Thursday, December 22, 2016

SACP's Growth in Membership and Communist Activism Robustly Continues, to the Dismay of Anti-SACP Rhetoricians!
A reply to Dumisani Hlophe's "The year that liberation politics in SA declined" in Sunday Independent, 18 December 2016, in respect to the SACP.

By Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo

The South African Communist Party (SACP) has successfully been advancing the struggle to deepen the national democratic revolution by pushing it towards a second, more radical phase, while at the same time intensifying the struggle for a socialist transition from capitalist exploitation and imperialist domination. This struggle is the struggle to combat the rise of the parasitic bourgeoisie, oligarchies and elitist groupings seeking to hijack our democratic transition towards their private interests. It is none other the SACP two years back in November 2014 that introduced the unfolding national discourse against corporate capture. The SACP took a decisive lead, through campaigning political action, in raising awareness, exposing corporate capture and tackling the problem. This role is widely acknowledged, but others, as we will show, are trapped in denialism and its mediocrity.

Corporate capture is directly linked with corruption. In public, community, political and trade union organisations, corporate capture is linked with distortion of internal democracy; gate-keeping; party political, private and foreign funding with strings to ensure "returns on the investment"; factionalism, internal divisions and disunity based on competition for positions linked with access to, control over, or those who control, resources. The struggle against corporate capture is very important in modern class struggle. Corporate capture is an anti-working class agenda. It is part of the broader corporate agenda of the accumulation of wealth on a capitalist private basis.

The fact that the SACP's vanguard role in tackling corporate capture is widely acknowledged, even by some of the Party's foes and detractors, does not mean that there is full consensus. But not everybody who disagrees offers a compelling motivation. Some simply regurgitate mediocrity, ignorance and propaganda masqueraded as an analysis. The worst is when such comes from the ranks of the academia, as is the case with Dumisani Hlophe's "The year that liberation politics in SA declined" in respect to the SACP. Instead of proving readers with an analysis, the governance specialist at the University of South Africa's School of Governance got it completely wrong.

Hlophe personally decided to push a baseless allegation that "The SACP is substantively dead" and "has not been entirely concerned with its membership" but its so-called elite "leadership remaining in cabinet". In a sharp contradiction consistent with reality, addressing the 3rd National Council of the Young Communist League of South Africa just a few days ago, that is on 10 December 2016, SACP General Secretary Comrade Dr Blade Nzimande made it very clear – in no uncertain terms – that he will not shut up against wrongdoing in order to remain in the Cabinet. Comrade Dr Nzimande made it very clear that he was serving the nation rather than merely being in a job, which he could find elsewhere. This principle was adopted by other Communists serving in the Cabinet.

But also, there are many SACP leaders and members working elsewhere, including full-time in the Party. It is not a favour for SACP leaders to serve in the Cabinet. The SACP was the first political organisation to be banned in South Africa, in 1950, for that matter ten years before any other organisation was banned. The SACP fought for the rights it declared in its 1921 manifesto and programme adopted in the mid-1940s. Many of these rights, such as "Every man and woman shall have the right to vote for and to stand as a candidate for all bodies which make laws" and "All people shall be entitled to take part in the administration of the country", were endorsed in the Freedom Charter in 1955. The SACP has no problem with criticism, for so long as it is based on science.

Hlophe displayed his ignorance to the fact that the SACP, this very year, 2016, withdrew its National Treasurer Joyce Moloi-Moropa from Parliament where she was the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Communications. Her withdrawal from that position was because she could not allow policies in contradiction to her mandate as enshrined in the progressive conference resolutions of the African National Congress (ANC) and as shared by the SACP.

As part of its media transformation campaign, the SACP has been fighting against governance decay at the SABC. The Parliamentary Inquiry into the SABC furnishes sufficient evidence why the SACP waged the struggle. The many individuals and non-governmental organisations that worked together with the SACP in taking up the campaign will not agree with the unfounded allegation that Hlophe levels against the Party; for they have massive evidence of working with the Party in the struggle.

In South Africa there is no single political organisation at present that can match the SACP's campaign base and action outside Parliament and the Cabinet. By the way the SACP has been growing faster than all political parties in terms of audited membership – reflecting the fact that the Party is not only concerned about its membership but the working class as a whole. There is no need to go further and unpack the SACP's commitment and struggles to serve the people simply as an exercise to try and convince an anti-SACP rhetorician.

* Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo is SACP Spokesperson and writes in his capacity as a Full-time Professional Revolutionary.

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