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BAWSI Agricultural Workers Union of SA (Bawusa) general secretary Nosey Pieterse has filed a hate speech complaint against Cape Times assistant editor Tony Weaver for using the word lumpenproletariat in a column.
In his Man Friday column on January 11, Weaver described Pieterse, who is also the president of the Black Association of the Agricultural Sector, known as Bawsi, as someone closely associated with the recent farmworkers’ strike.
“He is the man whose name is writ large all over the current wave of farmworkers’ (I prefer the term rural lumpenproletariat) strikes as the Bawusa general secretary, and sometimes as president of Bawsi,” Weaver wrote.
Pieterse said yesterday that he had filed a complaint of hate speech against Weaver for insulting him and farmworkers.
“Tony Weaver referred to the farmworkers as lumpenproletariat and Nosey as the self-styled leader of the rural lumpenproletariat.
“Lumpenproletariat is a German word which literally means rogue. The word lumpenproletariat is used to describe that layer of the working class, who is unlikely to ever achieve class consciousness, and who is lost to socially useful production and therefore of no use in revolutionary struggle and who is actually an impediment to the realisation of a classless society. That is the insulting and dehumanising view held of Tony Weaver about farmworkers,” his statement read.
Weaver responded: “I would suggest that Mr Pieterse reads his Karl Marx in conjunction with Mikhail Bakunin and Frantz Fanon rather than relying on Wikipedia.”
Alide Dasnois, executive editor of the Cape Times, said: “Tony Weaver did not in fact describe farmworkers as rogues. Nor did he describe Nosey Pieterse as a rogue – though he may be.”