Knowledge. The final frontier.
21 January 2017 12:46 (South Africa)
Opinionista Mark Heywood

Raise High the Roof Beams, Cadres

  • Mark Heywood
    mark-heywood.jpg
    Mark Heywood

    Mark Heywood is Executive Director of SECTION27 and an Executive member of the Treatment Action Campaign.

In a speech to one of the ANC’s hastily convened cadre schools President Jacob Zuma recently asked ‘what it is that South Africa needs saving from?’ This was presumably in response to the Save South Africa campaign. A few weeks before that Jessie Duarte, Zuma’s hatchet woman, called on ‘cadres’ at a restless COSATU meeting to steel themselves to “defend the revolution”.

These statements have caused confusion, even hilarity, in some circles. Our President is right, why does South Africa need saviors when we have our own reincarnation of Jesus Christ? Although his question is a non-question I have, nonetheless, as a loyal cadre and one following in the best traditions of the Stalin school of falsification, taken the liberty to pen an explanation to cadres who may be confused by the ‘media onslaught’ against our glorious President:

To all defenders of our revolutionary President, King of Kings, Lord of Lords. Revolutionary greetings!

Our revolution is being threatened. As most of you are over 50, many of you will still have memories of how for many decades we characterised apartheid as Colonialism of a Special Type (CST). When that dark epoch ended in 1994 we commenced on the period of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR). During NDR, we promised, we would seek to deepen democracy, remembering all the time that ‘we did not struggle to be poor’.

Twentytwo years have passed. Today we live in a period in which “the forces of reaction” are once more gathering over our heads. We term this the Counter-Revolution of a Special Type (CRST). Frequently the independent media, a space inhabited by ‘blacks who have outsourced their thinking to whites’ deliberately falsifies our achievements. It denigrates our great leaders. It sews seeds of confusion amongst our people.

In this context it is important for cadres to go to ‘our people’ and demystify the confusion spread by the bourgeois propaganda machine. Here are some examples you may need to counter to “defend our revolution”:

  • Much is made of the death of Little Michael Komape, the 5 year-old who drowned inside a school toilet. This cannot be blamed on corruption or cadres. He was a “victim” of an angry and unpredictable pit toilet. As stated in recent court papers we have filed, “The use of similar corrugated iron and VIP toilets and seats is still an acceptable way of providing sanitation for rural schools.” As a result of people circumventing the historically appointed guardians of our people, lots of money has to be spent defending the revolution from his parents who are intent on suing the Department of Basic Education (DBE) for constitutional damages. This money could have been better stolen by cadres we have deployed to the DBE.
  • Then there’s the story of little Everite Chauke, the three year old girl swept away from the bank of the Jukskei River. She did not die because her parents were shack-dwellers waiting patiently for the glorious revolution to give them a home. She should have been more cautious about where her parents lived whilst they wait for an RDP house. If they had paid a bribe to one of our cadres they might have had a house by now anyway. If only she had learnt the lesson of little Angel Sibanda, who was swept away by flood waters in Diepsloot whilst walking to an RDP school across a non-existent RDP bridge.
  • Some imperialist health researchers tell us that close to 2,000 young women are still infected with HIV per week. This has nothing to do with an infectious virus that preys on gender inequality. HIV is an enemy agent, an askari. If you read the non-imperialist-controlled media you will see a report which has confirmed that HIV emanates from the US Special Virus programme. It was invented by the very man who claimed to discover it and sent out to wreak havoc on the revolution.
  • Ignore the stories about Khwezi and insolent protestors who seek to humiliate our President. The violence that rages against women and girls is not a sign of our failure to tackle gender inequalities. It is not a sign of our failure to repair familial structures that were deliberately broken by the apartheid regime to feed the gold mines with cheap migrant labour. As comrade Thabo Mbeki once said (before he disgraced himself by plotting against comrade Zuma) many allegations of rape are just a fiction, an exaggeration by white people intended to denigrate black people. In fact this is what Thabo tried to teach us about AIDS.
  • The growing epidemic of drug abuse that has been reported amongst our youth is something relatively new. But it is not a sign of despair but of ingenuity and innovation. What else do you expect young people to do when half of them drop out of school before matric; when youth unemployment touches 60% and when there are no other facilities to support and nurture their minds?
  • The R46-billion of ‘irregular expenditure’ the Auditor-General claims is notched up by State Owned Enterprises is really just re-distribution of wealth. Complaints that it’s linked to corruption are just the whining of old White Monopoly Capital. The compradore bourgeois, as comrade Jeremy Cronin called them (before he too got confused), is just jealous of the transfer of wealth to black people.
  • Remember, as comrade Gwede Mantashe once said (before comrade Mbalula, correctly, called him out as a “snitch”), that service delivery protests are in fact a sign of our government’s success with service delivery to the poor. The protestors are just impatient to get what they see elsewhere.
  • Remember, as Comrade Blade Nzimande has told us (before he succumbed to the relentless pressures of the very counter-majoritarianism he used to lambast) that the students demanding #FeesMustFall and free education are part of The Third Force. Their desire for free tertiary education, their wish to cash in on the promise of the Constitution, must be fought at all costs. They have the temerity to want to steal from funds that we have already stolen.

Cadres, we must also counter the confusion on questions of leadership and the democratic state:

  • It is the natural order of things that after apartheid colonialism some thin cats got fat; some fat cats got much fatter; and the mice were made to feed off each other.
  • Today we have new heroes like Benny Malakoane, the former Health MEC of the Free State. He is listed as currently holding 30 directorships. He did not struggle to get poor because he never struggled. Comrade Benny has been able to fend off at least two criminal trials for corruption. Bourgeois ethics won’t stop him from demanding an Intensive Care Unit bed for the dying relative of comrade Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane. He has single handedly wrecked the bourgeois notion of a public health system and thereby helped people to return to traditional systems of health care. He has managed to drive 25% of doctors out of his province, many of them showing their true colors by fleeing to enemy territory in the Western Cape. Such fine values are what we should stand up for and defend, which is exactly what Comrade Malakoane’s Premier Ace Magashule is doing.
  • The former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is not an enemy of state capture. She is an enemy of the state. In many of the countries we now look to for leadership, particularly within BRICS, she would be in prison. 
  • The Hawks are only feeding on Scorpions; and the judiciary is part of a counter-majoritarian plot.

Finally, let us be honest comrades, I am coming to the conclusion that it was a deadly error of the NDR to make a human rights-based Constitution our supreme law. Our founding fathers like Nelson Mandela, Joe Slovo and others were made to sign it with a gun held to their heads. Secretly we are now considering tearing it up. As the great and beloved leader of the Nkandla-nation said ‘if only he could be given dictatorial powers for six months’ he would sort our country out.

So shush comrades, don’t be afraid of the storm. All hands on deck. Go back to your branches and revive political education schools. Respect the traditions and values of the ANC that some of us learnt in the glorious Soviet Union.

So hold on comrades, stop being impatient, rise up and defend the revolution. Join our brave Mzwanele Jimmy Manyi and Andile Mngxitama, sons of the soil who have made enormous sacrifices to promote their own names. We are oiling their wheels now.

Stand firm Comrades, if we can baton down the hatches the day may come when President Zuma can be like brothers Modi in India, where pesky activists are shot and troublesome, Western, regime-changing NGOs closed down; like comrade Xi Jinping in China, where 500,000 internet spies police the social media airwaves and NGOs are banned; or comrade Putin in Russia, who has shown us how to ignore the West.

That time is coming!

Yours in struggle,

Comrade Squealer.

Before I am accused of any -isms or -schisms every quotation in this article can be sourced in speeches and writings of our glorious leaders; every fact can be fact-checked. As Bob Dylan once said ‘I fit all these words together…that’s all… It’s taken directly from the newspapers, Nothing’s been changed…Except for the words.” DM

  • Mark Heywood
    mark-heywood.jpg
    Mark Heywood

    Mark Heywood is Executive Director of SECTION27 and an Executive member of the Treatment Action Campaign.

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