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Vol. 8 No. 4: 28 September - 5 October 2012

Ronald Lamola

ANC Branches must seize the moment!

"We must elect leaders who will restore the pride the ANC has enjoyed over the past 100 years as a dependable ally of all our people in their diversity. It must be a leadership that actually celebrate the essence of our diverse nationhood, and not seek to constrain all programmes into ensuring their own support even when such decisions are detrimental to the cause of our movement as a whole."

As announced by the ANC leadership, the process to nominate leadership into the ANC National Executive Committee has started in earnest. This announcement follows closely on the preparation of draft policies in July for the consideration of their adoption by the National Conference in December.

We must take this moment to remind all cadres of the ANC that their future and the future of their children and that of their children's children is firmly in their hands!

We say so noting that this year's ANC National Conference in Mangaung takes place on the same year that we have commemorated the ANC centenary through a year-long programme.

Inspired by the founders of the ANC in 1912, we too must think selflessly and take decisions on both policy and leadership issues that project our struggle well beyond our individual and personal needs.

We must have in mind the interest of the organisation as a whole and by extension of the National Democratic Revolution which implies the comprehensive transformation of our country as a whole.

As cadres of our glorious movement meet in Branch General Meetings to prepare for the National Conference in Mangaung, we must have no doubt that they will be inspired by the need to project a trajectory of struggle informed by the pressing needs facing our people.

Much has been said about the fact that there remain serious developmental backlogs on various areas of society and the economy in particular.

Over the past couple of years, we have witnessed the rise of service delivery protests that seem to suggest that the ANC is no longer one with the people as historically branches of the ANC have been in the forefront of all sorts of socio-political mobilisation.

Further compounding the matter of being one with the people that we must lead as a movement has been the naked and blatant negation of the National Union of Mine Workers (NUM), by the miners in Marikana. Various perspectives have flowed from the Marikana debacle, but the one message that we got clearly is that workers there resolved that NUM is not providing adequate leadership. The circumstances of this resolution requires honest self introspection if we are to continuously claim our rightful space as leaders of our people.

The result of that as we all know, is that the workers pressed on through their strike to reach an agreement in salary increment that some both in the ANC and COSATU have lamented may in turn threaten wage bargaining going into the future. What we have not honestly paid attention to is that in fact what is also under threat is the hegemony of NUM and by extension of COSATU. Those of us who believe in the relevance of the ANC led Alliance have every reason to be worried as the integrity of our socio-political leadership amongst the working class comes under direct attack from the workers themselves. Cuddling together as the ANC led Alliance just to protect the integrity of specific leaders in NUM, COSATU and the ANC may not be helpful to the overall course of our revolution.

The protests that we have seen all over the country are a direct indictment to the leadership of the ANC in as much as Marikana is to the leadership of NUM and COSATU. The blame game that seems to distract from critical analysis of the situation at hand is not helpful for the cause of our revolution.

Therefore we must say it without any fear of contradiction that the ANC, NUM, COSATU and all other progressive organisations must honestly and robustly deal with the matter of social mobilisation within the spheres of their respective mandates, failure of which we must duly question the effectiveness of the leaders we have elected.

We must not as branches of the ANC agree with shallow perspectives that only help exonerate the incumbents at the expense of our broad revolutionary struggle. Every leader must lead and speak in such as way that the authority of the movement is beyond reproach and not use powers of incumbency to wage a self survivalist battle at the expense of the organisation.

As we move towards Mangaung, many have compared the ethics of struggle before 1990 and post 1990, particularly since we took over power in 1994.

The predominant view advanced is that a typical cadre in the pre 1990 era was selfless and dedicated to the struggle for no gain when in contrast the post 1994 cadre has indulged in crass materialism to the detriment of the struggle.

Granted, the typical cadre before 1990 had no temptation of power but was inspired to struggle through the hatred of apartheid. This hatred of apartheid superseded all other interests including self interests as after all it was not possible to advance self interest due to apartheid except for the known and unknown sell-outs.

But still it would be a lie to suggest that the ANC never had leadership challenges of its own as the road towards and post the watershed 1969 ANC National Conference in Morogoro could attest.

What we need, instead of dwelling helplessly in the glory of a dispensation that was materially and politically different from the current, is to engage in critical analysis so to find what becomes relevant way-forward. In this we implore ANC branches to use the inspiration of struggle to locate the ANC amongst the aspirations of our people in their various permutations which in the main is economic freedom in our lifetime!

As cadres of the ANC, we must feel deep hatred of the legacy of apartheid in as much as prior to 1990 we disdained apartheid and that was basis for the unity of the broad strata and class that constitute the "broad church" that the ANC is euphemistically known as. We must feel the pain of poverty and economic marginalisation of the majority of our people that granted is partly a product of apartheid but also partly due to the ineffectiveness of our approach towards economic freedom.

With regards to leadership, we must elect leaders that will ensure that they implement the grand policies that we have adopted and those that we will adopt at National Conference. We must elect leaders that will unite the movement despite the due ideological and political differences that may from time to time emerge amongst our structures which is characteristic of our broad and vibrant movement.

We must elect leaders who will not forget that the ANC is not only about NEC but also how that this highest structure between National Conferences relates with and provide leadership at all lower levels of our movement and beyond.

We must elect leaders who will restore the pride the ANC has enjoyed over the past 100 years as a dependable ally of all our people in their diversity. It must be a leadership that actually celebrate the essence of our diverse nationhood, and not seek to constrain all programmes into ensuring their own support even when such decisions are detrimental to the cause of our movement as a whole.

It must be a leadership that hates corruption but also approach this very serious cancer in our society in a principled way and therefore give no grounds for the suspicions that the fight against corruption is geared towards settling political scores.

It must be a leadership that inspire confidence that the State will never be abused for the narrow gains of any individual irrespective of the position they hold, in the same way that we mobilised against what we perceived, wrongly or rightly, as abuse against the then ANC Deputy President and later ANC President Jacob Zuma.

It must be a leadership that do not opportunistically use various sensational but baseless allegations as opportunity to further denigrate the integrity of our political opponents merely to further own political narrow political agendas as that will divide the movement.

It must be a leadership that accepts the arbitration of democratic engagement as sacrosanct tool, as we did in the ANC NGC in Pretoria in 2006 when structures of the ANC spoke on the serious matter pertaining the allegations levelled against the then ANC Deputy President Jacob Zuma; that we should approach such allegations in a principled way lest we implant the view amongst our people that the State dances to the music of the incumbents, including structures such as the NPA, the Police etc as this will undermine the integrity of our democracy.

It must be a leadership that when confronted by spectre of people politically supporting an ANC leader from outside the ANC structures such as the case was when the Friends of Jacob Zuma was formed, that such formations are treated consistently in a manner that does not show any bias. We must combat the tendency where a practice is right for only specific leaders and not others as that is divisive.

The ANC branches must carefully scrutinise the draft ANC policies recommended by National Policy Conference for adoption at National Conference. Branches must ensure that not only are sound policies adopted, but that also we have in place proper mechanisms to ensure their effective implementation and monitoring.

The issue of a Developmental State is one of the key policy instruments, because the majority of our people who live in abject poverty expect the State to be used as a vehicle to tilt developmental programmes into their favour. This we must do without fail and urgently, if our claim to revolutionary leadership is to remain legitimate amongst the poor majority who constantly give us our democratic mandate during local government and national general elections.

As we have said, out of Mangaung must emerge an organisation and a leadership collective better equipped to steer the wheel of change as inspired by our historical struggle for a non racial, non sexist, democratic, united and prosperous society. It must be a leadership that will ensure that our ascendancy to power, renewed periodically after every five years, remains a rallying point and source of hope that we will realise our historic mission for equality across race and gender.

Branches of the ANC must take the bull by the horns, and ensure that empty promises becomes history as the poverty of our people cannot be postponed any longer. It is for these reasons that we say all cadres must return to their bases, the branch of the ANC, that being the basic unit of our organisation!

Similarly, we must assign delegates to National Conference with this mandate, to rejuvenate the ANC, restore its integrity amongst the poor and the working class and to this by adopting appropriate policies and a leadership collective that will not fail in ensuring their urgent implementation.

ANC branches must therefore seize the moment to accelerate the economic freedom of our people.


Ronald Lamola
Deputy President: ANCYL

VIEWPOINT: *Fikile Mbalula

Fikile Mbalula

Without a revolutionary theory, there can be no real revolutionary movement!

"For decades the youth movement has been the reservoir of ideas and a catalyst for change. The youth did not fear change; they have been agents of change for thousands of years. Its fearlessness for change has been appreciated by history and those who understood the inevitability of change."

This year marks the 68th Anniversary of the birth of the ANC Youth League in 1944. This years' 68th Anniversary of the Youth League coincides with the 100th Anniversary of the birth of the African National Congress (ANC).

As it celebrates its 68 years of its fighting spirit in the context of the 100 years of the fighting spirit of the ANC, the Youth League is blessed more than ever before. It is blessed because in 2012 the Youth League has launched its radical programme of action similar to the one that its fore bearers adopted in 1944 when the ANC was merely 32 years. Its actions and programmes today should reflect the undying radicalism of the African National Congress (ANC) the mother body during the years of the defiance campaign, the birth of uMkonto Wesizwe and the protracted mass actions against the apartheid colonial regime until its final demise in 1994.

As we gathered here this evening we should understand that the birth of the ANCYL 68 years ago was a watershed moment in the history of the African people in South Africa led by the African National Congress (ANC). Its birth provided the ANC and the entire nation with new energy and vigour of young radical revolutionaries who are prepared to be in the forefront of the struggle for liberty and democracy in a brutal and hostile face of apartheid colonial machinery.

The majority of our people knew and appreciated that the ANCYL is a militant progressive force in the ANC and the broader society in the struggle of the African masses. They welcomed and appreciated its radicalism as a necessary catalyst for change in the living conditions of our people. Its militancy and radicalism was never reduced into mere discipline problem that others are accusing and charging the Youth League of today. They understood well what constitute change?

The generation of youth during the founding of the ANCYL in 1944 and beyond knew the need for change and defined its mission as that of achieving "political freedom in their lifetime". They also defined their liberation as intertwined to the liberation of African people as a whole. They further defined South African people's aspirations as an integral part of Africa's renewal.

During the definition of their mission, the youth of 1944 understood clearly that the oppressed majority in South Africa will not attain its freedom unless they adopt a radical programme of action for change and policy position to fight for the liberation of Africans in particular and black people in general from both political and economic bondages.

The Programme of Action of 1949 was the brainchild of such an understanding to adopt a radical programme of action for fundamental change under the theme: Freedom in our Lifetime. It was influenced by the contents of the African Claims of South Africa as adopted by the Annual Conference of the ANC on 16 December 1943. The imminent birth of the ANC Youth League in 1944 and the subsequent militancy of its programme of action as adopted by the league in 1949 was a mere embodiment of the 1943 African Claims document.

The African Claims of South Africa declared for the whole world to know that:

"As African leaders we are not so foolish as to believe that because we have made these declarations that our government will grant us our Claims for the mere asking. We realize that for the African this is only a beginning of a long struggle entailing great sacrifices even life itself ... (to achieve these goals). In the liberation movement there is no room for divisions or for personal ambitions. The goal is one, namely, freedom for all. Divisions and gratification of personal ambitions under the circumstances will be a betrayal of this great cause".

This is the same stance that the Youth League should adopt today in their fight for economic freedom. The goal should be one, namely, economic freedom in our lifetime. In this struggle for economic transformation there should not be holly cows because divisions in the midst of this struggle and gratification of personalities will compromise the mission of this generation.

There is only one mission for this generation as espoused by one of our white female revolutionaries and stalwarts South Africa has ever had, comrade Ruth First when she said:

"We are not contend to be handed our life on a plate by older generations. We have seen what heritage of mass unemployment, poverty and misery they have passed on us. We must be determined to go out and build our own world, for there can be no proper understanding of [world] politics without a proper understanding of [political and economic freedom]".

The stance by Ruth First, a white female revolutionary, is relevant today as it was relevant at the time especially its ability to mirror the tenets of the African Claims and African Grievance which was expressed in the documents of the ANCYL in 1944 and beyond. This radical stance cost her life!

The youth of the 21st century should continue on the foot steps of the youth of the 20th century by refusing to be handed economic freedom on a silver platter. The youth should take their struggles forward through persuasion and practical struggles on the ground. Led by the ANCYL, the youth of South Africa should be both radical and progressive in the pursuit of their mission. You should not be sheepish in the midst of the debate about your future. You must not compromise principle to satisfy the interests of certain individuals in the proceeds of the revolution. You must do this because the young and rising generation constitutes a representative of the future in the broadest sense. Its political and ideological orientation is a key to success.

For decades the youth movement has been the reservoir of ideas and a catalyst for change. The youth did not fear change; they have been agents of change for thousands of years. Its fearlessness for change has been appreciated by history and those who understood the inevitability of change.

If the ANC is an agent for change? Why some among us fear change? Why some comrades within this movement for change will be determined to fight against change? In our view those who fear change, fear progress. This is hypocrisy and double standard of the highest order.

Even me if I am elected by the masses of our people to effect change in the organization and society and fail to do so; structures should be empowered to effect change. That change could be both on policy and leadership issues.

If you can't stand or deliver on the mandate you were elected for therefore change is inevitable. Why must we be afraid of that and resort into fighting those who want to effect change? It is undemocratic!

Indeed, the ANCYL has been always under attack depending on where its leadership stands politically and ideologically at a particular conjuncture of contradictions in society and the ANC. We always survived because we were not easily intimidated or threatened by forces we never seen or know.

Remember that in the climax of struggle; when monopoly capital is threatened; some in positions of power who are mainly there to protect the interest of monopoly capital soon forgets how they acquired that power and resort to imprisonment, torture and even death in order to consolidate their hegemony and that of the monopoly capital.

Be brave and mobilise the broader society to support the struggle for economic freedom. Do not live any sector of society demobilized at the coal face of poverty, unemployment and inequalities in South Africa. You must soldier forward being inspired by the words of Thabo Mbeki in his article on African Renaissance when he said:

"Africa has no need for the criminals who would acquire political power by slaughtering the innocents... Neither has Africa need for the petty gangsters who would be our governors by theft of elective positions... The thieves and their accomplices, the givers of the bribes and the recipients are as African as you and I.

Therefore the Youth League should continue to consolidate the support received from the ANC Policy Conference especially the one to reject the 'second transition thesis' and the promotion of the 'nationalisation of the strategic sectors of the economy'. Because of your efforts everyone is beginning to claim victory from the ANC Policy Conference. You need to go out to all the structures of the movement to educate further the membership of the movement on the meaning of both the resolutions on 'economic transformation' and the 'second phase of the transition'. Take the debate on 'second transition' to the next level. Explain to the people what the ancient writers and philosophers referred to when explaining a 'transition' in an ideological and scientific context.

Explain to the people that a classical definition of a 'transition' is "a passage from one form or/and state to another in discourse". It is a 'connection of one part of a discourse to another. It is a period of time during which something changes from one state or stage to another.

In Physical Sciences, 'transition' is a "change in the configuration of an atomic nucleus, involving either a change in energy level resulting from emission of a gamma-ray photon or a transformation to another element or isotope.

That is why you can't find a 'transition' within a 'transition'. Ours is a transition from the apartheid colonial society towards the national democratic society. We have not yet achieved the national democratic society in the context of the present epoch of the National Democratic Revolution. We are still in the phase of building the national democratic society which in essence is the creation of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.

Hence there can be no prosperous South Africa without economic freedom for all.

As Joe Slovo articulated it that "we, for our part, insist on the need to understand the distinct characteristics of the present stage of our revolution, and also the ideological and organizational bridge between this stage and other (stages that will follow)... we reiterate that when we talk of stages we are talking simultaneously about distinct phases and a continuous journey. At the same time revolutionary practice demands that within each distinct stage there should be a selective concentration on those objectives which are most pertinent to its completion. This is no way detracts from the need to plant, within its womb, the seeds which will ensure a continuity towards the next stage".

The historical materialist theory of history as espoused by Karl Marx dispels the current 'Second Transition Thesis'. The correct interpretation of history and struggle looks for the causes of societal development and change. This scientific understanding of society, history and struggle appreciates the social features of a society and the relationships, thereof, between 'base and superstructure' and its 'metaphoric' common term describing this historic condition. The 'base and superstructure' metaphor as said by Marx explains the totality of social relations regarding civil society and political society. In this regard, Karl Marx recognizes that a conflict between the development of material productive forces and the relations of production provokes social revolutions, thus, the resultant changes in the 'economic base' will lead to the transformation of the 'superstructure'.

Thus, Marx considered that these socio-economic conflicts have historically manifested themselves as distinct stages (one transitional) of development of Western Europe. These transitions as defined by science are/were primitive communism, slavery, feudalism, capitalism, socialism and etc.

Hence the debate as introduced by the ANCYL is not unfounded. It has an ideological, political and scientific premise. It should be supported by all those who call themselves revolutionaries. If you read carefully the 'transition thesis' by Karl Marx, you will learn very quickly that the introduction of the debate on the 'second transition' was a proxy to defeat a noble cause for the struggle for 'economic freedom in our lifetime'.

Youth must refuse to succumb to demonization and name calling. You must do so inspired by the generations before you. Each generation of youth in South Africa has been labelled by its detractors. For an example, the youth between 1980 and 1990 has been labeled as the "Lost Generation" and the youth that did not want education. This was also sort to politically demobilize young people in the hype of a call from the ANC in exile which said the 'youth must render the country ungovernable and make the apartheid structures unworkable'. They fought against this "Tendency" and defeated it through peoples' struggles.

The youth of 1990 to 2000 were labelled as a "BoomShaka Generation" and that youth fought against this archaic attack that tended to politically demobilize young people in South Africa in the era of defeating Apartheid and democratization of our country. This youth put pressure on the Apartheid government to go into the negotiations table and consolidated the victory of the democratic forces led by the ANC in the 1994 democratic elections.

The youth of 2000 and beyond has been labelled as "Apathetic, Promiscuous, and a 'tenderpreneur' youth.

It is therefore in your onus to dispel this myth. If you do not fight against it, it will define who you are today and this myth will be communicated into the next generation by history.

Hence, the youth of the 21st Century should define its role based on the present material conditions; and analyse concretely the subjective and objective factors influencing the direction of the motive forces today. It must be your task to enquire and analyse the role played by the youths before you in the struggle for liberation in South Africa and the world over.

During this year of the 68th Anniversary of the ANC Youth League and the centenary celebrations of the existence of the African National Congress (ANC), our glorious movement, we must all pause and remember the words of comrade Joe Slovo in his 1988 writings in the document titled the South African Working Class and the National Democratic Revolution. Comrade Joe Slovo had this to say:

"The increased tempo of struggle in our country in the last few years has stimulated a great deal of theoretical debate and political discussion among those in the very front line of the upsurge. These discussions and debates keep coming back, in one way or another, certain fundamentals of class struggle and national struggle keep coming up as well as the question of stages of struggle, inter-class alliances and etc. However, a tendency keep on raising its ugly head which denies that the main content of the immediate conflict in South Africa is national liberation in the exploitative processes of production and capitalism. Learning continues to help the increasing numbers of our people to understand the essence of Lenin's political maxim which says - Without a revolutionary theory, there can be no real revolutionary movement".


*Fikile Mbalula is the former President of the ANCYL and member of the ANC National Executive Committee, this is an extract of th ANCYL legacy lecture at delivered Wits University on the 26 Spetmber 2012.

VIEWPOINT: *Dumisane Makhaye

Dumisane Makhaye

Dumisani Makhaye Speaks from his grave!

"These 'left' groupings in the SACP and COSATU have had to work hard to destroy the credibility of tried and tested leaders and activists of the ANC. This necessarily led to them constituting themselves as a faction within the ANC. Acting as such a faction, these groupings set themselves particular tasks within the ANC, including using the fact of the ANC membership of their members to promote their factional policy positions, pretending that these represent a progressive improvement of the policy positions of the ANC."

THE GOAL of reconstruction and development demands that the ANC defends its leadership role in the continuing struggle for the victory of the national democratic revolution, and maintain the unity of the forces that brought about the defeat of the apartheid regime.

For many decades, the ANC and the SACP have worked together as reliable and dependable partners. Each partner understood their respective and non-antagonistic roles, their different and common goals.

The task of the ANC, composed as a multi-class formation, was to lead the masses of our people in the struggle for the victory of the national democratic revolution. It had to ensure the defeat of the system of white minority domination, the achievement of democracy, and the eradication of the legacy of colonialism and apartheid.

The SACP had determined that its historic mission was, and is, to lead the workers and the working people in the struggle for the victory of the socialist revolution. Nevertheless, it determined that for these working masses to tackle the challenge of their class oppression, first of all, they had to free themselves from national oppression.

The SACP therefore shared a common responsibility with the ANC to organise and mobilise the black workers into the struggle for national liberation. At the same time, the two formations had a common obligation to mobilise this majority of our workers to engage in struggle to improve its wages and working conditions.

In organisational terms, the various tasks of the ANC and the SACP meant that the two formations had to maintain their independent existence, to create the possibility for them to pursue their different objectives. At the same time, they had to elaborate the necessary forms of organisation that would give effect to the equally important reality that, with regard to a variety of important matters, they pursued common objectives.

This led to a complex ideological, political and organisational struggle within the camp of the forces of the national democratic revolution, stretching over a number of decades. Nevertheless, in time the main questions were resolved. This struggle created a stable system of cooperation and united action between the ANC and the SACP, which gave our broad movement for national liberation the strength and the cohesion it needed to defeat the system of white minority rule.

The broad movement included the progressive trade union movement, which would be an independent formation of all workers without regard to the political allegiance of these workers. Another was that both the ANC and the SACP would work among the workers and their trade union organisations to provide the political consciousness and leadership that would ensure the adherence of these workers to the respective political programmes and goals of the ANC and the SACP.

However, as we approached the moment of the accomplishment of the political tasks of this alliance, trends began to emerge from within the alliance whose effect was to question and threaten the ideological, political and organisational construct representing the united movement for national liberation that was on the verge of victory.

Objectively, this emerged out of the natural consideration by each independent formation of the alliance, of the implications for itself of the impending victory of the national democratic revolution. This natural process led to the emergence of groupings within the SACP and COSATU that sought to redefine the tasks of the working class, among others.

These groupings within the SACP and COSATU came to the conclusion that the victory of the national democratic revolution would create the possibility for them to use the democratic state power to achieve the goals of the socialist revolution, as they understood these goals.

In the meantime, the task that faced the ANC was to define, as precisely as possible, the tasks of the democratic state in the continuing struggle to achieve the goals of the national democratic revolution.

Nevertheless the groupings in the SACP and COSATU we have mentioned, set about positioning themselves within the alliance in such a way that they would be able to determine and decide what the democratic state would do. Necessarily, a number of consequences arose from this strategic shift.

One of these is that these groupings would adopt the position that the national democratic revolution had run its course. Accordingly, in their view, the time had come to build socialism now. At the same time, the determination would be made that the same popular forces that secured the political victory of the national democratic revolution should be mobilised and transformed into the forces that would build socialism now.

To do this, it was necessary and obligatory that the forces of socialism, defined as the groupings located within the SACP and COSATU, should therefore take over the leadership of these popular forces. They would have to remove and replace the ANC in terms of the exercise of this leadership.

We must make the point that the majority of members of both the SACP and COSATU do not constitute part of these groupings. These same members will ensure that their organisations, the SACP and COSATU, are not abused and misused as instruments for the pursuit of goals inconsistent with the aspirations of the ordinary South Africans they represent.

To achieve their objectives, the 'left' groupings in the SACP and COSATU that we have mentioned, decided to act and acted on at least seven fronts.

One, they presented their own unique political platform to the country, not hesitating to contradict and challenge the publicly expressed positions of the ANC.

Two, they opposed the concept of building the SACP as a vanguard party of the working class. They prefer that the Communist Party should remain a 'mass party'. The advantages the 'left' grouping in the SACP and COSATU derive from this is that this enables these groupings to rely on the low level of socialist consciousness in the country to use all and sundry as part of their 'left' cadres.

Three, they worked to popularise this platform, engaging in an ideological, political and organisational struggle to build as broad a movement as possible to support this platform, specifically aimed at defeating the policies and positions of the ANC.

Four, they worked to exclude and deny ANC political leadership especially of the progressive trade union movement, to destroy the tradition built during the most difficult period of our struggle for national liberation, of ANC leadership of and integration with the organised workers, in the advance to national liberation.

Five, they engaged in determined efforts to capture the leadership of the ANC in a factional process historically described in the progressive movement, with its tradition of forming united fronts, as entryism.

Six, they have relied on conspiratorial methods to achieve their objectives. This includes the processes in which they engage to capture the leadership of the broad democratic movement, including the ANC.

Seven, they have worked to turn the international forces that worked to defeat the apartheid regime, into opponents of our movement. They do this through a sustained campaign to discredit the efforts of both the ANC and the democratic state.

The critical fourth point in the agenda of the 'left' groupings, which relates to their determined effort radically to change the relationship among the organisational leaders of the national liberation movement, the socialist revolution, and the workers organised into the trade union movement.

These 'left' groupings in the SACP and COSATU have had to work hard to destroy the credibility of tried and tested leaders and activists of the ANC. This necessarily led to them constituting themselves as a faction within the ANC. Acting as such a faction, these groupings set themselves particular tasks within the ANC, including using the fact of the ANC membership of their members to promote their factional policy positions, pretending that these represent a progressive improvement of the policy positions of the ANC.

Another was to manipulate the democratic processes of the ANC to ensure the election of their candidates to positions of leadership within our movement.

Among other things, this has taken the form of the executive lists these groupings secretly present to the delegates at ANC elective conference at all levels, for whose election they canvass, presenting themselves as a genuine ANC lobby.

It is easy then to see why the anti-ANC groupings in the SACP and COSATU earn the accolades and support of others in our country that oppose the ANC from conservative and right-wing liberal positions.

These forces, principally concentrated in Democratic Party/Democratic Alliance, know that they are too weak effectively to oppose the ANC. This is despite their support by a variety of non-governmental organisations, various academics and 'experts', and sections of the media. They believe that our 'left' opponents have a better possibility to weaken their opponent, the ANC, and thus will contribute to the realisation of the strategic objective of the rightwing.

This confirms the global experience of the progressive movement for a period that extends over a century, that left factionalists end up working as allies of right-wing reaction.

Unfortunately, and perhaps understandably, it took the ANC some time fully to understand the new tendencies we have been discussing. There was a time lag between the evolution of objective reality and the subjective comprehension of this reality.

Our organisation failed to take into account the fact that not all leaders of the alliance would necessarily respond to our accession to political power in the same way, remaining loyal to the traditions established by our broad movement through and after many decades of struggle.

The result of this was that the ANC took time to respond to the ideological, political and organisational offensive of the groupings that had located themselves in the SACP and COSATU. This created the impression that these groupings had a just cause, whereas the ANC was guilty as charged by these groupings.

Our movement now understands very well both the objective and subjective factors that relate to the emergence of ultra-left factions within the alliance.

Correctly, we have begun the counter-offensive to defend the best revolutionary traditions of our broad movement for national liberation.

Naturally, this will evoke a response from those against whom we defend our revolutionary traditions. We will continue to tackle this task in a principled, but vigorous fashion. Necessarily our opponents will respond in a different way, essentially driven by their inability to mount a straightforward and effective ideological and political response. This has been demonstrated by the manner in which the 'left' groupings have, for instance, treated the issue of the restructuring of state assets. To substantiate their case, they have resorted to gross and deliberate falsification of everything relating to this process.

In this regard, we are faced with a number of tasks. One of these is properly to understand the strategic objectives, tactical tasks, operational goals and composition of the forces of the 'left' groupings. This must include their domestic and international 'left' and right-wing allies.

The other is properly to inform and mobilise the membership of the ANC about and around all these matters. This membership must then act within all our structures to defend and advance the agreed positions of our movement.

Another task is to communicate with other organisations of the mass democratic movement and other influential public organisations, to familiarize them with the positions of our movement.

We will achieve our revolutionary goals in spite of the combined opposition of the 'left' inside and outside our ranks, and our right-wing opponents.

Confronted as we are by 'left' and right-wing professionals, our movement must and will respond to these professionals in a consistently revolutionary, honest and open manner. We will not retreat from, or abandon, this struggle.

Dumisani Makhaye is the late former member of the ANC National Executive Committee, this article was first published on the ANC Today in 2002 under the title "The Left factionalism and the NDR -The ANC must respond to professionals of the 'left" and we re-publish it as it appears to be still relevant to pertinent debates.


Economic Freedom Fighters, Unite!

Hlomelang is published every Friday. Comrades can send opinion articles to the editorial team by Tuesday every week for publication the same week on Friday. Articles published do not represent the official viewpoint of the ANCYL but are important as part of the conversation that must thrive amongst ourselves in order to share the various perspectives that abound within our movement and further give meaning to our democratic character.

Views expressed must be within the confines of the ANC and ANCYL policy and constitutional parameters. However, that does not mean perspectives expressed cannot argue for changes of such constitutional and policy parameters as part of public conversation on all social, economic and political matters affecting the ANC, the ANCYL, our country, the SADC region, the continent and the entire world.

Emails must be addressed to the ANCYL Head of Communications at ksangoni@anc.org.za