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Written by: Tim Bester

In the new South Africa, the party of Helen Suzman is routinely described as “white”, “racist”, “privileged”, “reactionary” and, most absurdly in view of its recorded history, “pro-apartheid”.

A common refrain in our political discourse is that there is no white South African who will admit to having supported apartheid. Unless one can demonstrate active participation against the former regime, one is branded a counter-revolutionary. My participation against apartheid was as an active member of the then-official opposition, the United Party. Some of my friends went a small step further and supported the Progressive Party; while others went further still and supported the underground ANC and SACP.

The ruling National Party’s encapsulation of fear-based politics were the terms “swartgevaar” and the “total onslaught”. I have never feared blacks, but I did, and still do fear any government, black or white, that may seek to implement the USSR’s global Marxist-communist failed ideal. For this reason I did not become an ‘activist’. I did, nevertheless, do everything in my limited power to derail the National Party.

Fortunately perestroika and glasnost won, and this allowed the Afrikaner nationalists to take a more pragmatic stance, primarily for their own survival, and secondarily for the good of the country. The collapse of the communist global project also forced the ANC to review its own revolutionary tactics.

Cheers to that!

SEE ALSO: The End of Apartheid Was Not a ‘Go Ahead’ for Socialism by Martin van Staden

I now find myself, once again, living under a government that I cannot support. My decision is not based on a racist subjectivity; it is based on what I experience as plain bad governance, at the most basic level. And I do not see any likelihood of change to alter this in the near future. I also believe that many of the government’s failures arise from its close alliance with the South African Communist Party.

At Wits – where I studied politics and became active in student politics – I came across a tactical document that outlined how communist cadres could wield influence despite the party being banned by the government. It enjoined their underground members (cadres) to infiltrate organisations and work with these to influence policies and outcomes favourable to an eventual Marxist victory. One such tactic was never to seek the office of chairman of an infiltrated organisation, but, rather, to attempt to become the secretary or the treasurer. The chairmanship was too public, and, therefore, was also open to greater scrutiny. As the secretary or treasurer, influence could be exerted beyond the scrutiny of the public or the security police. Better still if cadre infiltration could secure both positions.

We turn full circle.

The current government is infiltrated with unelected communists at the highest level. They have achieved this with no open electoral support. At best, it is estimated that the SACP commands no more than 40,000 members and that this could be as low as 15,000. In spite of their unbanning, subterfuge remains their preferred method of political advancement. They do not hold the highest office, but they are in significant positions of influence. With an increasingly widening ANC leadership deficit, the ANC is powerless to counter this influence. Indeed, it could be said that a lame president is precisely what suits the SACP: They welcome the ‘useful idiot’. Communists seek power by subterfuge, deceit and, yes, revolution. They are not liberal democrats.

As revolutionaries, the communists have no desire to ‘conserve’ what was good or what could be good for the commonwealth; they are all out for power for its own sake. The mandarins and cadres (a self-inflicted description) are there for all to see. With impunity, they disrupt every element of common sense, pragmatism or good governance. Their purpose is to promote revolution in pursuit of “Africanist” autocratic hegemony.

Despite overwhelming support for the ANC, the country endures increasingly lawless, violent and illegal, strikes, with no regard for the economic harm inflicted upon the broader community. The proxy calls for nationalisation, and the demand for what is called “economic freedom” are intended by their communist sponsors to achieve precisely what their most ardent critics fear they will achieve: the destruction of the “capitalist” economy. Their meddling in every facet of governance whether AIDS advice to former President Mbeki (big USA drug companies making money from the scourge), the Walmart investment (Patel and others) or the ongoing ‘bad legal advice’ given to the President (Jeff Radebe), the Marikana miners, the De Doorns labourers and any number of service delivery protests; the list goes on and on. By commission and omission their manipulative hands are there.

This is the way communism works; by disruption and revolution. The ANC is a puppet government and the SACP the puppet master. By rendering the country ungovernable (heard that one before?) they are acting out, with precision, what communists have done everywhere. The National Democratic Revolution strategies and tactics document says it all in plain language.

R.N. Carew Hunt; The Theory and Practice of Communism first published 1950 and by Penguin (1963), was compulsory reading in the study of political science at Wits. The quotes below are still relevant:

“Unfortunately, revolutions carried out in the name of ideologies invariably lead to consequences that not even their authors had anticipated, and this may certainly be expected when the ideology is of such a nature as to require that every branch of economy and form of social expression be subjected to centralized direction and control.”

“In the west there has been a tendency to stress the political aspect of democracy rather than its economic aspect, and although at times this may have been carried too far, the fault is on the right side, seeing that a people which surrenders its political rights in return for promises of economic security will soon discover that it has made a bad bargain, as it is helpless if the promises are not kept”

Leon Louw, in private communication, says “The ANC’s members and collaborators included socialists, liberals, communists, Africanists, labour, intellectuals and capitalists amongst others. Throughout, the ANC retained its position as the dominant anti-apartheid role-player by a substantial margin, and remained a party espousing a post-apartheid South Africa characterised by ideological moderation, pragmatism and a market economy”.

This collaboration had as its purpose the dismantling of apartheid. Not now; socialists, liberals, capitalists (unless statist) and intellectuals are no longer welcome (or comfortable) in the ANC. The communists, on the other hand, are, and they are the cancer of our corrupted politics.

Author: Tim Bester studied economics, political science and public administration at the University of the Witwatersrand where he also served two terms on the Student Representative Council. Tim is now retired after a successful career in advertising and marketing research.

  • Daniel Eloff

    Great article Tim and I completely agree. It seems that there is a constant struggle from within the ANC.

  • Synaesthesia242

    It’s the ANC’s embrace of neoliberalism which has been the biggest detriment of South Africa.

    • In what way are any ANC policies neoliberal? GEAR can be construed as leaning towards neoliberalism but it wasn’t fully implemented.

      • Synaesthesia242

        Gear was implemented. How is it not neoliberal? Here are some examples of how it’s neoliberal. http://mg.co.za/article/2016-01-12-why-south-africa-should-undo-mandelas-economic-deals
        Have you read any of Sampie Terreblanche’s books? I think he’s the definitive economic historian of South Africa.

        • GEAR was opposed by COSATU and the SACP from day one. Trevor received minimal support from the ANC itself because of ideological grandstanding. It’s a miracle that the few parts of it that were instated actually stuck. It’s not even allowed in name now. Was replaced long ago. http://www.sahistory.org.za/article/south-africa%E2%80%99s-key-economic-policies-changes-1994-2013

          Neoliberalism is a catch-all term to refer to ideologies that support laisezz-faire free markets. Many pieces of legislate have been neoliberal, but many more have been the opposite. Rampant government spending is the antithesis of neoliberalism, regulations, the domination of labour…etc. We’re by no means a neoliberal state – very much the opposite.

          In response to that M&G article – most of those points are either not to blame for our country’s faults – and more likely to be the reason we’ve survived till now – or not an example of neoliberalism. A very ill informed piece, regardless.

          I advise reading up on what neoliberalism actually is and then analysing the actual policies and results of said policies in South Africa.

          • Synaesthesia242

            I know what neoliberalism is. We don’t exactly live in a socialist state. Yes we have grants but they are just there to keep the population from literally starving. Taxes are low for businesses. We also haven’t had protectionism for our local industry like textiles which have been devestated. The effects are clear: The richest have been getting much wealthier over the last 20 years in SA and businesses and the financial sector in particular have been outperforming the economy.

            Trevor might have been disliked by some in the ANC abut still enacted the policies he wanted. Our current financial minister is quite similar in outlook to Trevor. Our reserve bank is “independent” of government.

      • Synaesthesia242

        Here’s more, and this is comparing South Africa to other neoliberal regimes.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_South_Africa :

        In a 2010 survey, South Africa was found to have the second most sophisticated financial market and the second-lowest effective business tax rate (business taxes as a percentage of company profits), out of 14 surveyed countries. The country was also ranked fourth for ease of accessing capital, fourth for cost of capital, sixth for its transport infrastructure (considered better than that of China, India, Mexico, Brazil and Poland, but behind that of Korea and Chile), and seventh for foreign direct investment as a percentage of GDP: in 2008 it was over 3% of the GDP.[1

    • Joe Black

      To talk “Neoliberalism” you first have to define what you personally understand it to be.

      I accept the classic definition: “Neoliberalism is a policy model of social studies and economics that transfers control of economic factors to the private sector from the public sector.”

      What do YOU understand it to be?