Today marks the 22nd anniversary on the tragic loss of an outstanding Marxist ideologue and revolutionary Communist, Jabulani Nobleman Nxumalo. The beloved “Mzala” was one of the greatest cadres ever produced by the vanguard party of the working class, the SA Communist Party (SACP) and African National Congress (ANC) Alliance.
Comrade Mzala departed during a significant moment of our revolution, during a time his soaring intellectual capacity and ideological brilliance were most needed. The apartheid autocracy had nearly conceded defeat, and the doors for a negotiated settlement were wide open. It was a confused time, given the heroic victory of uMkhonto weSizwe (MK), Angolan troops and Cuban allies against the apartheid SADF in the battle of Cuito Cuanavale on the one hand, but the triumph of capitalist barbarity over Socialism in the Soviet Union on the other. On the home front, the working class and poor had begun to exercise a dual power, forcing the apartheid regime out of many townships, and compelling the release of all political prisoners, unbanning of political parties and unconditional return of all exiles.
We remember this great revolutionary and thinker of the working class being confronted by the triple crisis of poverty, unemployment and inequality – which 22 years ago were already severe, but which in many ways worsened since. Had Mzala lived and continued to build the Communist movement, we may not have suffered the neoliberal economic policy choices imposed on our democratically-elected government by the minerals-energy complex and finance oligarchy. We may not have suffered such co-option of key leaders who occupied strategic positions in the State and there imposed neoliberal policies without consultation and often in contradiction to the Reconstruction and Development Programme and Freedom Charter mandates.
We are now the most unequal large society on earth. We were rated by the World Economic Forum as having the earth’s most militant working class in 2012. And are we also the country with amongst the highest number of service delivery protests in the world.
A Fighter in the battle of ideas!
For those who take the time to learn about his role, Comrade Mzala continues to be a source of inspiration to the toiling and exploited workers of our country, and to the unemployed and marginalised working class youth who demand jobs with dignity and a living wage.
Dump the Neoliberal NDP and Advance the Freedom Charter!
In memory of this gigantic figure and product of mass struggles, we call on the ANC-led government to dump the National Development Plan (NDP) because of its embedded neoliberalism. Like the imposition of Gear in 1996, it accepts the macroeconomic parameters as given, and worsens our vulnerability to world capitalist crisis. We dare not allow it to become the policy vision for the country for the next coming twenty years, for that would lead to the same results as we have suffered under existing neoliberal policy: social tensions rising to the point of explosion. Instead we need the ambition of the Freedom Charter, starting with the crucial nationalisation of strategic industries that the capitalist class show sustained incapacity to manage, in the genuine interests of all South Africans.