South African elections, VOTE WASP

National elections in South Africa, the first after the death of Nelson Mandela. His African National Congress still enjoy's the support from the majority of the working class and will likely win again. But the party is slowly losing support, because after 20 years of ANC rule the working class has not become the masters of the South African economy. ANC leaders are not popular but because of the historic struggle against Apartheid, many voters still feel loyalty to the party of Nelson Mandela. There are two new leftist opposition parties to the ruling African National Congress. The Economic Freedom Fighters and the Workers and Socialist Party. Both the EFF and the WASP fight against the capitalist system, yet both parties have a different view of socialism and the way to reach it!

When we look at the Economic Freedom Fighters and the Workers and Socialist Party, we already see a major difference. The EFF is build up like an army, its leader called ''Commander in Chief'' and his supporters wear military style uniforms. Julius Sello Malema is the ''Commander in Chief'' of the Economic Freedom Fighters. He founded this political ''movement'' in august 2013, after he was expelled from the African National Congress for his opposition to the government of Jacob Zuma. Also as leader of the ANC youth, he held radical racial viewpoints as he called for a South Africa for blacks only!

Malema is also a supporter of Robert Mugabe, the dictator of Zimbabwe. Like Mugabe, the ''Commander in Chief'' of the EFF has been called a black supremacist. In 2011, Malema was convicted of hate speech by a South African court, a proof that he cannot be trusted. Yet the Economic Freedom Fighters support their ''Commander in Chief'' unconditionally. The official ideology of the EFF is a mixture of Marxism-Leninism ( Stalinist tradition ), black nationalism, anti-imperialism and Pan-Africanism. Because so many black workers are poor, the EFF is able to recruit many young blacks. They are true believers in what Julius Sello Malema is saying. Revolutionary socialists say that Malema's EFF is not a socialist alternative. The EFF is a top-down military-style movement. Their icons are leaders ( like Mugabe ) who are no alternative for workers and poor people. Leaders who are authoritarian and dictatorial, such people are no icons for workers to look up to!

The Workers and Socialist Party was not founded by one man. It was created by mine workers and members of the Democratic Socialist Movement. After the ANC and their puppet trade unions told the police to open fire on striking mine workers, many realized that the ANC was no longer the party of the working class. Striking committees and members of the DSM decided to build a new party for workers, a party on a socialist program. The Workers and Socialist Party has selected Moses Mayekiso to be its candidate for the upcoming presidential elections. Mayekiso joined the African National Congress in 1990 and became a central committee member of the South African Communist Party ( SACP ). He was part of the welcoming committee for Nelson Mandela's 1990 release from Victor Verster prison. Mayekiso now stands in opposition to the ANC and SACP because they betrayed the original socialist principals, on which the struggle against Apartheid was founded!

For this election, the WASP stands on the following principals! 

Scrap the ANC’s neo-liberal National Development Plan – for a democratic socialist plan of production and development!

Nationalisation under democratic working class and community control, the mines, the banks, the commercial farms, the big factories and big businesses– compensation only in cases of proven need (e.g. small shareholders and pension investments)

Integrate all nationalised industry into a democratic socialist plan of production whose priority is the social needs of the majority not the private wealth of the elite!

For a living minimum wage of 12.500 ZAR a month ( 1.142 U.S. dollars )

To end labour broking, make all contract workers permanent!

To end all retrenchments; re-employ all retrenched mineworkers with experience 

Massive investment in mining communities to provide decent housing, electrification, sanitation, roads, recreational facilities and other basic services for all!

Struggle for the nationalisation of 100% of the mining industry immediately and place it under democratic worker and community control integrated into a society-wide democratic socialist plan of production!

These demands are rejected by the capitalist ANC, because they would ''harm'' the competitive nature of South African capitalists. But this is exactly what the ANC has done for the last 20 years, supporting the markets over workers, supporting the old white ruling class and new black capitalists. Mine workers have rejected the government of Jacob Zuma, the current ANC leader who lives in a luxurious compound, while millions of black workers live in poverty in South Africa. 

A big problem remains the unconditional loyalty of many black workers towards the ANC. They still feel loyalty to a party who has betrayed them since 1994. Even Nelson Mandela carried out the demands of the white ruling class and the IMF between 1994 and 1999. His successor Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki was a true capitalist politician. Under Mandela the ANC government was only moderate capitalist, but Mbeki completed the transformation of the African National Congress into a bourgeois capitalist party. Although Jacob Zuma was called more leftist then Mbeki, it proofed to be another ANC election stunt. Jacob Zuma plays the role of a populist during elections, but rules as a corrupt capitalist leader!

Many whites in South Africa vote on the Democratic Alliance ( DA ). This party is founded in 2000 and came out of the Democratic Party, the liberal democratic opposition to the racist; National Party. The DA is a liberal centrist party, fully supportive of capitalism and the rule of the markets. Unlike the ANC who still claims to be a leftist people's party, the Democratic Alliance always has been a party for the bourgeoisie. Leader of the DA is Otta Helene "Helen" Zille, a white anti-Apartheid fighter and mayor of Cape Town between 2006 and 2009!

A party who split from the ANC is the Congress of the People or COPE. The party split from the ANC in 2008 and got 7,24% in the last elections. But COPE is promoting capitalism and disavowed itself from any connection to Marxist socialism. The so called Congress of the People has also indicated that it would be willing to ally itself with the Democratic Alliance, the main liberal party of South Africa. This is why they are offering no alternatives, as COPE is just as capitalist as the ANC!

The Inkatha Freedom Party is a conservative party. Founded and led since 1975, by Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the Inkatha Freedom Party rejected the leftist ANC during the struggle against Apartheid. The party allied itself with the Apartheid government, because Buthelezi was a Homeland leader and depended on the South African state and economy. His IFP and the ANC became bitter rivals during and after the end of Apartheid. Today the IFP can be called a conservative party that supports federalism!

Revolutionary socialists call for a vote on the Workers and Socialist Party. The Economic Freedom Fighters of Julius Sello Malema may attract many young and poor voters, but their top-down movement and elements of black nationalism will alienated white workers. Also Malema cannot be trusted as a revolutionary leader. He faces charges of tax evasion to the tune of 16 million ZAR after it was revealed that he was linked to companies that obtained lucrative contracts from locale governments. If the EFF takes power then South Africa will become a top-down centralized state, much like Zimbabwe. Malema may nationalize the economy, but a bureaucratic planned economy cannot work. You need workers self-management and decentralize planning. These elements are alien to Julius Sello Malema, who rules the EFF as ''Commander in Chief''.  

The Workers and Socialist Party offers a genuine democratic socialist alternative. WASP politicians ( if elected ) will live on a average workers salary and donate the rest to social movements. They will stand for a socialist South Africa, free from capitalist exploitation and poverty. Unlike the EFF we do not use ethnic nationalist rhetoric or praise dictatorial leaders. The Workers and Socialist Party is a workers party, build by mine workers and socialist activists!

We call on South African workers 
to vote on the WASP!

Struggle, Solidarity, Socialism

Struggle, Solidarity, Socialism