31 August 2006, Wadley Stadium, Maritzburg

Members of the Central Committee present led by General Secretary Blade Nzimande,
Members of the YCL National Committee present,
NEC ANC members led by Deputy President Zuma,
COSATU CEC led by COSATU GS Zweli Vavi,
All protocol observed

There are those who spread malice on why the SACP chose Wadley Stadium for hosting its 85th Anniversary Celebration Rally. Some suggest that this is so as it should coincide with the appearance of the ANC deputy president in court tomorrow.

This celebration was planned 85 years ago by the communist cadres who met in Cape Town at the formation of the Communist Party. No one, especially those who do not have the interest of the working class and the poor, should determine where the SACP should hold its celebrations. Moreover, over and above the significance attached to the hosting of this Anniversary here, we are not ashamed that either the SACP or the YCL are associated with the Deputy President of the ANC.

As your youth – wing, we are proud to be associated with the tradition and role played by you in the last 85 years. As per Brian Bunting and other recorded history, the role played by the YCL in shaping the SACP into what it is remains significant. The insistent by the youth of that time that the SACP should become a non-racial organisation has led to one of the most fundamental principle adopted by the liberation movement.

We remain thankful of the role that the SACP has played in the last three years in ensuring that we build a strong youth wing in the form of the YCL. We remain committed as an organisation to ensure that we are the breeding ground for future communists who will sustain the future and tradition of communism. We are encouraged by your firmness on principles, and your dedication to the goal of socialism, which is primarily our own future as the youth of the country.

Currently, there has been a vicious attacks unleashed on Communist Parties the world-wide. This attacks are both in the country and internationally, and the SACP has not been sparred from this neo-liberal attack. In Latin America, the US has been at the forefront here of ensuring that they discredit the left that is ascending to power. In certain instances they have openly opposed democratically and popularly elected governments of Venezuela, Chile and Bolivia. In Cuba, they have even undermined the Communist Party there and are involved in a coup of a special type, wanting to discredit the government in the eyes of the Cubans.

In our country, some have made it their full-time occupation to write in newspapers and online journals to discredit the SACP. They say God save us from the 21st Century Marxists, proclaiming to be the better bookish Marxists. They have memorised Marxism, saved it in some little pigeon holes in their head and ready to quote Marx. They compete, we are not about that. God is busy responding to hunger prayers, lotto prayers and Matric examination prayers, under-spending by government departments prayers, failing Gear and Asgisa prayers etc… Let’s not draw him in our confusion of what Marx said.

This includes certain individuals who believe that through discrediting the ideals that the SACP represents, and then they will be considered for higher office. It has become popular these days not to be associated with the SACP due to people considering their political careers in government and elsewhere.

As the YCL we believe that this should make the SACP stronger. We must say to those who have left the Party…good riddance. And to those whose daily professions being to be hard at work in discrediting the SACP that this is the class struggle and you are in the enemy camp.

Opening up the Arms deal

Information keeps coming up on the Arms Deal which points to rampant corruption and bribes being offered to certain individuals.

  • There were investigations which closed down the matter conducted by the NPA, AG which declared the arms deal to be above board.
  • Both Tony Yengeni and Jacob Zuma are however being tried for or are convicted in relation to the arms deal
  • In order for all of these to be cleared we believe as the YCL that the arms deal should be investigated and all people, including the state president, are cleared by this.
  • This will however not erase the gravest crime that the Arms deal was all about, spending on arms rather than on food, houses and education.
    Supporting the Credit Bureaux Amnesty
  • Many students and youth fall victim because of their financial illiteracy to retail companies and thus end up in the credit bureaux.
  • Young people are refused jobs because they are in the credit bureaux.
  • Young people are unable to form co-operatives, SMME’s because they have been blacklisted.
  • Because of the cost of credit, banks make it easier to trap people into credit, and also based on the consumerism culture that we are building.
  • The material life, where young people are made to aspire to drive as big a house as possible, as posh a car as possible and have as much money as possible has become the order of the day with young people then falling into credit.
  • We are victims of this devil called the credit bureaux and thus we support the call made by the SACP. We will intensify it through joining your campaigns and through our defiance campaign.
    Opening the Chris Hani Assassination case – No amnesty for his murderers.
  • We are shocked that the NPA dismisses our call made for the investigations on the Chris Hani assassination.
  • We believe that that part of the 85 years remains important and should be revisited.
  • The NPA asks us to lay the matter to rest, but what is there to lay to rest when there are still blank pages.
  • Who is the NPA protecting when they say we should forget about this?
  • Further, how can we forget and reconcile when the whole truth remains suppressed.
  • As communists, we are very passionate about our history and thus it is significant for us to pursue this matter whether Makhosini Nkosi wants it or not.
    Supporting JZ

On the SACP and State Power.

  • As the YCL we started the debate of the relationship between the SACP and state power.
  • We believe that it is not only the SACP that is being suppressed, but also the Alliance in general.
  • The Alliance is no longer a centre of power, a sterner of government.
  • The ANC remains a sleeping giant awaiting either the next Congress or the next elections, whilst both COSATU and the SACP are treated with contempt and suspicion by a clique in government.
  • We believe that the SACP should insist on direct engagement with where power is located, and also build centres of power.
  • We need to contest the new forms of consensus and ensure that the alliance leads, otherwise the SACP should lead.
  • This thing of Native (Kaffirs) Clubs, Presidential Working Groups etc as determinants of policy and agenda of a people’s government must stop. Feel good co-determination and consultation must end and be replaced by a leading alliance, in reality.

What kind of the Party?

  • Because the SACP is our future home as young people where we will continue with the struggle for socialism, we are very jealous about it.
  • As is the case, we also have an interest on what kind of a party should we build, and not in a patronising but constructive way.
  • We are clear that there should be a distinction between business and communism.
  • The struggle for socialism cannot be build by people who have business interests.
  • People who will clearly derail us from our ultimate objective because they have their future secured through tenders and so forth.
  • We further cannot have dishonest, unreliable, crooks, thugs, uncaring and uncommitted people responsible for such an ideal goal.
  • We want to emphasise the fact that for us as the youth there is no future except socialism.
  • We are expecting not a party of Kotane per se, but a party that symbolises what Kotane stood for and still adjust to the current realities.
  • More so, a party of communists having no contrary interests and goals to those of the working class and the poor.
  • The following 85 years of the SACP should see socialism in South Africa.
    Happy Birth Day and Forward to Socialism. Amandla!