Haringey includes Muswell Hill, where O R Tambo and also Dr Yusuf Dadoo (then Chairperson of the SACP - see photo) used to live, and Tottenham, home of the famous football team.

In those days the Labour-Party-ruled Haringey Council was refusing to speak to, or advertise in, the local newspaper (The Hornsey Journal), because the paper was allegedly biased towards their opponents, the Conservatives. The Labour Party wanted our local Anti-Apartheid group to shun The Hornsey Journal but we said, no, our message is for everybody, and we are not a subsidiary of the Labour Party. We did not boycott the paper and there were repercussions from the stance that we took. So there are still a few things Gillian Slovo doesn’t know about those days. As for Jack Straw, he is a man of straw in this regard. He knows nothing at all about Haringey Anti-Apartheid, and precious little about the ANC.

In a place like Haringey you live among the working class. One thing that is very surprising to people who have lived there, if they return to South Africa, is what you can sometimes hear coming from black South Africans about poor white South Africans, namely: “If they couldn’t make money under apartheid then they don’t deserve anything”. Such blacks have more respect for the exploiters than they have for the exploited. The more polite and “progressive” whites don’t like the poor whites, either. As much as they like to think of themselves as “left wing”, they have no time for these rough characters. So it is nice to see that these particular South Africans, the poor whites, are getting a little attention for once, even if it there is way too much “Ag, shame” and soap opera about it. See the second linked item below.

Getting back to Polokwane, we have said that it is necessary to think of everything, even the splitting of the ANC. Lenin, after all, never expressed any regrets about the split in the RSDLP between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks, even though he lost his editorship of “Iskra” in the process. The ANC is not a holy cow or any other kind of fetish. If we do want to keep it together, if we think it can still help to defeat the lockout that the monopoly capitalists enforce on socialism, then we must do so, and that has been the position of the SACP and COSATU up to now.

But what about the other extreme from a split, namely the inclusion of the previous enemy, Imperial monopoly finance capital, so as to create a sham corporatist "alliance" of lion and lamb? To articulate this right-wing goal, we will soon have the assistance of Mr Saki Macozoma, businessman and ANC NEC member. He will address the “
Platform for Public Deliberations” (Xolela Mangcu’s gig) at 17h30, in the Senate House, 2nd floor, Wits University, Braamfontein, on 1 November, 2007. (All are invited, there could be some snacks, seats are unreserved, and doors close at 18h00). Incidentally, the Public Conversations web site now carries an audio recording of Zwelinzima Vavi’s input given on 4 October 2007 in the same series.

“Macozoma will argue that historically the ANC has always risen to the challenges of the moment - the ANC will once again choose a leadership cadre that will help it navigate the organization and the country through the changing times. Macozoma will locate the ANC’s leadership challenge and the country’s leadership challenge within the context of globalization,” says the Public Conversations blurb.

Just suppose that Saki Macozoma and Jacob Zuma fall into each others’ arms at Polokwane, turn their backs on the workers and the poor, and go off into the sunset swearing to make a permanent home together. If you don’t think this is possible, read the remaining two linked items below. The big bourgeoisie is certainly looking for its own “pact”, and Jacob Zuma is not an outsider any more. Jacob Zuma is being shmoozed by Merrill Lynch and Moody’s. Jacob Zuma is lunching with the larnies now.

Click on these links (note the new “Coming Events” feature):

Let us judge them on the now, The Star, Gillian Slovo (1087 words)

Strangled by poverty and rejection, Janet Smith, The Star (1216 words)

Zuma favoured to lead SA, 'Politburo', The Star (505 words)

Zuma charms investors, Karima Brown, Business Day (559 words)

Coming Events (Index page on Communist University Google Group web site)


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