We just want due process - SACP

An SACP press conference. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

An SACP press conference. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

On September 12, the Mail & Guardian published an opinion piece (SACP is leading the Nkandla cover-up) by Andrew Chirwa, president of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), alleging that, “instead of dealing with principled and substantive issues, our politics have been reduced to innuendo, conspiracy theories and personal insults”.

If he were principled, Chirwa would realise that he is guilty of what he accuses others of. His opinion piece represents this for all see.

The South African Communist Party (SACP) has called for due process on the Nkandla investigative reports, including that of the public protector, to be followed to the letter and exhausted. This fundamental principle is aimed at ensuring that substantive issues are addressed following credible processes.

Individuals who prevent this from happening have been pursuing undemocratic, unfair and unprincipled politics, using the matter of Nkandla – as Chirwa did when he became Numsa president – to call on President Jacob Zuma to go.

They have now turned to calling for “full implementation of the public protector’s recommendations” – this, regardless of the fact that her report is before Parliament to be duly considered.

For people like Chirwa, calling for due process to be followed to the letter is to be embedded in the state.
By the way, ironically, it is such individuals who are part of a declared, co-ordinated project to form a counter-movement and contest elections so that they can be in government. They have no problem with any party and its leaders serving in Parliament and the government, except the SACP.

Chirwa should know that liberalism gives primacy of position to the individual instead of the collective. By “liberal” we do not mean to insult – it means those who openly call themselves liberals, or those who, on the ground, exhibit one or more tenets of liberalism. In contrast, progressive trade union statements are not an individual’s on behalf of the union; they are the union’s on behalf of all individual members.

Chirwa is actually the one who gives us the impression that he is covering up for a dangerous new phenomenon – that of bureaucratic dictatorship, which has taken root in some unions, instead of being a champion of worker democracy.

Chirwa accuses me of calling his general secretary, Irvin Jim, a liar. In contrast, in my article (Umsebenzi Online, September 4) I said: “I would hate to call Mr Jim a liar. But without doubt, in addition to distortions, he is being economical with the truth.”

From Jim’s statement and previous utterances, there can be no doubt that the ANC and the SACP – but not excluding trade union federation Cosatu, as it remains part of the alliance – are being projected as the enemy of our people.

There can be no doubt that this is at the centre of the consistent attacks directed at the tripartite alliance and its independent formations.

Bonakele Majuba is the SACP’s Mpumalanga provincial secretary

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