5 February 2008


Morgan Tsvangirai, the President of Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has made a firm, unequivocal and historic speech, linked below, announcing the MDC’s participation in the election scheduled for next month in that country.

President Tsvangirai rightly states that Zimbabweans must be given a “fighting chance” and continues: “A democratic struggle of the nature we are engaged in is a process… We decided to go into this election fully aware of the potential dangers surrounding the process. Our struggle seeks to go beyond the March election until the people can see and feel a fundamental change in their daily lives.”

Read President Tsvangirai’s full speech linked below, courtesy of the MDC’s Media Release distribution group at
http://groups.google.com/group/mdc-media-releases, where you can find contact details for the MDC and where you can subscribe, so as to receive further MDC statements by e-mail.

In the same day, the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN), a South African-based support group for the Swazi liberation struggle, has made an announcement which purports to declare a boycott of elections in Swaziland. This announcement appears to be based on a past resolution of PUDEMO, on the unspecified actions of two individuals (Vincent Dlamini and Thulani Maseko), and on the alleged participation of unspecified “NGO's and Civic organization”. See the link below.

The Communist University notes that it is highly unusual for such an initial announcement of so serious a matter as an electoral boycott to be made by a voluntary solidarity organisation constituted in another country. Therefore we look forward to further announcements identifying the Swazi organisations that have called an electoral boycott, if such should prove to be the case.

In South Africa, a three-way political contradiction is playing out between the old, already-repudiated ANC leadership, the freshly-elected ANC leadership from December’s Polokwane Congress, and the opportunists of the Democratic Alliance (DA). The ANC has felt sufficiently stung by the goadings of the DA and various individual journalists to state (see the link below): “Fears of a 'purge', whether actual or perceived, are without basis.” We don’t know why it is necessary for the ANC to apologise for carrying out decisions of the 52nd Conference. The DA and the bourgeois journalist/analysts are running an undemocratic campaign to retain certain people within ANC structures who they then expect will subvert the Polokwane decisions. This is a weak campaign of theirs and it should be ignored, or otherwise exploited for a counter-offensive, but not flinched at, for heaven's sake.

Karima Brown calls into question the new ANC formulation that “ANC is the only centre of power”, in circumstances where, in the example she gives of the “long sulk” of Thabo Mbeki, the State President ignored his appointment with the ANC National Working Committee (NWC), and instead had meeting with DA leader Helen Zille, thereby providing the latter with a big photo-opportunity and the full Sophie Mokoena treatment on SABC TV. See the link below.

This is political bed-hopping of a most flagrant kind. To read Zille’s expectations consequent upon this unholy embrace, see her own subsequent statement. She wants Mbeki not only to abandon the ANC, but also the NDR, for her sake. Read the linked document below for the full fantasy.

Tonight is the “contact session” of the Communist University, at 17h00 in COSATU House, 1 Leyds Street, Braamfontein, where all are welcome. The text under discussion will be SACP GS Dr Blade Nzimande's "Dual Power, living legacy of the Great October Revolution". Please bring your hard-copy print with you. Most of the texts are available as downloads from the draft programme page (
click here). Next week’s text is ”Reform or Revolution” by Rosa Luxemburg, linked below.

Click on these links:

MDC participating in Zimbabwe March elections, Tsvangirai (629 words)

Boycott of Swaziland elections, SSN Statement (625 words)

ANC post-conference interaction with structures by leadership (362 words)

Mbeki disregards reality of change, Karima Brown, Business Day (728 words)

DA invites Mbeki to abandon NDR, Helen Zille, Politicsweb (981 words)

Reform or Revolution, compilation, Luxemburg, 1900 (10250 words)

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