Tuesday, May 03, 2016

The Black Lives Matter Movement Must Learn From the Struggles of the Black Power Movement 
Shaun King
Tuesday, May 3, 2016, 11:54 AM

Black Lives Matter protesters, here in Brooklyn in 2016, must be aware of potential acts of undermining by the government.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

— George Santayana

The Black Power Movement, like any other struggle for freedom in America, was full of legitimate conflicts, egotistical personalities and a serious struggle for resources. Any one of those factors could've very well done the movement in, but the most definitive research tells us that the United States government actually set out to methodically undermine the movement in some of the most vicious ways imaginable. The Black Lives Matter Movement of today is no different in that it too has its fair share of serious disagreements, egos and resource limitations, but we must ask and seriously consider whether or not our own local, state and federal government could be privately undermining the sincere efforts of the movement to see a more just and equitable nation.


Did you know that Morgan Freeman, recently lauded for his voice work in “The Lego Movie,” is four years older than Emmett Till would now be?

Did you know that Cicely Tyson, who now stars in the Netflix hit, “House of Cards,” is a full five years older than Dr. Martin Luther King would now be?

Did you know George Clinton, the still-touring architect of P-Funk and the Atomic Dog, is a year older than Huey P. Newton would now be?

Till, King and Newton, tragically, are no longer with us, having left this life before most of the young leaders of the Black Lives Matter Movement were even born. Many peers of those fallen legends, though, are still very much alive, well, and productive — reminding us of just how recent and touchable our past truly is. Our history is rich with both lessons and warnings, but it must be known and remembered in order for it to guide us in any meaningful way.

The Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power Movement, perhaps because they existed so long before social media, before cell phone cameras and selfies, hell, before the internet and personal computers for that matter, seem far more distant than they truly are. Consequently, too many lessons for modern freedom struggles are being learned the hard way.

In the award-winning, “Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party,” authors Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin remind us that, "FBI director J. Edgar Hoover famously declared, ‘The Black Panther Party, without question, represents the greatest threat to the internal security of the country.’”

That declaration wasn't rhetorical. Bloom and Martin, in the most thorough text ever on the Panthers, show how our government did far more than simply monitor the movement. On January 17, 1969, Bunchy Carter, the gifted leader of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Black Panther Party was killed "in a confrontation actively instigated, if not directly planned, by the federal government's COINTELPRO." John Huggins, another brilliant young man, was also killed in this conflict. They'd ultimately be just a few of the casualties who were definitively tied to destructive government intervention.

Again quoting Hoover, Bloom and Martin remind us of just how clearly the FBI declared "one of our primary aims in counter-intelligence as it concerns the BPP is to keep this group isolated from the moderate black and white community which may support it." The authors continue, showing how the bureau sought to "create factionalism" and paid outside provocateurs to "forge documents," "promote violence," "supply explosives," and even encourage "Panther members to torture suspected informants."

How crazy is that? Paid employees of our government were encouraging the Black Panther Party to torture folk!

In “Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power,” Seth Rosenfeld, after working tirelessly for three decades in countless lawsuits all the way up to the Supreme Court to get nearly 250,000 pages of previously classified documents released, deftly reveals how Hoover and Ronald Reagan, who was actually an FBI informant long before he became President of the United States, conspired together to target and undermine liberal students and staff members at Berkeley and beyond. The operations were impossibly complex and devastatingly unethical - all done in the name of national security.

Hoover, who was the first ever Director of the FBI, remained in that position for an astounding 48 years - from 1924 all the way until the day he died in 1972. To this very day, in spite of libraries of evidence showing just how nefarious he truly was, like having the bureau send Martin Luther King a letter encouraging him to kill himself, the FBI headquarters are still named after him. It was not like the FBI shape-shifted into a new organization just because Hoover passed away. He built every code and law and rule and mission and habit and handbook there in his own image and likeness.

Today, the FBI has over 35,000 employees including nearly 14,000 special agents. What in the world do we think they are doing? What's clear, sadly, is that peaceful protest groups affiliated with the Black Lives Matter Movement are being monitored by the Department of Homeland Security.

George Joseph, of The Intercept, states, “Documents, released by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Operations Coordination, indicate that the department frequently collects information, including location data, on Black Lives Matter activities from public social media accounts, including on Facebook, Twitter, and Vine, even for events expected to be peaceful.”

Based on what we know about the history of the FBI's surveillance of such movements, why would we ever think that such collection of data is the beginning, middle and end of their work today? That's illogical. Jason Leopold, of VICE News, uncovered emails from Homeland Security showing they were tracking the specific locations and activities of very particular protestors in Baltimore. Later it was discovered that Baltimore Police knowingly released uncorroborated reports, which they may have actually concocted themselves, stating that rival gangs throughout the city were unifying for the sole purpose to kill police officers. Released on the day of Freddie Gray's funeral, the reports sent the entire city into a frenzy and were later used as a public excuse for something akin to martial law.

Julia Craven, in a very thorough piece for Huffington Post, draws a direct parallel between many of the tactics of COINTELPRO, the FBI’s Counterintelligence Program that was suspended in 1971, with historical movements to what we're seeing today with the Black Lives Matter Movement saying, "This is the same ideology; it's just a different name."

Indeed, this point is hard to dispute. The question is not if the Black Lives Matter Movement is being tracked and monitored, that much is clear, but what else might be happening to infiltrate, discredit, co-opt and destroy the movement and how can such possibilities be rebutted? Ignoring these questions or pretending that such threats are far-fetched conspiracy theories could have potentially disastrous consequences. What impact could the outcome of the current presidential election have on how the Black Lives Matter Movement is perceived? The United States of America is highly resistant to systemic change. When any movements threaten the status quo, the system will fight to protect itself.
Afeni Shakur Davis, Dies at 69
Afeni Shakur Davis, the famous rapper Tupac Shakur's mother and a member of the infamous "Panther 21" in the 1970s, has died aged 69, California officials say.

Davis' death was first announced by the Marin County Sheriff. She had reportedly been living on a houseboat in Sausalito, Calif. A cause of death has not yet been given.

A native of North Carolina, Davis first gained prominence as one of 21 members of the Black Panther party put on trail in New York in 1969 for allegedly plotting to shoot and bomb two New York City police stations and an education center. It was at the time the most expensive trial in New York history and ended with an acquittal of all defendants.

She gave birth to two children, most famously Lesane Parish Crooks in June of 1971, who was later known as Tupac Shakur. Tupac's dad, Billy Garland, had been acquitted with Davis in the Panther 21 trial just a month before he was born.

In later life, Davis spent much of her time managing her late son's massively popular musical legacy after he was gunned down at age 25 on a Las Vegas street corner in 1996. Shakur's musical catalog was netting about $900 million per year at the time of her death, reports the New York Daily News.

In 2003 on the release of the movie "Tupac Resurrection," Davis told CBS News: "I'm not a filmmaker. I'm not a music producer by choice. Whatever it is I'm doing I do because my son was murdered, and he was not able to complete his work. So as his mother, my whole job and responsibility is to see to it that that happens for him, and I do that with love."

Davis was often noted for talking with frankness and candor, whether discussing her former crack habit or her son's own mistakes, which she allowed to be chronicled directly.

Davis rarely talked about the fact that the killing of her son is still unsolved, and insisted in her CBS News interview she did not think about it.

"Not a second. Not even a nanosecond have I concerned myself with who shot him or why they shot him, or what should happen to them. I don't care what happens to them," she says fiercely. "I spend my time putting my sons work out, because guess what - they shot him, (but) did not shut him up though."

More recently, Davis had been involved in a divorce dispute with North Carolina minister Gust Davis, reports TMZ.

Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur, died late Monday night ... possibly from a heart attack.

The Marin County Sheriff's Department says it responded to Afeni's Sausalito, CA home Monday around 9:43 PM for a report of a cardiac arrest. She was transported to a hospital ... where she was pronounced dead at 10:28 PM.

Afeni was a philanthropist, founding and running the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation after her son's death. She was also a Black Panther ... and defended herself in court when she was accused of multiple bombings.

As keeper of all things Tupac, Afeni greenlit the biopic, "All Eyez on Me" ... which just recently wrapped filming.

The Marin County Sheriff says the coroner will investigate to determine the exact cause of Afeni's death.

She was 69 years old.

Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2016/05/03/tupac-mom-afeni-shakur-dead/#ixzz47b78N0mo
Detroit Schools Closed Again Due to Teacher 'Sickouts'
By Joshua Berlinger and Michael Pearson, CNN
8:13 AM ET, Tue May 3, 2016

(CNN)Most Detroit schools will remain closed Tuesday, the second day of teacher protests over pay concerns in the city's financially ailing school district.

At least 94 of the city's 97 public schools will be closed again Tuesday, Detroit Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Zdrodowski said early Tuesday.

On Monday, 94 schools closed after more than 1,500 teachers called in sick to protest after learning the district only has enough money to pay teachers through June 30.

Because some teachers can elect to receive their paychecks year-round, the union representing teachers argues that shortfall means those educators have already started to work for free.

"Detroit Federation of Teachers leaders spent the day meeting with DPS Transition Manager Judge Steven Rhodes and other decision makers to get an assurance that our members will be paid for their work," the union said Tuesday. "Still, they refuse to say the three words our members need to hear: 'I guarantee it.' "

"Their failure to give us that guarantee is tantamount to a lockout." the union said.

More protests are planned for Tuesday as parents caught in the middle of the debate scramble to arrange for child care.

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said Tuesday on Twitter that she is headed to Detroit to join the protests.

Ironically, all of this turmoil is happening during National Teacher Appreciation Week -- an observance the Detroit Public Schools system is touting on its website's homepage.

Why this is happening?

The Detroit school system is deep in the red, with more than $500 million of operating debt, the Michigan governor's office has said.

Teachers union interim President Ivy Bailey told educators Saturday that the school system only has enough money to pay its teachers through June 30. And that means some may not get paid for their work as the school year winds down, the union argues.

"There's a basic agreement in America: When you put in a day's work, you'll receive a day's pay. DPS (Detroit Public Schools) is breaking that deal," Bailey said.

The average teacher salary in the district is $63,716.

The union planned to run a newspaper advertisement Tuesday pitching its case.

"It's the law that when you work, you get paid," the ad says. "Asking teachers to work without pay is un-American."

Teacher salaries are the latest casualty of the financial crisis in the district. With so much money going to pay down debt, many of the school system's facilities have fallen into disrepair, teachers say.

Teachers have complained of safety hazards and equipment shortages.

Teachers say the deplorable conditions diminish their ability to effectively teach and put students at a disadvantage.

Teachers also claim that some extracurricular facilities, such as gyms, are unsafe because of neglect.

Teachers say the deplorable conditions diminish their ability to effectively teach and put students at a disadvantage.

'Sickouts,' not strikes

Teacher strikes are illegal in Michigan. So to protest the poor conditions that educators say they and students must deal with, Detroit Public Schools teachers have relied on the so-called sickout method -- calling in sick en masse, forcing schools to close.

In January, teachers staged a sickout to protest dilapidated and dangerously unsanitary conditions -- including rat and roach infestations, black mold and falling ceiling panels -- forcing the closure of dozens of schools. A judge later ruled that teachers could continue staging the sickouts after the district brought the union to court over the issue.

That's why they are using sickouts to protest the news about pay.

More than 500 people attended a rally in support of the city's teachers Monday morning outside a school district administration building, according to Nikhol Atkins, a staff member at the teachers union.

"I support the teachers on getting a fair deal. They're educators," said parent Tony Kinsey, whose sons are in the 11th and ninth grades. "I'm frustrated with the adults, the leadership. Our children are the ones suffering."

Potential solutions

Teachers and some parents are urging Michigan lawmakers to pass a $715 million education reform package that would fund salaries for July and beyond.

The legislation has passed the Michigan Senate but still needs to be approved by the House of Representatives and Gov. Rick Snyder.

"I have been and remain confident that the Michigan Legislature understands the urgency and importance of the reform legislation that is before it," said Judge Steven Rhodes, whom Snyder appointed in February to be the transition manager for Detroit Public Schools. "The future of Detroit is as much at stake here as the future of the school system."

Rhodes called the sickouts "drastic" and "unnecessary" but said he was sympathetic to the teachers' plight.

"I am on record as saying that I cannot in good conscience ask anyone to work without pay," he said.

"Wages that are owed to teachers should be paid. ... I understand the frustration and anger that our teachers feel."

If not school, where do kids go?

Sharlonda Buckman, CEO of Detroit Parents Network, an organization of parents with children in all city schools, said she felt an "instant splitting headache" when she heard about the sickout. (This group is funded by enemies of the public education and cannot provide an accurate analysis of the situation).

"This is one of the most tumultuous school years our kids have experienced," she told CNN. "They aren't getting what they need. It's disturbing. First in January ... (now) we're in May and this is still happening."

Buckman has nieces and nephews in the public school system. She points out that not every parent has the flexibility to stay home from work or to be late when faced with closed schools. Older children have to baby-sit younger ones, and some kids are left entirely alone.

"This creates a safety issue when you have unsupervised children," she said.

It's also a challenge for parents such as Kinsey, who works from home but has had to interrupt work three or four times to cajole his sons to do schoolwork. His 11th-grader needs to prepare for the SAT, he said.

"I gave them a couple choices as long as it was learning," said Kinsey, who made reading assignments for his sons. "They think this is a vacation. My oldest wants to go to the movies and the mall. It's been a lot of negotiating, going back and forth and empathizing with them. It's been tough."
CNN's Ashley Fantz, Kristina Sgueglia, David Shortell and Joe Sutton contributed to this report.
Teacher Protests Close Most Detroit Schools Again Tuesday
By Emma Brown
May 3 at 7:39 AM

Almost all Detroit public schools were closed again Tuesday as union leaders called on teachers not to report to work, continuing a protest over pay that forced the closure of nearly all of the city’s schools Monday.

More than 90 of the city’s roughly 100 public schools are closed Tuesday, according to the district’s Facebook page. About 46,000 students attend the city’s schools, and the second day of closures left some parents scrambling to find alternatives for their children.

The Detroit Federation of Teachers is seeking to pressure state lawmakers to pass a bailout plan for the city’s troubled school system. Without action at the statehouse, the district has said it won’t be able to pay teachers over the summer. That would leave some teachers, who receive their salaries throughout the year, unpaid for their work during the school year.

“We do not work for free and therefore we do not expect you to report to school tomorrow,” Ivy Bailey, the interim president of the union, wrote to members Monday night.

Bailey said that teachers would “follow the same course of action” as they did Monday, rallying at the school district headquarters at 10 a.m.

Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives Kevin Cotter (R-Mt. Pleasant) blasted the teachers, saying that their “illegal sickout strikes” were hurting children and making it more difficult to settle on a solution for the schools’ financial crisis.

“These egotistical teachers have lashed out at the children who rely on them and accomplished nothing but disrupting their students’ education,” Cotter said in a statement. “Their selfish and misguided plea for attention only makes it harder for us to enact a rescue plan and makes it harder for Detroit’s youngest residents to get ahead and build a future for themselves.”

District officials apologized to families for the “inconveniences” of what it termed teacher sickouts, and they urged parents to contact state lawmakers about pending legislation meant to rescue and reform the school system.

“We remain confident that the funding issues for DPS will be resolved, and have been working daily with Lansing to move the reform legislation forward,” officials wrote on the school system’s Facebook page.

Under Michigan law, teachers may not strike, but Detroit teachers have staged multiple sickouts in recent months to protest the deplorable conditions of the city’s school buildings.

The most recent protests come in the wake of news that the financially crippled school system will run out of emergency state funding at the end of June, leaving it unable to make payroll over the summer — and leaving teachers unpaid for work they did during the school year.

Union leaders said that teachers who receive their annual salary in 26 installments risk not being paid for any work they do after April 28. They said that they are effectively being locked out of their jobs because the school system is not living up to the collective bargaining agreement, which includes terms of compensation.

The teachers’ action Monday brought criticism from the school system’s state-appointed emergency manager, Steven Rhodes, as well as from state lawmakers and Gov. Rick Snyder (R).

Rhodes said that the teachers’ action was not necessary and that it was counterproductive to efforts by state lawmakers to find a long-term solution to Detroit Public Schools’ fiscal crisis.

The school system would have run out of cash in early April if not for nearly $50 million in emergency funded provided by the state — enough to keep the system afloat until June 30.

The Michigan Senate passed a longer-term $715 million fix; the House is now debating that plan.

U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. said at a conference of education reporters on Monday that the school funding crisis in Detroit — like the drinking water crisis in nearby Flint, Mich., — is a symptom of “a systematic lack of investment in high-needs communities and high-needs kids.”

He urged Snyder and state legislators to “come together quickly” to find a comprehensive solution to Detroit schools’ financial problems.
Detroit in a Downward Spiral As Budget Dries Up
May 3, 2016 6:39 AM EDT

DETROIT -- Detroit has been breaking down, bit by bit, before our eyes. On Monday, most of its students could not go to school and on Tuesday, the taps will go dry for thousands.

As always, money is the issue. There's not nearly enough to go around.

Thousands of Detroit teachers walked off their jobs Monday in a wage dispute, forcing 94 out of 97 city schools to close and leaving more than 47,000 students out of class.

"We're being told our school system is basically broke," said Ivy Bailey, the interim teachers union president.

The sick out was called because the city schools are expected to run out of cash July 1st. No money for the teachers, and no funding for summer school or special education programs.

The sickout was supposed to be for one day, but on Monday night, the union called on its members to stay off the job Tuesday, as well. On Tuesday, the school system announced that 93 schools would be closed, reports CBS Detroit.

Detroit's school district, which has dilapidated buildings crawling with mold and infested with rodents, has been in debt for several years now. It has stayed afloat by asking for short-term loans from the state, which it now owes $3.5 billion.

Michigan state legislators are debating the merits of a bail-out package that could tide the teachers over, but right now the money isn't there.

"They need to put themselves in our shoes. They need to act like they're a parent and their child goes to Detroit public schools," said Bailey. "What type of school system would you want your child to be going to?"

The schools are hardly Detroit's only problem.

For the last few days, thousands of people lined up to make sure they are not deprived of a basic necessity of life -- water.

But starting Tuesday at 8 a.m., Detroit -- a city of 700,000 people -- will turn off the water for the 20,000 households which still have not paid their bill and not chosen to take advantage of payment plans the city is offering.

Fifty-three-year-old Fay lost her nursing job two years ago, and a bad hip has left her immobile, unable to find work, and unable to pay her $1,800 water bill.

"I feel destitute, I feel like I'm in a third county, a third-world country," Fay told CBS News.

On Tuesday, most people in the city will have water, though the status of the city's schools for the day remains unclear. But these issues underline the fact that Motor City still has a long road to recovery.
Clarification on High Court Judgement Regarding So-called Spy-tape Case
2 May 2016

The views of the SACP and its First Deputy General Secretary, Comrade Jeremy Cronin, have been misrepresented.

Responding to a journalist's question at the COSATU May Day Rally in Durban on Sunday, 1 May 2016 regarding the impact of Friday 29 April High Court judgment in the so-called spy-tape case, Comrade Cronin said that the ball was now squarely in the court of the National Prosecuting Authority. He said that Friday's judgement had not made any finding against President Zuma. Rather, the finding was against the former head of the NPA, advocate Mpshe. Comrade Jeremy Cronin added that this meant that the NPA was confronted with one of two possibilities - either to provide rational reasons for continuing not to proceed with charges against President Zuma, or, alternatively to proceed with the charges. Either way, clear action needs to be taken to remove the cloud that has been hanging over our president and the country.

The SACP reiterates its position - as correctly articulated by Comrade Jeremy Cronin - that justice delayed is justice denied.

Looked at in its entirety the case and the manner in which it was handled constitute a case of justice denied.

Issued by SACP

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Let Us Unite Our Movement, Let Us Close Ranks, Let Us Defeat the Strategic Agenda of Imperialism and Monopoly Capital!
1 May 2016

Let us consolidate and accelerate a second radical phase of the NDR.

We have just celebrated twenty-two years of majority rule in SA. Twenty-two years of democracy led by the ANC and its alliance. Twenty-two years is both a long time…and a short time. It is a short time in which to address the terrible legacy of centuries of colonial, racial and capitalist dispossession, genocide, oppression and exploitation.

We should not underestimate what we have collectively achieved over this short period - a constitutional democracy, worker rights, the mass roll-out of subsidised housing, water connections, sanitation, school enrolment, adult literacy, the world's largest free roll-out of anti-retrovirals, significantly improving life expectancy. One third of South Africans are now benefiting from social grants - the largest per capita roll-out in the world. In twenty-two years we have provided household electricity to 6-million households. White minority regimes only achieved 5-million household electricity connections in over 100 years!

Twenty-two years is a short-time - but still we could have done, and we should have done much better. Unemployment in the narrow definition at 25% and at least 35% in the broader definition is a major crisis. Poverty still wears a black face. We remain one of the most unequal societies in the world.

But 22 years of sustained if uneven democratic transformation is also a relatively long time when compared to other revolutions. Many revolutions, some initially more radical than our own, after two decades in power have completely lost direction, have gone off the rails, have descended into anarchy, or become bureaucratic, even oppressive. In China, 20 years after their revolutionary breakthrough, the Communist Party, the government and society was racked by turmoil, violence and factionalism - from which the country was only to recover over a decade later.

Closer to hand, as COSATU and the SACP we witnessed the tragic deterioration of the Zimbabwean revolution. After 1980 very important social gains were advanced in Zimbabwe - in health care, in basic education, in land reform. But around twenty years after liberation, under pressure from the IMF and with growing authoritarianism, the state apparatus was launched against the workers' movement, against social movements, and against democratic gains. The tragic results are still to be seen today.

Today, in Brazil, the PT, the Workers Party and the country's President, Dilma Rousseff are facing a constitutional coup and the prospect of impeachment which will threaten critical advances made in terms of worker rights, a national minimum wage, a comprehensive social security system and many other gains. This is the result of an unceasing offensive against the Workers' Party by internationalised monopoly capital, by US-backed hostility, by an established middle-class elite, and by all of the Brazilian commercial media. But it is also the result of internal challenges, related to the difficulties that left-wing and national liberation movements encounter when trying to govern on the terrain of a capitalist society.

Our revolution is not necessarily an exception. We have survived over two decades, but there is much that is problematic and there are many vultures gathering. We must neither be despairing nor denialist. Today we are facing an exceptionally difficult situation, but we have traditions, we have critical sites of power, and we have shown resilience.

The basic message of the SACP on this, May Day 2016 is:

Let us unite our movement, let us close ranks, let us defeat the strategic agenda of imperialism and monopoly capital. Let us consolidate and accelerate a second radical phase of the NDR.

But on what programmatic basis do we unite? Is it unity simply for the sake of unity? Is it unity for public appearances? No, and again: No! Is it unity because local government elections will be held on August 3rd? Yes, that's part of it, but that isn't a sustainable basis for revolutionary unity. After all, we have been there before.

Let us close ranks on the basis of a strategic programme and active organisation and mobilisation focused on the needs and aspirations of the workers and poor of South Africa. To do that - we must say NO to the politics of money. NO to the politics of factions. NO to the politics of gate-keepers. NO to the politics of personal ambition and opportunism.

COSATU, the largest federation in South Africa, has correctly chosen the theme for May Day 2016 as: "Celebrating 30 years and Defending Collective Bargaining, Workers' Jobs and Rights".

The South African Communist Party as a steadfast ally of COSATU fully supports exactly these demands. The SACP has consistently stood by the Federation as it has dealt with the greatest threat to its unity and existence over these past two and three years. While respecting COSATU's independence and internal organisational democracy, the SACP has fully supported COSATU in the challenging task of re-building collective leadership in the face of personality cults, and swollen egos. No individual is bigger than the organisation. No individual owns the federation.

The SACP has fully supported COSATU and its loyal affiliates in the struggle against membership poaching, and the cannibalising of fellow affiliates. Above all, the SACP has stood shoulder to shoulder with the collective COSATU leadership in condemning opportunism, and business unionism.

Against these deviations, COSATU has correctly called for a back to basics approach - meaning, the prime task of unions is service to members - not to be springboards for individual careerism. Back to basics also means worker leadership, collective leadership, and internal democracy.

The SACP is convinced that COSATU has turned the corner. Many challenges remain, of course, but there is now stabilisation. Attempts to launch opposition federations and worker parties are clearly floundering. In their hundreds and thousands, the overwhelming majority of COSATU affiliate members have defended their Federation against attempts to set up rival formations, funded by the US, and celebrated by the neo-liberals in our country. It is no accident that Zwelinzima Vavi and the DA and even the EFF are all flirting with each other. Once you are on the slippery slope of opportunism, there are no bounds to how far down you will slide.

COSATU's May Day 2016 theme is "Defend collective bargaining, Workers' Jobs and Rights". That is absolutely right.

But, together, we also need to go beyond a defensive posture. While defending collective bargaining, workers' jobs and workers' rights, how do we also go on to the OFFENSIVE? How do we carry the fight to our class enemies?

And this is where Alliance unity becomes the critical factor.

For as long as we are fighting our own isolated battles we will remain on the defensive. Let us combine worker power on the shop floor, with popular power in our communities, in our townships and rural villages, with democratic state power. Together, let us go on to the offensive to drive a second radical phase of the national democratic revolution.

But what does that mean?

There are many inter-related tasks, but at the heart of our struggle is the task of rolling back the monopoly power of big capital that is stifling our economy, siphoning off vast profits, casualising and retrenching workers, and over-charging citizens.

That is why we fully support Government's announcement, made by cde Ebrahim Patel in the Department of Economic Development budget, that we will now criminalise corporate collusion. Through the Competition Commission, government has exposed collusion in bread pricing, collusion in plastics products, and massive collusion in the construction sector in the run-up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup. This has resulted in large fines being imposed on many capitalist corporations.

But not a single corporate manager, not a single CEO, not a single director has gone to jail for this day-light robbery. If you steal a loaf of bread - you risk going to jail. If you steal bread from the mouths of millions of hungry children through over-pricing - you will be rewarded with share-options and a company bonus. That must now come to an end. With the criminalising of collusion, individual colluding managers and bosses must be sent to jail.

Deepen the struggle against exploitation; roll back the power of monopoly capital!

This week an important Constitutional Court judgement was made, that Nkosana Makate was indeed the inventor of the idea of "Please call me", and that Vodacom must pay what is due to him. This is one of the cases of corporate theft by capitalist oligopolies that is so common globally. Thousands of patents in the capitalist North were ideas stolen from the developing world, including from our continent. The SACP welcomes this ruling as it serves as a warning to other corporate thieves!

We must roll back the power of monopoly capital in other ways too. From the mid-1990s, with the disastrous GEAR policies, capital markets and exchange controls were over-liberalised. The result has been the massive legal and illegal flight of capital from our country by all the major corporations that had grown fat in the years of white minority rule. Monopoly capital in SA has run away from non-racial democracy. We now confront Anglo American, Old Mutual, SASOL,
Investec and many others as if they were foreign investors.

Confront the parasites inside our economy, defend our democratic national sovereignty!

Even the predators who have parasitically ripped off our new democracy in more recent times, like the Guptas, are running away to Dubai with their ill-gotten wealth, leaving their employees behind to face an uncertain future. The Guptas and their supporters are, of course, trying to blame the banks, brokers and auditors for this situation. But these same banks, brokers and audit firms were very happy to be making money out of Gupta transactions for many years, for as long as they could get away with it. But the smash-and-grab, hit-and-run greed of the Guptas has become so reckless that the banks have been warned that they are exposing themselves to international sanctions and even to losing their local operating licences if they continue dealing with these parasites. That's the reason for what is happening - not some imperialist plot that those who are in bed with the Guptas claim. The Guptas are not patriotic, they are parasitic.

We can't effectively deal with established monopoly capital, we can't defend our South African national sovereignty in the face of an external imperialist agenda if the parasites inside our economy have weakened the South African Revenue Services, or undermined the developmental mandate of an Eskom, or an Armscor, or an SAA, through their plunder-preneuring activities. The struggle against corporate capture of our democratic state is a necessary struggle to defend our people, our democracy, our constitution in the face of imperialism and monopoly capital. It is not a question of supporting the Ruperts and Oppenheimers against the Guptas, or supporting the Guptas against the Ruperts and Oppenheimers. We have to fight capitalist exploitation in all its forms.

Let's deepen our struggle to achieve transformation of the financial sector!

This is the context in which the SACP is revitalising the financial sector campaign. In 2000 the SACP launched the Red October Financial Sector Campaign. Together with COSATU and some 50 other formations we succeeded in achieving a NEDLAC-convened Financial Sector Summit in 2002. In 2004 the Financial Sector Charter was signed, and it committed to a comprehensive review of the Charter by 2015. That didn't happen last year, but together with COSATU the SACP has insisted on the need for an urgent second NEDLAC-convened Financial Sector Summit. This has now been agreed. It will be convened this year.

The first Financial Sector Summit resulted in important advances against monopoly capital and its agents. We achieved a partial credit amnesty. We forced transparency on the Credit Bureaux that, previously, had operated in the dark. We emancipated many from the bondage of a life-time's unfair black-listing. As a result of our campaign the National Credit Act was passed and the National Credit Regulator was established. The NCR has been active in exposing the illegal manipulation of credit by furniture retailers like Lewis, for instance.

There has been progress but much more needs to be done to radically transform the financial sector, which lies at the heart of contemporary monopoly capitalism.

The working class and the poor, even the so-called "new black middle class", are trapped in a massive debt crisis as we speak.

45% of credit active South Africans have "impaired records" - that means they are 3 months and more in arrears with their payments.

Unsecured credit in South Africa has grown from R40bn in 2008 to R172bn in 2014
Much of this credit is for immediate consumption, and not for investing in something durable like a house
And, when we talk about credit for consumption, we are often not talking about luxury items - 40% of loans from micro-lenders are simply to buy food.

On top of this:

The degree of monopoly concentration in banking in SA is amongst the highest in the world - the four largest banks hold 84% of total banking;

And, what is worse still, at the end of last year, foreign share-holders held 50% of all of our banking shares.

Half of the massive dividend profits made by the banks from exorbitant bank charges and punishing interest rates doesn't even stay in South Africa.

So what is to be done?

We must advance the call for a new credit amnesty. Debt relief can take many forms, including a write-off where payment is simply unrealistic. In other cases, a significant reduction on interest rates on unpayable debt must be implemented.

We must expose and root out all abuses of Garnishee Orders. There are many cases in which corrupt debt collectors collude with clerks of the court to bypass the Garnishee Order regulations.

Affordability is supposed to be assessed before deductions are made. All too often this is not happening. There are also many cases of "court-shopping" by debt collectors. In a recent case heard in the Cape Town high court, for instance, it was found that Stellenbosch farm-workers had garnishee orders that were issued irregularly in Kimberley.

There is also massive abuse of house repossessions and home evictions now happening in South Africa, driven by the banks, corrupt estate agents and private developers. Thousands of families are being thrown out on to the streets, on a scale that is approaching the worst of the apartheid-era's forced removals. Regulations governing repossession must be tightened, and abusers must be dealt with. In many other countries, a repossessed house cannot be sold at a first auction at less than 95% of its market value. Here in SA we are coming across cases in which evicted owners are not informed of auction dates. Their R400,000 houses are being sold for R2000 or R1000 - we even know of one case where a house was sold for R100. This is happening because there are syndicates that involve corrupt estate agents, bank officials, court officials, and property developers.

There must be interest rate caps imposed on credit for productive purposes (building a factory for instance), or for social purposes (to address the crisis in the so-called gap housing market, all those who do not qualify for an RDP house but who also are turned away by the banks). One of the agreements in the 2002 Financial Sector Summit was that the private financial sector would actively support social housing investments at affordable rates. This has not happened.

Our longer term objective is to nationalise or (more accurately) socialise the banks so that they serve the majority and contribute to a developing economy, with localisation, industrial development and job creation. But while we strive for this longer term objective, we must also greatly consolidate our own publicly-owned, and socially-owned financial resources:

Is the PIC playing an effective developmental role, or is it too often simply advancing the interests of narrow BEE factions?

At a provincial level there are supposedly publicly-owned provincial financial entities - R1bn is sitting in the Eastern Cape Development Corporation's books, the Free State's Development Corporation has reserves of R400million, in Limpopo there is Limdev, in KZN there is Ithala Bank.

Is there any transparency about how their major resources are being utilised? The SACP believes that the multiple provincial financial institutions should be consolidated into a single and transparent national public financial entity - otherwise we run the risk that these entities become war-chests for provincial elites.

We have long called for the Postbank to be given a full-banking licence. The Post Office has a footprint in the remote areas where the commercial banks simply do not exist. Of course, for the Postbank to get a full banking licence requires a major turnaround of the SA Post Office, based not a narrow commercial mandate. It is a scandal that the payment of social grants was taken away from the Post Office and given under suspicious circumstances to a shady North American outfit. This was a major factor in the current challenges facing SAPO.

These are just some of the key priorities that we need to take up in the struggle to socialise the Financial Sector.

Together with COSATU, the SACP has also prioritised other key campaign struggles.

Consolidate comprehensive social security now!

In the face of the triple crisis of unemployment, poverty and inequality, it is absolutely imperative that government consolidates a comprehensive social security policy. COSATU was correct to say that we cannot proceed with amendments
to workers' provident funds without seeing a more comprehensive government approach to social security. A comprehensive social security package includes:

The struggle for an effective National Minimum Wage ;

Likewise the struggle for a National Health Insurance is integral to social security. We must redouble our efforts to ensure the roll-out of a universal, solidarity NHI based on the principle that health-care is a basic human right. Access to quality health-care should not depend on the size of your pocket.

It is now also time to begin to speak not just about the defence of workers' jobs and workers' rights - but also about the Right to Work. The Freedom Charter is very clear in this regard. It says: "The state shall recognise the right and duty of all to work". Capitalism is the only economic system known to history in which those who can work, those who want to work are not necessarily able to find work.

It's a crazy system, but capitalism needs unemployment.

Full employment is a problem for capitalism because it strengthens the bargaining power of the working class. This is why we will never achieve full employment under capitalism. And this is why, in the current reality, public sector employment, including public employment programs, are a critical element in the struggle for the progressive realisation of the Right to Work for all.

Let's unite as the working class, let's unite our communities, let's campaign for the election victory of our people!

In just over two months we will once more be going to local government polls. The SACP will be, and is, actively campaigning for an overwhelming ANC-led victory. In supporting the ANC's campaign we are also saying that we support one-hundred percent the ANC guidelines on the selection of candidates. And for this principled reason we have said that where unpopular ANC candidates are parachuted onto communities by factions and money-politics in defiance of the ANC's own selection procedures, then the ANC national structures must step in and correct matters. Failure to do so will impact negatively on the ANC's electoral performance, and certainly the SACP will not support any factional candidate imposed by branch-level gate-keepers.

We cannot allow the ANC's election campaign to be compromised, especially at a time when the commercial media, and the array of opposition parties are hovering around sensing blood.

None of these forces have anything substantive to offer the working class. The DA is openly hostile to COSATU and the working class in general. Their election campaign amounts to reciting two words over and over again - Cape Town, Cape Town, Cape Town. But even in Cape Town, with all of its advantages, the DA is messing up. Cape Town, more than any other metro, remains an enclave of white privilege and power. Mayor De Lille boasts about her EPWP achievements, but as we speak, Cape Town is way behind all other metros in its EPWP work opportunity targets - at a pathetic 7 percent.

The EFF, that party of plunder-preneurs, is threatening civil war. Its self-anointed "command-in-chief" says it will deal with a democratically-elected, constitutional state "through the barrel of the gun". We don't think Malema knows one end of a gun-barrel from the other. But that doesn't make his threat of civil war any less sinister. It is a direct incitement to violence and to the reckless undermining of our constitution. The charge of treason must be seriously pursued. Malema struts around with an air of impunity, and this encourages his followers every week publicly on TV to openly incite arson, violence and anarchy.

And what about other alternatives? Does the so-called United Front actually exist? In its pathetic marches of the last week it looked more and more like a pale shadow of the pale shadow of something once called COPE.

We cannot allow an opportunistic coalition of these forces, funded by external money and local monopoly capital, to make serious electoral inroads.

But this means that we must also deal with our own internal challenges as a broad ANC-led alliance. We must deal decisively with corruption, factionalism and Gupterisation. We must unite our movement on the basis of a principled program biased towards the workers and the poor.

Let us unite our movement, let us close ranks, let us defeat the strategic agenda of imperialism and monopoly capital. Let us consolidate and accelerate a second radical phase of the NDR.

Issued by the SACP

Summarised content delivered at Cosatu May Day Rallies by Cde. Blade Nzimande, SACP General Secretary, Moretele Park, Mamelodi, City of Tshwane; Cde. Jeremy Cronin, SACP 1st Deputy General Secretary, Durban; other SACP National Officials and Central Committee Members in different cities, towns and provinces across South Africa.
May Speech Delivered by COSATU President
President Jacob Zuma with COSATU President Sidumo Dlamini.
1 May 2016, Gauteng, Moretele Park

Comrades we are meeting here today to mark 121 years since the first celebrations of May Day by workers in 1895 in South Africa.

We are meeting here today to celebrate the victory of workers who waged bitter struggles under the leadership of COSATU who 29 years ago forced the Apartheid government to declare May Day as a paid Public Holiday in South Africa after bitter struggles by workers under the leadership of COSATU.

We are standing on the shoulders of giants of who came and led this giant giant federation. This year marks 52 years since Comrade Vuyisile Mini was hanged by the Apartheid regime together with Comrade Wilson Khayinga and Mr Zinakile Mkaba on 6th May 1964.

On this May Day we are reminded that 40 years ago in 1976, there was a trial which involved comrade Harry Gwala, the Lion of the Midrand in which over forty people were detained in connection with their intention to remove the apartheid government. Two of the accused, Mr Joseph Nduli and Mr Cleopas Ndhlovu were badly tortured by the apartheid police and died in the hands of the police.

On the 7th May 1980, Meat workers under the Western Province General Workers' Union (WPGWU) at the Table Bay Cold Storage go on a 12 week crippling strike which paralyses meat supply to Cape Town.

This May Day marks 29 years since COSATU launched the Living Wage Campaign In May 1987 COSATU launched its Living Wage Campaign, beginning on May Day, a Friday. To take away the sting of our victory, the Apartheid government declared the day a public holiday.

This month in the early hours of 7 May 1987, our head offices were bombed by apartheid agents who were sent by the Apartheid Minister of Law and Order Adrian Vlok. The intention was to instil fear, weakened and ultimately destroy COSATU. They failed dismally but our enemies have stopped their plans to weaken and destroy us.

In 1985 when COSATU was launched, they formed a counter federation called UWUSA which was funded by the apartheid regime, they found us prepared, we fought back and we defeated them. We had no money but we had the organisation and united workers behind the organisation.

Today 31 years thereafter the enemy is still trying the same old tricks in a different form. This time they use expelled people, who had been found to be corrupt; they use expelled people who chose to sleep with women instead of building the organisation.

They use people who did everything to be dismissed by COSATU so that they could run away from facing the charges of corruption.

It is these discredited leaders who are working hard to form a new federation that will oppose COSATU. We want to tell them, that like we did with UWUSA we will defeat them!

We know that the enemy will never rest. Some commentators and some journalist want us to keep quiet and not take about the glaring plot which is intended to reverse the gains of our struggles.

We know that the DA went to parliament to take away our right to strike and thanks to the ANC comrades in the portfolio committee who stopped them.

We know that the DA support the existence of labour brokers and they were prepared to go the courts to challenge our call for the ban of labour brokers on the basis of the so called constitutional right to trade , even if it the right to trade with humans.

As we speak now the DA has sent yet another Black puppet his name is Herman Mashaba. He is a DA puppet candidate for Johannesburg Metro. He has gone to the courts to fight for against collective bargaining.

For us as workers, U Vusi Maimane, and Herman Mashaba are nothing else but sell outs for bosses. Izincelebana zabaqashi!

They will never in their life time stand up against the labour brokers and the exploitation of workers.

We know that plans are being hatched to destroy COSATU, various projects including funding the formation of a new federation and books against COSATU.

We know that certain universities have become a hub for these activities aimed against COSATU . We want to tell you that we are on the ground , we are with the workers , we are all over and we will defeat you in the same way that we defeated the apartheid regime.

The plans of destroying COSATU are no longer a secret or can no longer be explained as a conspiracy but are now in the open and they are being driven by the expelled and discredited. We do not underestimate our enemies. We know they are being highly funded, they work with various highly resourcefull institutions who are committed to helping them

Employers and Monopoly capital are having sleepless nights because they have calculated that by this time COSATU would be a thing of the past. We have even seen books written on the so called "COSATU crisis" openly funded by the Germans. To their surprise everyday they receive news that COSATU is moving from one great victory to another.

We continue to use strike action as a weapon against employers. In 2009 alone we had 51 strikes; in 2010 we had 74 strikes; in 2011 we had 67 strikes; in 2012 there were 99 strikes and in 2013 there 114 strikes. All of these strike actions are accounted for by COSATU affiliates. We continue to fight without compromising and employers are doing everything possible including helping towards the formation and funding of new unions and new federation. In 2014 , 2015 including this year we have had a series of protests actions in the mining sector , in the public sector , with the most recent joint mass action with the SACP in KZN. Those who say this Giant is dead must think again!

We engage both in the boardroom and in the streets! We have secured many victories in the recent past.

We have placed on the table a demand for a legislated Minimum Wage and the matter is longer whether it should be implemented or not but how it should be implemented . Business is trying to employ delaying tactics and we want to announce here today that very soon we will be going to streets to demand a date for the implementation of a legislated National Minimum Wage. The
National Minimum Wage must be implemented now!

We will not stop and we will never retreat from our demand for an effective, accessible, reliable, safe, affordable and integrated Public Transport System. We don't want E-tolls and they must be scrapped now!

We have said Labour Brokers must be banned and very soon we will be issuing a report showing the extent to which labour brokers continue to treat workers as slaves. We are saying labour Brokers must be banned. We are no longer prepared to negotiate this matter.

We fought for a Free Public Health System called the National Health Insurance and today it is no longer whether it was necessary or but processes towards its implementation. We are ready to engage on the white paper. Business must know that HNI is not for their profits but it is for the ordinary people of this country.

We demanded and fought for the implementation of a Comprehensive Social Security and today there is a process underway for the release of a white paper and we call on government not to delay the process. We want the process towards a Comprehensive Social Security to commence now!

As we speak the UIF Amendment Bill has finally been adopted by the National Assembly's Portfolio Committee on Labour.

This is a bill on which we have spent a great deal of time pushing the Department of Labour to process, since 2013.

It is a progressive bill which will see billions of rands of UIF funds channelled to workers by increasing UIF benefits from 8 months to 12 months, increasing maternity leave payments from 54% of income to 66%, including mothers who had miscarriages in the third trimester and stillborns under maternity leave, empowering the Minister to set special regulations for domestic workers for maternity leave, covering reduced time workers under full time benefits etc.

We have won the postponement on the implementation of Retirement Funds reforms based on the Taxation Laws Amendment Act. But our demands remains that we want the act to be scrapped.

The Youth Wage Subsidy was forced on us and this year we are demanding that there should be a reviewable of its impact. We are certain that it had benefitted employers and not youth. Instead the millions of young people remain unemployed despite the Youth Wage Subsidy.

The plans to destroy COSATU are not delinked from that of weakening and destroying the liberation movement as a whole and replacing it with new political pseudo left organisations.

We are worried that despite these obvious and sustained attacks directed at the liberation movement we see many of our comrades acting in a manner which reinforces this offensive. We want to call on our comrades to be careful and understand that what may appear as an attack against the President of the country who is also the president of the ANC is actually aimed at insurrection and shifting of state power back to our former oppressors.

This process may both be direct or indirect. It may take a form of weakened electoral presence in the state and assume power sharing based on coalitions. It may take the form of some pseudo left organisations like the EFF/DA alliance gaining electoral presence at local government.

It may manifest as a direct transfer of political power from the ANC to the EFF/DA coalition. We are asking our comrades all over the country to be alive to this reality and stop acting in a manner which make them to play at the palm of the hand of our enemies.

It easy to be the heroes of the media but it will be difficult to win the lost political ground and the lost state power. Ask our comrades at the Western Cape.

Let us not make a mistake of thing that the ANC can loose and regain political power. We call on our people to stand up and defend political power from shifting to our former colonisers. Let is work to correct our ANC! Let us work to strengthen our ANC.

As COSATU Let us be ready for the battles ahead

We have made strides but we have a lot of battles ahead. We need to be ready because it is going to be ugly. Employers are not prepared to give us our fare share and we should be ready to take it. We have a clear message to employers, big business and government:

We cannot continue as workers to remain enslaved in waged labour, while our economy remains highly monopolised and foreign owned and also at the hands of a white minority.
We are going to fight privatisation and demand the transformation of the colonial and apartheid structure of the South African economy.
We are going to fight and demand decisive interventions to stem the unfolding de-industrialisation and ongoing job losses.
We demand the introduction of capital controls to stem the tide of capital flight.
We want a state Bank now. The process of issuing a licence of the Post Bank to function as a state bank must be fast tracked.
We want the Nationalisation of the Reserve Bank. Those who are refusing to implement this policy must be removed from government. We find it horrifying that the SARB has outsourced one of its core functions, the printing of money to European countries. Money supply cannot be outsourced by any self respecting economy and we demand the immediate in sourcing of this core function of the Reserve Bank.
We want a state pharmaceutical company now, we want progress report and if the comrade responsible has not done it , it means there is an intention of make NHI unworkable and if the comrade responsible is not prepared to implement this policy , the comrades must be removed from his position.
8. We want the implementation of the Alliance summit decision calling for the redrafting and fundamental overhaul of the core economic and labour chapter of the NDP.
We want the review and withdrawal of the Employment Incentive Tax Act.
We demand the lifting of a moratorium on the freezing of vacant posts in the public service.
We want the abolition of e-tolls and labour brokers.
We demand the implementation and adoption of the principle of Equal pay for work of equal value and the abolition of Apartheid wage structure.
We want Treasury to ensure that the SOEs are properly funded to fulfil their developmental and decent work agenda.

Our government must intervene to ensure that the SETAs deliver upon their mandates and spend their budgets to ensure that workers receive the necessary training to help them find decent employment.
We want the immediate introduction of a legislated National Minimum Wage.

Vote ANC

To defend the ANC and the revolution, we need to ensure that the ANC wins decisively in the local government elections. We need to defend the ANC but the ANC should make sure its government defends the workers. Our aspirations and goals should matter and be a priority. We want the ANC to prove that it is still biased towards the working class, through action.
Africa: Rwanda, South Africa Pledge to Strengthen Ties
By Sharon Kantengwa
The New Times

Rwanda and South Africa will continue to strengthen political ties, officials from both countries have said.

They were speaking during celebrations to mark the National Freedom Day of South Africa, at the South African ambassador's residence in Nyarutarama, an upscale Kigali suburb.

The South African envoy to Rwanda, George Twala, spoke of the historical connectivity between the two countries and pledged stronger political ties.

"There has been a lot of engagement between Rwanda and South Africa. Both the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) in Rwanda and the Africa National Congress (ANC) in South Africa are political parties that led revolutions in their countries," he said.

About the frosty relations between Rwanda and South Africa in recent years, he said, "We are in the process of resolving (the issues) and I'm sure it can't be too far."

In his remarks, Evode Imena, the state minister for mining, commended the people of South Africa for working hard to end the apartheid, adding that Rwanda and South Africa were keen on improving their relations.

"This historic turning point did not only change the political system in your country but rather both the objective and philosophy of governance that led to a remarkable development for the wellbeing of all South Africans," he said.

"I salute the relations that exist between our countries that are characterised by mutual respect and reiterate Rwanda's commitment to further these relations to greater heights for the benefit of our two peoples". He added, "Rwanda and South Africa share common historical liberation struggles. The two countries achieved true liberation almost at the same time, 22 years ago, and these achievements were timely, especially after the struggles of the peoples of the two countries."

He noted that Africa's socio-economic development can only be achieved through strong political commitment from African leaders.

"Most conflicts that afflict our continent are most often a result of poverty and bad leadership. I'm strongly convinced that African problems can only be solved by Africans and others' help only comes in to support of our own efforts" he said.

South Africa's Freedom Day commemorates the first post-apartheid elections, held on April 27, 1994, during which Nelson Mandela was elected president. This year, the day was celebrated under the theme, "Together building better communities where local government is everybody's business."
South Africa: Walus to Remain in Custody
Pretoria — Chris Hani's killer Janusz Walus will remain in custody until the subsequent appeal is finalised, the Department of Justice and Correctional Services said on Tuesday.

Walus wanted to be released immediately on parole pending the outcome of a petition lodged by Justice Minister Michael Masutha to the Supreme Court of Appeal. However, the Gauteng Division of the High Court dismissed the application.

Last month' the Pretoria High Court dismissed the Minister's application for leave to appeal against its order of 10 March 2016 wherein the court had ordered placement of Walus on parole within 14 days.

The Minister then filed for petition to the Supreme Court of Appeal against the refusal by the court.

"When a party has applied for leave to appeal or process an appeal against a court order, the order is automatically suspended pending finalisation of such an appeal unless there are inter alia exceptional circumstances that would persuade the court to lift the suspension and direct that the order be executed while the appeal process is underway.

"In this instance, the court was not convinced that there are exceptional circumstances that warrant lifting of the suspension pending the finalisation of the appeal by Minister," Justice Ministry spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said.

Hani was shot and killed by Walus on 10 April, 1993. Walus and his co-conspirator, Clive Derby-Lewis, were convicted of murder and sentenced to death in October 1993, but this was later commuted to life imprisonment.

Derby-Lewis was released on medical parole in June last year.
Zimbabwe Government Addressing Liquidity Crunch
May 3, 2016
Lloyd Gumbo and Brenda Ziga
Zimbabwe Herald

GOVERNMENT is working to address the liquidity crunch that has seen most banks reducing maximum withdrawals to about $200 per day while others have stopped loading money into Automated Teller Machines. As a result, some parents and guardians failed to access money yesterday for back-to-school shopping as schools open today. However, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa told workers who gathered at Rufaro Stadium for Workers’ Day commemorations yesterday that Government was concerned about the inconvenience that was caused by the liquidity crunch.

“The Ministry of Finance together with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe are currently seized with the matter and we are confident of a speedy resolution,” he said.

RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya later told The Herald that they were treating the situation as a matter of urgency. “We are indeed working on something as the Vice President said, to flush out the queues,” said Dr Mangudya.

“The shortage is not in all banks. The shortages are confined to some banks. So, addressing the problem is an immediate issue. It needs immediate policy measures, so we are working on that to ensure we normalise the situation. We don’t want people to continue going through what they are going through.”

Dr Mangudya reiterated that it was important for Zimbabweans to use plastic money in their transactions to avoid inconveniences. Meanwhile, parents with children opening schools today were left stranded yesterday after failing to access cash from the ATMs and cash back from the ZimSwitch facility as the cash shortages continued to bite.

Some of the parents and guardians who spoke to The Herald expressed their disappointment over the challenges they faced. Mrs Prudence Murova said she failed to access school fees for her two children who are in boarding school.

“It is never easy for parents when children go back to school as we have to pay school fees, buy schools uniforms and other requirements such as groceries, but we are failing to access money from the ATMs and cash backs from ZimSwitch,” she said.

While some parents were able to buy some of the school requirements, they said paying school fees through Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) was a challenge because of the costs involved.

“For example, when I transfer money that is above $500, I am charged about $75 which is very expensive. It is obviously important that authorities address the high rates that we incur from transferring money since we have this cash crunch at the moment,” said one of the guardians who identified herself as Mrs Mutevhe.

Some parents and guardians implored school authorities not to turn away children whose fees were yet to be settled. “School authorities must not turn away our children because they have not paid school fees because it is not our problem, but it is because of our country’s current financial situation,” said Mr Lawrence Murapiwa.

Zimbabweans generally prefer keeping hard cash even though there are some alternative payment systems such as point of sale and mobile platforms. It has also been observed that the country has low confidence in the banking system following the loss of savings after the transition to the multi-currency system following hyperinflation.

There have also been concerns about transaction charges on the various platforms such as POS, mobile money platforms and the high costs of maintaining bank accounts (which in turn results in short-term deposits).
Govt Safety Nets for Low-income Group •Low-income Earners to Get Cheap Loans, Mortgages •National Health Insurance Scheme on the Cards
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa flanked by Minister of State for Harare Provincial Affairs Miriam Chikukwa and Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira waves to the crowd on arrival for Workers’ Day commemorations at Rufaro Stadium in Harare on May 1 —(Picture by Munyaradzi Chamalimba)

Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

GOVERNMENT will this year launch a national building society for low-income earners who cannot afford high interest rates on loans and mortgages being charged by financial institutions, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.VP Mnangagwa, who was the guest of honour at Workers’ Day commemorations at Rufaro Stadium in Harare yesterday, said Government was also working on modalities of establishing a National Health Insurance Scheme to ensure universal health coverage for both the formal and informal sectors and other vulnerable groups.

“Turning to housing challenges, the prevailing high interest rates on loans and mortgages make it virtually impossible for low-income workers to own decent accommodation,” said VP Mnangagwa. “In response, Government will during the course of the year, launch a National Building Society, which will improve accessibility to affordable housing for low-income workers.

“It is therefore our hope as Government, that this initiative will go a long way in easing accommodation woes, which have troubled many low- income earners.” VP Mnangagwa said these initiatives were taking place when the country’s economic environment was facing serious challenges particularly in infrastructure, a liquidity crunch and the negative effects of climate change that have affected the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.

He said despite the challenges, Government was committed to working hand in glove with social partners to turnaround the economy and address the challenges facing workers and the country. “Our Government has in the last 16 years battled the scourge brought about by the cruel, deleterious and illegal economic sanctions.

“As a nation, we have together endured the challenges, burdens and pains experienced during this period, which has been characterised by a protracted attack on every sector of our economy extending even to the moral and ethical fibre of our society as a whole.

“You workers of Zimbabwe, were not spared. You endured the pain of going without adequate food, medicines and school fees for your children and decent housing, coupled with dwindling incomes.

“Let me assure you that your Government has never been blind to your fate, an ill fate designed by detractors and architects of the illegal sanctions to cause immense suffering whilst confessing that their intentions are contrary to this,” said VP Mnangagwa. He hailed workers for their “vigilance, perseverance and for staying the course”.

VP Mnangagwa said Government has always been alive to the need to address labour law gaps evidenced by the several amendments to the law since independence. He cited last year’s amendments to the Labour Act prompted by the Supreme Court ruling that triggered job terminations on three-month notices.

VP Mnangagwa said after the massive job losses, Government committed to address the plight of affected workers through facilitating their empowerment. To that end, he said, Government has to date disbursed $5 million to the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Company to provide capital to affected workers.

He said Government as a signatory to the International Labour Organisation Conventions was committed to improving workers’ conditions of service and rights as evidenced by provisions of the Constitution.

Some of the strides he cited include the right to maternity leave, the right to join a trade union of one’s choice and right to fair and safe labour practices. VP Mnangagwa said while the country endeavored to attract foreign direct investment through attractive policies, Government would always take the interests of workers into account.

He bemoaned the fact that some companies discriminated workers on the basis of their HIV status which was in violation of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. VP Mnangagwa said it was important for the country to fight corruption.

“Now is the time to stop the talk about corruption and begin to aggressively fight against the scourge of corruption,” he said. “Every citizen of Zimbabwe has the onus and burden to root out, expose and annihilate corruption in all its facets, wherever and in whatever form it occurs by whosoever, irrespective of a person’s office, a person’s status or a person’s standing.”

Government organised the commemorations that were attended by the Apex Council, Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions, Harare Municipality Workers Union and the Zimbabwe Energy Workers Union, among other worker representative bodies.

Several Government ministers, among them Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira; Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere as well as Minister of Sports and Recreation Makhosini Hlongwane attended the May Day celebrations.

Also present were Minister of State in Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko’s Office, Tabeth Kanengoni-Malinga, Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Tapuwa Matangaidze and several Members of Parliament.
No One Will Be Laid Off: Mupfumira
May 3, 2016
Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

PUBLIC Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira yesterday assured workers that no employees will be laid off as Government rationalises the country’s public service establishment.Speaking during the 2016 Workers’ Day commemorations at Rufaro Stadium in Harare yesterday, Minister Mupfumira said the process will be done in consultation with employee representatives through the National Joint Negotiating Council.

Minister Mupfumira said Government looks forward to making substantial savings through the process, thereby releasing pressure on the already constrained fiscus. “Please note that the rationalisation process will be done in consultation with the workers through the National Joint Negotiating Council.

“Let me also hasten to emphasise that the exercise to rationalise the country’s public service establishments shall not result in the loss of jobs. No civil servant shall be laid off,” said Minister Mupfumira. She said Government remains committed to addressing workers’ concerns, and would continue to respect the tripartite negotiation approach.

She said this is evidenced by the Ministry’s intervention through the amendment of the Labour Act to curb massive job terminations that occurred last year following a Supreme Court judgment in the case of Zuva Petroleum.

Minister Mupfumira also said the process of labour law reforms, which all employees’ representatives spoke eloquently about earlier, was nearing completion. “In the same vein, the Public Service Act is being reviewed in order to align it with the Constitution and international best practices and the process is at an advanced stage,” she said.

She said the Labour Advisory Council is almost complete with its task following the April 30 2016 deadline given by the Tripatite Negotiating Forum (TNF). Minister Mupfumira implored public workers to work as a team so that the public service remains relevant, responsible and responsive to the needs of Zimbabweans.

“Serious efforts are being undertaken to change the public service work orientation from business as usual culture to citizen-centred approach in order to promote public confidence in public offices,” she said.

Earlier, various labour movements including the Apex Council, Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions, Harare Municipality Workers Union and the Zimbabwe Energy Workers Union had called for finalisation of the labour laws alignment to address issues of job security coupled with unfair termination of employment.

ZFTU president Mr Kennias Shamhuyarira also spoke against persecution of trade unionists by employers, lengthy periods of non-payment of salaries, unsafe and unhealthy working conditions and corruption in both private and public sectors.

Apex Council chairperson Mrs Cecilia Alexandra urged Government to convene an urgent meeting with the Council to address issues such as the rationalisation process, the civil service audit, pension fund and the housing scheme among others.

“We thank the President for ensuring that we get our bonuses and we know that he is a man of his word. We also hope that he will make sure that we get paid salaries that are above the poverty datum line,” she said.

Harare Municipality Workers Union representative Mr Cosmas Bungu lamented the state of affairs in Harare with regards to workers’ conditions of service, which he equated to the colonial era.

Mr Bungu called on Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who was also present, to intervene in addressing the workers’ plight. “The current scenario in Harare City reminds us of Rhodesia. The system does not respect its employees or prioritise service delivery,” he said. In her solidarity message, the International Labour Organisation country director Ms Hopolang Phororo urged Government to prioritise workers instead of sacrificing them for temporary benefit.

Ms Phororo said workers were vital in the growth of the economy.

Sports and Recreation Minister, Makhosini Hlongwane, Minister of State for Harare Provincial Affairs Miriam Chikukwa, Minister of State in Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko’s office Tabetha Kanengoni-Malinga, deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Aldrin Musiiwa and Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Deputy Minister Tapiwa Matangaidze were some of the Government officials who attended the celebrations.

This year’s commemorations ran under the theme: “Growing the Economy through a Shared Vision and Creating Sustainable Employment.”
Kenya Police Arrest Nairobi Collapsed Building Owner
2 May 2016

Photo: Kenyan National Youth Service personnel remove stones with hands at the site of a building collapse in Nairobi, Kenya, on Saturday, April 30, 2016.

The building collapsed after heavy rains

The owner of a building which collapsed in Kenya's capital Nairobi on Friday, killing at least 21 people, has been arrested, police have told the BBC.

Samuel Karanja Kamau would appear in court on Tuesday, police added.

Earlier, officials said he did not have permission to rent out 119 rooms in the six-storey building. Mr Kamau has not yet commented on the allegation.

More than 90 people are still feared trapped beneath the rubble, reports the BBC's Abdinoor Aden from the scene.

Rescue operations are continuing, he adds.

About 135 people have been freed so far from the collapsed building, local media reports.

The governor of Nairobi, Evans Kidero, said that officials who approved the construction of the building in the poor neighbourhood of Huruma would be sacked.

Three days of rainfall caused landslides and flooded roads in Nairobi.

More than 800 homes were affected by the flooding, Kenya's Red Cross said.

It criticised "chaotic scenes" as rescuers arrived after the Friday night collapse.

Nairobi's police chief has said rescue teams were delayed on their way to the scene by hours-long traffic jams caused by flooded roads.

Huruma is made up of narrow streets, and this made it more difficult for rescue workers to reach the scene, local media reports.
Media Should be Professional
TODAY, Zambian media practitioners will join the rest of their colleagues worldwide in commemorating the World Press Freedom Day.

It is a solemn occasion when journalists reflect on the practice of their profession.

Journalists play a very critical role in information dissemination to keep the country updated on local and international issues.

The fourth estate, as the media is called, has a moral obligation to be factual in news reporting.

The theme for this year’s World Press Freedom Day is Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms: This is Your Right!

Zambian media practitioners will be exercising this very right as they are taking stock of developments in the industry as well as charting the way forward.

It is undeniable that Government has created a level playing field for the media practitioners to thrive.

Little wonder Government has tolerated all manner of media to flourish – online, newspapers, radio and television stations dotted around the country.

The proliferation of online media, private newspapers, private radio and television stations is a confirmation of Government’s commitment to allow local journalists and citizens at large unfettered access to information.

The multiplicity of information sources helps our citizens to make informed choices and decisions.

Other milestones scored include setting up of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA).

The IBA has opened up the airwaves as it is granting licences.

This has culminated in the issuance of a record 90 radio and 33 television licences.

This has further vindicated Government’s decision to enhance people’s access to information.

While Government is eager to grow the media to contribute to poverty eradication and employment creation, we are appalled at the level of unprofessionalism and poor conditions of service in some private media houses.

The conduct of some media houses is worrisome as it has potential to compromise the objective of the journalism profession.

It is unacceptable that some media houses only exist to paint black whatever Government does and will never acknowledge even the massive development projects that have been delivered countrywide.

Some newspapers, radio stations and online media, exist to attack Government officials.

Others thrive on gossip without making any effort to verify their information, which is a prerequisite to publishing any story.

While they are eager to condemn Government, they do not take an introspection of their own conduct.

They are either paying their workers very poorly or delay in paying their workers the same poor wages.

Journalism in Zambia is on trial and it will continue to be so unless all media institutions honestly subscribe to the Zambia Media Council.

We are aware that ZAMEC has no teeth to bite because it has no legal backing. It is simply a ‘name and shame body’.

This does not, however, give journalists the leverage to hit out at their perceived political and business opponents.

The onus lies with the Press Freedom Committee, the Media Institute of Southern Africa, the Press Association of Zambia and the Zambia Media Women Association to urgently come up with a body they will own and will manage media practitioners.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Tanzania: Key Agents of Industrial Growth
By Alawi Masare
Tanzania Citizen

Dar es Salaam — The Fifth Phase Government wants a new direction for the economy. It has pledged to commit its resources to inclusive economic growth - and this the new administration will achieve via an ambitious industrialisation drive.

Already, the stage has been set. On the campaign trail, the then presidential candidate, and now President John Magufuli promised to breathe new life into failed industries, and help develop others. The end-game is having Tanzania on the list of the world's middle-income economies come 2025. This is also spelt out in the National Vision 2025.

Tanzania targets to raise the contribution of the manufacturing sector to at least 40 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from the current nine per cent. However, for the government to go smooth in its plan, make industrialisation meaningful to Tanzanians and contribute to the economy, several issues need to be addressed, members of the business community have said.

The Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) has presented its proposals to Industry, Trade and Investment minister Charles Mwijage. Meanwhile, the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) says it's preparing its own National Business Agenda for President Magufuli.

There is likely to be myriad issues on the table as the administration sets out on this mission. So, here we take a look at some of the issues the key partners, CTI, TPSF and Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (TCCIA), have put forward as major factors in the country's fledgling industrialisation drive:

Protecting local industries

Even though Tanzania produces a variety of products like sugar, cement and garments, these items are still being imported and then sold at much lower prices than locally-manufactured goods. Apparently, local manufacturers are annoyed; somehow feel betrayed by the authorities' failure to rein in tax evasion syndicates benefiting importers.

The existence of porous borders, hence, enhances unfair business competition, which mostly affects local industry. "This is actually what might have killed privatised industries in the country," says TPSF executive director Godfrey Simbeye.

Once upon a time, Tanzania had over 20 garment manufacturing industries. Today, only five remain. Cheap imports have, for years, made it difficult for local industries to keep their heads up, says CTI director of policy and advocacy Hussein Kamote.

Stakeholders want the government to put in place a stable and efficient tax system to support industrial growth and attract investment.

Reliable infrastructure

At the moment business is battling to survive in the absence of reliable energy and transport infrastructure. Poor infrastructure makes it very expensive to produce in Tanzania.

According to a 2016 World Bank report on the ease of doing business, Tanzania is ranked 139 out of 189 countries sampled. In East Africa, it trails Rwanda, which is ranked 62, Kenya 108 and Uganda, which is at position 122.

Doing Business focuses on regulation and other key factors that affect domestic small and medium-size enterprises, operating in the largest business city of an economy. This year, it included, among other things, reliability of electricity supply, transparency of tariffs and price of electricity and time and cost to export the product of comparative advantage and import auto parts.

The CTI says government needs to strengthen transport network to reduce the cost and period of transporting goods. On top of that, for a country to be industrialised, it must have sufficient electricity, water and communication facilities that meet industry needs - of course at an affordable rate.

Easy access to capital

Even though the country has over 50 banks, only two are development lenders - TIB Development Bank and the Tanzania Agriculture Development Bank. TIB is a development financier but the private sector says it does not offer start-up loans.

Under the current situation, manufacturing stakeholders want the government to put in place an enabling policy for financial institutions to enable producers, especially SMEs, to access loans at affordable interest rates.

However, Mr Simbeye says it would be a good idea if Tanzania starts a specialised Industrial Development Bank like in some other countries such as China.

Reduce bureaucracy and costs of starting a business - because there has been too much complaining among key industry stakeholders over the country's regulatory inefficiency.

Getting a business licence is a tall order in Tanzania, a fact that explains its current world rankings on the ease of doing business. And stakeholders say there are too many regulatory authorities, which is an added tax burden on industry. From experience, some players claim that it may take up to six years before a business starts due to delays caused by time-consuming regulatory compliance measures.

Focus on agro-processing

The country's economy heavily depends on agriculture and the majority of people live on agriculture. But despite the huge tracts of arable land, agriculture has not done much to improve the lives of people. To make industrialisation more inclusive, focus must be on processing of agricultural products.

"This is the way to go if we are to touch the life of ordinary Tanzanians and consequently revolutionise the agriculture sector," says TCCIA executive director Daniel Machemba. Government intervention - because analysts and industry players believe that unfriendly regulatory machines could force investors to back away from key activities that help fuel economic growth.

The government must ensure an enabling business environment by ensuring proper policies. It must also remove all Non-Tariff Barriers that have been hindering the development of trade and industries.

A stable taxation system, predictable fiscal policies and a few regulatory authorities make investment also stable, according to industry players. Tanzania has 50,776 industries country-wide as listed in the 2015 industrial census, according the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Manufacturing sector grew at the rate of 3.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2015 compared to 6.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2014.

And in its bid to revive failed industries, the CTI says transparency will be key. The government should put in place a fair and competitive process of acquiring reliable investors to take over the failed privatised firms or to consider repossessing them to boost the industrial sector.