Zuma and his colleagues will not be the first South African politicians to embrace a seemingly fanciful objective.  Many years ago, a National Party politician predicted that the tide of black urbanisation would be reversed by 1978.  He was the target of many a cartoon.  But while everyone was laughing at him, the National Party carried out at least 2-million forced removals and countless millions of pass arrests.  The policy eventually failed and was abandoned, but not before it had inflicted untold damage upon this country, its economy and its people.  Perhaps if more people took the revolutionary objectives of Zuma and his party seriously enough to challenge them, we might avoid another political, economic and human disaster.

Read the full column of John Kane-Berman, a consultant at the South African Institute of Race Relations, Wrong to ignore implications of ANC’s revolutionary ideology, first published by Business Day on BDlive yesterday.


ONE of the significant statements made by President Jacob Zuma at the fourth national general council of the African National Congress (ANC) in Midrand recently seems to have been largely ignored by the print media.

This was that the ANC and the “vanguard” South African Communist Party (SACP) were partners facing in the “same direction” towards a “socialist revolution” and a “communist society”.  Consistent with this statement was the council’s adoption of a declaration reaffirming the party’s commitment to a national democratic revolution.  Most of the media have long pooh-poohed the national democratic revolution, so it is not surprising Zuma’s statement elicited neither news reports nor comment.

Those such as this columnist and the South African Institute of Race Relations, who have long sought to draw attention to the ANC’s revolutionary ideology, are accused of seeing “reds under the bed” — even though members of the SACP hold key positions in the Cabinet, the ANC and the Congress of South African Trade Unions.  The dominant narrative among political commentators is that the SACP has been “co-opted” by the ANC.

. . . .

Many commentators claim they are “baffled” by some of what the ANC says and does.

If one operates on the assumption that the ANC is essentially a democratic party committed to the values of the South African Constitution, that sort of bafflement is understandable.

But if one recognises that the ANC’s overriding loyalty is not to the Constitution but to bringing about the national democratic revolution in alliance with the SACP, then there is no need for anyone to be “baffled” any longer.