Has the SACP come to save us?
Nobody can deny that the South African Communist Party is a liberator.
In the 1950s and 1960s it fought to liberate South Africans from apartheid. In the last ten years it fought to liberate the ANC from accountability and citizens from large amounts of money. And now‚ aluta continua as it fights to liberate itself from going down with the ship it helped capsize.
From time to time the SACP has been accused of being stuck in the past‚ blindly obeying an ideology that has proved ruinous at best and genocidal at worst‚ but this is grossly unfair. The party has shown itself extremely adept at changing‚ transforming from a champion of the poor to being a craven enabler of anti-poor kleptocrats. Indeed‚ in the Zuma era‚ "SACP" has stood for "Supremely Adaptable Capitalist Parasite".
This week‚ however‚ all of that came to an end. For the first time in its history‚ the SACP contested an election all by itself. The revolutionary remora that has for so long nibbled on the chum of patronage has decided to detach from the dying shark and go it alone. In Marxist terms‚ the SACP has abandoned the means of production‚ mainly because those means are probably going to be in jail‚ hiding in Dubai‚ or on fire in the next ten years.
It's been a bit of a shock. Democracy is a messy‚ unpredictable business at the best of times‚ which is why the SACP's ideological ancestors in Russia and China decided to liberate the proletariat from the upsetting nastiness of having to choose who to vote for. But the Metsimaholo by-election in the Free State has been an unusually depressing first outing for the Society of Free-Swimming Remoras‚ with results varying from dismal to dreadful.
To be fair‚ the by-election seems to have been beset by problems. There are reports of irregularities and the possibility of a do-over in one of the contested wards. But still‚ the SACP's reaction to not winning a single ward has been somewhat hilarious given their track record over the last decade.
For years they’ve eagerly and obediently undermined democratic institutions by rubber-stamping the predations of the Zupta regime. When the media uncovered the Nkandla scandal‚ Blade Nzimande dismissed reports as "white people's lies"‚ and when Thuli Madonsela submitted her report on the same‚ the party publicly questioned her methods and motives rather than those of the Gupta puppet.
One by-election fiasco later‚ and hey presto! Enabling toadies have transformed into instant democrats‚ making worried noises about riggings and the buying of votes.
And you still think the SACP can’t change? Shame on you.