4 December 2006


On May 14th 2006 the Communist University blog wrote:

“The rump of the PEC is arguing (for the second time) for postponement of elections, in favour of discussing other items...

“Putting (other) matters before the question of leadership, in circumstances when the Provincial leadership are by their own admission no better than unwilling caretakers, is putting the cart before the horse. Decisions taken will have no effect at Provincial level so long as there is no effective leadership at that level to execute those decisions, as has been the case for a long time now. The Provincial leadership should be replaced immediately and in its entirety, and a Congress held as soon as possible, and not in the dog-days of November as has been proposed. This is only a critical-pedagogic view. The PC, and not the CU, will decide. See links, for SACP Constitution and Hannington’s Rules and Procedure.”

The following day the CU wrote:

“Yesterday’s SACP Gauteng Provincial Council ground on for six hours or more of mainly monologue. The Secretary set the comrades an endurance test once again. It’s as if he thinks he is no longer Vishwas Satgar but has become Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez. He was finally obliged to concede in a few short minutes what was clear from the start (and at the previous PC). The delegates want an election as soon as possible to replace the six missing PEC members. All the platform’s manoeuvres failed, and were bound to fail.”

On July 18th the CU recorded that Cde Zico Tamela, formerly Chairperson of Johannesburg Central Branch, elected in March 2006 as a PR Councillor in Johannesburg, had been elected as Chairperson of the Provincial Executive Committee.

Today the CU can record the Cdes Makhi Ndabeni and Bigboy Kekana, together with four other comrades, were finally elected to the PEC. The names of the other four could not properly be recalled by Cde Ndabeni when he yesterday gave, from the chair of the Johannesburg Central Branch at its BGM, a report of the Provincial Council meeting of 19th November; hence we cannot announce those names today. Thus the saga of the dysfunctional SACP Gauteng Provincial Executive Committee grinds on.

Cde Ndabeni then proceeded to read out the document below, called “Public Statement on Conduct of Dominic Tweedie” (by which is meant the Communist University) signed by Vishwas Satgar, who is still the Gauteng Provincial Secretary, although he has been threatening to leave that position for the greater part of a year. Following strong objections, Cde Tamela (present as a member of the branch) clarified the position, which is that Satgar’s document was not an official statement of the Province, but that the Communist University must at the branch’s insistence now carry a disclaimer.

This disclaimer is no burden. The CU does not hold itself out as a representative of the SACP, and has never done so. The CU has always stood for open-ended political education. What this means is fully elaborated on its web site in the
section on Critical Pedagogy. It is not, never has been, and never could be, a deliberative or executive or representative constitutional organ of the SACP.

As such, and within the constraints of time and space, the CU does not pretend not to notice the absurdities and the machinations of the political life going on around it.

It proved not to be possible yesterday, for example, in the face of a barrage of “points of order”, for the SACP Johannesburg Central Branch to take cognisance of material which is in the public realm, and which branch members will no doubt discuss energetically over the holiday period (the branch meets again on February 7th). This material is linked below in the form of reports in the Sunday Times and the Mail and Guardian. These reports are based on the leaked e-mails of Cde Vishwas Satgar, the very same Satgar who so strongly disapproves of the CU.

Satgar complains of what he calls “re-Stalinisation of the SACP”. The CU, happily released from obligations by its disclaimer, will nevertheless refrain from comparing Satgar himself with Stalin, in spite of Satgar’s fondness for denunciations and anathemas. In any case, the relevant comparison for Satgar’s public agony of self-pity is not Stalin, but Kerensky.

The Party is very tolerant of oddballs like Satgar, and somewhat unbearably tolerant of the functional chaos that surrounds such people. The main problem with the Gauteng Province of the SACP is not its continued obsession with sundry currents of sectarian infighting, as such, but rather the consequence of that obsession - which is that it still does not do its job, and still shows no sign of being able to do its job, up to today.

It would be sad if the SACP as a whole was in any way typified by the shenanigans of Gauteng Province. Luckily today we have a reminder of what the SACP is and what it stands for, under the leadership of its successful and thoroughly educational General Secretary Dr Blade Nzimande, in the form of the Party’s tribute to its late former GS, Moses Mabhida. See the fourth link below.

The “Blogger Beta” has flattered us with promises, only to deceive in the performance, not unlike some other politicians we know. Blogger Beta is the new version of the original Blogger, and we have made the (irreversible) switch. The CU has as a rule routed its messages through Blogger, into the Group. Today and for the time being we will have to re-order the system. Let’s hope it works. If you did not get the link yesterday for Zwelinzima Vavi’s speech on the occasion of Cde Mabhida’s reburial,
it is here.

The wysiwug is working again, and this time it looks like we can do pictures. See the bottom for one of Dr Blade Nzimande, the General Secretary of the SACP.


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