9 January 2008

ANC NEC and other statements

The Statement of the first National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the 52nd National Conference of the African National Congress (linked below) includes the names of the elected members of the new National Working Committee (NWC) – ten women and ten men. The other (ex-officio) members of the NWC are the six directly-elected office-bearers of the NEC (Jacob Zuma, Kgalema Motlanthe, Gwede Mantashe, Thandi Modise, Baleka Mbete and Matthews Phosa); the two living ex-Presidents of the ANC (Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki) and one representative each from the ANC Women’s League and the ANC Youth League. The NWC is a sub-committee of the NEC, attending to business between NEC meetings, just as the NEC is a sub-committee of the ANC’s highest body, the National Conference, attending to business between conferences.

The Statement confirms “that the ANC President [Jacob Zuma] will lead the ANC election campaign as the organisation's candidate for president of South Africa in the 2009 election.” It stated that: “there is only one ANC, with one programme of democratic transformation, and one national leadership collective.” Unfortunately the conference resolutions, although referred to in the NEC statement, are not yet published, perhaps understandably so in the hectic circumstances. But we do need these texts now, urgently. The proper “implementation of the conference resolutions and programme” is hardly possible without the actual documents.

George Bizos must have asked Arthur Chaskalson to support him in making the statement that the two put out last week. If it had been Judge Chaskalson’s initiative in the first place, he would not have needed Bizos, who is not a judge, to back him up. Bizos miscalculated, and Chaskalson was misled. Bizos miscalculated, because if the courts really needed their assistance, to go public like this would only expose that weakness of the courts, and thereby make matters worse; and if the courts did not really need their assistance, as is the case, then the exercise only makes the two look foolishly deluded about their own importance. Plus, the “Zuma matter” is not yet under a specific court, but somehow still under the NPA at present, which is the lacuna that Bizos sought to exploit in a rather deceptive manner, thereby further devaluing the whole effort.

But this is only the Communist University’s understanding. For a much more devastating treatment of the two foolish retired legal gentlemen, please see the Open Letter to them by Paul Ngobeni, Deputy Registrar Legal Services, University of Cape Town, linked below. We would be surprised if this text does not finish off the “Zuma matter” by itself, when it has circulated widely, as it no doubt will, with or without the assistance of the established mass media.

The affair of the dodgy “Household Survey”, dealt with in the SACP’s statement linked below, is also not unrelated to the Polokwane ANC conference and the unwarranted attacks on the ANC President. As the Party states: “Attempts were even made in the run up to the ANC’s Limpopo Conference to persuade delegates through this unreliable information to not only adopt certain (conservative) economic policy positions but also elect a certain type of leadership.”

Another passage of events (see fourth linked item below) that typifies the present government, is the treatment of the issue of making motor vehicle spirit (biofuels) from our main staple food (maize). This clearly genocidal policy has been dealt with by Presdient Fidel Castro of Cuba several times (
for an example, click here). South Africans have understood the matter well, and particularly because it has already caused the price of food to rise enormously. Even Tito Mboweni, the Governor of the SA Reserve Bank, expressed a strong opposition to this abomination. Yet the government is now proposing to connive with big agribusiness on the basis of a fictional double market in maize, one being the normal one and the other being “surplus”. To their eternal credit, it is FAWU, the agriculture and food workers’ union, and COSATU’s oldest-established affiliate, that has taken a strong lead on this matter.

Note also the righteous stand of the YCL against the exploitation of school children, linked below.

Click on these links:

Statement of the ANC National Executive Committee, 8 January 2008 (933 words)

Open letter Chaskalson and Bizos, Paul Ngobeni (2518 words)

Community Household Survey 2007, SACP (407 words)

Social Dialogue On Surplus Maize As Source For Biofuel, FAWU (227 words)

Introduce subsidized, quality school uniforms, YCL (251 words)


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