Why would a former ANC leader, a former cabinet minister of finance conveniently forget the SACP is co-governing SA?
I have taken the time to read Trevor Manuel’s “blurring of the blur” what I will call his incoherent live commentary on the SACP and its relevance. I have concluded his piece may really be the ‘blabber of blab’.
Let me also put my disclaimer upfront. I am no SACP member I have never met the SACP General Secretary or his Deputy and do not defend them nor hold any brief for either of them. I am an ordinary thinker who buys my weekly newspaper to hear our collective discourse.
Concerning Manuel’s article:
Firstly it took forever to hear what Manuel as one of what I have dubbed the “recent glass tower ANC veterans” had to say.
It is my submission that when you are given the proverbial stage and platform as he was afforded today with a full page you simply cannot be engaging in a rehearsal but it must bring the proverbial bacon.
Trevor as seasoned politician could have easily taken us through the historical landscape of the SACP, its role in diverse moments of historical reflection therefore showing appreciation for the distinctively changed dynamics of SA and its parties in Governance. He seemed preoccupied if not obsessed to get under the skin of the SACP secretary general pair of Blade Nzimande and Jeremy Cronin almost at a personal level as his overarching aim thus losing all reason for a sane coherent contention.
He easily could have made known the fact that the SACP was never a numbers organisation but an ideas organisation, a party that showed the way in the production of knowledge for engagement. Its fundamental strength has always been ideological input that often determined the ANC’s policies.
We all know that is and always have been the key strength of the SACP. If he had allowed objectivity to guide him he could have made a coherent argument no different one should make of all organisations that moved from a banned to governance in democracy state. For the SACP no different to the ANC pre and after governance are remarkably distinct organisations, in fact any organisation that shares their collective history of role and purpose can be used as a case study.
He could have engaged it as the claimed vanguard for the workers seeking to ask how this mandate may have altered plausibly been adjusted given the change of the power politics of a banned party to a co-governing party. I guess I am asking for contextualisation on the part of Trevor Manuel.
I fail to understand his obsession to make the SACP a numbers issue. He raises this as questionable therefore categorically argue the SACP proves sophistic on their current paid up membership. This may or may not be the case, yet the material value of that has no bearing for anyone who has known and understood the SACP as a organisation that makes itself distinct for knowledge production. Manuel also cannot provide his evidence for the questioning of the current 225000 paid up membership.
In reality his argument on numbers could so easily have been tabled of the ANC, he should know that as little as five years ago the ANC’ s membership hovered around just about 600000 active members, what and how does that relate to its role of governing 51 million people with an election mandate of on average 62,5% of consistent trust from voters, remains a non issue, thus why make the SACP numbers a central argument.
I equally cannot understand why he conveniently cites certain questionable examples to bolster his vacuous claim of irrelevance. One is never sure of Manuel’s stoic defence of the NDP as a plan whether it is purely anchored as a personal claim of legacy, or if it is as an ANC led plan that is developing as influenced by the South African constituency. If the latter is the case how does he negate the fact that the NDP remains a plan up for discussion by all including organised labour (in and outside of an COSATU as a Tri-partite alliance partner in governance) who have their own issues with it? Why single out the SACP in its critique and questioning of the process and arriving at a final product? We cannot assume that the NDP in practical sense is a finalised document, but an evolving plan.
A fundamental and glaring omission on the part of Manuel is his conscious failure to acknowledge a given that the SACP co-governs this country since 1994. This is a fundamental aspect Manuel in convenience chooses to forget. Perhaps since if he has to concede to this there would be no need to have attempted this long-winded incoherent ranting.
Trevor certainly struggled to make his point, which firstly forced me to be tempted to ask did Trevor really write this article?
I would imagine he has the capacity to debate, he is one that have been home-schooled in and through the ANC on the leftist ideology, yet I also know he has extensive access to resources to produce a written opinion though I have my reservations.
I arrived at the end of the article and concluded maybe Rotchild’s latest African Representative may have been assigned to address the SACP in lecturing mode for the sake of rattling their cage and effect alone.
My unsolicited advice to the SACP shred this page of “blabber of the blab” from one of the arch-defenders of white capital by simply not responding to it for it was hardly a lashing neither a substantive input but a meandering stray bullet from an unloaded gun. Maybe a shot fired in between watching an old Springbok victory (knowing Manuel like myself do not support the Springboks but New Zealand when it comes to rugby) taking a forty winks and sipping on his favourite freshly pressed orange juice. Permit us the rather insignificant with no access to resources engage the significant very resourced Manuel.
In conclusion, this blabber of the blab stands as a sequence to his earlier piece on the ANC; however it is really part of a trilogy. We should soon expect at least one more instalment or salvo and that on COSATU to give him his full status as ‘recent glass tower ANC veteran’. It appears the proverbial NQF standard of qualification for induction into this veteran-ship vacillates on lecturing from aloofness the post – Polokwane ANC, SACP and COSATU (Tripartite in governance of SA). Thus Trevor is about to graduate as inducted in the hall of fame for this new breed of veterans.