Sunday, March 24, 2013

The dissolution of the ANCYL is not bravery.

The dissolution of the ANC Youth League is political cowardice:

 Floyd Shivambu

 The ANC National Executive Committee held its induction meeting on the 15th of March 2013 to introduce members elected at its 53rd National Conference to the ANC's organizational, political, ideological and constitutional tenets, values and principles. In the middle of this induction, possibly imbued with new knowledge and exuberance of the "watershed" 53rd National Conference, the ANC National Executive Committee unprecedently decided to disband the democratically elected ANC Youth League 24th National Congress National Executive Committee and ANC Limpopo 7th Provincial Congress Provincial Executive Committee. The reasons for the dissolution of ANC Limpopo PEC are not of interest for this perspective, but the reasons provided for the dissolution of the ANC Youth League is that it continued to show signs of ill-discipline. 

No political activist worth his salt, including members of the ANC NEC will believe the reasoning that the ANC Youth League NEC was dissolved for ill-discipline, because just a few weeks ago (26th February), the ANC Officials (and the National Working Committee) had committed to work with the ANC Youth League as part of building the youth cadre in the Decade if the Cadre proclaimed by the 53rd National Conference. No sane political being in the ANC can attribute the dissolution of the ANC Youth League to ill-discipline, because the ANC has a Code of Conduct and Constitution which prescribe how the organization deals with ill-discipline. In dealing with ill-discipline, the following questions should be responded to: Who was ill-disciplined? What constituted the ill-discipline? Where and when did ill-discipline occur? Which clauses of the ANC Constitution were violated? The ANC Constitution forbids those in leadership from using disciplinary process to settle political scores, and there clearly was no regard to this factor.

As recent as January 2013, the ANC Secretary General reminded the leadership collective of the ANC Youth League that they could not politically remove its elected Treasurer General for ill-discipline (financial mismanagement and factionalism) through a political decision, because there are due processes on how such should be dealt with. The processes, the SG argued, include taking him to a disciplinary process and expel/suspend him if found to have violated the Constitution and Code of Conduct of the ANC Youth League. Due to this intervention of the ANC Officials, the Treasurer General of the ANC Youth League was reinstated despite the prima facie instances of financial mismanagement and factionalism hanging on his side. 

What then are the reasons for the dissolution of the ANC Youth League? To understand this adequately, we have to look into the views of the founding President of the African National Congress Youth League Anton Lembede, who in 1947 said, "It is depressing, however, to observe that the dragon of hostility against the Youth League is rearing its ugly head. Political careerists and reactionary diehards within and outside Congress, view the Youth League with suspicion. The League is unjustifiably accused of being a parallel organisation to Congress, of planning a coup d’├ętat or to seize power in Congress or to usurp the position of high Congress officials. That is incorrect. It is nothing but a figment of the brain of those pseudo-leaders who are only solicitous about their personal positions, pride and interest and not about the national struggle of the masses. The Youth League is not interested in personalities or positions but in the national struggle. The League is the product and child of Congress and has no alternative but to carry out the policy and programme of the Mother Body. This cowardly fear of the Youth League is therefore totally unfounded. According to the Youth league Manifesto, a true leader must be the embodiment or incarnation of the wishes and aspirations of the masses."- Anton Lembede (1947).

The 1st ANC Youth League President made these remarks in response to 'pseudo-leaders who are only solicitous about their personal positions, pride and interest and not about the national struggle of the masses”. It is clearly apparent that many years after he made these remarks, the ANC is confronted with the same challenge of pseudo-leaders, who want to surround themselves with yes-women and men, uncritical Youth League which should defend even the most awful of political, ideological, moral and ethical blunders that defines these leaders. These sentiments perfectly define the present conjecture due to the reality that for the first time in history, the ANC is under an ideologically directionless leadership, with questionable moral, ethical, ideological, and political stature. 

Contrary to the public commitments of the ANC Officials and NWC, it is apparent that one amongst these top-six Officials mobilised members of the ANC NEC to reject the determination and view of the ANC to work with the ANC Youth League, but instead chose to cowardly dissolve the NEC because of uncertainty on what would be outcomes if the ANC Youth League 25th National Congress. The dissolution of the ANC Youth League, like the 2012 suspensions and expulsion of its leaders, represents the lowest levels of ideological and political cowardice. Faced with a formidable ideological challenge on the misdirection of the ANC (represented recently through its adoption of the National Development Plan); the only option left for those in control was banishment and criminalisation of different perspectives.

These types of suppression and repression are not new to those who are spearheading them, and they are not happening for the last time. Many of us are silently aware of the bastardisation of capable and ideologically steadfast young leaders of the ANC in exile. The assassination of Thami Zulu (real name Muziwakhe Ngwenya) in 1989, the wrong sniffing out of so called informers (including Cyril Ramaphosa who was declared a spy by the ANC intelligence), and suppression of democratic debates in the Movement are the real foundation of what we are witnessing today. Those who think they are in good books today should never mislead themselves because in the same spirit of sniffing out ideological and political differences, they too will be victims of the 52nd and 53rd National Conferences exuberance and triumphalism.

Now that the ANC YL NEC is dissolved, a group of puppets will be installed to sing praises to the ANC leadership and portray themselves as an alternative to what the youth of the ANC Youth League said are the High Command of Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime. This will mean that the radical and militant character of the ANC will wane and no new forms of struggle, ideological analysis, and innovative political solutions will be infused into the Mother body. But like all previous attempts to suppress the struggles of the youth, this too will never succeed. Reactionary forces that are now at the helm of the ANC will one day be defeated and annihilated through an internal process, because after devouring political opponents, they will devour themselves to total nothingness. History will absolve this generation of Economic Freedom Fighters, which, in less than 20 years, will take leadership of the Movement and South Africa to implement the aspirations of the Freedom Charter.

Floyd Shivambu is an MA-Political Studies Student at the University of the Witwatersrand, and member of the disbanded ANC Youth League 24TH Congress National Executive Committee. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Response to Khaya Dlanga

Response to Idols fan, hip-hop lyricist Khaya Dlanga

Floyd Shivambu. 

I normally ignore ventilations of self-proclaimed public intellectuals, who have no tested and academically reviewed work to show their intellectual stature. I ignore these ventilations because I, in most instances, laugh off the youthful exuberance displayed in the manner in which these "intellectuals" write about subjects they know nothing about. It reminds me of my high school days when we, as Majita would sit and talk about powerful cars and argue on which one is the fastest, whilst none of us had no drivers' licence, and most hadn't even been within 10 meters of the vehicles we spoke about. This defines one Khaya Dlanga who, because he is the kind who laughs at his own jokes, wrote about the ANC Youth League and said it is a fake of a fake (http://mg.co.za/article/2013-03-20-idols-to-select-the-next-ancyl-president-perhaps). To use his own words, "Today the ANC Youth League is a fake version of a fake. It is not even a copy of the original thing". What's that? I don't know and sure that he does not know either because that's confusion reserved for amateur hip-hop lyricists who feel like it's a rhyme..... "yeah man, fake of a fake, in a flake from a flat head...." kind of stuff. 


That's the kind, but because as revolutionaries, we carry the obligation to at all times, educate and guide even the most unassuming members of society, particularly those who accept the basic fact that what we are advocating as economic freedom fighters, and did as the ANC Youth League is 'truth'. Since the ANC Youth League 23rd National Congress in 2008, the ANC Youth League reshaped and radicalized South Africa's political discourse in the manner never seen before, and only comparable to the ANC YL Founding generation. With the clarion call for economic freedom in our lifetime, symbolized through our call for Nationalisation of Mines, we commenced and stayed of top of a national, continental, and global debate on resource nationalism never seen before on the history of youth political activism. 

Our call for economic freedom in our lifetime is articulated in the ANC Youth League's adopted Programme of Action for Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime ( http://www.ancyl.org.za/docs/discus/2011/economicu.pdf or http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71654?oid=230920&sn=Detail&pid=71654) which is a clearest expression of the ideals and aspirations of an absolute majority of South Africans. The ANC Youth League's ORIGINAL diagnoses of South Africa's socio-economic problems and provision of coherent solutions is more coherent, clearer and correct than the National Planning Cmmission's diagnoses report and National Development Plan. Am sure that Khaya Dlanga has not read these perspectives, and drowns his head on lousy newspaper reports, which he pridely recites as if it's some intellectual discovery. Am sure he won't read even after his attention is brought to this seminal work of thorough youth intellectual diagnoses of our problems and definite determination of what is to be done. 

Like many other ignorant newspaper intellectuals, he will ask what have we done as the ANC Youth League to uplift youth. We didn't blow our own horns, but as an organization and as individual leaders of the ANC Youth League, we enrolled and ensured the enrollment of many students in the post secondary education and training fraternity only second to government within the four years of our leadership of the Youth League. We helped thousands of kids with books, shoes and many other learning and teaching support materials than any other private company in South Africa. We helped orphans and orphanages in Soweto, Tembisa, Midrand, Mthatha, Overberg, Karroo, which amounted to more than R3 million of the money we had sourced from caring South Africans. We got South Africa talking about necessary challenges confronting society. The list of the actual developmental work we did is profound and the aim was not to impress newspaper reporters, but to meaningfully impact on the lives of ordinary South Africans. What is fake about that? Or to rhyme we should ask, what is fake of a fake about that? 

Now back to real politics, the ANC Youth League persuaded a properly constituted 3rd National General Council of the ANC in 2010 to adopt "greater consensus on Nationalisation of Mines and other strategic sectors of the economy" (http://www.anc.org.za/docs/reps/2010/3rdngcx.pdf). Only ignorant people will claim no knowledge of what we said are the benefits of Nationalisation of Mines. Over a period of three years, the ANC Youth League produced volumes of coherent perspectives and views around this question, including a Parliamentary submission (http://www.ancyl.org.za/docs/pol/2010/submissiong.pdf) which made the Parliamentary portfolio committee of Minerals and Energy to resolve to undertake a thoroughgoing research, study tours and discussions on Nationalisstion of Mines. The ANC, COSATU, Free Market Fundation, honourable Authors, private corporations, students across all Universities, Professors, respectable academics did profound research on Nationalisation of Mines in response to the ANC Youth League's perspective. There currently is no University in South Africa which does not have a postgraduate student focusing on Nationalisation of Mines or the programme for economic freedom in our lifetime. I know this because in the process of their research, postgraduate students have contacted the leadership of the ANC Youth League to seek further information and guidance from Economic Freedom Fighters. 

The ANC Youth League made the most coherent submission to the ANC and government on how South Africa should deal with the question of skills development, education and training. (http://www.ancyl.org.za/docs/pol/2010/NEW%20SCHOLARSHIPq.pdf). 


I won't degenerate to discuss petty issues Khaya raises around what he says are weaknesses of the leadership of the ANC Youth League because none of those distorted the message for economic freedom in our lifetime and those who had to receive the gospel received it correctly. Well I thought that in the process of recollection of quotes and references, Khaya Dlanga will also reflect on the rather disapproving observations of other media outside South Africa: 

1. Forbes ranked Julius Malema as amongst the 10 yongest power men in Africa in 2011, and amongst the yongest:http://www.forbes.com/sites/mfonobongnsehe/2011/09/13/the-10-youngest-power-men-in-africa/
2. Disapproving of his politics, The Economist says of Julius Malema that "Despite his famed “G”—a dismally low grade—for his woodwork exam in his school-leaving matriculation, Mr Malema is no fool. He has proved himself a master at politics and at tapping into the anger of his young black audiences". http://www.economist.com/node/18898246 
3. Struggling to ignore his leadership of the economic freedom struggle, and acknowledging that be exists, Time Magazine listed him as amongst the 100 Least Influential People in the World... NB: "Least" in the sense that Time Magazine disagreed with his politics,http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Malema-makes-Time-magazine-list-20100503.
4. During his tenure as leadership of the ANC YL, Malema was everyday asked for his opinions and views by almost all Media house in the world, including CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, SKY, Reuters, and any other media institution you can think of.
5. Youth formations and structures from the African continent begged for his leadership and appreciated the role he played in South Africa.
6. The youth in the ANC and whole of society approve of Julius Malema's leadership.

Due to this reality and many others which will be mentioned elsewhere, Julius Malema was banished, criminalized, and bastardized by authorities like they did with Gramci, Lumumba, Thomas Sankara, Che Guevara, and many other revolutionaries. For Khaya Dlanga to reduce a revolutionary to the level of petty, disguting rhymes tells a lot about he is, than the revolutionary himself. 
Well I think Season 8 of Idols on Mnet is on its way and Khaya should focus there and will possibly develop another meaningless rhyme for the aspirant musicians, because he thinks he is funny. We are very busy, but had to wave off slight irritations. 

Floyd Shivambu 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

RE: Dear Jeremy Cronin on behalf of Irvin Jim


RE: Dear Jeremy Cronin on behalf of Irvin Jim

15 March 2013

I read your open letter to Comrade Irvin Jim, the General Secretary of NUMSA and thought that before he responds, I should respond on my behalf because he might not respond or be mild for fear of victimisation, banishment and isolation. Many people I know, including those you work with everyday have been fearing to dismiss your poetry and so pseudo-Marxist views because of the fear of isolating conforming “minorities” in both the Communist Party and the ANC. You remember when you spoke about the Zanufication of the ANC (as if Zanu PF is not amongst the most trusted ally of the ANC), you weren’t taken to a disciplinary hearing, but ordered to apologise despite the fact that you continued to say in SACP Central Committee meetings that you stand by your views.

Let me first deal with obvious issues. Firstly, I know you and the rest will treat my views with disdain because of my refusal to renew my membership of the Yong Communist League (YCL) because they were going to charge me for calling you racist and saying the SACP Senior leadership is conspiratorial in a national committee of the YCL in Pietermaritzburg and well, my suspension from the ANC. I also know that you will consider me a non-factor because I am not part of the drum majorettes that have killed the SACP of Chris Hani and ushering the ANC into the lowest level of ideological confusion, directionlessness and corruption symbolised best by the unjustifiable and unthinkable Northern KwaZulu Natal private residence expenditure the department you are a Deputy Minister of is embarrassingly justifying.    

Secondly, I have no approval of Comrade Irvin Jim to respond on his behalf, and do not agree with everything NUMSA says, particularly some of the odd resolutions they took just before the ANC 53RD National Conference. I must also clarify that I have never met Comrade Irvin Jim privately anywhere and do not have his number/email, because I know your 2nd or 3rd Deputy General Secretary will suggest we are friends and work together. You know that part of the reasons I was approached to work for the South African Communist Party as Head of Policy and Research in 2007 was due to my frankness and ideological consistency. I carried that throughout my political life and will not change to humiliate myself in parliament by justifying reactionary and anti-working class phenomena even if I can be appointed Minister of Public Works.

With that cleared, let’s now deal with the real issues you feebly raised in your open letter to Comrade Irvin Jim. Firstly, all Marxist-Leninists accept that in all class societies, the State is nothing but an instrument of the ruling class for class oppression. In a capitalist society like South Africa, the State is obviously an instrument of the capitalist class and it rules on behalf of that class. The South African State on many occasions and more vividly in the Marikana massacre of workers (Vigilantes in your language) has been acting on behalf of the ruling class. The South African State which you are part of is a capitalist State and majority if not all who constitute it are agents of capitalist masters.

Like in all class societies, the State is and will forever be contested, hence components of the working class representatives will time and again contest political power because even in the struggle for socialism, political power is the route towards capturing of State power. Cde Irvin Jim will possibly give a nuanced response, but I do not see anything inconsistent with NUMSA’s criticism of the State and its violent treatment of the working class whenever they rise against bosses. NUMSA’s ideological telescope is correctly Marxist-Leninist.

In your open you say, “the confusion thickens when, later in the same statement, economic policy matters are discussed. The statement calls for “strengthening of the stat in mining in particular...”But we have just been told that the post-1994 state and government’s “strategic task and real reason for existence is the defence” of the capitalist “Minerals/Energy/Finance Complex”! If there is any logical consistency in all of this, then NUMSA must be calling for the mines to be taken over by a state that operates in the interests of mining capitalists! (Which I don’t think is NUMSA’s intention – but it was certainly the motivation behind the “nationalisation” rhetoric of certain ex-ANC Youth Leaguers)”.

Now this is a sad reflection because you once again are trying to banish the Nationalisation of Mines debate, which the ANC National General Council in 2011 developed greater consensus on whilst you and fellow neoliberals like Trevor Manuel, Pravin Grodham, Rob Davies, Frans Baleni, and Ebrahim Patel dismally failed to convince 98% of the Commission of Economic Transformation that Nationalisation is not the way. Do you remember that Cde Irvin Jim was amongst those who dismissed you and Frans Baleni when you argued neoliberal politics?? Do you remember that the Economic Transformation Commission was more than two-thirds of the National General Council? (for the first time since the unbanning of the ANC in 1990)

For your memory’s sake, do you remember that out of the 148 people who spoke in the commission on economic transformation, it was only the 7 of you who spoke against nationalisation of mines, hence we wrote a resolution that said “there was GREATER CONSENSUS ON NATIONALISATION OF MINES AND OTHER STRATEGIC SECTORS OF THE ECONOMY” (check the 3rd NGC resolutions for you memory on www.anc.org.za). Do you remember that in the Resolutions Committee which we were both members of, you sided with Trevor Manuel and Jesse Duarte trying to change what the resolutions of the economic transformation commission said until then Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said no resolution committee can change resolutions of the Commission? Do you remember me saying in front of everyone that you should keep quite because you mislead the Communist Party and now want to mislead the ANC? Do you remember throwing tantrums and writing a statement on behalf of the SACP during the procession of the NGC accusing the ANC Youth League and more than 90% of NGC of being bought by black capitalists? Do you remember that after you wrote that statement, the NGC Steering Committee instructed you to apologise to the ANC Youth League and to the NGC for your tantrums???

I just thought you must be reminded of all those recent past developments because you have potential of going around claiming that the nationalisation of Mines debate was defeat through a democratic debate whilst you know that banishments and isolation of true fighters for economic freedom gave you a free ride in Mangaung. For your information Mr. Cronin, there is no properly constituted meeting of the ANC, with no threats and with no narrow tribal/ethnic networks that can reject nationalisation of Mines because that is a Freedom Charter principle and superior logic under current circumstances. You can claim hollow victory, but your inner soul will always remind you that progressive forces had to be banished, isolated and treated with disdain in order to have a different outcome.

An absolute majority of ANC branches have endorsed nationalisation of Mines, and this was affirmed when the suspended/expelled leadership of the ANC Youth League was in office and when we were not there in the 2012 Policy Conference in Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand. Branches of the ANC said nationalisation of Mines is the way to go even after the second transition ideological confusion was presented in plenary. The manipulation of the resolutions committees happened in our absence, and you know that such was not going to happen in our presence. You tried on several occasions to manipulate resolutions and failed dismally. 

There are many things I can remind you of including those we exchanged emails about when I was Policy Co-ordinator in the SACP, but the one that haunts me to this day if when you said Hugo Chavez is a Populist who must not be taken serious by anyone. You tried to retreat on this position when one of the SACP great Internationalists objected to your description of one of the greatest revolutionaries of the 21st century, Cde Hugo Chavez. I nevertheless stopped taking you serious and campaigned unsuccessfully for your replacement as Deputy General Secretary of the SACP.

I am currently serving my three years suspension from the ANC, a suspension which I think came at the right time and correct moment because of so many things one has to learn and understand better. I was suspended for releasing a statement that said that there are reactionary forces that co-operate with forces of imperialism, hence their defence of Botswana imperialist controlled government. I was also suspended for saying “Fuck you” to a Journalist I do not know and have never met and will never meet in the foreseeable future, despite the fact that I solemnly apologised to him and apologised to the ANC and ANC Youth League and made a commitment to the National Disciplinary Committee and the National Disciplinary Committee of Appeals that I will never say “Fuck You” to any other person. I stand by that commitment and will stand by it for the rest of my life. But with your level of hypocrisy and undermining people Mr. Cronin, I doubt I would have apologised to you or to the ANC if I had said those words to you. I honestly doubt. Unfortunately or fortunately I have made a commitment to never say those words again and I will never be tempted to.

Please write articles about your defence of the Northern KwaZulu Natal private residence expenditures by your department, so that we can understand the “Left’s” view on it.  

Kind regards,
Floyd Shivambu 

FLOYD'S PERSPECTIVES

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