Tuesday, September 18, 2012



18 September 2012 

We have called all of you here as members of the media from across South Africa and the world to speak to all South Africans about the recent political developments, the Mining revolution and the struggles that the people of South Africa are facing 18 years after the democratic breakthrough that transferred only political power from the white racist, murderous regime known the world over as amongst the greatest crimes against himanity, apartheid. Various political formations, the youth movement, civil society, trade unions have since 1994 decried the slow pace of development and transformation which had to accompany political liberation. We speak today an absolute majority of the previously oppressed and economically excluded people are still trapped in the poverty and starvation that existed under colonial and apartheid slavery and domination. More than 50% of the youth who need jobs and are capable of working cannot find jobs and subjected to various forms of suffering and starvation in South Africa's townships, villages, squatter camps, and some on the streets with no home due to suffering. 

As revolutionary political activists and economic freedom fighters, we have been at the forefront of the struggles of the excluded and oppressed people of South Africa, speaking everyday about their siuffering. As revolunary political activists, we have said that the only solution to the crisis of unemployment, poverty and starvation in South Africa is attainment of economic freedom, which we say should find expression in attainment of all freedom charter objectives and aims. To us economic freedom means that all people of South Africa who need jobs should be given jobs and that the wealth underneath and above South African soil should be utilized to benefit all South Africans. Our call for Nationalisation of Mines and expropriation of land without compesention is directly linked to the struggles of the people of South Africa benefitting from South Africa's wealth.

We have actively done everything in our power to raise the plight of the poor and downthrodden. We have been to the informal settlements of South Africa, and took all key events of the ANC Youth League to the suffering masses of our people. We have been to the Mines and communities in Kuruman in the Northern Cape to speak on behalf of the former mineworkers whose participation in mining has only left them with diseases called asbestos. We have been to the communities in the Western Cape to speak against the racist DA government that subjected our people to open toilets. We were the first to condemn open toilets when they were done by the ANC government in the Free State. We have been to the Mines in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the North West to speak to mineworkers who do not have anywhere to turn to because they are exploited. We were amongst the first to internationally raise the plight of the suffering mineworkers in the international space. We have been to the villages, squatter camps, townships, suburbs, schools, universities, traditional councils, government offices, corporations and we have been to the world to speak to Africans in the diaspora about the suffering of our people.

We have cautioned South Africa before that since Jacob Zuma took over leadership of the South African State, we have seen introduction of dictatorship and extremely intolerant forms of leadership. Because of his inability to persuade and politically convince those that disagree with him, he has resorted to usage of force and coercion in his leadership style. It begun during the elections campaign when he begun to question the principle of innocence until proven guilty and in 2009 when he called on the police to use maximum force against people who are not yet arrested. Jacob Zuma then went to militarize the police without any resolution and guidance of the ANC. Like all dictators, Jacob Zuma is only concentrating on his village, Nkandla for development and even declared it a military zone in order to prevent media from reporting about it. The department of agriculture and forestries is reported to have donated R800 million to a private entity which Jacob Zuma and his friend own called Masimbambisane, which is used to buy political support in KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape. It is only dictators who donate so much money of government to themselves because they know that government systems will not allow the manner in which the money will be spent.

South Africa's Courts of Law have passed ruling that the National Prosecuting Authority should release the basis upon which more than 700 cases of corruption and fraud against Jacob Zuma were withdrawn and the NPA has not done so because they are instructed not to by Justice Minister who is conflicted. Minister Jeff Radebe speaks about law and order as if he really wants to protect these, but the real reason is protection of his wife's mining interests, and the interests of his brothers in law Cyril Ramaphosa and Patrice Motsepe who are part of a black elite that has benefitted from mining in South Africa. Where is the rule of law when a sitting President is preventing the Courts from probing corruption and theft by him? Mineworkers in Lonmin Marikana have opened a police case against the killing squad that massacred the 34 mineworkers and Minister of justice has not said anything over the fact that no police officer was arrested. Where are we taking this country to? Minister of police used slush fund money to build security wall around his house and for what else we do not know, and the Auditor General says the Minister did not know. How on earth can a person not know who is paying for the wall built on his private residence? 

The soldiers in South Africa have won all the cases against the State and there has never been any compliance. When we speak to the aggrieved soldiers, we are threatened with violence and killing, but when COSATU and the Young Communist League address so many soldiers than we did, nothing is wrong with it because those are blind supporters of Jacob Zuma due to the patronage he has dispensed to them. South Africa, we have warned of dictatorship and it is becoming real and more real day by day. In KwaZulu Natal, any leader of the ANC who questions the leadership of Jacob Zuma and his policy stances disappears. In KwaZulu Natal, the charges brought against Comrades Peggy Nkonyeni and Mike Mabuyakhulu were recently withdrawn because of the Conference of the ANC in December 2012. The strategy to drop the charges is meant to intimidate other leaders of the ANC in other provinces into supporting the re-election of Jacob Zuma as President of the ANC. This is pure dictatorship, where people are not allowed to exercise free democratic rights and choices, but forced through threats to agree with the sitting President.

Our isolation, suspensions, and expulsions from the ANC was solely meant to suppress dissent and deal with courageous youth who could not stand pure mediocrity of Jacob Zuma. We cannot blame the entire collective because they are not given space to speak to the future an when they do, they are ignored. Many leaders of the ANC have spoken against some of the things we are mentioning here and they were intimidated and isolated.

Typical of all dictatorships in the world, the public broadcaster which has a public mandate and funded by the public to fairly report on all necessary political, social and economic developments in the country has now been reduced into a praise singer of Jacob Zuma. The only news that is covered in the SABC should necessarily be affirming Jacob Zuma because he thinks appearing on television everyday alongside the newspaper of his children's business associates, the Guptas, he will be seen as the only leader in South Africa. All dictators engage in activities that seek to benefit their friends and families, and the supersonic speed with which Zuma related businesses have grown since he was elected President are evidence that he is only concerned and interested in his family affairs and interests at the expense of everyone.

In October 2011, we led the longest march in the history of mass protests from Johannesburg to Pretoria, which is 60 kilometres to highlight the plight and suffering of the people of South Africa. We went to the Chamber of Mines, Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the Union Buildings to demand Nationalisation of Mines, expropriation of land, better housing, free quality education, and proper sanitation for the people of South Africa. To this day there is no response and direction from these centers of power and if these problems still exist, the country will further collapse like Mines will be collapsed by wokers revolt. We have never been ashamed in and outside the ANC to speak about these challenges confronting society. We went to the National General Council of the ANC and made some progress in terms of these key policy issues we have been campaigning about as revolutionary politicsl activists and economic freedom fighters. Jacob Zuma chose to distort outcomes of the NGC because they never agreed with his personal views.

It therefore came as no surprise that when Lonmin mineworkers embarked on a strike against their employers to demand R12.500 minimum wage, they called upon us to help raise the voice. We did not immediately respond to the plea and invitation to the call because we believed that the mineworkers had potential to liberate themselves from slavery and dangerous working conditions with no adequate payment. When the South African police massacred the 34 mineworkers on Thursday, the 16th of August 2012, we saw the need to intervene because it was clear that the political leadership of this country could not provide leadership except killing the mineworkers. On Friday, the 17th of August 2012, Comrades Sindiso Magaqa, Floyd Shivambu, and Anda Bici as Fearless Economic Freedom Fighters visited the mineworkers in Marikana to understand closely the request mineworkers had made that we should speak on their behalf.

On Saturday, the 18th of September 2012, we visited the workers and held an open public meeting with the mineworkers wherein we called Mr. Jacob Zuma and Nathi Mthethwa to step down because they presided over a cold blooded massacre of our people for protesting against the Mine bosses. We called for their resignation of Jacob Zuma because Jacob Zuma is a liability to this country and to the African National Congress. Never in it's history has a sitting President of the ANC presided over such chaos and divisions in the ANC and in the country. Jacob Zuma is a proud proponent of tribalism and tribalist politics, which will plunge South Africa into a deeper crisis. Members of the ANC and whole of society should appreciate that under Zuma, our country will be plunged into a deeper crisis. The massacre in Marikana is definitely not the last one and more workers and poor people will still be massacred and killed by the South African security apparatuses. The soldiers are unhappy about Jacob Zuma's leadership of this country, but he will deploy them alongside police to intimidate and kill more people. The whole world must watch this space because we will again remind you that we warned you about Jacob Zuma administration.

 Comrades, friends and the people of South Africa we must never be silenced and we must never be threatened by undemocratic means to suppress politics dissent. In the ANC, Jacob Zuma used his henchmen to isolate us and suppress political dissent because we said he is incapable of leading this country. Now that we continue to enjoy the confidence and trust of ordinary people on the ground, Jacob Zuma is agitating soldiers and the police to block our movements and even eliminate us from the surface of this land. A death warrant has been issued against Economic Freedom Fighters for speaking on behalf of the people. The Minister of Defence has already called us counter revolutionary and the Military General have issued warning against us. If we die tomorrow and anytime soon, we would have been killed by Jacob Zuma and his people, who do not have the interests and aspirations of the people at heart. If we are illegally arrested tomorrow, we would have been arrested by Jacob Zuma and fair and free Courts of Law will set us free. Jacob Zuma is inherently insecure and forever threatened by our presence in this world.

Comrades, friends and fellow South Africans, let us stand firm in defence of the democracy and freedom our forefathers fought so hard to achieve. Let us defend the legacy of Nelson Mandela, Chris Hani, Thami Zulu, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Peter Mokaba and many others who fought for real freedom not for the freedom of few families and friends. The aspirations contained in the Freedom Charter should be achieved and we should all fight towards attainment of all Freedom Charter objectives. All people who want to protest should never be scared to protest and and stand up to demand what is rightfully theirs. All people who want better wages and better living conditions should rise up to demand their interests and aspirations. We are ready to join all protest actions and strikes that are aimed at improving the living conditions of our people and we will not be scared to join in the protests.

South Africa belongs to all of us and inspired by many generations before us who were fearless and we are fearless. We are ready to confront  anything that will face us. The actions of members of the SAPS in Marikana on Monday, the 17th of September is a sign that freedoms and rights of the people of South Africa as contained in the Constitution are being eroded. The SAPS without any order prevented us from going to a legal meeting where we were invited by the workers in front of television cameras and in front of everyone. We went to Marikana to visit the latest victims of the police brutality who were shot at and harassed by the police for no given reason. After visiting the families that were shot at, we were asked to go visit the mineworkers at the stadium who had legally gathered and the police physically stopped up, threatened to isolate and kill us and further pushed us out of Marikana against our will and against the right to assemble and associate with workers who invited us to speak to them.

This sordid and blatant prevention of ordinary South Africans from expressing and exercising their rights by the police State should be condemned and rejected with all means possible because today it might be happening to us, and tomorrow it will be happening to all other South Africans who will be prevented to associate and assemble with other people because of the insecurities of political authorities.

We have instructed our Legal Representatives to follow up on the illegal prevention of Economic Freedom Fighters to address mineworkers and community members who met in Marikana on Monday, the 18th of September 2012 when members of the SAPS physically prevented us from going into the meeting whilst allowing other civilians who went in. We also have instructed our Legal Representatives to find ways of setting aside the State of Emergency declared by the South African government because it has potential to further degenerate the state of affairs in the Mines. 

We will never keep quite and we will never be intimidated by anything under the sun. We carry a responsibility and obligation to speak on behalf of all the people and we will never retreat. No surrender! No retreat! ASIJIKI! 

Contact Floyd Shivambu preferably via email floydn@gmail.com 

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Marxist Jargon abused.


Floyd Shivambu

On the 2nd of September 2012, the South African Communist Party and Congress of South African Trade Unions Provincial leadership collectives in the province of KwaZulu Natal issued a joint statement after a bi-lateral meeting they held on the same day. There is no patent clarity on the statement of the substantial ideological and political issues these formations of the working class and workers could have discussed in the meeting, but the statement suggests there were lots of conjectural issues and complaints discussed in the meeting. What is evident though is that the meeting failed to discuss the necessary ideological matters confronting the movement currently, more importantly the question of whether the ANC led National Liberation Movement is still pursuing the National Democratic Revolution towards attainment of all Freedom Charter objectives. The meeting also did not make any reflection on whether defining the current phase of the struggle as the second phase of South Africa's transition does help in the mission to attain all Freedom Charter objectives. There certainly was no reflection on the changing global balance of forces, which all progressive Left forces should recurrently asses in the course of the revolution.

What this important meeting did though was decry what they misnamed the "renewed imperialist aggression directed at the Zuma lead (sic) ANC and government". COSATU and the SACP said after their meeting that "this imperialist agression comes in a form to recolonise this country in another form so as to continue to serve the interests of the imperialist countries". Now coming from the SACP and COSATU, this is profound, but dismally fails to locate what exactly this imperialist agression is all about and fails to explain how the Zuma led government and ANC are under attack. This makes the claim of an impending "imperialist agression" a confusing one and will ill-prepare the anti-imperialist forces in the attack against imperialism. In all fairness, the confusion expressed by these formatiins is not worth responding to, but because this has potential to further mislead workers and unseasoned communists who constitute an absolute majority of SACP members, we need to instructively dismiss this nonsense of using Left and Marxist jargon to justify purely tribalist and tribal solidarity politics, which will be exposed below and on various occasions from now onwards.

In the Left political spectrum, the theory of imperialism was adequately discussed and written about by Vladimir Lenin in analyzing and trying to inveigh against the European capitalist expansion to territories which in the early stages of industrialization were categorized as the periphery. These territories were now positioned as sources of natural resources to supply the aggressive industrial development which characterized most of Europe. This capitalist expansion was pioneered by Portugal and was agrressively pursued by huge multinational corporations, such as the British East Indian Company and the Dutch East Indian Company, which after colonial conquest of many territories, formalized capitalist settlement and take over of other territories into official political system now called colonialism. Fundamental to colonial conquest was the motive of capitalist expansion, hence Lenin referred to imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism.

With the development of ideology, and particular the Marxist/Leninist ideological telescope, the class divide which is inherent in all class societies was now understood to be a global phenomenon with the colonial conquerors and colonial conquered perceived to be on different divides of the world relations of production. When the world was almost exclusively divided into two huge blocs rallied behind the USSR and the USA, most of the colonial conquered were broadly categorized as belonging to the former, except for few protectorates, islands and dominated territories which were under the Queen's control. South Africa is a conquered nation and country whose form of colonialism was understood to be of a special type because the colonisers had settled and naturalized into this territory and had semi-independence from the colonial master. Whether South Africa has been decolonised remains a necessary political and ideological question to answer.

The inclusive democracy that begun in 1994 did not erode the key features of a conquered or colonized South Africa, because key the economy is still controlled by those who did under colonial-cum-apartheid domination. As a democratic government, we had two options, 1) to decolonize the economy through discontinuation of private and foreign ownership of the means of productions like Mines, Factories and land, and 2) leave the colonial ownership patterns as they were before all people were allowed to vote. It is very obvious that we chose the latter and predictably some of the former leaders of the liberation movement and Unions co-opted into higher echelons of Capitalist domination. Frantz Fanon spoke about the National parasitic bourgeoisie long before South Africa gained political independence, and what happened in South Africa is exactly what he said.

Now, the SACP and COSATU in KwaZulu Natal say that there is imperialist agression against the ZUMA (emphasis) led ANC and government. An emphasis is made on 'ZUMA led' because that is what COSATU and SACP in KwaZulu Natal wants to highlight in their statement, and that is what they essentially want to defend. Now, this Zuma they referring and so want to defend against imperialist agression is Jacob Zuma, the President of the ANC from KwaZulu Natal province, elected in the 52nd National Conference of the ANC in Polokwane with more than 99% support from KwaZulu Natal formations of the ANC, SACP, COSATU, SASCO, COSAS, SANCO, MKMVA, IFP, and everything that had political interest in the Province of KwaZulu Natal. No other Province of the ANC and all these other formations had a solid support of more than 80% because under normal circumstances, politics lead to various different conceptions of history and interests, which even in socialist countries can never be 90%.

The Zuma referred to is the same comrade who in his closing address in Polokwane said, "ANC policies, including economic policies that have been adopted at this conference do not indicate a fundamental shift from the policies that the ANC has adopted since it has come into power. Let me reiterate that decisions with regards to policies in the ANC are taken by conference and not by an individual. There is therefore no reason why the domestic or international business community or any other sector should be uneasy. I tried to calm these fears before the conference during my meetings with various business groupings at home and abroad.". It is vividly clear that he made these remarks to assure investors, whose imperialist interests overwhelm any political and ideological will of all colonised and conquered territories like South Africa. He made this remark in a Conference which both both COSATU and the SACP hailed as watershep, or Polokwane revolution which must be defended with everything, including destruction of principles.

This Zuma COSATU and the SACP claim is under imperialist agression is the one who went to Britain on than more one ocassion to assure imperialist Masters there that their imperialist domination and control of South Africa is secured. Whether he has the necessary sophistication to comprehend this reality is not our problem, but the fact is that he has assured imperialism. This Zuma who is being defended from imperialist agression is the same one who in the period leading to the 2009 general elections was frequenting Mauritius, not for holiday or exotic wedding purposes, but to try and prevent a piece of evidence which will under a fair judicial system, will secure his conviction on the corruption case he is facing, and should still be held accountable on.

When Ivory Coast was on fire, with complex political developments, and under practical and physical imperialist take over and recolonisation, Jacob Zuma who must now be defended against imperialist agression is the one who broke ranks with the entire African continent and sided with France's erstwhile Prime Minister Nicholas Sarkozy, who led and funded an imperialist coup de tat in Ivory Coast. The courage to invade Ivory Coast came as a result of the assurance Zuma gave Sarkozy after the terribly planned and hurried State visit with with business associates who never even had any bi-lateral engagement with French business. When Libya had to be rescued by the African Union, Zuma broke ranks once again and voted for war and later claimed ignorance that he did not know what the no-fly zone and all other necessary interventions he voted for means. His decisions cannot be compared to the other proud imperialist puppets of Nigeria and Gabon because those came in the open to say they are under imperialist control and it's not a secret that they are funded by imperialist forces. The Gobonese leadership even came out in the open to say they knew they are voting for imperialist war in Libya and proud of it.

If there is a leader of the ANC both in history and post democratic dispensation who has lacked the balls to confront imperialism it is Jacob Zuma. The excuse that he does not understand the nature of imperialism might be a reflection of reality on Jacob Zuma's side, but it is entirely unacceptable and cannot now be overturned to claim that he is under imperialist agression and attack. He has been a useful idiot for imperailism, made to run around justifying the unjustifiable in the African continent, and allowing imperialist wars and actual recolonisation to happen unabated. Now for KwaZulu Natal COSATU and SACP to turn against imperialism on Zuma's behalf and sensationally claim that South Africa will be recolonised is purely dishonest and lacks substance. The only leader who poses a threat for recolonisation of South Africa and the African continent is Jacob Zuma and his recent past decision bear testimony to this fact.

What is apparent and very clear from COSATU and SACP statement is that they just want to defend Jacob Zuma, and now that we have exposed that their political and ideological reasons are non-existent, the only conclusion we are left with is that he is supportted and defended on tribal basis, like it was the case when he received more than 99% support towards Polokwane Conference of the ANC. It is very possible, because many factors now and in recent past history have pointed that a trend exist in KwaZulu Natal to support a leader on the basis on the language they speak.

A fresh example is that of leadership of the ANC Youth League in KZN which came to the National Congress of the ANCYL, sponsored a resolution against tribalism, explained to the leadership that the ANC PEC and President Zuma are mobilising political support in KZN on tribal grounds and later change to join the band of tribalists. It is not a rumour, and it is contained in official ANC Youth League National Executive Committee reports presented to the ANC Secretary General and Kwazulu Natal PEC that after meeting with President Zuma, the ANCYL KZN PEC diametrically changed and openly spoke tribal politics of entitlement to lead the ANC.

Now reading COSATU and SACP statement, it is very clear that the only thing intended there is to defend Jacob Zuma without any reason. Theories of imperialism and possibilities of recolonisation are then employed to mislead people, which is total rubbish and sad attempt to hoodwink workers. It will not be a surprise if KZN ANC structures go to the 53rd National Conference saying the same thing with 100% of all MDM formations plus the IFP agreeing on 2nd term for Zuma because a culture of intimidation and mysterious disappearance of comrades such as Sbu Sibiya and Wandile Mkhize seem to be a consequence of those who think independently in that Province. As formations in the Left political spectrum, COSATU and SACP in KwaZulu Natal were supposed to be the first to use correct Marxist/Leninist tools of analysis to educate workers that Jacob Zuma is a disaster and that he cannot be supported on the basis of the language he speaks and sings. Left formations should have risen above tribalism to educate the nation, but they cannot because of tribal loyalty and prejudices.

I am writing this in full knowledge that part of the responses from the comrades there will be threats of violence and killing squad, which the MKMVA in KwaZulu Natal says exists or existed to kill people who disagree with President Zuma. Death threats happened before from KZN MKMVA, and the ANC never condemned nor took any action even when we reported these incidents. This is a long held political trend and fashion that must be nipped in the bud in the ANC, because if all of us are quite, we will not go anywhere with this glorious movement.

Floyd Shivambu is an Economic Freedom Fighter.