I will not be si­lenced

My fel­low com­rades and I will not be di­verted by hyp­o­crit­i­cal per­sonal at­tacks, writes Carl Niehaus

African Times - - Front Page - Carl Niehaus is a for­mer mem­ber of the NEC of the ANC. He is cur­rently the MKMVA NEC mem­ber and its Spokesper­son. Carl’s ar­ti­cles can also be found on his blog, Carl’s Cor­ner: www. carl­niehaus.co.za

IAM aware that at­tacks of a highly per­sonal na­ture against me, and oth­ers associated with Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma’s cam­paign for the Pres­i­dency of the ANC, have com­menced.

These at­tacks are cur­rently car­ried on so­cial me­dia, but I am also aware that much broader and well-co­or­di­nated vi­ciously neg­a­tive cam­paigns have been planned and are about to be launched that will also in­clude the main­stream me­dia.

Al­though these at­tacks are of a per­sonal na­ture, their true in­ten­tion is to dam­age the highly suc­cess­ful cam­paign of Dr Dlamini Zuma.

In my spe­cific in­stance, I am also at­tacked in or­der to try and dam­age the Umkhonoto we Sizwe Mil­i­tary Vet­er­ans As­so­ci­a­tion (MKMVA), and to un­der­mine MKMVA’s sup­port for Dr Dlamini Zuma.

In all these in­stances the lynch mobs that are be­ing un­leashed have no in­ten­tion to con­struc­tively en­gage any of us, or the cam­paign of Dr Dlamini Zuma, about the sub­stance of the cam­paign and the de­tailed ar­gu­ments that are be­ing ad­vanced in favour of Rad­i­cal Eco­nomic Trans­for­ma­tion (RET).

They know that as far as sub­stan­tive poli­cies and ad­dress­ing the gen­uine and ur­gent needs of our peo­ple, they fall dis­mally short and are on a hid­ing to nowhere - thus they in­dulge in anti-sub­stance and anti-in­tel­lec­tual per­sonal at­tacks.

Those who trade in in­sults and per­sonal char­ac­ter as­sas­si­na­tion usu­ally suf­fer from ut­ter in­tel­lec­tual bank­ruptcy, for their only cur­rency is to at­tack the per­son rather than to en­gage the per­son’s ar­gu­ments.

In my in­stance, in­stead of en­gag­ing me about my views they play the man by re­fer­ring to events of 10 years ago.

This de­testable ap­proach is preva­lent among those sup­port­ing the main­te­nance of the sta­tus quo, and de­nial­ists of the fact that White Mo­nop­oly Cap­i­tal is pri­mar­ily re­spon­si­ble for our eco­nomic woes.

They know very well that far more de­fin­i­tive of my life, than the events that they try to con­cen­trate on, is that I am a lib­er­a­tion fighter who joined the ANC and Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) 39 years ago. I was ar­rested for the un­der­ground ac­tiv­i­ties that I car­ried out as an MK mem­ber, and tor­tured in de­ten­tion.

A court of the apartheid regime found me guilty of ‘High Trea­son’ and sen­tenced me to 15 years im­pris­on­ment, of which I served 9 ½ years un­til I was re­leased be­cause of the ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the ANC and the Na­tional Party (NP) gov­ern­ment.

Iron­i­cally, we have not seen those who are at­tack­ing me, and oth­ers who sup­port the cam­paign of Dr Dlamini Zuma, sim­i­larly at­tack­ing FW de Klerk and other for­mer apartheid lead­ers who are al­lowed to ex­press their views freely. That de­spite the fact that these apartheid ap­pa­ratchiks have com­mit­ted heinous crimes against our peo­ple

It is ap­pro­pri­ate to re­mind those who launch these my­opic and se­lec­tive per­sonal at­tacks on us that the Truth and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Com­mis­sion (TRC) found that Mr De Klerk failed to make full dis­clo­sure of gross hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions com­mit­ted by se­nior mem­bers of gov­ern­ment and se­nior mem­bers of the South African Po­lice (SAP), de­spite be­ing given the op­por­tu­nity to do so.

The Com­mis­sion fur­ther­more found that this fail­ure to do so con­sti­tuted ma­te­rial non-dis­clo­sure ren­der­ing Mr. De Klerk an ac­ces­sory to the com­mis­sion of gross vi­o­la­tions of hu­man rights, and that he was morally ac­count­able for con­ceal­ing this from the coun­try when, as the ex­ec­u­tive head of gov­ern­ment, he was un­der obli­ga­tion to dis­close the truth known to him.

De­spite all of this I have not heard those who now want to si­lence me, and oth­ers whose views they do not like, com­plain­ing about De Klerk ex­press­ing his views or ask­ing whether he has been re­ha­bil­i­tated. This is se­lec­tive moral­ity and ar­ro­gance of the worst kind.

I un­der­stand very well that these nar­row per­sonal at­tacks are backed and sup­ported by White Mo­nop­oly Cap­i­tal in or­der to si­lence the crit­i­cisms against them, and to pre­vent a leader of the cal­i­bre of Dr Dlamini Zuma, who is com­mit­ted to the ad­vance­ment of Rad­i­cal Eco­nomic Trans­for­ma­tion (RET), from be­ing elected as Pres­i­dent of the ANC. I will not be si­lenced, I will con­tinue to ex­e­cute my demo­cratic right to speak up, and I will do so as a long­stand­ing mem­ber of the ANC and of MKMVA who is proud of my cre­den­tials as a free­dom fighter. The voices of the poor and the marginalised will not be si­lenced.

The poli­cies and the po­si­tions that seek to lib­er­ate the masses of our peo­ple will not be aban­doned in the midst of noise and hyp­o­crit­i­cal an­tag­o­nism.

I call on our peo­ple (es­pe­cially Africans) who have suf­fered for far too long un­der the op­pres­sive joke of White Mo­nop­oly Cap­i­tal­ism to in­ten­sify the strug­gle for the ad­vance­ment of Rad­i­cal Eco­nomic Trans­for­ma­tion (RET) in or­der to en­sure that the Sec­ond Phase of our Na­tional Demo­cratic Rev­o­lu­tion will in­deed be im­ple­mented.

In or­der to achieve this, all of us must not al­low our at­ten­tion to be di­verted by counter-rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies who want to de­rail us, but fo­cus with undi­min­ished de­ter­mi­na­tion on our goal - which as com­rade Dr Dlamini Zuma’s cam­paign slo­gan states so clearly must be: RAD­I­CAL Eco­nomic Trans­for­ma­tion, Now or Never.

Pic­ture: Den­vor de Wee / Vis­ual Buzz SA

Carl Niehaus with Ace Ma­gashule dur­ing a cam­paign for Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

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