South Africa elections show ANC is losing grip on African masses

LONDON—Jacob Zuma, the African National Congress (ANC) leader, has retained South Africa’s presidency with 63.2 percent of the votes, in this, the fifth general parliamentary election since the formal end of direct apartheid white rule, according to what they say about official election results.

This is a downward turn from the 66 percent of votes the ANC won in 2009. Noted, however, is the rise of ANC opponents. The Democratic Alliance climbed from 17 percent to 23 percent, and Julius Malema’s newly created Economic Freedom Fighters won 6.1 percent.

Still, no single party offered our people a thorough and fundamental criticism of the parasitic capitalist system or a viable alternative to the ANC.

This is the real crime against the people in South Africa. This is why about 25 percent of people eligible to vote did not vote, which means that less than 50 percent of people who could vote actually voted for ANC.

At one time, the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) represented a genuine alternative to the ANC. Under the leadership of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, it was the most viable threat to white imperialist rule and the reformist ANC.

Sobukwe was jailed for the PAC’s leadership of a 1961 demonstration in the Sharpeville Township against the dreaded and hated pass laws. Pass laws made it mandatory for Africans to carry passes to prove they had permission from their white masters to travel outside the many different townships throughout the length and breadth of South Africa.

Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe and the Sharpeville Massacre

Sixty nine demonstrators were shot dead in the streets that day and many were put in jail. When Sobukwe led a demonstration to the jail demanding the freedom of those locked up, he too was locked up.

The South African government succeeded in poisoning him there.

This mass murder by South African police became known worldwide as the Sharpeville Massacre.

It is noteworthy that the ANC never mentions the name of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe.

In 1959, Mangaliso Sobukwe led a split from the ANC, based on the land question, the most fundamental contradiction in South African today.

He created and led the PAC, which immediately started assuming a mass character and pushing the ANC to irrelevancy. The PAC’s correct position on the land question—framed under the slogan “Izwe Lethu! I Afrika!” which means Africa’s land belongs to African people—gave it an edge over the ANC.

To the contrary, the ANC stated that it believed the land of Azania belonged to everybody, oppressed and oppressor alike.

Led by the Communist Party of South Africa, the ANC created what they called the Freedom Charter which guaranteed that white settlers could continue to occupy and possess the land in Africa they had stolen.

APSP and the PAC

The African People’s Socialist Party worked and struggled with the PAC to recognize their class differences with the ANC and to consolidate itself into a revolutionary socialist organization, conscious of itself as an organ of struggle for power by the African working class aligned with the poor peasantry, from the 1970s up to the end of the apartheid regime.

It was our Party that struggled with PAC to reject the negotiated settlement that left the white power establishment in power after the formal end of the apartheid regime.

Furthermore, during the post-apartheid era, it was our Party that struggled with the PAC to reject the notion of the electoral process as an end unto itself and as the only legitimate means by which the masses should struggle to secure power.

The African Peoples Socialist Party renewed a relationship with the PAC in 2001 and called on the PAC to become part of the African Socialist International (ASI), the international organization of the African working class that sees the destruction of the borders separating Africa and Africans from each other as fundamental to our victory over imperialist white power.

Today, the ANC can no longer dominate the electoral contest as in the early years of the Truth and Reconciliation circus in cities with a high concentration of African workers like Johannesburg and Pretoria in the Province of Gauteng.

The ANC shares of the vote decreased by 10 percent in both cities getting 53.63 percent and 50.96 percent respectively.

The ANC is losing its ability to provide a safe cover for white imperialist domination in South Africa.

The crisis of neocolonialism is everywhere in Africa, including South Africa. There are thousands and thousands of its manifestations across this part of the African nation that the ANC cannot hide or obscure.

According to the 2011 South African Census, the income of white households in South African is six times higher than the black ones—that is up from four times in 1994. South Africa has the biggest gap between the rich and the poor in the world.

Around half of the population lives on just over $2 a day, and about 10 million of the people are living on less than $1 a day.

Africaneconomicoutlook.org reports that at the end of 2010, South Africa traded more with Asia (36 percent) or Europe (27 percent) than with the rest Africa, with which they traded only 18 percent.

South Africa has massive youth unemployment, according to Irvin Jim, the general secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA).

Jim stated that "about 71 percent of all unemployed people in South Africa are between the ages of 15 to 29. Most of them are women, the majority of which have never had a job in their lives. Half of the people between 15 and 24 are unemployed.”

It is no surprise that only a third of first time voters did cast their vote in last week’s elections because they already know that these elections will not change anything for the vast majority of African people.

The South African government is infected with corruption from the top, with Zuma himself leading the way. Zuma upgraded his house security at the cost of $23 million dollars of public money.

African workers and African petty bourgeoisie have opposing interests, which are obscured by elections

The electoral process was an integral part of the scheme to give murderous, white power—white settler colonialism and white liberal imperialism—in Africa a black face.

South Africa was relatively late crowning or installing the African petty bourgeoisie to represent white power in 1994. That happened three decades earlier throughout the rest of Africa, with the exception of Portuguese colonies.

This neocolonialism happened with the financial and political backing and support from North American, British, Australian and French rulers along with all other liberal imperialists around the world, including the now defunct Soviet Union.

Together they made the ANC the richest national liberation organization in Africa and the world. It is no surprise then that the ANC outperformed any other organization which existed at that time of the 1994 general elections.

Each electoral success of the ANC and other petty bourgeois competitors is a validation of the African petty bourgeoisie’s surrender to the settlers and to liberal imperialism to maintain their economic status quo in South Africa.

The elections are a seal of approval from the African petty bourgeoisie to maintain an illegitimate system over our lives, resources and land.

The elections are self-serving opportunities for various elements of the entire African petty bourgeoisie to win seats as members of parliament, municipal and provincial councils or assemblies. This means access to power and wealth, alongside white settlers and liberal imperialists from around the world, at our people’s expense.

Liberal imperialism supports the ANC because the ANC derailed the people’s struggles for revolution. It is the ANC that helped liberal imperialism to reform apartheid rule.

The African People’s Socialist Party had long ago said that just as the struggle in the U.S. was not a struggle against segregation, our struggle in occupied Azania was not a struggle against apartheid. Our struggle, everywhere we are in the world, is a struggle for black power to the African working class and poor peasantry.

African workers go to the polls because they have been won to the idea that the electoral contest is the primary way to achieve political change.

Secondly, the self-declared organizations of the working people, particularly the tripartite alliance of ANC-COSATU-SACP, have sold out the long term interests of the people to imperialism.

Their grip over the people is the primary reason why disenchanted, disenfranchised and dispossessed African workers continue to vote for the ANC, despite them being problematic sell-outs.

The ANC did not give us the right to vote, our people won it with our blood and lives

Following the Soweto uprisings of June 1976 where hundreds were murdered by the police and non-stop struggle thru 1994, it was obvious to the long-term thinkers for white imperialism that the white settler rulers could no longer rule as they did in the old days.

They saw that it was absolutely necessary to reform the grotesque and arrogant settler colonialism by handing over the administrative political power to the African petty bourgeoisie while leaving economic power firmly in the hands settler colonialist imperialism.

The ANC did not give the workers the right to vote. We won it through pitch battles with the police and South African army in the streets of townships in Soweto, Sharpeville and other places.

It was peoples’ armed struggles from the Azanian People’s Liberation Army (APLA), mass insurrections, and countless worker strikes that won us the right to vote. It was the sacrifices of our dead and martyred.

The ANC was the organization that restricted the development of our national liberation struggle, making sure it did not develop beyond their petty bourgeois vision and strategic goals, which were summed up in the sell-out document known as the Freedom Charter.

The ANC is opposed to the struggle for the return of our stolen land to its rightful owners, the African working class and poor peasants.

The struggle to build a genuine revolutionary party must intensify

None of the petty bourgeois formations can outdo the ANC in protecting the interests of imperialism.

That is what Chairman Omali Yeshitela meant in a speech at the Pan African Congress of Azania’s Eighth Congress in December 2002, in Umtata, South Africa when he proclaimed that the “ANC has the copyrights on sell-outism in Azania.”

Now that the African petty bourgeoisie, in the form of ANC, has become a part of the imperialist crisis, we must redouble our effort to help our people understand that the immediate form of imperialism in the midst of this crisis is neocolonialism—white power in black face.

The declining ANC is the main pillar of imperialist support, creating a buffer between raw exploitative capitalism and the exploited and oppressed masses in South Africa.

Neocolonialism is the power of the entire African petty bourgeoisie to carry out the will of imperialist rulers. That is why they can work under any foreign power, be it the ex-Soviet Union, the U.S., France, Britain and now even China.

It is even recognized by respected leaders of the African petty bourgeoisie like Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, former member of the black consciousness movement, partner of Steve Biko and current leader of an organization called Afgang.

Ramphele observed that “the real issues facing South Africa were a slowing economy, an inability to provide jobs, rampant corruption, a failure to protect the lives of women and children, a public service that is an extension of the governing party, an incomplete reconciliation, and social, economic and ongoing political transformation,” according to an article published by theguardian.com on February 3, 2014.

In one sentence she is saying that neocolonialism is against the people’s interest.

Neocolonialism, the last stage of imperialism is in permanent crisis; we have to accelerate its death now

We have now entered the end of the illusion of progress for all!

The massacre of more than 30 miners at the Marikana mines was an event that laid bare the class contradictions in South Africa, especially for the African working class.

It allowed the world to see neocolonialism in action.

This reality is reinforced by the decline in the numbers of Africans worker who voted for the ANC or who abstained in the 2014 May national elections.

The decline of the ANC can also be seen in the defection of the 338,000 strong National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) from the Tripartite Alliance—ANC, South African Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU)—which led to the creation of the opportunist political party Congress of the People (COPE).

COPE was formed by former ANC cabinet ministers Mosiuoa Lekota, Minister of Defense; Mluleki George, Deputy Minister of Defense; and Mbhazima Shilowa, Premier of Gauteng province.

The Democratic Left Front formed in 2011, the Workers and Socialist party, which grew out of the Marikana Massacre in 2012, and most recently the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the 300,000 strong miners’ organization represent a significant split from the neo-colonial COSATU.

It is the purging of Julius Malema from the ANC in 2012 that led to the creation of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which has become the most influential African organization to stand in opposition to the ANC and to capitalize on the failure of the ANC to deliver anything meaningful to the African workers in occupied Azania.

The rise of Julius Malema and the Economic Freedom Fighters

Julius Malema made a name for himself as the ANC youth leader, who united with South Africa president Jacob Zuma in dethroning Thabo Mbeki as the leader of the ANC in 2009. Critics associate Malema with the song, “Kill the Boer’s!”

But it was his continual call for the return of the Azanian land to African people, his support for Robert Mugabe on the land question in neighboring Zimbabwe and the call to nationalize the mines that gained him support amongst a large section of poor African workers.

It is his position on these matters which put him at loggerhead with the ANC leadership, thus his expulsion from the neocolonialist party.

The ASI believes that the land and nationalization question must be raised as part of the revolutionary process, to develop the abilities of the workers in alliance with peasants and all progressive forces in society to seize power and build a new African economy in opposition to the African petty bourgeoisie and its imperialist allies.

Nationalization under petty bourgeoisie rule, throughout Africa, has never brought the workers to power or benefitted the working class.

Mobutu in the late 1960s nationalized the mines in Katanga, Congo.

In the early ‘60s in the Congo, Belgian imperialism used the mines of Katanga to prop up their puppet, Moise Tshombe against Patrice Lumumba before murdering him.

The workers in Katanga and throughout Congo remained oppressed and exploited under Mobutu’s rule, despite nationalized mines.

The Algerian government, born out of fierce struggle for independence against the French in North Africa, also nationalized most of Algeria’s assets, but up to this day, the workers never achieved power there.

The State’s nationalization under the leadership of the African petty bourgeoisie will never translate to black power for the African working class.

The call for “All power to the African working class” must be a constant in our struggle against parasitic capitalism

According to a Congressional Research Service Report to the U.S. Congress published on January 4, 2011, “In late 2009, officials from the department of land affairs announced that South Africa would not meet its deadline to redistribute one-third of farmland by 2014 and would extend the deadline to 2025, due to a shortage of funds needed to buy the remaining land.”

This begs the question: Why would you have to buy back your own stolen land?

COSATU has referred to the redistribution issue as a “social time-bomb.”

According to the ANC disciplinary committee, Julius Malema was expelled for the following reason, “The Respondent, Julius Malema, was found guilty of contravening Rules 25.5(c) and (i) of the ANC Constitution for expressing his personal views at a press conference of the ANC Youth League on 31 July 2011 which sought to portray the ANC government and its leadership under President Zuma in a negative light in relation to the African agenda and which had the potential to sow division and disunity in the ANC, and for expressing his personal views on Botswana which contravened ANC policy.”

Later on in September 2012, in a South African court, Malema faced the charge of “money laundering R6.4 million that was deposited into his Ratanang Family Trust by companies that allegedly, unduly benefited through the Limpopo government’s multimillion-rand tender administered by the controversial On-Point Engineers.”

According to City Press, Malema summed up his charges as politically motivated: “They’re accusing me of stealing from the poor because they are failing to match my thinking capacity. They have no ideas. They’re fighting political battles in court and arresting me with the hope that they will suppress the struggle for economic emancipation.”

Every worker’s struggle in Azania must be united with a long term goal: complete the African Revolution

Gaining six percent in this year elections is a success for an organization which was launched in July 2013.

The EFF’s ability to capitalize on the betrayal of the people by the ANC, however, has been its main strength.

However, the brief history of the EFF and the career and luxurious lifestyle of its leader, Julius Malema, do not lead one to conclude that they are on a revolutionary trajectory.

There are many questions to be asked, especially when according to sabc.co.za Malema says, “The EFF will never do anything to compromise the peace that the late President Nelson Mandela fought for, in this country.”

We don’t just criticize the ANC as a sell-out organization or its leaders as individual sell-outs.

We criticize the entire African, neocolonialist, petty bourgeoisie as a social class whose main function is to provide cover for white imperialism and betray the African nation.

The African petty bourgeoisie is only concerned with its own material interests. They go to whoever offers them material incentives, power and prestige at the expense of the African nation.

They willingly subordinate our national interests to the interests of white rulers, and today Chinese rulers too, who are hungry for Africa’s raw materials.

In order to complete the Azania revolution, the African workers must define the African nation. The current Azanian borders and what is called a nation are imperialist borders resulting from imperialist arrangements.

We are struggling to win the African working class in Azania to rise to its high tasks—to realize that the whole of Africa is the true, natural, genuine and historical home of the African nation, which must be free, united, and led by the African working class.

The African nation includes all of Africa and every black community outside of Africa.

The African petty bourgeoisie has accepted the fragmentation of the African nation as its own, thus making it impossible for this class to ever fight for a genuine unification of the African nation.

That is why it is critical for the African working class in Azania to assume its historical role of being an integral of part of the African Socialist International, the revolutionary organization of the whole African working class on and outside the continent.

It is only by ending European parasitism on the African nation that we can succeed in Azania and everywhere else, because African workers can only arrive in power in Azania as part of a united African revolution.

There is no other way to make it happen.

Chairman Omali Yeshitela, in his report to the Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party, explains the necessity of the birth of the African nation:

“The socialist liberation and unification of Africa and African people under the leadership of the African working class will be the central factor in the defeat of world capitalism and will provide the material basis for the advent for world socialism.

“African Internationalism, which demands the total revolutionary liberation and unification of Africa and African people worldwide under the leadership of the African working class, is informed by this scientifically sound dialectic.

“Hence, the African Internationalist struggle for the liberation and unification of Africa and African people is at the same time the key factor in the achievement of socialism as a world economy. It is the way forward for those Marxists and other socialists who are confronted with the false conundrum surrounding the question of ‘socialism in one country.’

“As capitalism was born as a world economy with its basis in the enslavement and dispersal of African people, leading to ‘considerable masses of capital and labor power in the hands of producers,’ so, too, will socialism be born as a world economy in the process of reversing the verdict of imperialism.

“Hence, socialism will not be born in one country, but in many countries that are tied to the defining economy of a liberated and united Africa and people under the revolutionary leadership of the African working class.

“This is why a fundamental task of the African revolutionary is the consolidation of the proletarian African nation.”

In Africa today, From North to South, from East to West, African Internationalism is the only way forward!

We have observed that the EFF’s manifesto does not criticize the African petty bourgeoisie as an opportunist social class, with the mission of selling out African workers and the African nation.

The EFF is a new organization, not coming from a process that criticized the African petty bourgeois class, but mainly from disagreement between leaders and policies within the same organization, which do not have revolution on their program, which do not call for workers power.

Just as we have done with the PAC and other organizations, we will struggle with the EFF about the necessity to choose sides.

The EFF cannot stand for workers’ power and at same time be an organization of the compradors, waiting in the wings to replace the ANC as the new neocolonial masters.

There is no Azania solution to imperialist white power for the masses of African workers, peasants and genuine democratic forces of Azania.

There is only an African Revolution solution which requires a single organization with one philosophy, one discipline, one leadership! That organization is the African Socialist International.

It is not enough to be opposed to the ANC. The EFF must be opposed to neocolonialism throughout Africa by demanding the immediate smashing of all borders!

It is not enough to mobilize Azanian workers only. The EFF must embark on international mobilization of the African nation to get African workers organized for the African revolution.

The future of Azanian workers is not in Azania bordered up with colonial borders, but in a united states of Africa under the leadership of African workers, free from white settler imposed borders.

There is no genuine return of the land in Azania without the smashing of the borders which separate and fragment our people and our land.

The legitimacy of the EFF or any organization in the African nation today is not based on how many votes are won in bourgeois elections like the May 7, 2014 election in Occupied Azania.

Instead, it is unity and practice with the building of the ASI and the calling for a worldwide African revolution under the leadership of the African working class.

ANC must go! Down with African petty bourgeoisie rule!

Build the ASI! We want our land back!

Complete the Azania revolution!

Power in the hands of African workers!

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