New Socialist party to be launched

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iol news pic WASP party

 Johannesburg - A new political party, the Workers and Socialist Party (Wasp) will be unveiled on Thursday.

The announcement would be made at press conference in Tshwane, Wasp spokesman Mamatlwe Sebei said in a statement on Wednesday.

He said it was fitting to launch the party on Human Rights Day.

“It reeks of utter hypocrisy for this government to organise events to celebrate Human Rights Day in the wake of Marikana,” Sebei said.

“The government should use Human Rights Day to admit its complicity in the crime of Marikana, apologise before the nation, and resign. That is why we have chosen Sharpeville Day for the launch of the... party.”

He said they would raise the banner for a “new kind of politics”.

“Wasp will be a party that stands for genuine democratic socialism and the interests of the majority. That it is an initiative by the mineworkers, the backbone of the working class, is deeply embarrassing for the ANC,” Sebei said.

“They can no longer claim to represent working class South Africans. And workers are getting organised in opposition to the ANC to hammer that point home.”

On August 16, 34 striking Lonmin mineworkers were shot dead and 78 were injured when police opened fire while trying to disperse a group which had gathered on a hill near the mine, in Marikana. Ten people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed near the mine in the preceding week.

Sebei said delegations from mineworkers’ strike committees, struggling communities, trade unions, and other supporters of Wasp, would outline the party's core policies, principles and future plans at the press briefing.

Joe Higgins, a Socialist Party MP from Ireland, was invited to speak at the launch.

“Working class people in Ireland strongly supported the long and bitter struggle against the evil apartheid regime in South Africa and we felt uplifted when the heroic struggle and sacrifice of the black masses ended that regime,” Higgins said in the statement.

“Now we share the deep disappointment that the ANC has betrayed the hopes of the people of South Africa, and continues with capitalist exploitation rather than the liberation which the people fought for.” - Sapa


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