Know the SACP before making ill-informed attacks on it
We refer to the apology by the Sunday Times and Palesa Lebitse's "Isn't it time the SACP went it alone at the polls?" (October 14).
Sunday Times editor Bongani Siqoko correctly apologised for the inaccuracies that led to hard-working, innocent public servants being unfairly dismissed from work, falsely arrested and, together with their families, suffering humiliation.
No answer has been provided on how the damage can be reversed.
In the same issue, former KwaZulu-Natal head of the Hawks Maj-Gen Johan Booysen (note that this is not an endorsement) describes some of the pain and degradation. The question of restitution for the damage caused cannot be left unattended.
The entire saga has to be followed to its logical conclusion for the apology to have real meaning. The newspaper should co-operate fully in the process.
It is clear that those responsible for fabricating the lies that the paper consistently published were part of the corruption of the corporate state capture agenda. These elements eliminated those who stood in their way within our criminal justice system and at the South African Revenue Service. Regardless of its attention being drawn to facts, according to Booysen, the Sunday Times continued to follow the same narrative. Its reports were used in advancing the corruption. Siqoko admits that the core of good journalism, verification of facts, was not followed.
In her generalised attack on the SACP and personalised attack on its general secretary, Blade Nzimande, Lebitse repeats the use of inaccuracies. She refers to an SACP "central executive committee", which does not exist. Furthermore, the SACP does not have a "top six", to which she also refers. According to her, "the central executive committee is no better" than the "top six" in terms of gender parity and the SACP is "the only force within the alliance whose gender parity score is appalling".
The SACP welcomes criticism provided it is constructive and formulated on verified facts and scientific analysis. A "columnist" has to be well informed about the organisation she criticises. She should read its documents and pay attention to the terms it uses to describe its structures and articulate its perspectives.
The SACP has a central committee (CC) which has a political bureau (Politburo) inclusive of national officials and full-time CC and Politburo members. The fact is that of the CC and Politburo members who are full-time, 60% are women. The national treasurer and head of the office of the secretariat are women. According to the organisational report presented to the SACP 14th congress in July 2017, 45.02% of SACP membership is composed of women. As prescribed by the party constitution, no SACP leadership structure country-wide has less than 30% women in its composition.
Having presented these facts, it can only be assumed that Lebitse obtained her information from loose talk on social media and - without verification - launched her attack.
The Communist Party played the major role in SA in revolutionising our struggle and building our national liberation movement which finally dislodged the apartheid regime in 1994. At its 14th congress, the SACP adopted an addition to its standing resolution on state and popular power. Lebitse has said absolutely nothing about the resolution. The party reaffirmed the strategic importance of the revolutionary democratic task of building maximum unity. How the liberals and divisive elements who do not support the Communist Party and who are working to achieve disunity would love to see our movement divided and defeated!
The SACP resolution correctly reaffirms the character of the SACP as a working-class party. What does this mean? The answer is simple - every step that the party takes must not be alone but with and for the working class. The SACP is pushing for the leadership of the working class within the national democratic revolution, for the advance to socialism and the ultimate goal of communism.
As the party programme, "The South African Road to Socialism", states: "Our strategic objective in regard to state power is to secure not party-political but working-class hegemony over the state." A major part of the programme is to achieve a reconfiguration of the alliance and build a popular Left front both to enforce the immediate aims of the working-class and take care of the future - including a working class electoral contest if eventually the alliance is not reconfigured but decays and becomes redundant for the working class.
In this way we seek to anchor the unity of our movement around the interests of the majority of our people against neoliberalism and corporate capture. The fact is that it is the SACP that was the first to expose corporate state capture, introduce the term into our national discourse and call for a judicial commission to investigate the corruption.
• Mashilo is the national spokesperson of the SACP