Call to re­vive non-racial­ism

The Citizen (KZN) - - News -

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.

Solly Ma­paila

SACP first deputy gen­eral sec­re­tary

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