The long bus ride to communism

2012-07-12 07:36

Taking the bus and singing with fellow SACP delegates was fun, but after travelling through the night for nine hours, a Gauteng delegate said he has decided to fly home.

Delegates from the North West spent even longer to get to the University of Zululand KwaDlangezwa campus outside Richards Bay yesterday, where the SACP conference is expected to formally start today.

National Union of Mineworkers shop steward Otsilegonang Mothibedi from Rustenburg said his bus had taken 12 hours, which was a whole lot longer than it should have, after a wrong turn near Newcastle.

“It was good in a way, because it is my first time to KwaZulu-Natal and I got to know a bit more about it now,” he said.

When asked about leadership contests, the Rustenburg delegates said they preferred nominations by consensus rather than a vote.

“When you put in your cross with a person on a ballot paper, you may be not so sure. But when you put your cross in a discussion, you can discuss which points (of the nominated leader) you don’t like,” Thabo Kobe said.

Another, Onkgomoditse Moitse, said “democratic processes can tear an organisation apart”.

He said SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande’s term was not too long, adding that Fidel Castro was the leader of the Cuban communist party almost his whole life.

Registration got off to a slow start, but by lunch time yesterday about 1 600 of the 2 300 delegates had been registered.

The atmosphere around the Vulindlela Community Centre, a few hundred metres from the congress venue at the university, was almost holiday-like as delegates queued outside the hall in warm winter weather for their tags.

Most of them are staying in university residences, but some of the national leaders are staying at hotels and guest houses in Richards Bay, where accommodation was hard to come by last night.

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