Bonakele Majuba: On Defending The Young Communist League (transcript)

August 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

 transcript by Zama Khumalo

The following is a speech delivered by the Mpumalanga provincial secretary of the South African Communist Party, cde Bonakele Majuba, at the Young Communist League’s 4th provincial congress. This congress, which elected Sandile Mzilikazi as provincial charperson and Tinyiko Ntini as secretary, was held at the Tshwane University of Technology in eMalahleni on 15 August 2015.

 

Secretary of Ufasimba in South Africa, this comrade (pointing to *Mluleki Dlelanga) is a national leader of the Young Communist League in South Africa, the so-called “after the unbanning”, after comrade Bhuti Manamela.

Comrade Mluleki, we are privileged today that you have visited Mpumalanga in order to come and revive the strength of the Young Communist League of the South African Communist Party.

We also appreciate all the national committee members who are here and we say thank you very much comrades, we stayed for a long time in this province without having the Young Communist League; we always wanted to hear the militant voice of the Young Communist League.

We therefore, I thank in you that immediately after you were elected in the congress of the YCL you felt it very important that you should come and build the YCL in Mpumalanga.

Comrades before I start speaking let me also recognise all comrades who spoke, those who were dealing with messages of solidarity, and also messages of support and all comrades from PILC in the province who facilitated that this congress had to seat, the leadership of the South African Communist Party for being so generous in making sure that they take resolutions in making sure that they provide with the necessary funding so as we can have this Young Communist League congress and PEC members of the Communist Party who are here.

I see DEC members of the Communist Party and some district secretaries of the South African Communist Party who are here.

The South African Communist Party regards itself as the mother and father of the Young Communist League; we value the Young Communist League.

We respect all those who managed to have the wisdom of joining the Young Communist League, because when you join the Young Communist League you become the vanguard of the youth of this country.

It tells us that you have got the wisdom of being willing to study and understand Marxism-Leninism and be schooled in both dialectical and historical materialism so as whatever you say; whatever you say wherever, is informed by the tools of analysis., not common sense.

The communists are different to others because anything that they say is always informed by a philosophy, a philosophy that is mostly based on dialectics – dialectical materialism and historical materialism. We are all students of Marx and the Young Communist League it’s a school, where communists and leaders of the South African Communist Party for the future, are bread. That is why we must always defend the Communist Party because from where you are you will be coming straight to come and lead the South African Communist Party. Therefore you must nurture and make sure that you defend the South African Communist Party.

I just want to start by coming to your constitution. The preamble of the constitution of the Young Communist League, so as you can have to understand yourselves what is a Young Communist League.

Let me read from your constitution, open quote, “we, the Young Communist League of South Africa founded in 1922, banned in 1950 and re-established in 2003, are a voluntary mass organisation of the youth in South Africa. We are devoted to the interests of all young people and dedicated to the revolutionary cause of the working class of our country and the globe. We are committed to, and struggle for the transformation of South Africa from a capitalist society to a socialist society in which there is no exploitation of one person or group by another. The YCLSA recognises the South African Communist Party as the political party of socialism in our country and enjoys political and ideological guidance from the SACP”.

Underlined. That is coming from the constitution of the Young Communist League. Let me repeat: “The YCLSA recognises the South African Communist Party as the political party of socialism in our country and enjoys political and ideological guidance from the SACP”.

Let us come to the Aims and Objectives of the Young Communist League. “The YCLSA shall serve as preparatory school of the SACP and shall rally young people behind the programme and policies of the Party and lead them in the struggle to advance youth development as an integral part of human and societal development”. Let’s come to the Character of the Young Communist League, “the YCLSA shall be an independent and voluntary youth formation of young people from 14 to 35 that derive its organisational existence, from, and function as an autonomous youth wing of the SACP.”

This paragraph is very important. This paragraph is very important. Let me repeat it, because its going be very important going forward from now. “the YCLSA shall be an independent and voluntary youth formation of young people from 14 to 35 that derive its organisational existence, from, and function as an autonomous youth wing of the SACP.”

When we say it is going to be an independent organisation it means it is not going to be subordinated to any other organisation or to any other lobby group or to any other tenderpreneurs at a particular corner who has got a lot of money [and] who will wish to buy the young communist league through favours and giving certain individuals a lot of liquor and dagga to come and advance their interests in the meetings of the Young Communist League. It is an independent Young Communist League. But is it autonomous to the South African Communist Party. Then you will have to check the difference between independence and autonomous.

The young communist league is not independent from the South African Communist Party; is independent from NGOs and any other tenderpreneurs and all other organisations. But it is autonomous to the South African Communist Party.

You get what I say? (applause). That is why the South African Communist Party we always have an interests in the strength of the Young Communist League because the Young Communist League it’s a Young Communist League of the South African Communist Party. That is why the Young Communist League will always be interested in building the South African Communist Party because the Young Communist League are aware that if the Communist Party dies it means they will have nothing to inherit. Now the South African Communist Party and the Young Communist League are like the father, the son and the daughter and those who said the South African Communist Party must not be closer to the Young Communist League they want the South African communist party to be an irresponsible parent and the South African Communist Party will never be an irresponsible parent.

That is why when we are coming to this congress it is the south African communist party that is going to think by the way those are our children, what are they going to eat in that congress, where are they going to sleep, what form of transport are they going to use, what kind of T-shirts are they going to wear, because the South African Communist Party is convinced that these are the future leaders of the South African Communist Party (applause) and it is also why the South African Communist Party will always defend the Young Communist League without fear, favour or prejudice.

You can write whatever you wish in your facebook (laughter) but the South African Communist Party will always make sure that they defend the Young Communist League and the Young Communist League will defend the South African Communist Party.

I wanted anyone who is confused here to be clear on which meeting you are in now.

Dont be like Julius. You see Julius. I don’t know whether he smoked a lot of dagga at the time because when he was president of the ANC Youth League he was beginning to say the ANC Youth League is independent of the ANC. All of a sudden he became a president within presidency. He went to an extent of even undermining the president of the African National Congress, uMsholozi. He insulted him left and right, insulting the ANC and the ANC decided to disband the ANCYL and that never happened in the South African Comunist Party because comrade Bhuti Manamela, the leader of the Young Communist League in South Africa always knew that the Young Communist League is a Young Communist League of the South African Communist Party.

We don’t want a Young Communist League that is going to mimic the SACP. The Young Communist League must be militant; it should be able to raise youth issues, it should be able to be an organisation that is radical for the issues of the youth.

But there is a difference between progressive radicalism and counter-revolutionary radicalism. Let me give an example, when Nelson Mandela, Anton Lembede, Walter Sisulu and all that generation deided…

Actually, by the way the formation of the ANC Youth League came because of a resolution from the Central Committee of the Communist Party in 1943; the Central Committee of the SACP realised that the elders of the ANC by then they were not radical enough and already the SACP when it was formed in 1921, in 1922 it formed the Young Communist League because it always wanted that radicalism from the youth. When they realised that the elders were modest, always send deputations to the Queen in England and say they are asking for freedom, the Central Committee of the Communist Party said ‘in order for us to be able to radicalise the ANC let us influence the ANC to form its youth league’. That’s when they sold the idea to the ANC and in 1944 the ANC youth league was born, because the SACP wanted to make the ANC a  radical organisation.

Let me come back to what I was talking about: counter-revolutionary radicalism and progress…

[Note: the part where Majuba explains the difference between “counter-revolutionary radicalism” and ”progressive radicalism” is missing due to a battery fault on the cellphone that we used. However, after few minutes of the problem we were able to continue using another phone].

…defiance campaign against unjust apartheid laws because the youth was tired of apartheid and they wanted freedom as soon as possible. That was progressive radicalism.

When we talk of the YCL and you say you want “progressive radicalism” and it is why us the elders when we say “socialism is the future, build it now”, the youth says “socialism in our lifetime”. That must not just be a slogan; that must not just be a slogan because if that is just a slogan you will be confused by people who are enjoying the status quo.

Other people are enjoying the status quo now. It’s nice, they have reached freedom. They have the opportunity to steal money as they wish and this money they have put it and packed it there in their homes and a lot of money, too much money in those homes. Now they will always tell that “this socialism, this national democratic revolution of yours is taking long to come, here is money, take this money, let’s go steal’.

The problem when you survive through stealing and you do not steal for yourselves but for someone else and you take the money to him, like gang leaders, you see gang leaders, they hire you as the youth and the boss stay at home and then ask you to go hijack cars and after hijacking those cars you bring those cars to him and he sells those cars and get a lot of money and he just pay you on a monthly basis – the day you no longer want to steal cars, you are tired you will go hungry. So it means you must keep stealing cars forever.

You must be liberated from that kind of life. You must search for socialism so as you don’t depend to a person, you don’t depend on Majuba; you are not supposed to live only because of me, I supply you with patronage, I supply you with money.

Like for example in this province, there is one chap who is not working, who had the power of accumulating a lot of money that he didn’t even work for and go to a sushi party in Johannesburg and when he is there, and when he hears the music, he looks at the people around and think they don’t recognise he has got a lot of money and take this money out and give each person a R200 note.  Everybody is given a R200 notes. That person is not working but has got a lot of money.

But the day he is going to cross the person who gave him that money you gona meet him moving like a hobo in the street (laughter). Now you must refuse comrades to be dependent on others. You must build your future. That is why I like the slogan of the Young Communist League that talks about “education is fashionable”.

We must go to school and learn so as we can be independent, so as we can stand up in this meeting and say ‘comrade Majuba I have listened to you as you are saying but I beg to differ’. Others if you can stand up and say ‘I beg to differ’ tomorrow you no longer get that money.

I had an experience of leaders, comrade Mluleki, in the province. I have been here for quite sometime. I must mention those comrades. In the Youth League.

There was a Youth League which was led by comrade Isaac and Nthabeleng, you remember Mandla*? They attacked the South African communist party, all the time. That youth league has disappeared. You no longer see them even in the PEC, you don’t even see them in the regions, they are in the wilderness. They were being sent by someone to come and insult the Communist Party. When I meet them they say, ‘we should have listened to you comrade, we didn’t see what was happening. And I say, ‘dont worry boys that was a lesson of life!’

There was a leadership again of the ANC Youth League which was led by comrade Kgotso. You know comrade *Kgotso who was the secretary and [Ronald] Lamola was their spokesperson. Lamola was always asked to go to the radios and insult the Communist Party, especially attack the provincial secretary of the  Communist Party. Where is he now? Is dumped! (laughter).

He calls me one day, ‘hey comrade Majuba, you see I never understood what you were saying all along. Now I realise what you were saying all along because we were called comrade into a restaurant and in this restaurant we were told that we must go and insult you in the radios. We were used because we were young’. I said, ‘no, don’t worry, you remember everytime you uttered a word I never responded because I knew that you were sent by someone’. I don’t respond to the ANC Youth League everytime they say anything. Everytime they say anything I respond to their handler; the person who has sent them to come and say those things, because I know sometimes the youth will sometimes be used by adults. Ourselves in the South African Communist Party we are not prepared to micromanage the Young Communist League.

You know comrade Mandla… when he was the secretary of the Young Communist League in the province, comrade [inaudible] who was the chairperson of the Young Communist League once came to me, I think I was with comrade *Lucky, and he said to me, ‘but comrade why as the Party are you allowing the Young Communist League to be so free. You must sometimes allow… come and guide us’. I said, “No, we will only guide you when it is necessary. But now we allow you as the youth to lead, have experiences, make mistakes and grow.’

But there is only one time when we are going to intervene. We are going to intervene when we see that you are now abusing the independence because you have now been bought by criminals. Once you become spokespeople of thieves and all of a sudden we hear you in papers trying to counter a decision of the South African Communist Party in the media and then you go to a particular restaurant and they say to you, ‘you really did a good job, here’s a R10 000’, then we will have a problem with that.

But a young communist league that is progressively radical we will never have a problem with that Young Communist League. A Young Communist League that is going to make mistakes which are genuine, we will always go and correct those comrades.

Now we are saying, as the South African Communist Party, we wish to make sure that you build a sustainable Young Communist League. A young communist league that is going to be found in each and every voting district. I don’t know whether you are organising in VDs or in wards, the Young Communist League must be everywhere in Mpumalanga, or even in the country because you are the future.

*NOTES: Mluleki Dlelanga is the National Secretary of the YCLSA and Mandla Tibane is the 2nd deputy provincial secretary of the SACP in Mpumalanga. The late Kgotso Motaung led the ANCYL in Mpumalanga. Lucky Mbuyane is 1st provincial deputy secretary of the SACP in Mpumalanga.

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