Archives for posts with tag: Jacob Zuma

The tragic events in the Marikana mine, in South Africa, which outcome resulted in the death of many miners, unionists and policemen, are serious and have an unquestionable political importance.

For what they objectively represent, but also by the symbolic and political power they acquired within a country, historically marked by the apartheid violence. Violence which took place, and specially the police action, cannot but offer an expressive condemnation by forces, as the PCP, have a common cause , with the workers struggle, the defence of their rights and have always been side by side with that people’s struggle against social and racial oppression and by the achievement and deepening of the democratic and national revolution, initiated with the over throwing of the apartheid. But this unquestionable condemnation and solidarity expression to workers of the millionaire mine extraction industry ought not to, nor cannot, ignore these events real causes and the political situation evolution in South Africa and of their social and political forces.

Upon two decades on the South African people’s and the ANC’s victory, the major reason for all these events resides in the maintenance of a situation which, in multiple aspects, can be considered as “social apartheid”. Although the existence of some positive evolutions, serious problems persist, inherited from the racial segregation system, such as unemployment ( which in strict sense achieves about 25% of the population and in latu sensu around 40%) ; poverty ; high employment rate in the so-called “informal economy” ( around 40% of the employment) and, moreover, a huge inequality in the wealth and land reallocation , which carries on a very strong racial component.

Policies carried out by the ANC, in order to correct the asymmetries in wealth distribution, access to employment and land, together with the participation in the economic activity, although with the best of intentions, did not resolve these problems in the essential, and one of the features of the evolution since 1994, was the emergence of a new powerful black bourgeoisie, which in many cases, assumes the role of the “visible face” of the colonial powers great economic groups, which influence the South African state apparatus and , during the Mbeki “era” won importance within the ANC, introducing interior contradictions and amid one of the main pillars of the tripartite alliance: the powerful COSATU, the class trade-union, of which the NUM, the miner union, is affiliated, its next month’s congress will precede the ANC congress in December, and during which, the ANC’s current leadership( headed by Jacob Zuma) and policy will be discussed, and which, in many aspects broke off , although not totally, with the policies proceeded unto 2009.

In the light the complex and explosive South African situation; the contradictions and the clarification processes in progress amid the ANC and the COSATU; some South African workers strata black population frustration regarding the ANC; the mining industry international companies action. in the attempt to dynamite the collective contract agreements, instigate divisions among the workers’ movement and finance populist trade-unions, such as the AMCU ( that some identify as holding a tribal nature and for several times, were accused of arising violence among workers), one ought to analyse the Marikana events. Events which, stand on a real frustration and revolt basis of over-exploited workers, suggest to observe the presupposition of the social and political orchestration in order to open up space for populism and “smash” the tripartite alliance via the COSATU debility, an important strategy for whom had in mind to jeopardize or subject the developments amid the ANC. Events which, once again prove, the major role of the workers’ class in societies and political evolution, and advise never to forget imperialism’s action which, as proved in Zimbabwe’s recent history, always attempted to create and profit from difficulties and mistakes in order to defer the African decolonizing history.

This Union is completely shocked that murder charges have been laid against the 270 people who were arrested on August 12th in Marikana, during the massacre of 34 workers who were killed by the police. It is not just this Union and our Federation COSATU that is alarmed and shocked by this turn of events, but also respected constitutional lawyers. Pierre de Vos, a respected constitutional lawyer based at the University of Cape Town has called the development bizarre and shocking and a flagrant abuse of the criminal justice system.

To use ‘common purpose’ law in this case is also deeply provocative and insulting. This is legislation that was internationally condemned when it was used to collectively silence and condemn anti-apartheid activists, and to criminalise all those who were fighting for democracy in South Africa.

These developments are deeply worrying and all concerned citizens must ask a very basic question; the most recent comments from the Minister of Justice, seeking an explanation of this situation makes the question even more pressing, and that is ‘What is happening in the State?’

On the one hand we have seven days of official morning declared by the President, a high level governmental and judicial enquiry, the payment from the public fiscus of funeral expenses to the families of those who were killed, government intervention to stop the dismissal of those still on strike, and serious attempts via the Minister of Labour to establish the basis for a peace accord towards a negotiated settlement.

On the other hand, there is the bizarre and legally indefensible application of the common purpose laws, accompanied by the abuse of prisoners basic human and legal rights, strong evidence emerging that many of those who were killed by police were shot while retreating (and out of view of the media), and corroborated reports of the illegal and heartless mistreatment of those arrested, including the denial of medical treatment.

South Africa and the world was shocked at the gunning down of 34 workers, but are now completely perplexed to hear that those who were shot at by the police, and who fled for their lives, have been charged with the murderous actions they so luckily escaped. The reputation of our beloved country is being tarnished. Decisive action is now required from our leadership. This tragic and confused legal approach to the Marikana crisis is simply making matters far worse.

Now is the time for honest, open and firm leadership. Those who are currently directing the legal case against the 270 must be changed immediately. The murder charges must be withdrawn pending the outcome of the Judicial Enquiry. Bail facilities must be fast-tracked to allow those who have been traumatised by this experience to return to their families, to grieve the neighbours and fellow workers they have lost, and to visit those who are still in hospital receiving treatment. Communities must be allowed to return to some degree of normality.

Efforts to secure a peace accord must be given utmost priority as must efforts at finding an acceptable negotiated settlement between all concerned parties to allow for a return to work. These constructive measures require a calm and stable environment if they are to succeed. At present they are being critically disabled by those who seem hell bent on exacting vengeance above all else. This is unacceptable.

In addition, the Judicial Enquiry must speedily start its work and report within a time frame that reassures the public. All those with evidence to submit, must be ready, and resist the temptation to derail progress. All those who are seeking to exploit this crisis for their own self-serving interests must be persuaded by an overwhelming popular acclaim, to curtail their ambitions, for the common good.

The South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in the Eastern Cape Province held a successful bilateral meeting on the 28 August 2012 in East London. (…)

The bilateral meeting observed a moment of silence for those who lost their lives, their family members, colleagues and their parents in Lonmin Marikana Platinum Mine during strike, the ten school children who lost during a road accident in Kwazulu Natal and Professor Neville Alexander, may their souls rest in peace.

The bilateral welcomed the announcement by President Jacob Zuma on the commission of enquiry that will lead in clarifying the role of various players in the incident and to putting the Marikana issue at rest. However we believe that Lonmin management must take a greater responsibility of those who lost their parents and family members in the Marikana tragedy, having noted that most of them emerge from the Eastern Cape. Our view is that the Lonmin must commit to building homes for these families and taking care of their children`s education.

Both the federation and the party condemn the opportunistic elements that are prepared to literally walk over dead bodies to score political points. This is the desperation lumpen bourgeoisie whom are prepared to bring about the lumpenisation of the under-class for their new accumulation path.(…)

The brutal bourgeoisie mode of production continues to face an unending structural crisis. This mode of production has over a period of time failed to respond to the needs of the people throughout the globe. This crisis has forced the bourgeoisie to plant mercenaries in other countries that are anti-imperialist as an attempt to rescue this structural crisis of this atrocious system.

The bilateral meeting condemns the invasion and the killings of people of Syria, particularly by United States of America. The people of Syria must not be compromised in an attempt to rescue a crumbling capitalist system, this has proven to fail in Libya no matter how many people were killed but capitalism was never rescued.

We draw strength from the international communists who continue to work towards total destruction of the brutal capitalist system. The international left forces must unite and consolidate a program that will bring about an end to the inhumane capitalist mode of production.

The working class throughout the globe has been forced to carry the scars and injuries of this dwindling ruthless system of production. In South Africa the unemployment, poverty and inequality remain structural and deep rooted; in the 18 years of democracy the property relations remain unchanged except the co-option of few black people.(…)

Our ANC alliance led government must strengthen the BRICS as an alternative economic bloc to the brutal so called western super power

We have noted that even though we have seen changes in the leadership and policy directions of our movement post 2007 and also have come out with progressive policies propositions in the ANC NGC but we seem to be trapped in undeclared age of hope as the working class, when it comes to implementation of such policies. We have all agreed that there should be radical policy directions for the benefit of the working class but we have seen less in implementation. We have been celebrating few momenta joys and not the long term solutions for the working class. This has made it easy for the new tendency and the emerging lumpen bourgeoisie to rent the under-class for their self-accumulation as the poor becomes more vulnerable.

The meeting much-admired COSATU for having successful and most united provincial congress, with the challenges facing the alliance components the unity shown by both the national congress of the SACP and the provincial congress of COSATU cannot be taken for granted. The meeting further wished both COSATU and the ANC successful and united national congresses, which should be seen as platforms to deepen and defend our shared program; the National Democratic Revolution (NDR).

The alliance is facing a strategic threat from the neo-liberal some from the former members and leaders of the movement, some from the neo-liberal social movements and the DA led opposition. Our alliance continues to be undermined through courts and now the new string of the so-called artist whom in the name of art have deemed it fit to cartoon our leadership. Our alliance is also undermined and attacked by the neo-liberals as portraying our leadership as the most corrupt and most immoral, when the reality is that this neo-liberal offense is meant to weaken the alliance and consolidate political power for the DA consortium led opposition and the new emerging lumped bourgeoisie.

The unity of the ANC, SACP and COSATU alliance is of all paramount importance if we are to change the plight of the poor of our province. It is important for the alliance to be viewed as the political center and therefore programmatic relations must be enforced, if we are to attain the objectives of the NDR.

There is strong need of the alliance components to develop a program in relation to resolving challenges facing the movement throughout the province. Our alliance must never cease to be the beacon of hope to the striving masses of this land; it must be a beacon of hope because of its programs that responds to the need and aspirations of the workers and the poor.

The unity of SACP & COSATU in the province and the country at large is of paramount importance. The ANC cannot be able to assert itself without the alliance; it will not be able to lead this NDR without this alliance. It is therefore important to take greater responsibility of the NDR as our shared program and most importantly for the SACP and COSATU the struggle of building a socialist South Africa for and with the workers and the poor.

On the Provincial Government:

The bilateral raised its concern on the poor administration displayed by the some departments in the province, in particular the Department of Health: wherein we have witnessed the lack of security of the nurses, non-payment of workers, loss of medicines, etc. We strongly believe that drastic actions must be taken within the department to remedy the situation and those found responsible must face the full might of the law. This has to be resolved as a matter of urgency as this has a potential of compromising the lives of the poor and can also compromise a solid ground for the National Health Insurance (NHI).

The bilateral applauded the significant progress made in the Department of Education following the misunderstanding when it comes to an issue of section 100b between the Provincial Government and the National Government. We of the firm view that more involvement of all in the society to assist in the department is imperative as education is the societal matter.

We are calling upon our Provincial Government to rollout a massive infrastructure projects as promised in the State of The Province Address by our Premier Ms. Noxolo Kiviet and a comprehensive industrial strategy to curb unemployment. There is a dire need of inclusive Rural and agrarian reform strategy as the means for massive food production and combating unemployment.

The meeting also noted with great apprehension the deteriorating situation of most of the municipalities in the province. In Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality there has been no Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for more than three years and there has also been consistent infighting within the municipality. In the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality there has been no City Manager and vacant Executive Directors` posts for more than three years. In Mnquma Local Municipality there has been no progress owing to the divisions and infighting within the municipality.

If the issues that are raised above are not resolved as a matter of urgency with high velocity service delivery and emancipation of people will be highly compromised as they severely impact on the service delivery.

We reasserted to wage a relentless war against corruption in and out of government; corruption continues to deny people of our province and the country at large their right to services. The government tenders have for over a period of time proven to be most role-players in the scourge of corruption. It is our belief that those who are working or deployed politically in the state must not do business with the state, to declare that you do business with the state is not enough, people must choose between being business people and genuine public servants.

COSATU and the SACP recommit these two working class formations to working together, shoulder to shoulder in rooting out corruption. We will have campaigns to this end, in making sure that we root out corruption in favour of free basic services for all.