NUMSA denounces the ANC and South African Communist Party ‘The 1994 negotiated settlement did not change the colonial status of the black majority’

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Shanty dwellings in a South African township
Shanty dwellings in a South African township

NUMSA has issued a National Office Bearer’s statement on the SACP augmented Central Committee statement of 1 December.

It reads: ‘It has now become absolutely necessary to publicly repeat the essential historic relationship that has, hitherto, traditionally existed between the SACP and NUMSA.

‘Many NUMSA members just like many activists in the formations of the South African Liberation Movement, have been greatly influenced by, and received their revolutionary political education from, the teachings of the South African Communist Party.’

It adds: ‘‘Many NUMSA members have always regarded the SACP as the vanguard party of the working class, in the struggle for socialism.

‘Although we have no actual figures, we know that across the country, quite a reasonable number of NUMSA members are also members of the SACP…

‘In all our statements on the SACP, we want to place it on record, we have never sought to insult members of the SACP, past and present. Our perspective duly arrived at within Numsa and Cosatu has been to critique positions of the Party with which we disagree.’

It continues: ‘The racial division of labour, the battery of racist laws and political exclusiveness guaranteed this. From these origins a pattern of domination, which arose in the period of external colonialism, was carried over into the newly-formed Union of South Africa. From its origins to the present, this form of domination has been maintained under changing conditions and by varying mechanisms.

‘In all essential respects, however, the colonial status of the black majority has remained in place. Therefore we characterise our society as “colonialism of a special type”.

‘We are not aware of any formal, rigorous theoretical revision of this position from the SACP.

‘In fact, including in the SACP Central Committee Statement of the 1st of December 2013 itself, the SACP acknowledges that even post 1994, what it now strangely calls “monopoly capital” (no more reference to white monopoly capital) has strengthened its hold on South Africa, and internationalised.

‘We now know in 2013 that out of the poorest 25 million South Africans, 24 million are Africans precisely because of their unchanged colonial status after 1994!

‘We now know that in 2008, the top 20% or roughly 10 million South Africans received 75% of total national income.

‘The poorest 50% of the South African population, or 25 million South Africans, received a meagre 8% of the national income. Of course 24 million of these poorest South Africans are African – confirming their colonial status in post 1994 democratic South Africa.

‘We in NUMSA are not surprised at this ugly South African reality. As we now know, the 1994 ANC/SACP-negotiated settlement did not change this in all essential respects, however, the colonial status of the black majority, which has simply remained in place to date. Nor did it destroy the economic and political basis of the power of white monopoly and imperialist capital in South Africa.

‘Reducing the black majority to social grant recipients does not eradicate their colonial status. It simply confirms this ugly fact, post-1994.’

The NUMSA statement continues it ‘currently cannot deny that it has fundamental philosophical, ideological and political problems with the SACP under Blade Nzimande.

‘Post-2009, it did not take us long to realise that it was a grave mistake to bury so many SACP leaders into the nationalist government of the ANC.

‘More importantly, NUMSA quickly realised that locking the general secretary of the SACP and his deputy in government simply made the SACP impotent. This denied the SACP of its independent leadership, and character, as a socialist vanguard of the working class.

‘NUMSA has raised this fact inside and outside Cosatu. This has greatly angered Blade and his friends in the SACP. It has made the current NUMSA leadership very unpopular with Blade’s SACP leadership…

‘Blade has vowed in the 13th SACP Congress last year, to isolate, expose and destroy the current NUMSA national leadership in general, and Irvin Jim in particular, because they are a “lingering” irritation, post 2007!

‘NUMSA, from 1993, has always been aware of the dangers of the unstructured ANC-led alliance to the working class. Our resolutions clearly expound on this fact, consistently.

‘Today, having ridden to power on the back of criticising SACP members and leaders in the neoliberal GEAR (Growth, Employment and Redistribution) ANC government, Blade Nzimande’s SACP has no problem with the NDP – a clear continuation of GEAR by not so cleverly concealed means.

In fact, the very Blade ensures that Ministers in Thabo Mbeki’s Cabinet are purged from the SACP Central Committee, understandably so because these fellows championed privatisation and anti-working class policies which came to be known as the “1996 Class Project”. SACP members, who are in Cabinet, are today happy to champion e-tolling (privatisation) of public roads, Gautrain, etc.

‘In fact, Blade Nzimande, on national television, is on record publicly denying that the Zuma government is pursuing neoliberalism, because he, as an SACP leader, is part of this government and must therefore deny the most obvious fact.’

The statement continues: ‘Precisely because NUMSA has not been afraid to publicly complain that the SACP of Blade Nzimande has fast lost its vanguard role of the working class since 2009, Blade in his Political Report to the 2012 13th SACP Congress said the following about NUMSA:

‘“…there is a small, but lingering, phenomenon in the trade union movement, that of wanting to deliberately cause strain and divide the labour movement from the SACP and the ANC. We must intensify ideological work to expose and defeat this phenomenon within the ranks of COSATU and the progressive trade union movement.”

‘In the 1st December SACP Central Committee Statement, the SACP says about NUMSA: “For a long while now the SACP has endured an endless string of personalised insults and lies from these quarters”.’

The statement continues: ‘In our wildest dreams, we would never have thought that the SACP of Moses Kotane, of Joe Slovo, of Chris Hani, would ever have resorted to the use of dangerous isolationist and factionalist strategies of individual revolutionary activists that inevitably led to their being disappeared or assassinated, in our recent past!’

On the current crisis situation for the South African masses the statement says: ‘We at NUMSA now know that all the above are perfect outcomes of the negotiated settlement in which the ANC/SACP traded the Freedom Charter for government jobs and BEE (Black Economic Empowerment), while Cosatu was busy working on the Reconstruction and Development Programme, which was later unceremoniously dumped in favour of GEAR.

‘The SACP, surely, has the theoretical and ideological capacity, and revolutionary moral rectitude, to honestly confess that the foundations of the current ugly situation in South Africa were laid in the negotiations in which white monopoly capital and imperialism triumphed, as together they facilitated the acquisition of “government” by the ANC in exchange for economic sovereignty?

‘We repeat: the 1994 negotiated settlement neither dismantled the power of South African white monopoly capital and imperialism, nor did it change the colonial status of the black majority in South Africa…

‘We in NUMSA, in our National Executive Committee document have showed how the SACP has defended white monopoly capitalism against nationalisation, on the grounds that nationalisation is meant to rescue “narrow BEE capital”.’

It adds: ‘We now know that each mining house, monopoly industry, has an ANC surrogate in its executive, and these “narrow BEE collaborators”, the compradors, are leading the ANC today, with Blade Nzimande.

‘For example, the current deputy president of the ANC and the chairperson are big shareholders of mining houses. Why in hell would they agree to have their wealth “nationalised”? Blade Nzimande serves with these individuals on the ANC National Executive Committee.

‘We find it hard not to have contempt for the “anti-monopoly capitalist front” the SACP Central Committee Statement is calling for. This is a hollow front, a “pseudo-revolutionary-sounding phrase” that not so cleverly masks the defence of “white monopoly capitalism” in post 1994 South Africa.’

The statement concludes:

‘United, revolutionary, and militant, Numsa shall overcome.’