Monday, 16 December 2013

NELSON MANDELA ON WORKERS RIGHTS (1993)


'Creative tension of unity' a must

This is a highly complex issue. But despite all the challenges and limitations of the objective balance of forces in Southern Africa and Africa generally, of the current strength and trajectory of the GlobalSouth and of he balance of forces in relation to white imperialism in the world, I am of the opinion that there needs to be a creative unity-tension between the forces who are narrowly (and I do not mean that in a denigrating sense) advocating 'workers rights', and those who are trying to develop the regional and international situation conducive to developing the economic rights and liberation of the peasants and workers in South Africa.

To be clear this creative tension is better taken up strictly outside of the eyes and ears of the imperialists so as to keep them away from taking advantage of these tensions for their own white imperialist aims, and this creative tension is predicated by a unity-tension-unity of struggle between the socialists in South Africa both inside the ANC and outside it. Mao's work on the New Democratic Revolution is still a fundamental text to the Global anti-imperialist struggle of GlobalSouth peoples.

One must not forget there are many African Nationalists who are socialists in the ANC, including the most popular South African liberation figure our wonderful and militant Winnie Mandela, ex wife of Nelson Mandela and a outstanding revolutionary in her own right.

The imperialists are using primarily this tension to sow divisions, promote and manufacture fake radical posturing opposition to the ANC to facilitate their develop white imperialist war of destruction against the South Africa, just as they have done and doing elsewhere, most graphically and tragically illustrated in the Arab Sting.

 - Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm



'The ANC will never betray workers'

By Nelson Mandela

Taken from MRZine

"ANC President, Nelson Mandela delivered an opening address to the September COSATU Special Congress.  Having completed his prepared speech, comrade Mandela put aside his notes and spoke directly and spontaneously to the 1 700 worker delegates.  He asked a question that was uppermost in the minds of many." -- The African Communist (1993)

COMRADES, I would like to make one more remark.

I fully believe the ANC will never betray the cause of democracy, the cause of the workers.  We have a track record in which we have worked closely with workers' movements.  But your defence is not just the ANC, it is you, the workers yourselves.  It is you who must take the defence of your rights, your aspirations in your own hands.

How many times has the liberation movement worked together with workers, and at the moment of victory betrayed the workers?  There are many examples of that in the world. . . (prolonged applause)

It is only if the workers strengthen their organisation before and after liberation . . . (applause) . . . if you relax your vigilance, you will find that your sacrifices have been in vain.

You must support the African National Congress only so far as it delivers the goods, if the ANC government does not deliver the goods, you must do to it what you have done to the apartheid regime (prolonged applause, and shouts of "Buwa! Buwa!").

The South African Communist Party, as well, must not be complacent.  I do not think we will ever betray the South African Communist Party.  It has been our ally for more than 70 years, we have fought and suffered together, our comrades have died together.  Many of them remained in the battlefield and never returned.  I don't think with such a tradition, with such a background, it is possible for the ANC ever to betray the South African Communist Party. . . (applause)

But, it will be foolhardy for the South African Communist Party to become complacent and to rely exclusively on the bone fides of the ANC.

Who ever knew that the Soviet Union would disappear?  Who ever knew that the eastern democracies would disappear from the scene, and become something totally different from a socialist society?  That is an experience which requires the SACP and its leadership not to be complacent.

It is only if all the partners of the tripartite alliance take the defence of democracy in their own hands and co-operate with the broad democratic movement in that capacity.

This alliance is here to stay . . . (applause).  It is this alliance, and not De Klerk, it is this alliance that is going to liberate you, and that is why we must prepare very, very efficiently, very effectively for the 27th of April, and make it in theory and in practice the day of liberation.

Thank you.

Nelson Mandela

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