SACP charges against Dale McKinley

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Aug 15 08:14:56 MDT 2000

25 July 2000

TO : Dr. Dale McKinley
P.O. Box 10128, Fourways East, 2055, Johannesburg
PER FAX 011 701 3901

1.      Publicly and consistently attacking the ANC, COSATU and the SACP, and the
leadership of these organisations, without seeking to raise these matters in
the structures or through the publications of the SACP or those of our

In a series of article this year you have consistently attacked our
organisations and their leaders in a manner not befitting or consistent with
a member and official of an SACP structure. Firstly in the Mail and Guardian
of February 25 you wrote an article (The evolution of the ANC) wherein you
embarked on what amounts to a diatribe against the ANC in a manner
fundamentally opposed to the SACP's approach to the ANC and its history. For
instance you wrote in relation to the President's state of the nation

"All of this is consistent with the historic class politics of the ANC
leadership itself and the ANC's strategic approach to socio-economic change
that has evolved as a result. While it might make good media propaganda (and
score brownie points with the big capitalists) for ANC leaders to talk about
"biting the bullet", the reality is that the ANC has been continously
chewing the euphemistic bullet for the better part of its history… Rather,
it represents the latest, and possibly most disingenuous, public
confirmation of the ANC leadership's historic, petit bourgeois class agenda…
The conception of class power that the majority of the ANC's leadership has
always held is defined by the capitalist class they have aspired to join"

Not only is this a distortion of the history of the ANC but it is completely
at variance and undermines the party's own approach to, and alliance with,
the ANC. It is indeed a serious accusation, in a manner that breaks with the
protocol of criticism within the Alliance, that the ANC aspires to join the
capitalist class. Most seriously this is a criticism raised in the media
without raising these matters formally inside the Party or ANC structures

In the same article you continued to say:
"In the early 1960s a small group of ANC leaders turned its back on the
radical possibilities of internal mass struggle by unilaterally deciding to
set up an armed wing and embark on an exile-based armed struggle. In the
mid-to-late 1980's the ANC leadership was already beginning to cut
(post-apartheid) deals with domestic and international capital…"

These are indeed very serious accusations made against our ally without
providing any proof whatsoever about these deals. This does indeed question
the bona fides of the ANC in conducting negotiations and is based on
insinuations that you have not been able to prove. It does indeed call into
question the credibility of the ANC and its leadership in a manner not
befitting a member of the SACP. The claims about the armed struggle are not
only based on a complete ignorance of the real facts about the turn to the
armed struggle, but our own Party was part of, and supported this decision.
This, to us, is tantamount to questioning a very important part of the Party
's own policies, attitudes and sacrifices towards the armed struggle. This
again is inconsistent of a member of the SACP and an official of a party

You conclude this article by saying "The ANC leadership is conducting a
homecoming of sorts, but revolutionary it is not". Again this is a violation
of one of the Party's policies of not questioning the bona fides of our
Allies, no matter how strongly we can disagree with a matter, and in
particular the ANC's commitment to revolutionary change. This radically
breaks with the protocol of criticism and self-criticism in the Alliance,
particularly as these matters are raised in public.

In an article published in the "Green Left Weekly" (May 17, 2000) you
attacked COSATU and its leadership, our ally, without seeking to raise these
issues with the leadership of either our Party or COSATU itself. Amongst the
things said in this article are:

"A large portion of the leadership of COSATU (and its affiliates) are well
on their way to becoming bona fide members of the "capitalism with a human
face" club, and in the process are laying the groundwork for a fragmented
and dispirited workers's movement"

"Ostensibly this approach is designed to ensure an acceptable degree of
ideological and organisational continuity with the ANC leadership, so as to
maintain the "national democratic alliance" that is seen as the only viable
political/organisational vehicle that can meet the needs of the workers and
poor… These tactics, while bringing some moderate relief for the majority,
are more a means of preserving and advancing the personal careers and
political futures of leaders across the alliance spectrum"
"A good example of the practical effect of this strategic and tactical
confusion is the character of COSATU's (and the SACP's) opposition to the
ANC's neo-liberal economic policy…"

"Arising from this self-induced conundrum, an even more disturbing notion
has arisen among COSATU and SACP leaders - that the present situation
demands a "creative management of contradictions"
"And yet, there is little indication that rank-and-file workers (or the
leadership for that matter) have a clear understanding of the practical
means required to achieve COSATU's rhetorical "demands"…"

Firstly, you make a completely unfounded accusation against COSATU
leadership and questioning their integrity and insulting them as becoming
capitalists and laying a groundwork for fragmenting the workers' movement.
Again this is done without having raised this inside our own structures nor
with COSATU structures.

An even more serious transgression on you part is to impute personal and
career motives in our pursuance of membership of the Alliance. This attack
is not only directed at our Allies but also questioning the very integrity
of "leaders across the Alliance spectrum" of being careerists. This indeed
also includes the Party leadership of which you are a member and branch

You further directly and publicly accuse the Party (and COSATU) of strategic
and tactical confusion in our dealings with the GEAR policies. In addition
you publicly express your "serious disturbances" about the SACP leaders in
what you see as their "creative management of the contradictions". This,
again, is a serious transgression of Party discipline for someone who is a
member and an official of a Party structure.

You further and publicly belittle COSATU's demands in their mass campaign,
of which the SACP fully supported, by referring to them as "rhetorical
demands". This is despite the fact that the SACP had taken an official
position to support the COSATU action and had placed the question of job
losses high on the agenda of its 2000 programme. This directly undermines
the SACP's own official programmes and pronouncements.

2.      Publicly and consistently promoting positions that undermine the SACP
In another article which appeared in the publication of the Revolutionary
Communist Group based in London called "Fight racism, fight imperialism" of
April/May 2000, you publicly wrote about Budget 2000, directly in
contradiction of the Party's official response to that Budget. Over and
above publicly contradicting the Party's position, you further directly
attacked the Party by saying "Even the long-standing organisations of the
'left', COSATU and the SACP shied away from open serious criticism". In
addition you said, in the same article "The 'thank you' that greeted
Minister Manuel's freeze on VAT is a sad indictment of COSATU and the SACP".

For a member and leader of the SACP to publicly attack his/her own
organisation, whilst simultaneously contradicting, in public, its own stated
publicly stated positions, is indeed a serious offence and is to bring the
name of SACP into disrepute.

Violation of the SACP constitution
All the above therefore constitutes a violation of Clause 5.4 of the SACP's
constitution, which states that

"Every member has a duty, in his or her personal conduct, to act in a
manner which will bring credit to the SACP and to be a standard bearer of
the highest communist ethic and morality"

Your behaviour can also be taken to be in violation of Clause 5.1 of our
constitution on membership of the SACP:

"All South Africans over the age of 16 who accept the programme and policy
of the South African Communist Party, undertake to carry out its decisions
and to be active in an SACP structure and pay whatever dues are decided on,
are eligible for membership"

Most of the public articles you have written consistently and publicly
question the need for the Alliance, thus violating one of the key policies
of the SACP. In addition you question the very cornerstone of our programme
and policies. For example in the "Green Left Weekly" article you wrote:

The unity that the ANC leadership has fashioned (and which the leadership of
COSATU and the SACP have bought into) revolves around a mass of radical
sounding rhetoric about "transformation", "a progressive national democratic
revolution", "a developmental state" and the "national interest"
This statement does not only, once more, question the credibility and
integrity of the Party leadership, but fundamentally questions our role in
the Alliance. In addition it questions the very fundamental programme of the
SACP, which is the national democratic revolution driven through a
developmental state to realise the transformation of our society. You even
see it fit to denounce these very central commitments of the SACP and the
Alliance, as "radical sounding rhetoric". This is a gross violation of the
two clauses of our constitution cited above.

Louis Proyect

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