Call to revive non-racialism
South African Communist Party (SACP) first deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila is calling on the ANC to reconnect with non-racialism in memory of fallen struggle hero Ben Turok.
On Sunday, ANC members including former president Kgalema Motlanthe, ANC Veterans League president Snuki Zikalala and ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, led a tribute to Turok at Johannesburg City Hall. The event celebrated Turok’s legacy. He died last month.
Mapaila decried that the former liberation movement had lost its non-racial character, urging those in the tripartite alliance to reconnect with this principle. He also criticised their lack of support for matters related to their white comrades. “Why didn’t we raise the race card when Neil Aggett and others confronted the apartheid regime? When Ben Turok, Albie Sachs and others confronted the apartheid regime?” asked Mapaila.
He said he had to apologise to Aggett’s family, who are currently attending an inquest into his death. His death in 1982 was ruled as a suicide under the apartheid regime, but most of his comrades believed Aggett was murdered.
“It seems his blood as a white combatant, a white comrade, is not as thick as other blood,” Mapaila said, calling on ANC leaders to organise supporters to attend the inquest and stand by the family. “Neil Aggett liberated us. Why should we enjoy the freedom but when we come to enjoy the fruit of freedom, we raise the race card?”
Reviewing some of professor Turok’s writings and views on the country’s economic policies, Mapaila reflected on two of the most troubled state-owned enterprises (SOEs), SAA and Eskom. He partly blamed SAA’s woes on having to implement black economic empowerment (BEE) while its rivals didn’t have to. “As it complies with BEE principles, its pricing structure increases so people ditch it for the cheapest airline.”
Mapaila also slammed attacks on those reforming SOEs, saying it was happening because of race.
Zikalala praised Turok for remaining vigilant and defending democratic values. “When our movement veered off track, when the democratic constitution was undermined, when lies were peddled and unscrupulous people were protected, when matters relating to the Guptas, Nkandla and the unnecessary dismissal of Cabinet members was defended, comrade Turok was not afraid to break rank and demand accountability from those in power.” – News24 Wire
Aggett liberated us ... but when we come to enjoy the fruit of freedom, we raise the race card.
SACP first deputy general secretary