30 November 2006

Deliberate Victory Over Imperialism

Dr Fidel Castro Ruz, Commander in Chief and President of the Republic of Cuba, is more than 80 years old. He was unable to attend the celebration of his birthday, but like a good communist, sent his apologies to the meeting. See the linked text below. “Economism” was Lenin’s word for the belief that the historical contradictions of capitalism would work towards socialism without the necessity of any political intervention on behalf of the working class. The “economists” of the end of the 19th century, such as Eduard Bernstein, author of “Evolutionary Socialism”, insisted that the working class needed only trade union (or “syndical”) organisation. Hence they were also called “syndicalists”. The same trend manifested itself during the South African liberation struggle, when it was called “workerism”. Lenin knew that human activity, by definition, requires free will or “agency”. In “What is to be done?” (1902) Lenin stated the case for the necessary revolutionary party of the working proletariat, whose job is to help the workers become a class for themselves, as well as in themselves. In short, Lenin was for freedom, and was a humanist in the full sense of the word. This was one of the beginnings of the communist parties, as we know them. “What is to be done?” continues to guide comrades who want to understand what the Party is really all about. Some years later, around the time of the outbreak of the First World War, Lenin revived and adapted the term, using it to describe a new and further development of the same idea, typified by Karl Kautsky. The “Imperialist economists”, as Lenin called them, believed that the monopolising tendency of international finance capitalism would proceed towards the day when there would only be “one big trust” (one big corporation). At that point, all that would be necessary would be a change of ownership, and socialism could be declared. Even though “Imperialist economism” is even more obviously nonsense than plain economism or workerism, yet it did split the workers’ parties at the time, which is why (more than 90 years later) we still have “Social Democrats” in the world who are not communists. The belief that the machinery of global (Imperialist) capital, if looked after, will yield a gradually “better life for all” is not only still around, it is clearly the dominant ideology among the leading cadre of the African National Congress. Joel Netshitenzhe is its most prominent and articulate defender. He is a classical “Imperialist Economist” – a new Kautsky. There is also a new trend in the South African political field, the “electoral economists”, who believe that if the SACP stands for elections, then all other good and desirable things will automatically follow. (See the link below). The SACP Johannesburg Central Branch meets on Sunday, December 3rd, in the SATAWU offices, 13th floor, Old Mutual Building, 29 Kerk Street, between Loveday and Harrison, Johannesburg. Click on these links: Message from Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz (725 words) Nascent Trend Of Imperialist Economism, Lenin, 1916 (5218 words)

29 November 2006

Advice Of Two Good Women

In the age of capitalist Imperialism the Metropolis is “virtual” in the computer-jargon sense. In other words, although it is as real as any other human social or political phenomenon, and affects political realities all over the world, yet it has no geographical location. The term “US Imperialism” may mean “Imperialism as manifest through the US state” but it does not equate to Rome, for example (but then we should note that “Rome” also became “virtual” from about 450 AD). The US-Israel axis of Imperialism is therefore not to be confused with the entire phenomenon of Imperialism, which is certainly in decline over the planet as a whole. The decline of Imperialism has been accelerated by the military activities of the US, Israel and the “coalition of the killing” which included Britain and through parts on “NATO”, former British Empire “Dominions” like Canada and Australia. War-making by this scratch team of Imperialist forces on Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon has occupied “front pages” since 2002 but has also stimulated a worldwide reorganisation of left and communist forces unprecedented since the last active years of the Comintern – that is to say, the anti-fascist mobilisation of the 1930s. There can be no sense in which Imperialism can recover the world-historical initiative. All it can seek to do is to extend the period during which it is capable of acting as a military “dog in the manger”. Yet these same military activities are causing an acceleration and consolidation of the revolutionary subjectivity that is bound to sweep Imperialism away in due course. For many months the possibility of an attack on Iran has been held out as the next possible move of the Imperial dog-in-the-manger. Activity (or as British Intelligence calls it, “chatter”) in recent days has raised anxiety in the minds of two very reliable US commentators, namely Helena Cobban and Karen Kwiatkowski. In the case of Helena Cobban, her attention was alerted by the significant resignation from the position of “counsellor” to Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, of Philip Zelikow. Cobban knows Zelikow personally and they both reside in the same town, Charlottesville, Virginia, not far from the US capital, Washington. Helena Cobban maintains a high-quality blog called “Just World News”. She has outstanding credentials and extraordinary experience plus unparalleled connections and is completely committed to peace. Dr Kwiatkowski, as she is proud to relate, is a retired USAF lieutenant colonel. Yet like Cobban, she has maintained an energetic and consistent opposition to war, and especially the Iraq war, through all the channels available to her. In this case it is the libertarian site of Lew Rockwell, (also relayed by Antiwar.com) Kwiatkowski is reacting to a call in the Los Angeles Times by one Joshua Muravchik (who Kwiatkowski appears to know personally). In both articles, the immediate stimulation causes the two writers to reflect upon other parts of the whole scene, including the presence of several aircraft carrier groups off the coast of Iran, and the current diplomatic efforts of prominent US and Israeli-colonialist figures. Click on these links: Zelikow - What does he know, Helena Cobban, Just World News (1010 words) We Must Do What, Karen Kwiatkowski, Lew Rockwell dot com (1242 words)

28 November 2006

Many A Mickle Makes A Muckle

Rafael Correa won the Presidency of Ecuador, defeating the candidate of the Imperialists. See the reports from Cuba’s Prensa Latina and the London Independent, linked below. Ecuador has a population of about thirteen million. Venezuela’s presidential election is on Sunday, December 3rd. We hope for a resounding victory for Hugo Chavez. Dominique de Villepin is the Prime Minister of France. He will be speaking in Wits University’s Great Hall, Braamfontein, Johannesburg from 09h00 on Friday, December 1. See the notice linked below. Claire Ceruti is an indefatigable organiser of events such as Saturday’s Marxism Day at the Careers Centre in Old Potch Road, Soweto, starting at 10h00. See the notice linked below for further details. Click on these links: Ecuadorian Farmers, Indigenous Support Correa, Prensa Latina (218 words) Correa hails victory for the left in Ecuador, Daniel Howden, Independent (645 words) Dominique de Villepin, Wits Great Hall, 09h00 Friday 1 Dec 2006 (Notice) Marxism Day, Keep Left etc, 10h00 Saturday 2 Dec 2006 (Notice)

26 November 2006

Fifty Thousand Communists

The Communist University once again had to cope with some technical failures over the weekend. The SACP meanwhile was holding an Augmented Central Committee meeting with five main items on the agenda. These were the National Democratic Revolution (NDR), State Power, the ANC Policy Conference in June 2007, the SACP’s 12th National Congress in July 2007, and the Progressive Women’s’ Movement (PWM). The post-CC statement is linked below. Clearly, there remains a lot more detail to be added. The NDR is dealt with in one line (“A socialist-oriented national democratic revolution is the only hope…&c”) and the PWM in another (“the CC resolved to build a strong Progressive Woman’s Movement and strengthen our campaign to eradicate the abuse of women and children…”). “State Power” (code for standing SACP candidates in elections) gets no mention at all. The SACP’s quantitative growth from 36357 to 50076 is a 38% increase. It is credible. Both branch formation and political education have been systematic and steady for a long time now. That being the case, strong growth is practically inevitable. The leaked COSATU report, or possibly plural reports, that gave Moshoeshoe Monare his exclusive on Friday became Sthembiso Msomi’s exclusive for the City Press vis-à-vis the other Sunday papers. It looks like some careful management of the leak is going on. So, can the story “explode” (again) as Msomi thinks? Perhaps he would do better if he would discuss the content and implementation of the COSATU 9th Congress resolutions. See the link below. Then there is the other “exploding” story (remember the “explosive diary” in the boot of Glenn Agliotti’s car?), the one that stems from the Irishman Paul O’Sullivan’s crazy accusations. The article about O’Sullivan linked below is quite strong, but the news article in the hard copy City Press (but not on the Internet) is even stronger. This bloke is a liability to anybody’s cause. The NPA/Scorpions are busy trying to shake him off, but they can’t, it’s too late. They are “lumbered” with him. One thing has not been widely remarked upon in the South African press about O’Sullivan, although the facts are there. This man was a born Irishman who sold himself to the British oppressors and worked in the British intelligence against his own people. The man was already an impimpi long before he set foot in South Africa. The Sunday Times’ best story concerned the many government figures who have shares in the Gautrain boondoggle. This project is going to be a scandal for many years to come – maybe for decades. Those politicians who backed it in exchange for a piece of the action can and must be made to regret it forever. COSATU at least did not waste any time. See the Sunday Times article and the report of COSATU’s rapid response, linked below. In another quick response, COSATU GS Zwelinzima Vavi, a member of the 2010 World Cup local organising committee (LOC), gave the Australian creeping would-be scavenger Morris Iemma a piece of his mind, and quite rightly. Tony Leon is bailing. Good. Click on these links: SACP, Statement of the Augmented Central Committee (1442 words) Cosatu power struggles intensify, Sthembiso Msomi, City Press (753 words) The spy who wants to topple Selebi, Makhudu Sefara, City Press (1251 words) Gautrain gravy, wa Ngobeni, Mahalagu and Lubisi, Sunday Times (654 words) Cosatu slams Gautrain fat cats, News24 (424 words) Vavi fumes over Aussie 2010 hijack, Timothy Molobi, City Press (671 words)

24 November 2006

Agents Provocateurs

From time to time the question of adventurism comes up. The communists are for democracy and for freedom, and against adventurism. There is no armed struggle that can substitute for politics. The political struggle is always superior to any tactical necessity that may be forced upon the revolutionaries by their class enemy. All military formations must be subordinate to political authority at all times. The class enemy will frequently use agents provocateurs. These are infiltrators who propose illegal or extreme actions, so as to expose the revolutionaries to attack or to arrest. An example of this was the false “bombing and arson” allegation (involving old South African dirty-tricks operators) that were used a year ago as an excuse by the Swazi regime to arrest PUDEMO members. This “false flag” operation was fortunately defeated by good communication and legal work and by international solidarity. Another bourgeois Imperialist tactic is to sponsor the overthrow of a regime by force, in order to pre-empt a true democratic revolution. In such cases, the very same dictators who are at first promoted and assisted by the Imperialists (so as to deny the masses their democratic power) would later be used by the same Imperialists as excuses for further interference. And so on in an endless cycle. So for example the Imperialists might support a Mswati, then support somebody to overthrow Mswati, and then later accuse the new person of being a dictator – a Mugabe - and then support yet another adventurer. And so on, while the real democracy of the masses is time and again postponed. The Imperialists play a shell game (“finder-finder”), trying to leave the people unsure of where their democracy is to be found. The revolutionaries must know who are the real partisans of democracy. We must know that democracy is ours, and that the Struggle for Democracy is not to be stolen away from us by the Imperialists, so that they can pose as “pro-democracy”, “human rights”, “anti-corruption”, or “colour-coded revolutionaries”. The anti-colonial, anti-Imperialist struggle has been the main carrier of human progress since the end of the Second World War in 1945. This struggle was opposed at every step by the same Imperialists who now pose as “Afro-pessimists”, “donor countries”, “peace-keepers” and all the rest of it. The great Dar-es-Salaam revolutionary intellectual Issa Shivji understands all this very well and expressed it very well in his 2003 paper “The Struggle For Democracy”, which we are going to discuss this evening at the Communist University. The venue is 1st floor, COSATU House, 1 Leyds Street, Braamfontein, time 17h00. Next week (Friday, December 1st) we will discuss two short essays of Lenin’s on the subject of adventurism and insurrection. See the link below. These texts were chosen for discussion long ago, but as so often is the case, they turn out to be very timely in terms of their content and their relevance. The next document linked below is a statement on Imperialism given by the SACP as a contribution to the international meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties held in Portugal earlier this month. Finally, in an example of small-time provocation and interference published this morning, see the linked article from our old friend Moshoeshoe Monare of the Johannesburg Star. Mr Monare is a frequent visitor at COSATU House and also attended the entire four days of the COSATU 9th Congress in September, including the election of office-bearers. It would be nice if he could achieve a minimum level of professionalism, such as, for example, taking the trouble to spell the names of these office-bearers properly. Alinah (not Arlina) Rantsolase is COSATU’s Treasurer, and Violet Seboni (not Sibani) is COSATU’s Second Vice-President. If Monare forgets again, he can look up the COSATU web site, here. As for the rest of his article, you have to take it with a pinch of salt, noting that it will soon be Christmas and news is getting short. But there’s no bonus here for Mr Monare. Not until he learns to get his basic facts right. Click on these links: 1902, 1917, Lenin, Adventurism, Insurrection (10746 words) SACP Contribution, Meet of Communist and Workers Parties, Portugal (4407 words) Knives out for Madisha, Moshoeshoe Monare, The Star (770 words)

23 November 2006

Open World

The COSATU CEC concluded yesterday. Today there will be a Press Conference at 11h00 at COSATU House. See the linked notice. The SACP will hold an Augmented Central Committee meeting this coming weekend. The five items on the agenda are all crucial. They are the NDR, state power, the ANC policy conference, the SACP 12th Congress, and the Progressive Womens’ Movement. See the announcement below. The YCL called for the resignation of Advocate Dali Mpofu from his position of CEO of the South African Broadcasting Corporation for paying, with SABC (i.e. public) funds, to have his face on the cover of a glossy magazine. See their press release linked below. News24 (see below) picked up the story, but further alleges that the person who authorised the payment was Phumelele Ntombela-Nzimande, SABC group executive for public, international and regulatory affairs, who happens also to be married to SACP General Secretary Dr Blade Nzimande. Small world, or what? At least nobody can accuse the YCL of sycophancy. Click on these links: COSATU CEC Press Conference, 11h00 today (Notice) SACP to hold Augmented Central Committee meeting (Notice) YCL calls for resignation of SABC Chief Dali Mpofu (218 words) R123 000 to boost Mpofu, News24 (166 words)

22 November 2006

Permanent Revolution

The gathering of International Communist and Workers Parties held on the 10-12 November 2006, in Lisbon, Portugal was a significant revolutionary parliament in the best tradition of communist internationalism. The statement on Swaziland adopted by the parties will give a positive impetus to the revolutionary forces in that country. See the linked document below. Also linked is Karl Marx’s March, 1850 address to the Central Committee of the Communist League. The Communist University suggests that you contrast and compare the two documents from a historical, political-economy, tactical and strategic point of view. Click on these links: International Communist and Workers Parties on Swaziland (673 words) Karl Marx, Address to CC of Communist League, March 1850 (4117 words)

21 November 2006

Negative And Positive

“We killed Jesus, we’ll kill you too!”- This was the slogan Israeli settlers shouted when they attacked “internationals” in Tel Rumeida, Hebron at the weekend. One of the settlers hit a Swedish woman, Tove Johansson, with a bottle, cutting her face and breaking her cheekbone. See the linked report. COSATU GS Zwelinzima Vavi gave a lucid input to the Red October Transport Campaign march in Pretoria on Saturday. See the linked item below. From Sunday’s City Press, S’thembiso Msomi gives a relatively informative account of a report on the ANC Gauteng, and supplements it with liberal quotations from ANC Gauteng Provincial Secretary David Makhura. He refrains, for a change, from contradicting Comrade Makhura with anonymous contradictory smears from “sources”. Khathu Mamaila is a City Press columnist. His way of re-writing reality is very direct. For example, he writes of “the sad reality of the common features of American imperialism and Soviet expansionism.” The fact that the Soviet Union never had any overseas military bases nor any “foreign investments” is not of concern to Mamaila. In other words he follows the rule of cheap hacks everywhere: “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story”. Or, as in this case, in the way of a piece of vicious obscurantism. Actually, his target is one he dares not name. His real target is Cuba, the country that selflessly intervened and helped win our freedom, especially at Cuito Cuanavale. See the fourth link below. It would be nice if somebody from the YCL or from the old “combat team” would write to the City Press opposing Mamaila. Click on these links: We will kill you, too - International Solidarity Movement (634 words) COSATU GS Z Vavi, Input to Red October Transport Campaign (1162 words) The life and soul of the party, Sthembiso Msomi, City Press (1206 words) Anti-communism of Khathu Mamaila in City Press (639 words)

20 November 2006


Yesterday’s City Press showed that it is still saddled with many of its usual problems. Yet it took the top prizes. One of the problems is that it is so stingy with its Internet coverage that some of the best material has to be manually copy-typed - for example, the following excerpt from the Siyahleba column: “The wealth in poverty “Poverty is indeed a priceless asset for power mongers. Mazibuko Jara, the former outspoken spokesperson of the SACP, has come out of his political hibernation – re-surfacing for the forthcoming congress of the Young Communist League as the champion of the poor people in Imizamo-yethu informal settlement outside Cape Town. He is not alone. There are many campaigns that are being waged on behalf of the poor. But there is one common thread to them – an ambition to be a leader.” But yesterday's outstanding City Press article is the first one below. It has been given a different title by the Communist University because the headline is so much at odds with what the journalists wrote. This article exposes the machinations of the Scorpions wide open for the whole world to see. The most revealing parts are only in the hard copy edition. Perhaps the version on the Internet is less a matter of stinginess and more a question of second thoughts. Paul O’Sullivan burst into tears at his press conference. This man is a British MI6 operative. He has been utterly exposed - read the second article below (and take it together with the first one). Full marks to Jackie Mapiloko and Makhudu Sefara for these two articles, even if the the “suicide pact” explanation they give of the Brett Kebble murder is hard to swallow, to say the least. The City Press also had new revelations about the case of Billy Masetlha – see below. Then there is the report of a lunatic move by Swaziland to claim land from South Africa. Such claims can be exploited by imperialists. See the linked article. The last of the articles relates to the COSATU CEC meeting starting today. The City Press unfortunately could not restrain itself from going back to its old divisive, interfering ways, even though it has direct quotes from the COSATU GS, Zwelinzima Vavi. S’thembiso Msomi has done this before. He gets the quotes but writes the story opposite to what the open information says, claiming support from concealed “sources”. That is not journalism. It is deception, perpetrated first and foremost against the reader. Finally, here is an excerpt from the statement of the Young Communist League following its National Committee meeting this weekend: “On Corruption “Lifestyle and consumerism culture which is a product of the capitalist society breeds corruption. It is our considered view that corruption in a capitalist society is an inevitable reality. We are going to engage much more on the contextualization of corruption in a bourgeois society like ours and locate it where it belongs, and our engagement with corruption would be guided by the reality that it cannot be separated from the fight against capitalism.” Click on these links: ANC NEC supports Jackie Selebi, Mapiloko and Sefara, City Press (1509 words) Why I had to expose Selebi, Mapiloko and Sefara, City Press (707 words) Masetlha subpoenas Mbeki and Kasrils, Sonia Molema, City Press (434 words) Swaziland to go to World Court for SA land, Sithole, City Press (615 words) We are not stupid - Vavi, Sthembiso Msomi, City Press (525 words)

18 November 2006

Symbionese Liberation Army

It’s simple enough at the bottom, and at the top. At the basic end would be a body – Brett Kebble’s murdered body, for example. Or a colossal bungle, like the Scorpions giving immunity to the killers, for the sake of fitting up the Commissioner of Police, Jackie Selebi, for example (see the linked article below). Whereupon the killers “do a runner”, i.e. disappear. Obvious things. At the top there is the generalised corruption of capitalism, bred in a metropolis whose original sin can only be fully purged by a permanent proletarian revolution. In between is where the action is. Dashiell Hammett wrote a book about a time like this, called “Red Harvest”. The title is a pun on blood and communism, and communism is the creed that Hammett followed until the end of his life. “Red Harvest” is one of four great novels that he wrote. The others are “The Maltese Falcon”, “The Thin Man”, and “The Dain Curse”. The biggest capitalist (the prime evil) in “Red Harvest” is “Elihu Willsson”, a fictionalised version of George Hearst, the Montana mine-owner whose son William Randolph Hearst (“Citizen Kane”) was the newspaper-owner who cabled the artist Frederic Remington, concerning Cuba: “You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war”. That war was the 1898 Spanish-American war, the twin of the 1899 Anglo-Boer war. These were the first two wars of purely capitalist Imperialism. Since then there has been no time without such wars, and they continue today. George Hearst’s great-grand-daughter is Patty Hearst, the woman who was kipnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army. The name 'symbionese' is taken from the word symbiosis, according to the SLA’s ideologue, a US black man called Cinque DeFreeze. Another member of the SLA was James Kilgore, otherwise known as John Pape, who holed out for many years in South Africa and worked for Khanya College and for ILRIG until he was discovered and renditioned to the USA in November 2002. In April 2004 he was sentenced to 54 months in prison. Was Pape/Kilgore the father of “social movements” in South Africa? Who knows? It would need a “Continental Op” to prove something like that. Concerning “symbiosis”, Hilary Squires in the Schabir Shaik case wrote as follows: “It would be flying in the face of common sense and ordinary human nature to think that he (Shaik) did not realise the advantages to him of continuing to enjoy Zuma’s goodwill to an even greater extent than before 1997; and even if nothing was ever said between them to establish the mutually beneficial symbiosis that the evidence shows existed, the circumstances of the commencement and the sustained continuation thereafter of these payments, can only have generated a sense of obligation in the recipient.” This is the foundation of Squires’ judgement, and is quoted as such by the registrar of the Supreme Court of Appeal, as well as by the editorial of last Friday’s Mail & Guardian. The trouble with it is that it relies, in the first place, not on the law or on the facts, but on presumed “common sense and ordinary human nature” – a fantasy of Judge Squires’. Likewise, “symbiosis” is a precise scientific term. Its meaning cannot be hi-jacked by judges any more than by crazy, violent, petty-bourgeois, ultra-left pseudo-revolutionaries like the SLA. Using scientistic jargon in this way is the familiar lie of the toothpaste and quack-medicine salesman. It is not different from nonsense like “clinically proven” or “scientifically tested”. It is junk law. At least the Shaik family has got its courage back. They are going to mount an appeal in the Constitutional Court. South Africa needs them to win, for the sake of proper law over junk law. The law itself needs the Shaiks to win. See the linked article from the Weekender, below. Swaziland Solidarity Network was disappointed to have its site declared second best to the one called Zimbabwe Fight On Don’t Mourn. But the SSN's in turn is bigger, more active, and better resourced than the Friends of Cuba’s. This is said, of course, only in the spirit of “socialist emulation”. Another site, the SA Palestine Solidarity Forum, has hardly any members at all as yet. All who wish to be on it and to support the Palestinians, please quickly reply to that effect to this e-mail. If there are enough acitivists to take part, there will also soon be a site for Western Sahara. The invitation and programme (linked below) for an event in Johannesburg on November 30th is a step in the right direction. Click on these links: Three witnesses gone including triggerman, Badat and Ajam, Star (387 words) Shaik makes final bid to clear his name, Mde and Brown, Weekender (792 words) Western Sahara Invitation 09h00 November 30th (Invitation) Western Sahara Programme 09h00 November 30th (Programme)

17 November 2006

Use All The Weapons

“… any army which does not train to use all the weapons, all the means and methods of warfare that the enemy possesses, or may possess, is behaving in an unwise or even criminal manner. This applies to politics even more than it does to the art of war.” - Left-Wing Communism: an Infantile Disorder (1920) The Communist University meets this evening to discuss the YCL discussion document on Strategy and Tactics. We will meet at 1st Floor, COSATU House, 1 Leyds Street, Braamfontein at 17h00. For on-line discussion of this and the other YCL documents, go to the YCLSA Discussion Forum. Please note we are not meeting at Constitution Hill at present. Please bring your views as to where our regular meeting place should be, when you come to COSATU House this evening. Next week (November 24th) we will be discussing Issa Shivji’s “The Struggle For Democracy” (see the link below). You may be surprised at how topical this work is. In South Africa a struggle comrade gets 15 years for something called “symbiosis”. In the USA, a man with machine guns, bazookas and grenades who had been recorded calling for mass murder of Cuban people gets four years, while the Cuban Five are in indefinite imprisonment in that country. See the linked document. The great new site Zimbabwe Fight On Don’t Mourn is shooting up the charts. This is a debating forum that anyone can join. Its membership has overtaken that of the Swaziland Solidarity Network by a long way, although both were established at about the same time, and with about the same number of people. There is going to be a Zimbabwe Freedom Festival in Johannesburg on Saturday, December 9th. The organisers need help with various things - see the linked document below. It is much better to take part in the making of the event, as well as the day itself. Johannesburg Central Branch of the SACP has its last BGM of 2006 on December 3rd. See the branch schedule linked below. For more than a year we knew nothing. Now, in one day, we are supposed to be certain sure about everything. The new version is that the late Brett Kebble had a "symbiosis" with Glen Agliotti whereby Aglotti would arrange to have Kebble murdered for the sake of an insurance payout. There are pages of this stuff. It is pure Hollywood. Don’t waste your time. Click on these links: ‘The Struggle for Democracy', Shivji, 2003 (5037 words) Anti-Cuba Terrorist Gets Only 4 Years, Gloria La Riva, Counterpunch (932 words) Zim Freedom Festival, Johannesburg, Saturday 9 December (Notice and appeal) SACP Jhb Central Branch Schedule, 2006-2007 (Schedule and BEC)

16 November 2006

Lumumba, Guevara, Cuito Cuanavale, Not Forgotten

Joseph Mobutu (who later expanded his name considerably) was the principal leader of the coup against Congo liberation President Patrice Lumumba in September 1960. Mobutu was finally overthrown in 1997. On 16 January 2001, Mzee Laurent Kabila, who had led this liberation of the Democratic Republic of Congo from the stooge Mobutu, was murdered after being demonised for a long time in the bourgeois press, especially in South Africa. Ten days later his son Joseph Kabila, not yet 30, brought up in exile, not speaking many Congolese languages, was somehow “declared president” and immeduately recognised by the Imperialist powers. He was quickly flown to Washington to be photographed with George W Bush, who was inaugurated on January 20th of that year. Yesterday Joseph Kabila was declared the winner of an election in the DRC against another candidate, Bemba, whose credentials are equally unclear. What is the meaning of such an election? Are any class politics articulated in the process? This is the world of Frantz Fanon brought back to life. The new bourgeoisie takes nominal charge, but it is not a proper bourgeoisie, and is not even capable of fulfilling the historic role of a proper bourgeoisie. It fails to destroy feudalism and it fails to create a full proletariat. Yesterday the latest Umsebenzi Online came out (and is linked below). The principal article, as usual, is by SACP GS Dr Blade Nzimande, and is a report of the latest meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties in Portugal, in which the SACP played a part. The main business of the meeting was to project an anti-Imperialist front to save the world from the fate of countries such as the DRC, and worse, and to defeat the Imperialists once and for all. The other article in Umsebenzi Online is from Young Communist League member and sometime Communist University contributor and student Nyiko Floyd Shivambu. We are proud of Comrade Shivambu and look forward to having many more of his writings in the future. The SACP has issued a statement following its visit to Cuba, also linked below. The statement, as such statements always should, takes care to recall the supreme sacrifice that so many Cubans made for the sake of South Africa’s liberation, in their confrontation with the apartheid SADF and in the crucial victory at Cuito Cuanavale. We do not forget. Meanwhile, the efforts of the same George W Bush to undermine the Cuban revolution, although deadly enough, have taken on the appearance of farce. See the linked article from the London Guardian. This is actually a story about “sponsoring” and “funding” and “donors” that should be familiar to South Africans. The journalist Richard Gott has built his career in Europe by writing about Latin America from a white point of view. His is a good example of the kind of “progressive” writing that is really nothing of the sort. See his (linked) article on settler colonialism in South America. He thinks it has only just now been discovered, but of course it has a history that is just as bad as or worse than its sister-continent of Africa. What does Gott think was the reality of Che Guevara, a white Argentinian? Guevara travelled to Africa in 1965 Africa to assist Mzee Kabila to fight against the Imperialist stooge Mobutu. Does Gott think that Guevara did not know what he was, or what he was doing? The world of the oppressed, and of the partisans of the oppressed, is a small world. We are family. We don’t forget. Long Live the anti-Imperialist Front! Click on these links: Anti-Imperialist Front, Umsebenzi Online, Vol 5, No. 68, 15 Nov 2006 (4248 words) SACP statement on 8 November 2006 UN resolution on Cuba (630 words) Democracy funds for Game Boys, Richard Luscombe, Guardian (443 words) Latin America preparing to settle accounts, Richard Gott, Guardian (1211 words)

15 November 2006

Real Crimes And Word Games

National Union of Mineworkers’ GS Frans Baleni’s extraordinary article from last Friday’s Mail and Guardian is called “A silent crime in the mines”. This is real crime, corrupt crime, causing death in the pursuit of profit. See the link below. Karima Brown’s article from yesterday’s Business Day, linked below, is another extraordinary piece of work, rounding off three days of devastating blitzkrieg journalism starting with Saturday’s revelations in the Weekender. The anti-Zuma (and related) crowd could only manage to crank up their damage-control on Snuki-TV yesterday evening nearly three days after the publication of Squires’ letter. It consisted of a rag-bag of unconvincing“ analysts” plus an odd assembly of personalities including Dumisa Ntsebeza. But the station’s heart was not in it. This was not the story. The story was the one the Business Day was running with. Even in the usually relentlessly anti-Zuma Star yesterday there was a funny cartoon from Zapiro (‘The 17 month slumber of Judge Hilary “Rip Van Winkle” Squires’), and an article that contains a good roundup of some of the silliest of the Squires word games. (See the link below). This article quotes again what the Supreme Court of Appeal picked up and regurgitated, namely the passage from Hilary Squires’ judgement that begins: “It would be flying in the face of common sense and ordinary human nature to think that he (Shaik) did not realise…”, correctly noting that this was the root of Squires reasoning, if it can be called reasoning. This root is explicitly planted in the soil of “common sense”, and not in law or in the factual evidence. It is fantasy. Squires was making the story up according to his preconceived idea of what would be in a person’s mind in the circumstances. Basing his actions on this fantasy, Hilary Squires put Schabir Shaik away for 15 years, banned him from directorships and took at least R33 million off him. Squires is corrupt. He corrupted his own mind with fantasy. Another kind of corruption the blatant dishonesty of the South African Jewish Report as related by Minister Ronnie Kasrils (see below). Comrade Ronnie puts up a staunch and powerful critique. The SAJR refused to publish it, although they did not hesitate to put invented words into Ronnie’s mouth, and publish those. Now, that’s corruption. Another kind of corruption would be to take a good newspaper and ruin it, which is what seems to have happened to the (London) Guardian over the last year or two. The laughable rubbish about “Al Qaida” (a fantastic bogey) plotting a nuclear attack on Britain was a top story in that once-great newspaper yesterday. Corrupt people think: The bigger the lies, the longer they hang around. That’s what they think. Click on these links: A silent crime in the mines, Frans Baleni, Mail and Guardian (935 words) When courts parrot common knowledge, Karima Brown, B Day (821 words) An overall corrupt relationship, Political Bureau, The Star (763 words) SAJR, Kasrils responds, 13 Nov 06 (739 words) Al-Qaida plotting nuclear attack on UK, Vikram Dodd, The Guardian (480 words)

14 November 2006

Overall Symbiosis

Did Judge Hilary Squires use the term “generally corrupt relationship” in his judgement? No. Did the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) say that he did? Yes. Did Squires find Jacob Zuma corrupt? No. Did Squires and the SCA find that there was a relationship, corrupted by Schabir Shaik? Yes. Did they find that the Shaik’s actions were “reciprocated” by Zuma? Yes. What is the SCA calling it now (as per TV last night)? Overall symbiosis! So where to now? At this moment South Africa has a new form of judge-made law, renamed already as “overall symbiosis”, which can put you down for 15 years if you are not careful. All the Scorpions have to do is show that you did some favours, and received some favours. They don’t have to show that any favour corresponded to any particular other favour. The favours could be seven years apart and unrelated. So long as there were favours on both sides, that’s “reciprocation”, like the reciprocating internal combustion engine that drives you off to chookie. It’s a catch-all and it is custom-made to fit up any and all struggle buddies. It looks like a good case for the Constitutional Court. The judges might well be happy to throw it out. It promises nothing but trouble for them as well as for the country. Two articles from the Johannesburg daily press are linked below. This story is developing fast. Hardly noticed amid the brouhaha, the Oppenheimer family has sold an enormous slice of Anglo American, South Africa’s biggest monopoly capitalist corporate, to a Chinese financier. Is this “symbiosis”, or what? See the linked article below, together with the report of what the other main Oppenheimer operation, De Beers, is doing to workers. Is that “overall symbiosis”, or what? On the day of the US election, the Israeli colonialists conducted a massacre at Beit Hanoun. Uri Avnery tells it like it was. See the link below. If you ever thought that the colonisation of Palestine was a good idea unfortunately gone wrong, read what Lord Montague, a Jewish member of the British cabinet, had to say about it in 1917. See the link below. Click on these links: Storm in a teacup says Downer, Wendy da Costa, The Star (557 words) COSATU calls for appeal judges heads, Brown and Mde, Business Day (576 words) Oppenheimers dump Anglo, Julie Bain, Sunday Times (709 words) Unions to fight De Beers layoffs, Amy Musgrave, Business Day (368 words) Beit Hanoun - call it massacre, Uri Avnery, Counterpunch (1594 words) Dissent from Balfour Declaration, Lord Montague, 1917, Counterpunch (2061 words)

12 November 2006

Succession More Than You Thought

The bourgeois newspapers are not completely empty of good writing. The Communist University tries hard to find the best. But this is not the only reason for following the bourgeois press. The press is the open signalling system that the ruling class has to use. Everything of bourgeois rule that must be socially generalised, or in other words to be made hegemonic, has to be publicly visible. The meaning and intention of bourgeois class rule, both tactically and strategically, are not hidden. On the contrary they are made brutally clear on a daily basis. This is easy to see if the press is sampled across several different titles, and over time. So what is going on right now? On Friday, Ngoako Ramatlhodi was smeared in the Mail and Guardian’s embedded “Scorpions section”. (In the City Press it is revealed that the leaked affidavit allegations against Ramatlhodi come from apartheid-era cane-furniture millionaire Habakuk Shikoane). Another article, by Vicky Robinson and Stefaans Brummer in the M&G fingers dozens of individuals, including at least two National Office Bearers of the ANC. On Saturday both Lawrence Mushwana and Zola Skweyiya came under pressure in the Weekender, and there was a front page splash about Tony Yengeni in the Saturday Star. On Sunday the City Press front page went after ANC Chief Whip Mbulelo Goniwe. The Sunday Times front-page splash smears the Commissioner of Police, Jackie Selebi. The Sunday Independent has a faux-news piece on its front page that has the sole purpose of propping up the shaky Schabir Shaik judgement. These three articles are linked below. The CU suggests you read them with certain questions in mind:
  • Is there a sudden outbreak of corruption, or has it always been there, or are these reports based on innuendo and smear?
  • Is there any such thing as bourgeois morality, or is bourgeois morality always hypocritical? Are there other corrupt leaders have not been touched, and if so, why?
  • Is there any part of the liberation democracy that can survive the attentions of the Scorpions, the NPA, and the courts?
  • If not, who are going to be the inheritors of the revolutionary leadership that is being dismissed wholesale by legal process - assisted, witnessed and approved of by the bourgeois press?

It is fine to say: We don’t want corrupt people. At least it would be fine if you could clearly distinguish the corrupt from the clean. But even if you could do that, there remains the practical problem of reconstructing a new political cadre to replace the one that is being dismissed or locked up wholesale, by legal process led by “Hollywood” media hysteria. If there are no democratic leaders who could resist the “anti-corruption” bum’s rush, then get used to the fact that the bourgeois press is your new boss. It will hold the whip. Your “representatives” from now on will be their people, and strangers to you. They will only survive as long as the bourgeois media wants them to. We could in the future be saying “our ANC leaders let us down” or that they wasted our liberation, but whose fault will it really be, if we let the bourgeoisie take the gap left by the axing of this revolution generation? It is fine to say: No smoke without fire. But then what do you do after the bonfire of all the present leaders? For example, the SACP is clean, but will the bourgeois press support the SACP? Not likely! So without political measures taken now, what we will get is only a different lot of corrupt bourgeois, except that the new ones will be less committed to the liberation movement of the past, or not committed at all, but in fact beholden to the bourgeoisie. In the matter of defining guilt and corruption the three articles linked below fail. Instead, they rely on innuendo, rumour, and puff. They suggest but do not prove. The law itself is unable to give certainty, as the Shaik case shows. The reason is that in a society that is based on capitalist corruption, there is no test that can distinguish corruption from normal business. The best the courts can do is to decide matters of material fact. In the matter of intention, which as we have seen is the heart of the matter of corruption, the law is bound to fail. Then it descends to being a political instrument, following and not leading the bourgeois media hysteria, whether the judges intend this or not. So it was with the “generally corrupt relationship” fiasco, as we have seen. So it also was when in the Kapenguria courthouse Judge Ransley Thacker convicted Jomo Kenyatta, Paul Ngei, Bildad Kaggia, Achieng Oneko, Fred Kubai and Kungu Karumba 53 years ago. The law took out the revolutionary cadre, in an atmosphere of hysteria. The consequences for Kenya are still felt today – neo-colonialism, neo-liberalism, poverty and capitalism, or in a word: corruption. In the bourgeois press the writer who has so far come closest to expressing the nature of the transition from real revolutionary morality to phoney bourgeois morality is the Sunday Independent’s Jeremy Gordin (see the link below). The last linked document, appropriately, is the YCL’s discussion document on organisation building. All three of their documents will be launched on Tuesday at 11h00, at the third floor, COSATU House. Click on these links: ANC chief whip innuendoed, Mpumelelo Mkhabela, City Press (767 words) Exploding diary in boot of car - not, by 3 new journalists, S Times (997 words) Snow job on Squires by new Liz Clarke, Sunday Independent (587 words) Revolutionary morality, legal guilt, Jeremy Gordin, Sunday Independent (1767 words) YCL discussion document on Organisation Building (7894 words)

11 November 2006

Shaik Judge Wobbles

Judge Hilary Squires, retired, was hired like the infamous Judge Ransley Thacker of old for a tidy sum. His job was to harrumph and bluster at Schabir Shaik, to crush him thoroughly, and then to keep his mouth shut. No doubt those who hired Squires hoped that the old boffin would be in his coffin soon enough, and dead men tell no tales. But Squires is not stupid. He knows that Shaik’s case is a stalking horse for bigger game, such as Jacob Zuma. He knows better than to leave things to chance. So he was very careful not to use the unconstitutional phrase, “generally corrupt relationship”, that the over-eager prosecutor Billy Downer hung out like bait. Imagine Squires' horror when the appeal judges seized the same bait and put the deadly words back into his mouth! Actually you don’t have to imagine very hard, because the old boy wrote it down and posted it off to the Business Day (see attached letter and article from the Weekender). The Judge is going to find that “spilling rice is easy but picking it up is difficult”. This is so whether you spilt the rice yourself, or somebody else did. The full transcript of his original judgement is here, and the PDF of the Supreme Court of Appeal’s judgement is here. The SCA’s judgement is unravelling after less than a week. The more people read these pompous but empty and self-contradictory texts, the quicker this unravelling will run its course. Sad to relate, some comrades have held back from fully supporting Schabir. But others who have a recollection of unity-in-action are inclined to support this comrade to the hilt, and as much as or even more than if it was one of their own who was under attack. The remarkable thing about the experience of unity-in-action between individual bourgeois and partisans of the proletariat is that very strong and emotional personal bonds are formed. It is therefore deeply offensive to contemplate the SCA judges patronising Schabir Shaik with a lecture on struggle values. It is impossible to forget if you have shared danger and trusted people with your life. These bourgeois freedom fighters taught the communists something about humanity. It is impossible to unlearn the lesson that an open and generous bourgeois is infinitely preferable to a faux-Marxist closet-bourgeois pretender, for example. Which brings us to Zola Skweyiya. This legal gent has consistently managed to ingratiate himself with the ANC leadership and at the same time to hold himself out as “progressive” while quietly growing rich. His announcements as a minister have been exquisitely timed over the years to catch attention just when people had begun to suspect that he was doing very little for the poor people whose welfare has been under his charge. His announced support of the “BIG” this week, just at the moment when he was found “in breach of executive ethics” by the Public Protector, Lawrence Mushwana (see article linked below), is a case in point. The “breach of ethics” was the minor charge. The major charge of trading for his own account (the same charge that Jan van Riebeeck was let off from by the bourgeois Regents of the United Netherlands in 1651) was shuffled out of sight. So Comrade Zola lives on to face his nemesis some other day. Another legal gent who had a very long spell in favour is Ngoako Ramatlhodi. But the court of King Thabo, like any other court, is a fickle and risky place. Who gets protected and who gets hung out to dry? It’s impossible to tell from one day to the next. Just one unkind, whispered word from a jealous colleague can tip you into the pit forever. Ramatlhodi is now being given the full Hollywood treatment, with the active connivance of the Mail and Guardian’s embedded “Scorpions report” section (see linked article). For those with eyes to see, the falseness of the case is clear in the manner of its presentation. Why the need to wear the person down with leaks and innuendos, if there is a plain case to answer? It is not a mistake. The niggling, harassing approach of the Scorpions/NPA is a substitute for a proper case, and therefore is certain evidence of the absence of a real case. The aim is to destroy the person before he gets to court, so that the case itself is an afterthought, an anti-climax, or if possible does not take place at all, if the victim is already thoroughly broken. The enemy’s job is to find your weakest flank and to attack at that point. You are almost never going to have to defend the front you would prefer to defend. Both Schabir Shaik and Ngoako Ramatlhodi must be defended by the proletarian democracy with the utmost vigour. The Niemöller lesson must apply. When they come for the other guy you must defend him, because if you don’t they may come for you next. This applies even, or especially, if the other guy kicks with a different foot. There is no point in a half-hearted defence. There used to be a Trotskyist groupuscule in London whose wonderful logo featured a huge blacksmith wielding a hammer with the slogan: “If you don’t hit it, it won’t fall”. Now is the time to hit the Squires/SCA rulings and spring Schabir while the gross injustice of his conviction is still fresh in people’s minds. Remember, he got fifteen years, is banned from directorships, and suffered asset seizures of at least R33 million. All that for doing nothing more than the networking that all capitalists do, all the time. See previous CU posts for more on this. There is no doubt that capitalism is corrupt. Capitalist morality is a contradiction in terms. The only available morality is revolutionary morality. Picking off individual capitalists for doing what they all do is not going to change capitalism for the better. It is only going to create an arbitrary and uncontrolled power in the land and build a basis for fascism, which is capitalism supported by coercion, not consent. The other two linked documents are PUDEMO Swaziland President Mario Masuku’s statement on Friday, and the YCL discussion document on gender. You got them here. Click on these links: Mixed Signals, Judge Hilary Squires, letter, Weekender (468 words) Appeal court errs in Shaik judgment, Brown and Mde, Weekender (1275 words) Mushwana letting ANC petticoat show, Kevin OGrady, Weekender (726 words) Scorpion smear on Ramatlhodi, Matuma Letsoalo, Mail and Guardian (587 words) Moment of decisiveness, Mario Masuku, PUDEMO (2612 words) YCL discussion document on Gender (8593 words)

Negation Of The Negation, Or Not?

The YCL Congress is going to be held between the 13th and the 17th of December, 2006. Three discussion documents for it were published yesterday. They will be featured here on the Communist University today, tomorrow and Monday. The YCLSA Discussion Forum is open for all to express themselves fully for the Congress period. Please subscribe – it is free, it just takes a small amount of time. You will also find that the discussion documents are available there, both as pages and as file downloads. If you have a problem to subscribe, please send an e-mail saying that you want to join the YCL discussion forum. The Communist University will be discussing the first of the three documents (Towards YCL Strategy and Tactics) on Friday, November 17th, 2006 in COSATU House, at the first floor. The Strategy and Tactics document (linked below) says: “The SACP-COSATU-ANC Alliance-led National Democratic Revolution (NDR) has been predicated on the conceptualization of the South African racial and patriarchal capitalist society as Colonialism of a Special Type.” Communist University and SACP Johannesburg Central Branch discussions have demonstrated that this formulation of the authors of the YCL document is not universally shared within the SACP. We have heard the view that the NDR is not an intellectual exercise that has been “predicated” by a formal alliance of structures. Rather it is a concrete but temporary political economy, different from Colonialism of a Special Type (CST) and also different from Socialism. The author of the document feels that the ghost of CST is still walking at our side and asks: “what has actually happened to Colonialism of a Special Type since 1994?”, even going so far as to call this “the key question that needs to be posed”. Yet a whole section further on is headed “Reclaiming the Socialist-oriented character of the NDR”. Whether the NDR has ever had a Socialist-oriented character or not is also disputed, not only by ANC NEC member Joel Netshitenzhe, but also by Party members who reject a gradualist or piecemeal conception of the line of march towards Socialism. Such critics would say that socialism will only be achieved through deliberate intent of the class as a whole in a revolutionary historical process. They say that socialism cannot grow in the interstices (gaps or cracks) of a bourgeois state in the way that capitalism grew in the interstices of the feudal state. There is no municipal or other kind of partial socialism. There is either a dictatorship of the proletariat over the whole of society, or there is not. So they say. The discussion continues! According to reports (see the link below) the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) held an enjoyable seminar yesterday. SSN also has a discussion forum which you can subscribe to and exchange views about the seminar, the documents, or the general Swazi situation and the South African mass response to that situation. Click on these links: YCL discussion document on Strategy and Tactics (5982 words) SSN-CHI - PUDEMO document launch success (568 words)

10 November 2006

Workers Of The World Unite

The Communist University meets this evening in COSATU House, First Floor, 1 Leyds Street, Braamfontein at 17h00. Please persevere, comrades, you will find us. The topic is “Barking dogs and building bridges”, by Lauren Royston. This is a critical examination of one very typical “development theory” of the crackpot bourgeois kind, namely that of the fashionable charlatan Hernando de Soto. All history is the history of class struggle. There is not “win-win”. During the day there is a Seminar on Swaziland on the 10th floor of COSATU House from 10h00 onwards. This is a joint presentation between the Swaziland Solidarity Network and the Chris Hani Institute. One of the main purposes of this seminar is to bring South Africans into an organised formation for the purpose of solidarity with the people of Swaziland in their struggle for freedom and democracy and against autocracy. Please sign up to the Swaziland Solidarity Network Forum (a Google-Group-Beta) to be able to receive e-mails and to send emails to fellow activists. On that site you will find PUDEMO’s discussion document both in the form of a page and in the form of a downloadable Word file. The PUDEMO document can also be downloaded from the Communist University web site with the link below. There is to be an international meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties in Lisbon starting today, to which the SACP is sending a delegation (see link below). One of the items to be discussed will be solidarity with the Swazi people against the autocracy. Click on these links: To a new and democratic Swaziland, PUDEMO Discussion Document (209KB download) SACP, international meeting of Communist and Workers Parties (714 words)

9 November 2006

Another Take

The rejection of Schabir Sheik’s appeal is very shocking. The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has confirmed that Schabir should be “stripped of his fortune”. The amount of money that has been taken from him by “asset forfeiture” is something like R33 million. He can no longer be a director of any company. He is reduced to a “position without money or power”. And he must go to jail for 15 years. What made these judges do this to our comrade? Did he rape? Did he rob? Did he hi-jack? Did he kill? What is stacked up in their judgement to bring these enormous penalties on the man’s head? Let us have a brief look. The judgement is here (PDF download). He is supposed to have had a “generally corrupt relationship” with Jacob Zuma. What this means in practice is that a list was made of the benefits Schabir was supposed to have got from the relationship, or attempted to get (these are only four in number). Then a different list was made of the benefits that JZ was supposed to have got. No attempt is made to show what benefit was for what other benefit – hence the “general” tag. This artificial device is supposed to mean that so long as an imaginary ledger can be drawn up for the seven-year period, with a few benefits on either side, then there must have been corruption. The first of the four benefits, and the only one from which Schabir Shailk did gain, was held by the judges to have been legitimate! Repeat, it was legitimate, and was even Zuma’s proper and bounden duty. This was when JZ intervened to scotch a rumour that Schabir was in Thabo Mbeki’s bad books. The other three “benefits” were the Renong, John Lennon, and Steve Tshwete discussions, none of which resulted in any business deal or profit to Shaik. The benefits that JZ got from Schabir over the arbitrary period of seven years (chosen by the Scorpions to be Oct 1995 to Sept 2002) were between R888K and R1249K in total. Most of this was computed from the use of a flat for three of those years, that JZ had from his friend and comrade Schabir (and the friendship is “accepted” by the SCA). There is not enough in all this to cause a flutter in a Church parlour on a Sunday morning. The second matter is the “fraudulent write-off”, or journal entry (nothing to do with JZ, as it turns out). This is a rather commonplace kind of dispute about accounting. Neither businessmen nor their auditors normally rot in jail over such matters. You don’t find them there. If anything you would expect a fine or a suspended sentence, especially when there is no complainant or injured party. The last matter is the “encrypted fax”. The SCA pretends to be unaware of the status of the encrypted fax at this moment. This is because of a legal fiction that says that only the evidence of the trial can be used in the appeal, and nothing subsequent to it. But we (at the Communist University) know that the encrypted fax was only certified by the Thint company as genuine after Penuell Maduna (ANC politician and Minister of Justice at the time) had procured a deal, on his own initiative, whereby he offered Thint immunity from prosecution in exchange for their certification of the fax. Maduna later double-crossed and even triple-crossed Thint, taking them for a lot of money and a free shopping trip to Europe with his wife. The full story is here. The encrypted fax is a dead duck. The SCA only deals with the status of the encrypted fax as it stood in front of Hillary Squires, which was already a very shaky status, of course. In order to show why a fax between two people who never came to court could convict a third one the SCA resorted to the obscure case of “Chorle” in 1945. To define corruption they go back as far as a “Placaat” of the United Netherlands of 1651, the very same year that Jan van Riebeeck was let off a corruption charge by the same United Netherlands authorities so that he could go and colonise the Cape, and plant the first apartheid hedge. Then the SCA judges make an incongruous and superfluous claim on the morality of the struggle, as if it belonged to them, and not to actual revolutionaries like Schabir Shaik and Jacob Zuma. The only thing that can compare with such a grotesque mix-up is the attendance of President Thabo Mbeki at P W Botha’s funeral this week. In short, there is nothing in the whole kettle of fish to take it above the lowest levels of legal process. It is only puffed up to get at Jacob Zuma. And Schabir Shaik, his friend, is the victim. He has only been put away to serve as a scarecrow, because the encrypted fax has been finished off as evidence by the revelations about Penuell Maduna, and can’t be used any more. Jacob Zuma will either not be charged at all or if charged will be acquitted. Schabir Shaik has been ruined and imprisoned as a substitute for Zuma and in the hope of embarrassing Zuma for as long as Shaik is in jail. It is a most monstrous cruelty. It will not work. Do read the judgement, please. The more people who read it the better. ANC NEC member Ngoako Ramatlhodi is quite clear about the nature of the Scorpion onslaught, which the bourgeois papers should, if there was such a thing as fairness, be screaming about in terms of “human rights” and “civil rights”, but are not. Still, Moshoeshoe Monare has given him a reasonable voice in The Star. The silly headline is not Moshoeshoe’s fault. Whose fault the mistaken substitution of “Zuma” for “Ramatlhodi” is, in the text, the CU cannot say (find it in the article linked below). What we can say is that it is typical of media “framing” that they cannot chew on one story and walk for another at the same time, to paraphrase what Lyndon Johnson said about Gerald Ford. In the USA there have been some changes. You know about them. Unfortunately the Democrats are as Imperialist as the Republicans. The SACP’s Red October Transport Campaign National Day of Action is on Saturday, November 18th and will be marked by a march in Pretoria assembling in Church Square at 09h00. It is a source of regret to the CU that we seem to be the only medium that is propagating this knowledge, so close to the time. Yet the urgency of the transport campaign initiated by the SACP is not in doubt, and if not for the Party we would not have this campaign. See the linked item below from COSATU about workers being killed while travelling on the back of a bakkie (once again). More details of the march will be given when known. COSATU also is the best source today for some sort of recognition of what the Israeli colonialists are doing again in Gaza. They are killing large numbers of people, including women and children and whole families, and laying waste to farms, roads and all means for the sustenance of the population. This Israeli genocide is supported by the Democratic Party in the USA as much as it is by the rival US bourgeois Imperialist party, the Republicans. See below. Click on these links: Ramatlhodi accuses Scorpions, Moshoeshoe Monare, The Star (818 words) Farm workers killed in Limpopo, COSATU Media Release (393 words) COSATU condemns latest Israeli atrocity, COSATU Media Release (274 words)

8 November 2006


The five Supreme Court of Appeal judges in Bloemfontein have stitched up Comrade Schabir Shaik very tight indeed in terms of the law as it stands. In their 122-page document, linked below in PDF format, they seem to have left little room for manoeuvre. In the main judgement they have rejected Shaik’s appeal on all three counts, namely the “generally corrupt relationship”, the “fraudulent write-off”, and the “encrypted fax” affair. They also substantially rejected Schabir’s appeal against “asset forfeiture” (page 93). The last seven pages of the document contain a brief summary (page 115). The judgement carefully avoids making Schabir’s conviction dependent upon the subsequent conviction of Jacob Zuma. For example it says: “Even if Mr Zuma was unaware of the request or had not agreed to accept the bribe there was nevertheless proof of commission by Mr Shaik of all the necessary elements of the offence charged” (p. 120, para 11). So if JZ is charged again and acquitted, Schabir will still have to do his 15 years of time, if these judges have their way. At the same time, and particularly in the separate asset-forfeiture appeal, the court comes as close as it possibly can to convicting Jacob Zuma in absentia. For example: “Between 1996 and 2002 Shaik and Mr Jacob Zuma engaged in what the trial court appropriately called ‘a generally corrupt relationship’ which involved frequent payments by Shaik to or on behalf of Zuma and a reciprocation by Zuma in the form of the bringing to bear of political influence on behalf of Shaik’s business interests when requested to do so.” (p. 98, para 8). The weakest parts of the document are those that seek to define what corruption means. It is described as “a cancer, eating away remorselessly at the fabric of corporate probity and extending its baleful effect into all aspects of administrative functions” (p.20, par 50, quoting Hillary Squires). What fabric of corporate probity is that? It is only a bourgeois fiction and a rotten "whited sepulchre". In paragraphs 102 and 104 there is reference to Schabir being “aware of many business opportunities of the new political era” and to him pushing his “political connectivity”. How many hundreds of others do we all know like that? They are found all over South Africa, not least in academia. Actually there is no objective way to distinguish corruption from general capitalist practice. What Schabir Shaik was doing was no different to what every other capitalist is obliged to do all the time in a monopoly-capitalist state such as South Africa. And therefore all those who are on the capitalist road are at risk of being pulled over at any time and found in breach, because a corrupt act is no more or less than what some privately appointed judge says it is. It has no intrinsic definition. The difference between the businessman in jail and the others outside is only that the one was a target and the others are not (yet). The entire system is corrupt in nature. Intercourse between the capitalist and the state (whether as bureaucracy, legislature, judiciary or special bodies of armed men) is not avoidable so long as business continues, but can at any time be held to be corrupt. The most nauseating part of the document is on page 91, para 226, where Squires is said to have “considered that far from achieving the objects to which the struggle for liberation was directed the situation that Shaik developed and exploited was the very same that the ‘struggle’ had intended to replace and that this whole saga was a subversion of struggle ideals.” Squires and the appeal court judges here project themselves with supreme arrogance beyond their law-books and into an area where they are supremely ignorant. How dare they try to rewrite the people's history and redefine the objectives of the struggle! Who the hell do they think they are? Schabir Shaik got fifteen years because it is the minimum sentence. Minimum sentences are a knee-jerk response to the periodic crime panics of this country, not unlike Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula’s recent proposal for extended detention periods for interrogation. See the link below for an assessment of the minimum sentence policy and where these knee-jerk responses are taking us in South Africa. Ngoako Ramatlhodi is an ANC NEC member and also lawyer who can’t practice, effectively because the Scorpions are after him but won’t charge him. See the link for another example of arbitrary coercive rule. If fascism is the future, the Scorpions would be the way to build it now. The biggest beneficiaries of fascism are always the monopoly-capitalist concerns such as De Beers in this country. The SACP in the Northern Cape has issued a strong statement about unilateral retrenchments by these bourgeois monopolists. See the link below. Click on these links: Supreme Court of Appeal Shaik Judgment, 6 Nov 2006 (PDF download) Sentencing of maximum concern, O’Donovan and Redpath, B Day (1098 words) Ngoako Ramatlhodi and the Scorpions, COSATU Media Release (390 words) SACP statement on De Beers Mines planned retrenchments (442 words)