30 April 2006

Sharpen the Contradictions

The Communist University is a living proof of Paulo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” and the Critical Pedagogy writers we follow. When people read these writers, they are usually convinced - but often carry on just as before. Only in the face-to-face sessions can you plainly see the truth of the matter, which is that education does not “correct” or standardise peoples’ views. On the contrary, there will be more, not less to talk about after education than before. Yet there are always people who still strive to eliminate all rival views, and they love do it in the name of stamping out Stalinism! Raymond Suttner is one such half-baked Freirean. He claims his right to criticise the Party in the Business Day as a moral right, and who would deny it to him? Yet when he does publish his anti-Party rant, he does not want anybody to criticise it. And he is completely unaware of his double standard! His criticism of SACP GS Blade Nzimande’s article in the Business Day must not itself be criticised! Suttner writes of “cultivating critical thinkers”, but has never been near the Communist University until yesterday’s e-mail, in the three years of its existence within his own SACP branch. Is anybody out there ready to throw away the CU in favour of Suttner’s fine intentions? I don’t think so. Suttner “challenges” the whole world to question his party membership, like a drunk man trying to start a fight. Yet he knows even now that if he comes to the branch or to the Communist University he will be given work to do. He does not come. He hides instead. The reality of his Party membership is what he has made it, i.e. hollow. Suttner’s new letter (linked below) to the CU is published here in full. You can be sure that Suttner still believes the Communist University is “tendentious”, while he is “moral”. Nevertheless the Communist University is glad to have and to archive a second Suttner letter, just as it was glad to do with Cheche Selepe’s letter in between, because we are convinced that social learning only happens in dialogue, however sharp the dialogue may be. We know that Cheche does not want to accept a guilty verdict on Jacob Zuma. Suttner, on the other hand, tries to imply some doubt as to whether he would reject Zuma’s acquittal or not. Is it really tendentious to point out that Suttner and his pals are preparing an offensive even if there is an acquittal? What else can the last paragraph of Suttner’s Business Day letter mean? It says: “Many feel deeply disappointed at this failure of the SACP and hope that some form of renewal can be undergone in order to re-establish it as an exemplary ethical force.” “Many” when used in this fashion is a nasty weasel word. It pretends to be something it is not. In this case it stands for half a dozen characters whose sectarian ambitions within the Party have long been frustrated, like Suttner’s. They are clutching at straws. Of course Suttner’s demarche can only mean that these few will continue to try to assail the Party with the Zuma case even after the verdict. The Communist University offers no comfort for sectarians of any kind. It is called a university because it is not a seminary or a monastery. We leave dogma, catechism, inquisitions and anathemas for others. The SACP’s May Day message is linked below, followed by COSATU’s May Day message. The ANC President’s omnibus message about Freedom Day, other anniversaries, May Day, New Patriotism, anarchy, and Strini Moodley is here. COSATU’s and SATAWU’s statements on the security guards’ dispute are combined below in one linked document. Fausto Bertinotti, national secretary of Italy's Refounded Communist party (Rifondazione Comunista), was elected speaker of Italy's Chamber of Deputies on Saturday. Viva! Click on these links: Letter from Raymond Suttner to Communist University (387 words) SACP May Day Message 2006 (1696 words) COSATU 2006 May Day Message (4152 words) Incidents at Durban DoL office and SATAWU Court order (465 words)

29 April 2006

Communist University of Northern Cape!

It is with pride and joy that the Johannesburg Communist University welcomes the Communist University of the Northern Cape. See the linked study programme. Johannesburg is only a branch, but Northern Cape is a Province! It is with sadness, but also pride, that we link to the ANC’s warm tribute to our late comrade Julius Baker who passed away at the age of 98 on April 20th. The SACP’s message of condolence is also linked below. Zarina Maharaj’s book “Dancing to a Different Rhythm” is to be launched on May 11th. See linked invitation and RSVP details. José Pertierra’s useful linked summary of the case of the Cuban Five from the US web site Counterpunch serves to remind us of this continuing atrocious injustice. It would be a small contribution for our government to make towards righting this wrong if it would make a statement in support of our Cuban comrades. Judge van der Merwe has announced that the judgment in the Zuma rape trial will be broadcast on ETV and Primedia (which includes Radio 702), presumably next week. Click on these links: Communist University of Northern Cape, Programme (Notice) ANC statement on the passing away of Julius Baker (236 words) Julius Baker, SACP message to the family (430 words) Invitation to Launch of Book by Zarina Maharaj 11 May 17h30 (Notice) The Case of the Cuban Five , Honour and Injustice, Counterpunch (2667 words)

28 April 2006

Documents of the Working Class

It is great when people write to the Communist University, and Cheche Selepe has often done so. A search for “Cheche on the CU site produces 13 entries. His linked letter today is a strong challenge to yesterday’s blog, which said, as he correctly quotes: 'In the case of a conviction, the SACP collectively will accept it. That is the inevitable corollary of the Party’s stated position of “innocent until proven guilty”.' Cheche is ready to challenge the court’s verdict if Jacob Zuma is convicted of rape, while Raymond Suttner has let it be known that he will disagree with the verdict if Zuma is acquitted. The CU claims no extra knowledge over any Party member or lay person (click Critical Pedagogy” on the site if you want this explained in detail). But let’s look at a few facts. Jacob Zuma is charged with a crime, and has (unlike, say, Saddam Hussein) accepted the court’s competence to try the case. After a rigorous process of selection of the judge (this one was at least the fifth choice) Zuma has fully participated in the proceedings without expressing any reservations. He has employed officers of the court, in particular Kemp J. Kemp and his assistants, to represent his interest. “Innocent until proven guilty” surely cannot mean, as Cheche seems to think: “innocent even if proven guilty”. One does not have to have the Party’s further say-so on that. It is clear enough. When the question was put to COSATU GS Zwelinzima Vavi as to what COSATU would do if Zuma was convicted (in the corruption case that is still to come) he said: “We will be very disappointed in him”. There has never been any suggestion, until Cheche’s letter, that the movement will not accept the verdict of a proper court of law. That is what is meant by Zuma “having his day in court”. Opponents of Zuma such as Suttner should reflect on this carefully. Hassen Lorgat also, who sent me an e-mail on Wednesday headed “support the Zuma rape vicitim” (seemingly libelous and actionable at this stage). Are we going to see the Hassens and the Cheches duking it out in the streets? We do not need any spokesperson to tell us that no part of the tripartite alliance wants that. The whole alliance will accept the court’s verdict, without a doubt, one way or the other. The denouement (unravelling) of the case continues today with the defence summing-up, and on Tuesday with the judgement (whether it will be completed on Tuesday we do not know). The judge has also undertaken to give his reasons for taking evidence about the previous history of the complainant. Read and learn from the Communication Workers Union Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement with Telkom. It is an advantege for partisans of the working class to be able to see the documents of the class struggle as it goes along. See also the notice for the working-class cultural revival meeting in Cape Town on May 13th Links: Letter from Cheche on Zuma rape trial (395 words) CWU Memorandum of Understanding 26 April 2006 (332 words) CWU Agreement 26 April 2006 signed (2775 words, download) Revive working class culture, 13 May 2006 Salt River 09h00 (Notice)

27 April 2006

Freedom Day

YCL National Secretary Buti Manamela will be addressing three different rallies in the Western Cape today in commemoration of Chris Hani. The first, at 11h00, will be at the Wallacedene Community Hall, Kraaifontein, the second at 14h00 at the Imizamoyethu Community Hall, Houtbay, and the third at 18h00 at the Chris Hani Residence Hall, Belleville. The rallies will also be addressed by other leaders of the Progressive Youth Alliance and by the Provincial leadership of the ANC, COSATU, and the SACP Raymond Suttner is a well-known SACP member, writer, struggle veteran and ex-prisoner in the cause of freedom. He has decided to pre-empt the judgement of the Jacob Zuma rape trial, expected next week, by publishing his own in the Business Day, and attacking the SACP in the process, of which he is as far as we know, still a member. There are obviously many individual views about this matter in the Party. In the case of a conviction, the SACP collectively will accept it. That is the inevitable corollary of the Party’s stated position of “innocent until proven guilty”. In the case of an acquittal, the Party’s caution will have been vindicated. But what will individuals like Suttner do? Are they going to go up against the legal system as a whole? See linked letter. COSATU’s Freedom Day statement is linked below, plus Bongani Masuku’s statement in the name of Swaziland Solidarity Network. Also linked are two notices for events on Tuesday, May 2nd. In the morning (at typically short notice) there will be a “Housing sector workshop” which will “take account of previous consultation processes”. If you blink, you miss these “consultations”. The other event, in the evening at Constitution Hill, is a book launch of a book called “Number Four”, about Constitution Hill and its prison origins. Links: Raymond Suttner takes his grievance to the Business Day (338 words) COSATU statement for Freedom Day (848 words) Swazi regime and fellow opportunists attack on COSATU diversionary (2799 words) Johannesburg Housing Sector Workshop 2 May 2006, Invite (Notice) Launch of book, Number Four, 2 May 2006 18h30 Con Hill

26 April 2006


Don’t forget the SACP Johannesburg Central Branch Freedom Day Party, tomorrow at 13h00 at 93 Regent Street, Bellevue. The entrance fee of R20 includes food. Drinks will be available for a cash bar. The Johannesburg YCL meets tonight to discuss excerpts from Kwame Nkrumah’s “Neo-colonialism, Last Stage of Imperialism”. The venue is SATAWU offices, Old Mutual Building, 29 Kerk Street, between Loveday and Harrison, time 17h00. Their next session will be on Wedenesday, May 3, at the same time and place. The topic will be Lenin’s “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism” (see link below). SATAWU announces: “Security officers currently in dispute with employers over wage increases for the current financial year will be holding marches across the country (today), 26 April. The protest marches will be held in Pretoria, Durban, East London , Bloemfontein and Polokwane, while on Thursday, SATAWU leaders will address workers during the memorial service for the slain chairperson of the local security committee in Langa, Cde. Sibongile Tutu. He was killed on Monday in the early hours of the morning.” COSATU reminds of Rights and Recourse on SABC 3 at 12h00. Comrade Rudi Dicks will be on, talking on the topic of dismissals and notice periods. The revolution in Nepal is proceeding in the manner that students of, say, Marx’s “Class Struggles in France” and other such works would expect. The weak and vacillating allies are weakening and vacillating at the normal moment. The communists are pushing the revolution further and are determined to get rid of the king (see link). The king is busy scheming with foreign powers to sell his country. Swazis are watching. Swaziland Solidarity Network has issued what amounts to a news bulletin (linked). Perhaps our SSN comrades should date these bulletins and number them, even if they are not yet appearing regularly? What happened in Rwanda in 1994 while South Africa was preoccupied with its liberation election? There is a Hollywood Imperialist version. Linked is an article by an African eye-witness suggesting that the Hollywood version is not to be trusted, to say the least. On our Freedom Day tomorrow, which celebrates the anniversary of our 1994 liberation election, Constitution Hill is organising public drumming circles, at 10h00 and 11h00. Let’s hope the judges are all there in a line in their dresses, sending it with the drums! On May 3rd they will be hosting the launch of a “Memory Project” (see link). Links: 1916, Lenin, Imperialism, Highest Stage of Capitalism (3696 words) Nepal Maoists reject king, announce blockade of capital (316 words) Unban Swaziland parties – no more public relations games, SSN (729 words) Setting the Hotel Rwanda record straight, Deme, Counterpunch (939 words) Memory Project Exhibition Opening, 18h00 May 3 Con Hill (Notice)

25 April 2006


This distribution is part of the Communist University, which is a political education initiative. Yesterday’s report from Nepal, for example, was included because it was like reading an action replay of 1789 or 1848. This educational principle is applied when there is just too much apparently eligible material. The CU is not an encyclopedic project or anything like a “newspaper of record”. It is also comparatively small. COSATU’s Daily Labour News or the ANC’s Daily News Briefing each carry five or six times the number of items daily. Some items “spiked” today were: Khutsong, and COSATU on the WTO from City Press (not on the Internet); “Salute to the Party” from a Zimbabwean who witnessed SACP GS Blade Nzimande’s visit to Zambia; King Mswati’s interview with the Mail & Guardian; SACP Yusuf Dadoo District statement on Khutsong (condemning burning of councillors’ houses and of tyres at the Union Buildings); COSATU statement on the collapse of the dry-cleaning murder case; NEHAWU briefing on conclusion of Public Service Summit; COSATU Limpopo HIV/AIDS conference Press Release; Security workers camping in Firoz Cachalia’s office; and SATAWU rubbishing Bheki Cele’s allegation that they might have arsoned a bus depot in KZN. Feedback seems to indicate that five articles are quite enough. Sometimes they are exceptional, sometimes typical, sometimes critical and sometimes marginal. They are selected for Freirean educational reasons. They are supposed to be the ones most likely to stimulate dialogue. Today’s are: A review from the Sunday Independent of Jeremy Cronin’s latest volume of poetry A Jonny Steinberg article from the Business Day on poverty and sex. Dr Blade Nzimande’s statement on a report from the competition committee. SATAWU’s two major strike statements from yesterday, in one document. COSATU’s main solidarity statement for CWU. Links: Older, tougher Cronin, master of dialectics, Sunday Independent (782 words) The link between HIV-AIDS, poverty and sex in SA, Business Day (775 words) SACP statement on competition commission report, Nzimande (497 words) SATAWU response to Minister of Labour and Strike Bulletin (1954 words) COSATU backs CWU against Telkom (346 words)

24 April 2006

For Justice and Freedom

The Communist University’s subscriber list is now over 600, and the total page views since December will exceed 180,000 by today or tomorrow. If you want to support the drive for more CU subscribers, please send e-mail addresses of potential new subscribers to dominic.tweedie@gmail.com . They will be entered on the subscription list, but will also receive a message saying that they unsubscribe at any time, by following the instructions on every message, or by e-mailing the above address. Experience shows that this is the best way to build the list. The NPA/Scorpions are in trouble again (see link) – and Minister Brigitte Mabandla has been sitting on the report for over a year. Who will guard the guards themselves? Who will prosecute the prosecutors? All the linked report says is that there is going to be an internal disciplinary inquiry. This is a scandal! Another scandal is the boondoggle Shilowa Express gravy-train. Or maybe that should be “cash cow train”. The linked report shows zero support and growing resentment against this imported multi-billion-rand rich people's toy that even the rich don't want. In Nepal there is a revolution going on that is like a replay of the great French revolution, or the revolutions of 1848. The situation is developing by the hour. A late report from China says that the Seven Party Alliance that includes the Communist Party intends to bring out 2 million people on to the 27-kilometre Kathmandu Ring Road on Tuesday to force the issue and drive out the feudalist dictator monarch for good. Mswati, are you watching? The linked report below is a full round-up from an Indian web site from their reporter in Kathmandu. In Palestine, things are not so good. In the report linked below, Jeff Halper, a candidate for the Nobel Peace prize, reports on the Israeli colonialists’ “final push”. The last link below is to a large downloadable PDF file, in which the CP Canada’s Central Committee reports in the wake of an election that produced a minority Conservative government in that country. See also the Communist University home page for a photograph from Friday’s Khutsong/Moutse demonstration in Tshwane, plus all the CU links. Julius Baker was a great communist, a member of the CPSA and the SACP, and 98 years old when he died peacefully in London on Thursday 20 April 2006. His main interests were the Party, and education. A lot of people know what a great man he was. Messages can be sent to his son, David Baker, at d.a.baker11@btinternet.com . The funeral will take place at 10h30 on Wednesday at the Golders Green Crematorium, London. Links: NPA in corruption scandal, Sunday Times (613 words) Unmoved by the Gautrain, Thabo Mkhize, Sunday Times Metro (505 words) Nepal, A peoples movement grows with fury, Rediff India Abroad (1434 words) Elections in Palestine and Israel, Jeff Halper, Counterpunch (1009 words) Elections in Canada, CP Canada CC Report, March 2006 (PDF download)

23 April 2006

Direct Links

The Johannesburg Central Branch of the SACP has a Branch General Meeting (BGM) today at 10h00 in the SATAWU offices, 13th floor, Old Mutual Building, 29 Kerk Street, between Harrison and Loveday Streets, Johannesburg. This Communist University distribution brings you political education, both classic and topical. Yesterday it carried several newspaper articles. At other times we sample items from the Internet. Today, all the linked items have been received by the CU directly by e-mail. The first two are important speeches made during the week by SACP GS Blade Nzimande and COSATU GS Zwelinzima Vavi. The third is an invitation to a breakfast at a country club in Woodmead – for which you must pay – with Minister for Provincial and Local Government Sydney Mufamadi. The date is May 5th – Karl Marx’s birthday. Wouldn’t it be nice if the Minister were to be greeted at the gate by pickets from Khutsong on that day? The next is a job advertisement that may suit Communist University people very well – research officer for the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), a very good organisation. Then from NUMSA (the metalworkers’ union), the inside story of what really happens to the skills levy through the SETA system. The whole thing is a fraud of smoke and mirrors. A very important set of documents prepared by the ICFTU and received via COSATU is archived on the Communist University site in downloadable Word file format. These documents give comprehensive and precise data on the effect of the “Non Agricultural Market Access” (NAMA), which the imperialist countries are trying to foist upon us through the WTO. Lastly, from our weekly hosts at Constitution Hill, notice of an evening event to be chaired by John Matshikiza, featuring Albie Sachs, Sandile Memela and Robert Greig. These are heavyweights in their field. They will talk about Art and Politics from 18h00 on May 8th, in our old home, the Lekgotla Space in the Women’s Jail, 1, Kotze Street, Constitution Hill. Links: SACP GS Dr Blade Nzimande, Address to SOBEC, 18 April 2006 (2373 words) Z Vavi to NEHAWU Public Service Delivery Summit and Campaign (2467 words) Invite, Breakfast with the Minister Mufamadi 07h00 May 5 (Notice) Research Officer for CALS, Job advert (Notice) NUMSA, Soft skills training a real let down, Press Release (467 words) WTO country tables - simulations by ICFTU via COSATU (325 words) Art Talk, Politics Talk, Matshikiza, Sachs, Memela, Greig, Con Hill 18h00 May 8 (Notice)

22 April 2006

Whose News?

SACP GS Dr Blade Nzimande yesterday replied succinctly and concisely to Steven Friedman’s odd pontifical spin-doctoring in the Business Day of April 19, alleging divisions in the movement. His remarks also cover well the direct allegation of the Mail and Guardian that the SACP itself is divided. It often seems as if the bourgeois press is uncomfortable with democracy. An ordinary voting “division” that is scheduled for the SACP Congress next year is already characterised as a “civil war”. This Mail and Guardian article was initiated by an anonymous “SACP central committee member”. The Mail and Guardian then went and solicited quotes from the SACP General Secretary and the National Secretary of the YCL. Then it flatly contradicted the quotes it had solicited, in its headline and in its roadside publicity posters, which speak ridiculously of “civil war”. It’s time the Mail and Guardian’s reporters learned what democracy looks like, and the difference between democracy and civil war. The Business Day’s Vukani Mde is not quite so far off the mark in his report of COSATU’s WTO concerns, but is inaccurate to say that next month’s Jobs and Poverty Campaign actions are solely about this particular (and indeed major) concern. COSATU has since said: “While this issue obviously has a bearing on the Jobs and Poverty Campaign, it is not the sole or main issue around which workers will be taking action in May, as some media reports suggest.” COSATU’s own speakers notes for May Day and the Jobs and Poverty Campaign are also linked below, for your information. In the next two linked items, COSATU’s Neva Makgetla in the Business Day and Terry Bell in the Business Report, cover the economy and the question of Swaziland’s labour movement. There are five major press articles about the working class side of things here from yesterday’s Johannesburg press, published on the one day. We need more. COSATU has called for the honour given posthumously to the late Swazi King Sobhuza to be withdrawn. It is a scandal and an insult to the memory of O R Tambo in whose name the medal is struck. Read COSATU’s short and powerful reasoning in the linked item below. FOCUS’s Cde Clever Banganayi points out that the Cuban Salsa event at the Horror Café in Newtown on Monday is at 19h00 and not 17h00 as was incorrectly stated yesterday, meaning that people who go to events at 17h00 or so will still have time to go to the salsa bash. Links: Twisting SACP position on Zuma, Nzimande, Business Day (817 words) SACP divided on Zuma, Mail and Guardian (950 words) COSATU to protest state of global trade talks with strike (392 words) COSATU speakers notes, Jobs and Poverty Campaign, May Day (1573 words) Worrying facts underlie economic patina of health, B Day (717 words) Swazi May Day test for democracy movement, Bell, B Rep (775 words) COSATU, Do not honour this despot, rescind Sobhuza award (245 words)

21 April 2006

Sex, Race and Class

The Communist University meets this evening at 17h00 to in the Women’s Jail, 1 Kotze Street, Constitutions Hill, to discuss Teresa Ebert’s article on Red Feminism, previously circulated. A short reading guide to this article has also been circulated. Next week there is no session because of Freedom Day. The next session is therefore scheduled for Friday, May 5th. It will be on the last and most advanced session on feminism and revolution, Meera Nanda’s great synthesis on Postmodernism, Hindu nationalism and `Vedic science' (see link). After that we return to Basic Communism. The ANC Progressive Business Forum has been launched (see link) with the slogan “Can you afford not to belong?” Class alliance (unity in action for a common goal) is good. Class collaboration (betrayal of the oppressed to the oppressor class) is bad. Which is this? Do the “policy team” and the “friendly consultants” know the difference? The security guards' dispute has reached a very serious point. Lives have already been lost. COSATU has recognised the danger and appealed to Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana to play a constructive role (link). Unfortunately the Minister, at an imbizo in Atlantis on Tuesday, has chosen to make sarcastic and disparaging remarks about the major union in the dispute, SATAWU. Once again a Minister has appeared to side with a very rough crowd of bosses against some of the poorest and most exploited workers in the land. Let us hope he now listens to his former COSATU comrades. Merafong and Moutse march together in Pretoria today with a memorandum of demands for President Mbeki and Minister Mufamadi. See link. Yesterday in Pretoria medals were given by the President. Many were given in the name of people who have long passed away, including the father of King Mswati of Swaziland, Sobhuza, who cooked up the State of Emergency which still endures in that country today. South Africans were demonstrating against the Swazi royal oppression on the 33rd anniversary of the emergency only last week. The YCL has not hesitated to issue a strong condemnation. See link. The Communist University had a letter in the Business Day yesterday (see link) but many more articles and letters are needed so as to restore the balance in favour of the working class. The purpose of the CU, among others, is to prepare people to be able to do this. And then they must do it. On April 24th (Monday) there is a public lecture in the evening on the late Eddie Roux in the Senate Room at Wits University, Braamfontein, at 17h30. Unfortunately this clashes with the Cuban salsa event at 17h00 at the Horror Cafe in Newtown the same night. Links: Meera Nanda, Postmodernism, Hindu nationalism and `Vedic science' (9126 words) ANC Progressive Business Forum, Invitation to Belong, 11 Apr 2006 (360 words) COSATU appeals to minister in security guards dispute (245 words) Merafong and Moutse joint march in Pretoria 21 Apr, 11h00 (254 words) YCL Condemns Honouring of King Sobhuza (364 words) Break the Cycle, Dominic Tweedie, Business Day Letters (303 words)

20 April 2006


SACP GS Dr Blade Nzimande’s latest Red Alert in yesterday’s Umsebenzi Online (linked below) is a concise and incontrovertible summary of the situation in relation to Swaziland. It also carries a tribute to the late National President of the South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) Cde John Zikhali. The great victory over Berlusconi in the recent Italian is reported below from the point of view of the Communist Refoundation (Rifondazione) Party. The report makes satisfying reading, as well as being a lesson on the complexities of electoral politics. See link. Today at 14h00 in COSATU House there will be a campaign meeting on the impact of Non-Agriculture Market Access (NAMA), a vicious imposition being pushed by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and behind it by the USA, presently in the person of the motor-mouthed US visitor Mr Bhatia. See linked notice. The Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum as an organisation is a peculiar hybrid. Its members are organisations and its plenary agenda is usually dominated by the typical concerns of NGOs – i.e. how to get funding and, having got it, how to spend it. The mass public is dealt with in a separate chamber, by declaratory speakers of attractive repute. The linked notice of the ZSF proceedings scheduled for May 3rd in Braamfontein tell the whole organisational story. Nevertheless these are well-meaning people and the SACP is a full member of the ZSF. The Communist University urges you to attend the plenary in the CSVR boardroom from 09h00 on May 3rd if you can pass as a member or as an intended member, or otherwise the Devonshire Hotel from 11h30 to 13h30. Nothing is said about food. But then, as they say, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Links: Umsebenzi Online, Vol 5, No 54, 19 Apr 2006, Swaziland and Tribute to Cde Zikhali (1883 words) We Defeated Berlusconi, Rifondazione, Counterpunch (607 words) NAMA Campaign Meeting, 20 April, COSATU Hse, 14h00 (Notice) ZSF Invite, May 3, intended, members, 09h00, others 11h30 (Notice)

19 April 2006

YCL Defy Rubber Bullets

The YCL courageously fulfilled their Defiance Day programme yesterday. In spite of being fired upon by the police they regrouped and returned to the Gauteng Premier’s office, where they presented a memorandum of demands, and then proceeded to the Zimbabwe Consulate as planned. This is the second time rubber bullets have been used against our comrades within a week. The Johannesburg YCL’s political education is tonight. They will discuss Colin Leys’ “Underdevelopment in Kenya” at 17h00 in the SATAWU offices, 13th floor, Old Mutual Building, 29 Kerk Street, between Loveday and Harrison, Johannesburg. Next week (Friday, April 26th) at the same venue and time the YCL comrades will discuss Kwame Nkrumah’s “Neo-Colonialism, Last Stage of Imperialism”. See link below. On Sunday (April 23rd) the Wits University YCL comrades plus SASCO are holding a joint one-day political school from 10h00 to 14h00. See linked notice below. Also linked is a report on the persecution of the “Israeli Arabs” from Ilan Pappe via xymphora’s blog. These are the Palestinians who live in Israel as opposed to the West Bank or Gaza. See link. Links: Nkrumah, Neo Colonialism, Last Stage of Imperialism, 1965, Compilation (10643 words) YCL one day Wits University Political School 060423 (Notice) Demographics and democracy, Ilan Pappe, xymphora (490 words)

18 April 2006

Unspoken Negotiation

There has been an enormous amount of material about rape in the press lately. None of it has been exceptional until yesterday’s article by Nicole Fritz in the Johannesburg Star. See the link below. But in general the South African bourgeois press is descending towards the dreadful low standard of the newspapers owned by Mr Rupert Murdoch in Australia, Britain and the USA. The Sunday Times’ latest lead item was a despicable example of the Murdoch style, sometimes known as “insinuendo” – a toxic fact-free blend of insinuation and innuendo. Linked below is SACP GS Dr Blade Nzimande’s response to the Sunday Times’ self-disgrace. Today is the YCL’s Day of Defiance, and launch of the new Defiance Campaign. A fresh, detailed notice has been issued by the YCL about the event, and what it is about. See link. Also today, Cde. Nzimande will address the Soweto Small Business Council. See link. In Gaza the Israelis continue to shell the people and rocket and strafe them from the air. See the linked dispatch from Gaza, below. The Chief Rabbi of South Africa believes this is all right because, he says, the people in Gaza “want to kill all the Jews in the whole world”. So he obviously thinks the Palestinians must be killed led first, but gradually. Actually the Israelis are doing this because they still want more Palestinian land to colonise. But a South African Chief Rabbi can’t say that, can he? The Pope is no better. He could not bring himself to stand up unequivocally for peace, not even on Easter Sunday. Instead he made an ambiguous statement about “honour”. This Pope is worse than his predecessor, and no better than Pius the 12th, who collaborated with the Nazis. In the 1840s Karl Marx called religion “the heart of a heartless world”. It seems as if the heart of religion has been shriveling steadily since Marx’s time, so that by now it has atrophied altogether. To correct yesterday’s typo: South African Freedom Day is April 27th. Links: Sex, perception and reality, Nicole Fritz, Star (909 words) Sunday Times should be ashamed of itself, SACP GS Blade Nzimande (490 words) YCL, National Day of Defiance, Zimbabwe and Khutsong (584 words) SACP GS Cde Nzimande to address Soweto Small Business Council (Notice) In Gaza, Laila El-Haddad, Counterpunch (533 words)

17 April 2006

Back To Reality

The Communist University meets again this coming Friday (April 21st) for the second last of our series “No Woman, No Revolution”. In case you may have been struggling with the text (“Untimely Critiques for a Red Feminism) here linked below is a “crib” or “key” designed to help us all get more out of this document. Because of Freedom Day on April 24th there will be no session the following week. That will leave two weeks between the next two sessions, plenty of time for people to read the final text of this set on women, which is Meera Nanda’s 2004 “Postmodernism, Hindu nationalism and Vedic science”. We will discuss that one on May 5th, which happens to be Karl Marx’s birthday, by the way. No news is good news, some people say. At least if it means peace, it’s good. Easter has been a slack time for news. The three new linked articles below contain some wicked humour, some realism, and some regret, all well designed for people who may have had an overdose of religion this weekend. Let’s hope tomorrow will be time enough to get back to business. The first item of our business, as always, is peace. Of which it is clear that the too few religious people are taking good enough care. The statements of the Chief Rabbi on the TV programme “Interface” last night were truly terrifying. Links: 20 Pages of Teresa Ebert made easy for the CU, Tweedie (1904 words) God Cannot Keep His Own Commandments, Twain, Counterpunch (1072 words) Israel, The Dead Roach in the US Salad, Reese, Antiwar (664 words) In the Ashes of Lament, Ortiz, Counterpunch (377 words)

16 April 2006

Easter Peace Poster

More on the Communist University The page list of the Communist University is at http://amadlandawonye.wikispaces.com/space/pagelist/. It lists all the pages on the site and the number of views that have been recorded for each page. If you want to browse the whole list you may have to click through it at a rate of 20 pages a time. Wikispaces are working on that problem. People who are looking for suitable reading can go to the home page at http://amadlandawonye.wikispaces.com/ and click on one of the “Selected Recent Posts” or one of the “3-6-9-12 Months Ago” selections. These selections are changed frequently – daily, if possible. Lower down the home page you can find even more features. As yet, the home page is only being viewed one out of twelve times or less (c. 14000 out of 175000). This seems to indicate that most of the views to pages on the site are clicked from the e-mail links (plus some Google searches, probably) and so not via the home page. Which is fine, but it’s a pity that more people are not using the home page as such, and for its own sake. To see the total page views for the whole site go to http://www.wikispaces.com/site/top. This is a “league table” of the 25 most viewed public wikispaces. Help the Communist University go to the top of that chart! Send more e-mail addresses for the distrubution list ("group")! If you have a web site, and would not mind having a very small “Communist University” box in a corner of your home page, please send an e-mail to dominic.tweedie@gmail.com . The box is a place to type an e-mail address with a button to “Subscribe” to the Communist University. It consists of a few lines of HTML code, which I can send you by e-mail for pasting into your site (but not into a wikispace, because wikispaces don’t use HTML). Crucified for Peace in Holy Week Malcolm Kendall-Smith, a doctor serving with the British Royal Air Force, was jailed during the week for refusing to go to Iraq. The following excerpts are from a report in the Guardian: ‘The judge said Kendall-Smith's understanding of the crime of aggression under international law was "seriously flawed". The judge described it as a "crime which can only be committed by those responsible for the policy of a nation at the top of government or of the armed forces and that responsibility for it does not trickle down to those at lower levels of the chain of command". ‘Kendall-Smith said in a statement: "I have a very long way yet to travel and I have a great deal of further work yet to do. And I will now concentrate my efforts on that task”.’ Easter Peace Poster The link below is to a page on the CU site from which you can download a PDF file of a new poster (from Counterpunch). This poster is a good example of how to achieve very strong graphic effects with only two ink colours, black and red. Even in plain monochrome it would still look striking. Links: Stop the War poster (406 kilobyte PDF download)

15 April 2006


The total number of page-views on the Communist University web site is now close to 175000 (one hundred and seventy-five thousand!). That is the since roughly December. A “page” on this site is on average equivalent to ten printed pages of A4 with normal font size and margins. In addtition to the web site there are the e-mails and the blog. So at a fair guess this Communist University has propagated the equivalent of approximately two million pages of seriously good material since December. If the definition of a university is an institution that gets people reading seriously good stuff, then we qualify. For example: 18th Brumaire, 329; What is to be Done, 373; Origin of the Family, 316; Organic Intellectuals, 507; Speech by Evo Morales, 297; Revolution and King Gyanendra, 555, Jara on Zuma, 466; David Masondo’s Response, 261. These are figures of web page views. There are altogether over 1600 pages on the site. All this means that after only four months the Communist University has climbed to fifth place (in terms of page-views) out of a total of 3053 public wikispace web sites in the whole world. The set-up is simple. There is a web site, a blog, and a group. Material is uploaded to the web site, forming an archive. The blog links to selected items each day. Via the group, the blog is relayed to a list of subscribers. The subscribers link back to the web site to read the material. It is not yet possible to be certain why this works so well. But one can guess. Web sites alone do not attract very much traffic. They have to be advertised. The same applies to blogs. It is surely the addition of the daily e-mail distribution to this mix that makes it grow. People appreciate them a lot. They send messages saying so. And the links in the e-mails take them to the web site. So what the Communist University needs at this stage to make it grow even more, is a lot more subscribers for the e-mail distribution group. Please send lists of e-mail addresses of people who would be likely to accept and not reject the CU e-mails. If you should send such a list (to dominic.tweedie@gmail.com) I will add the addresses to the CU distribution with a message. The message will welcome them and say two more things at least: 1. The person can unsubscribe at any time, either directly (using the link given for that purpose at the bottom of every message) or by e-mailing me. 2. The person was recommended by you. In other words, “netiquette” (good Internet manners) will be observed at all times!

14 April 2006

A Real Struggle

The first three linked items below contain many statements about the historic April 12th, 2006 actions on the Swaziland border. Concerning the comrades arrested at the border crossings on Wednesday, COSATU GS Zwelinzima Vavi said: “We are sympathising with them but we are not surprised by this because it goes with a real struggle.” The arrested comrades have all been released by now. News of those wounded when the police opened fire on the unarmed crowd is not yet available. The fourth linked item is a FOCUS (Friends of Cuba Society) bash with genuine fresh, imported, live Cuban salsa music in Newtown on April 24th at the “Horror Café”. The day before Good Friday used to be the only day in the year that the daily press does not work. It was the printers’ night out together. But the Communist University’s news service soldiers on. So long as there is news! What there will not be is any live session today. It will be next week on Friday, when we will discuss “Untimely Critiques for a Red Feminism” by Teresa Ebert (1995). That’s at 17h00 at the Women’s Jail, 1 Kotze Street, Constitution Hill, on April 21st. Links: COSATU and SFTU statements on border blockade, April 13 (825 words) Articles from Times of Swaziland, via Lucky Lukhele of SSN (1291 words) DITSELA solidarity message to COSATU and SSN (216 words) Cuban Salsa live at Horror Cafe 19h00 24th April, R50, FOCUS (notice)

13 April 2006

Bullets, Words, and Class War

Five senior trade union officials, beginning with Joe Nkosi, 1st Deputy President of COSATU, were at the picket of the Pongola border crossing between South Africa and Swaziland yesterday. At a certain stage they formed a delegation, as unionists do, to talk to the police who were confronting them. Instead of talking to them, the police arrested them. At the Matsamo crossing police opened fire at close quarters, putting several people in hospital with serious wounds, and then arrested 20 of the demonstrators. See the linked brief report from COSATU. The policeman who was interviewed on SABC (SAFM) claimed this was justifiable as the traffic was being disrupted and this amounted to a “war situation”. SAFM’s Jeremy Maggs wanted to split the difference, as usual, as if COSATU is somehow half to blame for the fact that police are using firearms in the cause of smoother traffic-flow. Presumably Maggs would have declared a half-war situation, fired less bullets and arrested somewhat fewer people? The SABC TV announcer later said “Clashes cause people to be shot and arrested”. In English this fraudulent use of language is called the “passive voice”. Of course the clashes didn’t cause any arrests. Human beings did. Police, in fact. The BBC (nowadays often known as the Bush-Blair Corporation) is a master of such tricks of language (see link). Their report of the victory of the French working-class and youth is turned over and called “Humiliation for French government”. Why does the BBC call it a humiliation when a government listens to its people? Governments have to turn when the people tell them to. The South African government must also learn to turn, in Khutsong, in Moutse, in relation to the Gautrain and people’s transport, and in many other ways. No government needs to reverse itself into a false “war situation” like the police at the Matsamo crossing, and attack the very people it is supposed to serve and not boss. A turn for the people is a victory for all, and not a humiliation. Gautrain is not even wanted by the rich motorists for whom it was supposedly designed. Ministers who were talking about trade with the WTO have stopped talking. Employers of underpaid security guards use all sorts of tricks. See the three linked articles from Business Day below. The great Ann Crotty says she is sufferring from “Mittal fatigue”, causing her mind to wander at the competition tribunal hearings of the steel monopoly (see link below). In the process she has produced a spontaneous version of Karl Marx’s “Value Price and Profit”, and almost independently rediscovered the Theory of Surplus Value. Not all bourgeois writers are dishonest frauds. Viva Ann Crotty, Viva! The most outrageous of today’s stories is left for last. The Cubana flight 455 was blown up in the air on October 26, 1976. All on board died. The full story is known, yet the two principle terrorists responsible - Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada - walk free in the United States while the five Cuban investigators who uncovered their deeds have been in solitary confinement in separate US jails since 1998. This new article (linked) by José Pertierra, a Washington lawyer representing Venezuela, is well written and covers the three-decade story of US terrorism and deceit very clearly and briefly. Links: COSATU Swaziland border protest, names of those arrested (171 words) French strike victorious, BBC (631 words) Motorists likely to shun Gautrain, Business Day (322 words) COSATU slams state on China trade, Brown, Mde, Business Day (574 words) You guard millions but are paid peanuts, Nzimande, B Day (301 words) ROIC vs WACC is harder for individuals, Ann Crotty, B Rep (972 words) April 11- The Full Story of Cubana 455, Pertierra, Counterpunch (5200 words)

12 April 2006

Home Cooking

COSATU, Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN), PUDEMO, SWAYOCO, SACP and YCL are on picket lines today at the border crossings between South Africa and Swaziland. The following is from COSATU’s Press Statement: “On this day 33 years ago, 12 April 1973, a new era in the political life of Swaziland began when King Sobhuza proclaimed a perpetual state of emergency, whose provisions, amongst other things, included the banning of political parties, 60-day detention orders without trial, banning marches and demonstrations and the removal of the independence constitution and its replacement with a draconian order called the 1973 king's decree. 33 years later nothing much has changed and the state of repression has continued unabated. “ COSATU held another Press Conference yesterday (linked). Among other things that it says about the imperialist “NAMA” is that a combination is to be formed of trade unions of Asia, Africa and Latin America at a conference hosted by COSATU, to fight this thing. From Geneva on the same day came the linked piece written by our reader Thabo Sephuma. Also from a reader, Kaizer Mohau, comes a piece (linked) on Human Rights, dealing with the Scorpions/NPA threats against the South African people, who have no use for this institution of terror and persecution and want to see it abolished as quickly as possible. The YCL Defiance Campaign kicks off with a Day of Defiance on April 18th (not March as was mistakenly put in their PDF leaflet and poster) in Johannesburg. A press conference will be held the day before – see linked document. The YCL’s political education classes continue this evening in the SATAWU offices, 13th floor, Old Mutual Building, 29 Kerk Street, between Harrison and Loveday, at around 17h00 (please, YCL, let me know what your exact start time is these days). The topic is Bill Pomeroy’s 1974 essay about the Phillippines, called “On the time for Armed Struggle”. It is actually a lesson on why the armed struggle must always stay subordinate to the political struggle, and by extension, on the importance of political education. Next week’s YCL topic is Colin Ley’s chapter on “Contradictions of Neo-Colonialism” (linked below). Links: COSATU press release re negotiations at the WTO (1891 words) Global Solidarity, Thabo Sephuma (273 words) Kaizer Mohau on Human Rights (797 words) YCL Defiance Campaign Press Conference 11h30 060417 (Notice) Leys, C8, Contradictions of Neo-Colonialism (8510 words)

11 April 2006

Reform Or Revolution?

Kumi Naidoo’s linked letter about his breakdown is very instructive concerning the hopelessness of heroic liberalism without the assistance of a revolutionary party. Unfortunately it seems that the comrade is right back on the treadmill. Let’s hope he takes his own advice and drinks plenty of water, and that it helps him stay alive at least. Naidoo is Secretary-General of “Civicus - World Alliance for Citizen Participation”, an organisation that co-exists with Imperialism, without confronting it. All the problems it purports to fight are caused directly by Imperialism. Yet rule number one in Civicus is that this truth must be concealed. The beast must not be named, lest the funding be withdrawn. There is no funding for anti-Imperialism. There lies the problem. As much as Kumi’s stress appears to be a product of existential and personal angst, it is not. It is political. The way forward is political, not charitable. Comrade Kumi’s desperate letter was written on an aeroplane bound for Ethiopia, on a mission with Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane to bail out two NGO people in jail in that country. It reads like the last, lonely cry of a dying breed – the noble liberal. It seems out of time. It belongs in the era of Dag Hammarskjold, Alan Paton, George Orwell, Albert Camus and Graham Greene. Making poverty history? More like making a mockery of history, making time stand still, and making tragedy fashionable. The remedy is not just more glasses of water. That may be necessary, but it is not sufficient. The remedy is to change from being NGOs (Next Government Officials) to being PROs (Present Revolutionary Organisers). The perverse court ruling that proposed banning a legal strike on the grounds that the security guard employers had rounded up 14 semi-bogus small unions whose combined strength was less than the COSATU-affiliated SATAWU, has been overturned by the labour court. See linked COSATU statement. Links: Struggle for justice a marathon, Kumi Naidoo, Civicus (1693 Words) COSATU welcomes SATAWU court ruling (352 words)

10 April 2006


In Friday’s post there was a mistake. It said that the Communist University session on “(Untimely) Critiques for a Red Feminism” by Teresa Ebert would be next Friday, whereas it is scheduled for Friday April 21st, after Easter. There was no post yesterday or the day before. Below, linked, are the statements of the SACP and COSATU on the 13th anniversary of the death of Comrade Chris Hani. SACP GS Dr Blade Nzimande’s article on ASGISA from yesterday’s Sunday Times is also linked below. John Berger is a distinguished writer who lives in France. His article on the events that are taking place there is linked below. Another source in English, sent to me by Richard Smith of CSVR, is a blog called “O. K. Now (or see the link on the CU web site, labeled “France on Strike”). The South African Young Communist League is going to have a Day of Defiance on April 18th in Johannesburg starting at Library Gardens at 11h00. A consultative meeting in preparation for this event will be held on the 13th April at 11h00 in the SAMWU office, 7th floor, North State Building, coner Market and Kruis Streets. Please see the linked notice. From it you will be able to download the PDF files containing the leaflet and the poster for the event on the 18th. The Food and Agricultural Workers Union (FAWU) is 65 years old this weekend. President Thabo Mbeki, COSATU GS Zwelinzima Vavi, and SACP Deputy GS Jeremy Cronin were all present for the celebration. Linked below is Cde Vavi’s speech. An archive of articles relating to SACP GS Dr Blade Nzimande’s visit to Zambia can be found here. This was an extraordinary tour. The reception was amazing, and the reports are fascinating. Links: SACP remembers Martin Thembisile Chris Hani (931 words) COSATU on 13th anniversary of murder of Chris Hani (608 words) ASGISA a welcome shift, Nzimande, Sunday Times (937 words) Wall and Bulldozer, John Berger (904 words) YCL Defiance Campaign Consultation invitation (Notice with leaflet and poster) Zwelinzima Vavi, COSATU General Secretary, salutes FAWU (2391 words)

7 April 2006


Women - Caste, Class or Oppressed Sex is our text for discussion tonight with the great and gentle Luli Callinicos at the Communist University in the Women’s Jail, 1 Kotze Street, Constitution Hill at 17h00. Next week at the same time and place we do Teresa Ebert’s “(Untimely) Critiques for a Red Feminism” – linked below. It is long and perhaps a bit difficult in terms of language. It is typical of a lot of feminist writing in that regard. Skim it, comrades. The general gist is: Can feminism be “reality-based”, or is the thought merely the daughter of a wish? Ferial Haffejee, the editor of the Mail & Guardian, agreed long ago to come and talk about it with us. Let’s hope she has kept the date free. Today at 13h00 there will be a picket of the Swazi Consulate in the Braamfontein Centre, Jorrissen Street. At 14h00 the final planning meeting will take place for the border blockades on April 12th. Therefore the CU will not recommend that anyone attends the US Culture and Information Library “Open House” reception from 13h00, unless you go after the picket. The event is scheduled to finish at 16h00. They appear to be offering free drinks (wine and cheese, very polite). The venue is 3rd floor, “1066” Building, corner Pritchard and Harrison Streets. Much more important than the free drinks is the rumour that there is good free Internet access in this library. A better social event to go to will be the Johannesburg Central Branch Freedom Day Party at 13h00 on April 27th. See notice. It’s not free like the imperialist’s reception, but it’s not expensive either: Only R20 per head for the Party. See link. Security guards have been in the streets in militant action. Now the bosses have maneuvered to exploit 16 so-called small unions, some “representing their jackets”, to try to impose a unilateral diktat on the majority of workers, who are in the COSATU-affiliated union, SATAWU. Read the linked SATAWU for a live case study in working-class tactics of the class war. “Non-Agricultural Market Access” (or NAMA) is the face of Imperialism, the world-wide class enemy of the workers. Read the linked document below for an advanced notice of international working-class action on this front. Last week at the CU we workshopped a project for a democratic federation, called Labour-Urban Federation, of existing organisations in Johannesburg for the purpose of acting on urban issues such as accommodation, transport, finance, and lumpen-proletarian crime. Here, linked below, is the fourth draft of that document. Links: 1995, Ebert, (Untimely) Critiques for a Red Feminism (14852 words) Swaziland border posts to be blockaded, COSATU (644 words) SACP Johannesburg Central Branch Party 13h00, 27-04-06 (Notice) SATAWU on so-called wage deal signed on April 1 2006 (1170 words) WTO agreement on Non-Agricultural Market Access, COSATU (192 words) Johannesburg Labour-Urban Federation, Fourth Draft (1971 words)

6 April 2006

Chris Hani Month

The latest Umsebenzi Online is out – see link below. It centres round Chris Hani Month, and SACP GS Dr Blade Nzimande’s recent visit to Lusaka, Zambia. In between Zambia and South Africa is Zimbabwe. Sokwanele is a shrewd Zimbabwean political web site (with en-suite blog) that promotes a creed of non-violence. Their report on the two rival MDC congresses is detailed, informative and well written. See link. There is more “content” than the CU can deal with these days. Therefore strict rules apply. This means selecting the best educational items, with an eye to organisation and mobilisation. What better way to illustrate these could there be than to see what an SACP Province (Northern Cape) is doing for Chris Hani Month, and how an SACP Branch (Mamelodi) arranges its AGM? See linked items. By link only, here also is an invitation from the Communist University’s weekly host Constitution Hill to a liberal event dedicated to eclecticism in the press, called Inside Out, with Denis Beckett and six other worthies. Seven speakers starting at 18h30 would appear likely to leave very little opportunity for dialogue from the floor. So this one’s for mute fans of the supposed great and good. Links: Umsebenzi Online Vol 5, No 53, 5 April 2006, Chris Hani, Internationalism, Lusaka (3365 words) More questions than answers, MDC congresses, Sokwanele (2669 words) Chris Hani Month, SACP Northern Cape Province, April 2006 (Schedule) SACP Mamelodi Branch holds its 2005-2006 AGM (252 words) Inside Out, Con Hill, HSRC and UKZN Press, Apr 26 18h00 (Notice)

5 April 2006

A Time of Struggle

The ANC Youth League announces as follows: “The ANC YL President, Fikile Mbalula will be addressing thousands of SATAWU striking workers during their industrial action” (today), 05 April 2006 (Wednesday) at 11h00 in Library Gardens, Johannesburg. The current status in the SATAWU Security Guards dispute is described by the Mail and Guardian in the linked article below. The employers are trying to split the workers through deals with small sweetheart unions that are not affiliated to COSATU. SACCAWU’s dispute with Shoprite Checkers is at a crucial point as reported in the linked press release from the union. Other class struggles at present include the dispute involving 350 NUMSA members at the Aerodyna Strand Beach factory in Cape Town involving the use of labour brokers in an attempt by the employer at divide-and-rule. In France, nationwide strikes and protests involving both workers and students continue against the “dual labour market” proposals of Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin. In South Africa, Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana identifies the commonality between the French struggles and our own. Which side is he on? Hard to tell, but at least he did oppose the crude union-bashing version advanced by Deputy Finance Minister Jabu Moloketi that was rejected by the ANC NGC in July last year. See linked items. These notes are written with a view to stimulating dialogue among political education students in discussion groups that use the electronic Communist University as a resource. So it is a pleasure to have news of a new study circle, based in Dora Tamana Co-operative Centre, 1 Leyds Street, Braamfontein. See the linked schedule, and please check the page from time to time for any updates and alterations to the programme while it settles down. DTCC’s first class will be a look at some of the various economic schools of thought that have existed. Next week they will discuss “Class and State in the Global Political Economy” by William K. Tabb. Interesting choices, comrades. The Young Communist League meets this afternoon at around 17h00 in the SATAWU offices, 13th floor, Old Mutual Building, 29 Kerk Street, between Loveday and Harrison. They will discuss “Bourgeois Democracy and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat” by V. I. Lenin. Next week at the same time and place the YCL will discuss Bill Pomeroy’s essay on the time for armed struggle, which is in fact a very good lesson on the primacy of political struggle over the military, illustrated by the example of the Philippines. See link below. Links: Satawu calls for wage agreement to be undone, M and G (444 words) SACCAWU media release on dispute with Shoprite Checkers (682 words) Hundreds of thousands march in France, Guardian (666 words) SA shares French labour law challenge, Mdladlana, B Report (953 words) DTCC Political Classes, 2006 schedule (Schedule) 1974, Pomeroy, On the Time for Armed Struggle (6800 words)

4 April 2006

Exclusion, Excommunication, Ostracism, Shunning, and Censorship

Somebody got furious with the Communist University yesterday for announcing an event. Little did we know, it was supposed to be “invitation only”. When she first told us about it, this person never said it was a secret. But when it went out on the list (that’s what the CU does, of course: it announces things) she said we shouldn’t have done it. We had embarrassed her, she said. A different person got furious the same day because something that she wanted announced was not announced. But the Communist University can only do so much. If it becomes like a bottleneck with different people tussling competitively to force things through it, then something is wrong. Something needs fixing. Other web sites need to be set up and kept going. More groups and blogs and mailing lists need to come on stream. This is a good way to wear down the culture of secrecy, exclusion, and censorship. This one, home-made Communist University can’t carry the whole traffic of our enormous labour and progressive movement. The work of opening things up is a big work. The time when exclusive gatherings and obscure “institutional arrangements” decided everything in South Africa needs to be put behind us at last, by actively informing people, and not always expecting others to do it for us. “Send not to ask for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.” Send not to tell the blogger what he must or must not do. Start your own. The Communist University does the best it can. The Events section at the top of the “amadlandawonye” home page is a proud part of the CU contribution. COSATU is one organisation that communicates well and fully, every working day, and often on non-working days too. COSATU has condemned what it sees as the unreasonable exclusion of the TAC and six other South African NGOs from the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York. Read the linked item for more details. In the other linked item, also forwarded by COSATU, FAWU reports how workers in a Pretoria beverage factory used to have memorial services in the workplace for comrades who had passed away. Fine, says the new management, except that you may not call out “Viva ANC, Viva!” This is South Africa today: A battleground for the right to speak and express oneself. Sometimes it takes a long time for truth to come out. The story and pictures of German Communists who survived the Nazis only to be captured and tortured by the British has taken 60 years to come out into the open. See linked article. Links: Exclusion of TAC condemned by COSATU (377 words) ABI Management Curbs Worker Freedom of Expression, FAWU (249 words) Revealed, victims of UK cold war torture camp, Guardian (616 words)