24/08/2017 by socialistfight
We must locate the move to oust Zuma in South Africa in the current stage of the crisis of global imperialism. In the 1990s, following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the USSR, imperialism triumphantly pushed forward its agenda globally to increase the exploitation of the working class domestically and the semi-colonial world. In Latin America by the late 1990s there began a fightback from the masses that brought a number of leftists regime to power; Chávez in Venezuela in 1999, a popular uprising overthrew Fernando de la Rúa in the Argentine in December 2001, Lula in Brazil in 2003, Tabaré in Uruguay in 2005, Evo Morales in Bolivia in 2006, Correa in Ecuador in 2007 and Fernando Lugo in Paraguay in 2008.
In contrast in South Africa, the ANC used the Government of National Unity to impose the Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) neoliberal strategy in June 1996. In the 1999 elections Thabo Mbeki took office, the National Party lost two-thirds of its seats, and the Democratic Party (now the Democratic Alliance, DA), became the official opposition, and to it most of the apartheid white racist National Party supporters gravitated. It had been the party of liberal whites and now gained new support also of some middle-class blacks. The coloured and Indian components of the Tricameral Parliament (1984-1994) plus the NP are more to the liking of global imperialism than the ANC now.
The imperialists are shifting alliances in South Africa to the party that contains the political bones of the white liberals Helen Suzman and Harry Schwarz together with those of Vorster, Botha and de Klerk. Could the whiff of racism from the Cape coloured and the National Party be expunged by the leadership of Cyril Ramaphosa? ANC Western Cape Secretary Faiez Jacobs had tried to play the race card but the DA has beaten them to it; some almost made it to the top table in Tricameral:
“Coloured people are still enslaved with feelings of inferiority. This thing of not being white enough or black enough, of not being South African enough, it is a common theme, whether real or perceived, there is a feeling of marginalisation.”
There is no real international perspective in the programme simply to remove Zuma. He is corrupt, he is degenerate, Gupta has bought his soul, his regime is ‘Zupta’, he has to go and so has the ANC, sing the capitalist mass media in unison in South Africa and globally. And even after Zuma, the regime will continue under his ex-wife, Nkosazana Dhlamini-Zuma, who is sure to succeed him if we don’t oust him in the streets. “If President Jacob Zuma’s choice is Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, our choice is Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa,” the SACP was quoted as saying by The Sowetan. Cosatu has come out in support of Ramaphposa but the Young Communist League of SA (YCLSA) said last December that, although they did not want Zuma to resign they would back Ramaphosa when Zuma’s second term ends.
And the perspective of the leadership of the Zuma Must Go campaign is to replace Zuma with Cyril Ramaphosa. If Zuma is Gupta’s man, whose man is Cyril Ramaphosa? Why does the SACP jump the ANC ship now when they did not do so for the terrible Marikana Massacre in 2012? Whose game is this?
This is a ‘colour revolution’ orchestrated by Lonmin and global imperialism to install Ramaphosa all the better to pursue their neo-liberal agenda. Remember Saddam, Gaddafi, Assad and Yanukovych in Ukraine were imperialism’s men once until they saw the need and opportunity to install more pliant puppets and to reduce these lands to even greater vassalage to the USA.
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) is the biggest single trade union in South Africa. It was expelled from COSATU on 8 November 2014. See Qina Msebenzi Labour Bulletin, September 2013, Cosatu under attack—How Do Revolutionaries Respond? https://socialistfight.com/2013/09/18/qina-msebenzi-labour-bulletin-september-2013-cosatu-under-attack/
Karl Cloete, Deputy General Secretary of NUMSA indicates that they are refusing to go along with this move against Zuma:
“Which class forces stand to gain the most from this important site of struggle? … In as much as we must analyse the class forces at play, we must also use the crisis and popular feelings of ordinary people to concretely benefit the working class and build working class hegemony… Not staying aloof from inter class struggles and alliances, the working class should however never aid an agenda that replaces one butcher with another. The world knows all too well what Cyril Ramaphosa’s role was in Marikana and the mass murder of mineworkers by the South African Police Services in 2012. The cold reality is that some of those who are calling for Zuma to fall are actively campaigning for Ramaphosa to become the next South African President. Ramaphosa has the backing of COSATU and the SACP, and perhaps even Save South Africa and others are also supportive of him.”
In the recent mobilisation before the secret vote failed to remove Zuma the parties involved were: the African Christian Democratic Party‚ the African Independent Congress‚ the African People’s Convention‚ the Congress of the People‚ Agang SA‚ the Democratic Alliance‚ the Economic Freedom Fighters‚ the Inkatha Freedom Party and the United Democratic Movement‚ together with the Freedom Movement and Save SA.
This screams pro-imperialist Popular Front. And yet it is to this pro-imperialist mobilisation the centrists of the Workers and Socialist party (WASP, CWI) align themselves. Leading members Ahmed Jooma and Shaheen Khan, in an article in April, Platform of the left bloc in the Zuma must go campaign!, denounce the NUMSA stance as “ultra-left”. But NUMSA are merely third campists; they refuse follow the logic of their analysis and take no sides between “one butcher and another”. They say:
“The Popular Front is the main strategic weapon of the bourgeoisie to tie the hands of the working class to the interests of the bosses… The anti-State Capture Movement has been organised largely by the Social Movements/NGO’s and parliamentary political parties. It has attracted various classes and ‘races’ to march against state capture; the white upper middle classes, the uppers sections of the black petty bourgeois, the middle classes in general, the working class and poor have all joined the protests. The class character of these movements is not as important to ordinary people as the fact that they are ready to take up the fight practically and immediately.”
This is what old Joe Stalin used to call “dialectical” i.e. complete self-contradictory nonsense. Why does it not matter to the working class and oppressed who leads them and where they are going? Why join this Popular Front if it really is, “the main strategic weapon of the bourgeoisie to tie the hands of the working class to the interests of the bosses”?
We should not support this push against Zuma; we should identify Cyril Ramaphosa and the DA as the representatives of the main enemy of the South African masses, global, US-led imperialism.
- No to the ouster of Zuma!
- Build a mass workers’ party to overthrow capitalism in SA and internationally!