A special imbizo considering the old Lenin notion of What Needs to Be Done? is being held by the South African Communist Party, as host, and elements of the tripartite alliance including Cosatu and Sanco. SACP secretary general Blade Nzimande – who is also national Higher Education Minister – has acknowledged at the start that “something like an alien substance has found its way into the ranks of our movement and (South African) government… and is contaminating the DNA of our politics”. Cape Messenger editor Donwald Pressly writes
19 May 2017 – The rise of private interests “that seek to displace the interests of the people as a whole and take control of our basic wealth and public resources” was corrupting government, SACP secretary general Blade Nzimande said at the opening of the discussion
This was characterised as a “factionalising influence” of private corporations including corporate capture “on sections of the leadership”, says Nzimande, to an aging crowd of stalwarts from the SACP and the other allied organisations.
“Something like an alien substance has found its way into the ranks of our movement and government and is contamininating the DNA of our politics,” Nzimande who noted, but questioned, calls for the SACP to fight elections separately from the ANC, said that the movements at the imbizo “need to escalate the fight against state capture”.
He said: “This thing is threatening to devour everyone and who we are,” said Nzimande.
Without referring to the elephant in the room – President Jacob Zuma – he said the rise of private interests – in particular private corporations – including corporate capture on “sections of our leadership, party representatives and bureaucracy … is eating on the state.” He said this was “the immediate enemy”. Nzimande did not mention Zuma once or any of the Gupta family members who are allegedly involved in a network accused of looting and capturing the state.
Parasitic networks are eating at the state
But Nzimande, who leads one of the last communist parties in the world that enjoys state power, did say that South Africa could not “confront and transform monopoly capital if you allow parasitic looters to mess up with your state… you will never be able to do that. Part of radical economic transformation must be to defeat these parasitic networks that are eating at the state. You can’t separate the two.”
Indicating that liberation politics was very diffciult to elective politics, he said the problem with elective politics was that it could become corruptive because political office was often the root to resources and corruption could set in. There was no certaintly that the SACP itself could be corrupted if it turned itself into an opposition force.
Nzimande’s early remarks indicate that while the SACP is critical of the Zuma-Gupta complex and sees the dangers of the state being captured – he said that this type of state looting can turn into a “gangster state” and a securocratic state – it does not look likely that the SACP will withdraw from government – and indeed, from positions in the national cabinet from what he is saying at the beginning of the imbizo being held in Ekhurhuleni (East Rand of Gauteng).
He said to achieve noble ends mass mobilisation – like that used in the anti-apartheid struggle – was required along with using courts to stop corruption of the state. He said courts had a role in adjudicating but it was mass action that produced results. He said the mobilisation of the past against privatisation – led by the SACP and Cosatu – had prevented this movement.