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Sanele Sano Ngcobo
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Dear Solly Mapaila, would Chris Hani recognise the SACP today?

11 April 2018, 11:31

Dear Comrade Solly Mapaila

My Leader, it is with great sadness that I write this letter to you, against the spirit of unity, but I think it is in the best interest of our movement, the African National Congress (ANC), and its alliance partner, the South African Communist Party (SACP).

I want you to honestly reflect on the current role of the SACP, on where it is going. In recent years, what have you achieved? If the party was to disappear, will people even notice its disappearance? I am asking you all these questions because you were asked almost the same questions on SABC News. When you were asked what the difference is between the ANC and the SACP, you mumbled… you couldn't answer.

My Leader, what is the correct definition of a communist party? Let me help you answer this one, a communist is “a person who supports or believes in the principles of Communism”. So what is Communism? Communism is “a theory or system of social organisation in which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs”.

Now that we understand the definitions, let us dissect it, looking at your current role.

Expropriation of land without compensation

This should have been on top of the SACP’s political agenda for the past 20 years, I can tell you now that it wasn't. I can tell you now that you didn’t play any significant role in championing this, not even after the Economic Freedom Fighters kept on talking about it, not even after Nasrec, when the ANC adopted the land expropriation policy. I know you will argue and say it was written in your statements. Well, my response would be: “statements don't change anything, actions do”.

You will be remembered as someone who stood firm against Msholozi, former president Jacob Zuma. Recently, you’ve said that if Jacob Zuma didn’t stop campaigning for the ANC, you wouldn’t support the party, threatening to end the alliance. This is crazy, isn't?

Do you remember the definition of a communist party? You were never prepared to leave the alliance because of its land policies, but you are prepared to leave it because of one man, a man who strongly supports the expropriation of land without compensation. 

This exposes your fake communism. Communism isn't just about fighting against corruption allegations. It goes beyond that. In my view, there is nothing communist about the current SACP. Whenever Zuma appears on TV, you threaten to break the alliance. You are wrong, my Leader.

Free tertiary education

I heard you claiming easy victory on SABC News, saying you have championed free tertiary education; this is the joke of the year. Are you serious?   

Have a look at previous articles on the issue of lowering college fees to see if your name appears. Well, it does appear. You even made the headlines as you were supporting Hon Blade Nzimande. You had a golden opportunity to make free education a reality, when Hon Blade Nzimande was the Minister of Higher Education. 

Allow me to elaborate on the issue. When students were calling for fees to fall, Hon blade Nzimande increased fees by 8%. When students rejected that move, he said “students must fall”. This is in fact an insult to real communists. He even went a step further. After former President Jacob Zuma announced free education, Nzimande yet again rejected the move, saying that our country cannot afford this. Instead of calling him to order, you, Solly Mapaila, were always there to protect him. Only after he was dismissed as the Minister of Higher Education, free education became a reality.

I am still waiting for the day when you will end the alliance with the ANC if it fails to adopt policies on national health insurance. Will you go independently for elections in 2019, if the ANC doesn't enforce the minimum wage resolution, if it doesn't deal with labour brokers, if it privatises Eskom?

Are you just interested in positions? If an ally doesn’t obtain a particular position, does this mean that you don’t want to be part of the alliance anymore? This is a disgrace and it is surely not all about communism. You can argue and say that we cannot influence the direction or the political agenda of our country, if we do not find ourselves in strategic positions. Then tell me what significant roles SACP leaders in ministerial positions have played. None, there isn't any significant role that I can remember played by SACP leaders in ministerial positions that has changed the lives of black people.

Nowadays, political parties like EFF are way ahead of you and your party in terms of influence. The Black First Land First (BLF), as much as we can criticize their previous actions, have at least been clear on their involvement in the issue of land expropriation.

As we remembered Comrade Chris Hani yesterday, I felt sorry for him to have died like that, leaving behind an organisation that only exists to protest against Zuma.

I was only four years old when Hani died, but I vividly remember people marching on the streets and singing “Bamubulele u Hani, Bamubulele Bamubulele, thina sowathola amabhunu”. That radical spirit is long gone. But I am sure that Chris Hani wouldn’t be proud of what you have done or what you haven’t done. You haven’t done anything to benefit the black population. This is an embarrassment and an insult to our Heroes and Heroines who formed this movement. 

Maybe it will be better if you form a new party and change the name to something else. Perhaps you could call this movement the South African Capitalist Party and allow real communists to lead the communist movement.

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