SACP Congress

Scott Marshall Scott at rednet.org
Sat Apr 29 07:55:02 MDT 1995


Thought this might be of interest to Marx-Lers.
Scott
_____________________________________________________
**South African Communist Party meets**

(This article is reprinted from the April 29 issue of the
**People's Weekly World**. For subscription information see
below. All rights reserved - may be used with PWW credits.)

Special to the World

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- The Ninth Congress of the South
African Communist Party (SACP) took place April 6-9 in
Johannesburg, South Africa under the theme of Advance, Deepen and
Defend the Democratic Breakthrough.

The Congress was held in "Shaft 17," a facility for coal miners,
in a meeting hall dedicated to the late SACP General Secretary
Chris Hani who was assassinated in 1993. In attendance were 650
working class delegates and over 25 fraternal parties. Joe Sims,
a member of the Communist Party USA's National Board and editor
of Political Affairs, represented the CPUSA and addressed the
Congress.

Charles Nqakula, SACP general secretary, reported to the Congress
on behalf of the outgoing Central Committee. Before beginning the
report he brought greetings to the Congress from two giants of
the anti-apartheid and Communist movements, Govan Mbeki and Harry
Gwala, neither of whom were able to attend because of illness.

Nqakula pointed to the tripling of SACP membership -- to 75,000
-- since the last Congress in December 1991 and its ever-growing
prestige among the working class and people of South Africa. He
proudly reported that the party growth was a sharp rebuff to the
ruling class press which had predicted the SACP's demise.
Rejecting past proposals to change the Party's name, Nqakula
declared, "We are proud to call ourselves the South African
Communist Party."

Nqakula emphasized the SACP goal of consolidating the achievement
of the electoral victory, insisting it met the immediate and
long-range strategic interests of the South African working
class. In addition, he maintained socialism remains the Party's
objective. "We are convinced that the logic of advancing,
deepening and defending the national democratic revolution
implies a decisive move toward socialism," he said.

In post-apartheid South Africa, SACP members hold many
responsible posts in government and the Party has a large
presence in Parliament. It maintains a strong alliance with the
African National Congress and the Congress of South African Trade
Unions, a cornerstone of the working class and people's victory
last year. Nqakula outlined the task of defending the democratic
breakthrough of April 1994 and fighting for its working class
character as the main task before the Party.

President Nelson Mandela attended and brought greetings to the
Congress, noting the hundreds of young faces in attendance was in
sharp contrast to those who contended that the Party reflected a
failed and dying ideology. Mandela, who was warmly greeted by the
delegates, stressed unity of the ANC, SACP and COSATU and said it
would continue.

ANC veteran Walter Sisulu was also present at the Congress to
accept its Chris Hani award. The Party also honored the widows of
SACP leaders Moses Mabhida, J.B. Marks and others.

CPUSA observer Sims addressed the Congress. He stressed the
growing danger of U.S. imperialism's new offensive against Africa
and the need for world Communist unity. The delegates responded
warmly to his remarks.

Charles Nqakula was elected general secretary by the Congress. A
new expanded Central Committee includes many prominent trade
union leaders. The Congress adopted a strategy and tactics
document, modified its constitution and approved the report of
its outgoing Central Committee. It reaffirmed its adherence to
Marxism-Leninism and the leading role of the working class.
##30##


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