LONDON, JULY 30, 1981(1)
It is with a deep sense of pride and honour that I speak today on behalf of the South African Communist Party, which celebrates the 60th year of its birth, on 30th July 1981. On this historic occasion our message goes to all in our country, who stand for the complete destruction of the brutal racist tyranny. We speak to all who are working in search for the ending of all forms of exploitation of man by man, and for the building of a society in which none shall be master, and none servant.
We speak today to all who in their daily lives suffer the humiliating evils of the barbaric white supremacy. We speak to all embattled working and student youth who refuse to bow down to the bullet and the baton, and who are forever finding new ways to keep the fighting spirit of Soweto alive. We speak to the oppressed black women whose children have been murdered in thousands by the racist thugs, and who cry out for retribution. We speak to those on the land, the rural labourers, the land-starved peasants, those who have been herded into the Bantustans and those who in their hundreds of thousands are still being uprooted and forced into resettlement camps. We speak to the millions who are being forced to live in urban black slums overlooking the luxury laden white cities. We speak also to those among the whites who are beginning to understand that their future and the future of their children can only be secured by a society of absolute equality, which in the words of the Freedom Charter "belongs to all who live in it; black and white".
Above all we speak to the black working people, our great proletariat which through its sweat and toil has created our country's riches and which stands in the forefront of the struggle to overthrow all forms of race oppression and the system of capitalist exploitation. We speak for the working class which owns nothing except its power to labour and which in the words of the Communist Manifesto has "nothing to lose but its chains". On this great occasion we remember with pride our Communist heroes and martyrs who are no longer with us. Their names have come to symbolise the spirit of resistance and defiance to all forms of oppression and exploitation. They have won an honoured place in the history of our people's struggle in the past 60 years.
We dip our flag to the... of revolutionaries who have made supreme sacrifice in the people's cause. Some of them face the hangman's noose. Others, veterans of MK, fought and died with the comrades in the 1967 Zimbabwe battles. We salute the Communists who are among martyrs massacred at Matola and those among the new generation of militant youth facing the enemy and shedding their blood as part of the armed wing of the liberation movement.
We greet those Communists and non-communists who are daily continuing to give their all in the party and liberation underground. Our message also goes out to those Communists and liberation leaders who are languishing in Robben Island and other racist jails.
On this day we South African Communists warmly extend our hand of friendship and solidarity to the world. We regard every blow against capitalism, imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism as a blow against our own exploiters who form part of the reactionary world alliance of imperialist forces. As part of the great international communist and workers' movement we on this day greet all our brother parties in the struggle to create a world of peace and friendship among all nations, a world in which man will never be robbed of the fruits of his labour - a world of socialism. On this day we embrace the working masses of the socialist community of nations and their Marxist-Leninist parties who are building a new socialist way of life, and inspired by the principles of proletarian-internationalism, continue to make sacrifices in the interests of struggling and oppressed people everywhere, for peace and against the continuing threats of imperialist warmongering. We greet specially the Great Bolshevik Party of the Soviet Union - the CPSU - whose victory in the great October Socialist Revolution of 1917, and whose success in socialist construction, have transformed their land into an unconquerable fortress of workers' power.
We South African Communists have a proud record of struggle, both as a party and as part of the liberation movement headed by the African National Congress. It is no accident that our party has been chosen by the enemy as a key target in its attempt to discredit the liberation movement and to hold back the forward march of the revolution. The enemy unceasingly hurls abuse at our party and its members. We are called foreign agitators and are accused of trying to introduce foreign ideology into South African politics. These are slanders which have become the stock in trade of every capitalist ruling class trying to hold back the sweep of revolution by the downtrodden people everywhere. Our answer is clear and our record speaks for itself. Our ideology of Marxism-Leninism is shared by thousands of millions of workers and peasants in every part of the world. Armed with this ideology some have already won for themselves new societies which have crushed all forms of national oppression and which have put an end to exploitation of man by man. Others like our people are still locked in the battles to achieve these objectives. Marxism-Leninism is not the property of a single country or single people. It is a property of workers in every continent of our globe.
In Europe it has been a tool for the creation of the first contingent of the socialist world and in the Americas it has enabled Cuban revolutionaries to build their outpost of socialist civilisation on the very doorstep of the head of imperialist reaction - United States imperialism.
In Africa it has been proclaimed as a fundamental guiding ideology by countries such as Ethiopia, Benin and the Congo. In our own subcontinent, Marxism-Leninism has become the inspiration of the newly independent States of Angola and Mozambique who have transformed their liberation movements into workers' vanguards dedicated to the task of creating conditions for the construction of socialism right on South Africa's borders.
And who is it that accuses us South African Communists of injecting foreign ideology into South African politics? It is the very racists who came from foreign parts with the Bible in the one hand and the gun in the other, in the name of the so-called European civilisation to deprive our people of the land, transformed us into reserves of cheap labour and imposed an alien-settler-ruling class which maintains its grip with the support of foreign imperialist powers. This ruling class fears us South African Communists precisely because we are and have always been of the people and of the very soil of our land; they fear us because we represent the future South Africa of one united people in which there will be no masters and servants whether they be white or black. They fear us South African Communists because we represent the best interests of our working class, the dominant force in the struggle against racism, against its very foundation, the system of capitalist exploitation. They fear and hate us Communists because from the very beginning our party has worked unceasingly to break down racism, tribalism and regionalism; because in our ranks are to be found some of the best sons and daughters of every section of our people, African, Coloured, Indian, and those white revolutionaries who have broken with the evils of racism and stand for socialism.
On this anniversary we recall with pride that 60 years ago our party was the first on our continent to plant the flag of Marxism-Leninism and to place on the agenda of the struggle the objectives of workers' power in a socialist South Africa. This objective is inextricably bound up with the overall struggle for national liberation - a struggle for which our party has made and continues to make a vital contribution. It is a matter of history that in the 1930s our party pioneered the slogan for a black Republic, and was the first to demand unconditional majority rule in South Africa. In our people's struggle in the last 60 years we Communists have been there in the frontline together with other revolutionaries, working and sacrificing for the common goal of national liberation. In this struggle, whether it be in the trade union, the anti-pass campaign, the Congress of the People, the historic Defiance Campaign, the Congress of the People, in the general political strikes, in the squatters' movements, in the great miners' strike, in the creation of MK - Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of our liberation movement - our party and its members played an important and vital role. Today in the words of our Central Committee's 60th anniversary statement, "The South African Communist Party is a vital part of the liberation forces headed by the African National Congress".
This alliance aims to unite all sections and classes among the oppressed and other truly democratic forces of our revolution to destroy white domination. This revolution, whose main content is the national liberation of the African and other oppressed groups, must put an end to racist discrimination in all its forms, restore the land and the wealth of the country to the people, and guarantee democracy, freedom, and equality of rights and opportunities to all. We believe that the immediate struggle to destroy racist colonialism and to win national freedom is an essential part of the struggle for a future Socialist South Africa. In this struggle the key force has always been and will continue to be the black working class in alliance with the mass of landless rural people.
The celebration of the 60th anniversary of our South African Communist Party takes place at a time when our people have entered the most decisive phase in a long history of the struggle for national liberation. Faced with mounting class and national struggles, the ruling class tries to cling to its reign of power in two ways. On the one hand, it has its strategy of terror and brute force against the people and open aggression, economic and political blackmail against the newly independent States in our sub-continent. On the other hand, it is pretending to reform apartheid by making so-called concessions which have little meaning for the overwhelming mass of our people who are aware that the enemy is entrenching and deepening as never before the real essence of race rule.
Every African in the so-called "White South Africa" is made a foreigner in the land of his birth. The black oppressed are still excluded from the right to possess and own land in 87 per cent of our country; they are still denied political rights and the Bantustans are made into permanent neo-colonies administered by puppet regimes to provide an endless flow of cheap black labour. Our people and, above all, our working class and the new militant generation of the fighting youth, have not bowed down to the enemy's terror nor have they fallen for the tricks of the enemy's reform manoeuvres.
Throughout our land and amongst all sections of our people, a ruling class policy of blood and smiles has been met with growing resistance. The cry for people's power and for the complete destruction of the white republic to end black misery is growing louder by the day. And this cry is accompanied by the rising sounds of the armed blows being dealt out to the enemy by the military wing of the liberation movement, Umkhonto we Sizwe.
In this the 60th anniversary of our party, we Communists pledge to continue to water the tree of freedom in our land, if necessary with our own blood. We pledge to continue the liberation alliance and to cement even further the unity of the liberation forces headed by the ANC. We pledge to spare nothing to fulfill the glorious vision which has inspired our party from the moment of its birth - the vision to help create a united country, a united people, a South Africa in which every strand of racist domination will be torn asunder, a South Africa which will end the exploitation of man by man, and which will be at the service of the overwhelming majority of the South African people, the working masses, a Socialist South Africa.
Forward to people's power!
Forward to a Socialist South Africa!
Long live the SACP! Long live the ANC.!
Long live Proletarian Internationalism!
1. ANC (SA) Report, No. 6, Summer 1982