File photo: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency (ANA).
File photo: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency (ANA).

ANC was ‘captured before 1994’

By Samkelo Mtshali Time of article published Jan 19, 2020

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Durban - General secretary of the SA Federation of Trade Unions Zwelinzima Vavi says “white monopoly capital captured” the ANC before 1994 and “nobody wants to talk about it”.

In a television interview, Vavi claimed the pre-1994 “capture” resulted in the abandonment of the Freedom Charter and, in particular, the economic demands in it such as “the national wealth of our country shall be restored to the people”.

“In our view, the ANC, the movement, got captured ahead of 1994 and that’s the capture that nobody wants to talk about. Capture meant abandon the Freedom Charter and abandon the economic demands, in particular that which says the country’s wealth shall be shared by all who work it and that the mineral wealth shall be owned by everybody.

“This also meant the abandonment of the demand that says the land shall be distributed to all those who work it. Once the capital achieved that, they grew more confident, and that’s why they lobbied strongly that the first (in the democratic era) minister of Finance must be Derek Keys,” said Vavi.

He claimed that when capitalists saw that Keys, who was Finance minister from 1992 to September 1994, “was their man” to continue with the “old agenda”, they became arrogant and were now beginning to call for the privatisation of state-owned enterprises, which they wanted to run, as they believed that the government was not capable of running them.

“Unfortunately, the failures of the government have meant that even the progressive solutions to the crisis get so discredited,” he said.

“One of the demands we have been championing as the left is for the nationalisation of the mines, but that is so hard to argue and win a discussion on among the affluent middle-class people, who will retort that ‘you can’t run Eskom, you have just run down the SABC - now you want mines to do the same to them.’”

He claimed the ANC had failed to implement policies, saying the only thing it had been able to undertake “fast and very effectively” was the scrapping of the Scorpions.

“Beyond that, it is a battle as we repeat the same thing over and over.”

Vavi called for the entire Eskom board to resign and for Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to follow suit. Other unions that have called for resignations of the board’s members - and for Gordhan to be sacked - include the National Union of Metalworkers of SA.

Vavi said the ANC and its national executive committee should be blamed for Eskom’s debt rising to R450 billion as they had driven Eskom “to its knees”.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe could not be reached for comment.

Political Bureau

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