The ANC and the Communist Party

MANY people who do not have at heart the interests either of the African National Congress (ANC) as the spearhead of the national liberation struggle in South Africa or of the South African Communist Party (SACP) as the party of the working class, have consistently sought to destroy the alliance of these two parties against apartheid. The attempt to do so has emanated from the Nationalist Party government as well as their supporters in the imperialist countries.

The same sources have sought to drive a wedge between what they claim are the nationalists and communists within the ANC.

They also attempt to draw a line between ``the ANC in exile'' and the ``internal ANC.''

This shabby attempt is aimed at deflecting the attention of the people away from the fight against apartheid, the fight against national oppression and exploitation. It tries to focus their attention, instead, on the internal problems created by the perpetrators and supporters of the racist system of apartheid.

After the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910, the cause of the African people for national liberation did not enjoy the support of any of the white political parties in Parliament until 1915.

At that time a few members of the Labor Party of South Africa broke away to form the International Socialist League (ISL), which was the precursor to the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA) formed in 1921.

THE members of ISL joined with the ANC to oppose measures such as the Native Land Act of 1913 and the pass laws and to support the ``bucket strike'' by the Johannesburg African municipal workers who removed night soil.

The CPSA fought side by side with the ANC in the anti-pass campaign of 1930 and in establishing trade unions for African workers.

These workers were excluded from the provisions of the Industrial Conciliation Act of 1924 by virtue of the fact that, as pass-bearing natives, they were not employees.

In the anti-pass campaign of 1943 and in African workers' strikes - especially the mine workers strike of 1946 - the CPSA fought alongside the ANC.

It should not be forgotten that the membership of CPSA as well as the SACP - which was formed in 1953 - had largely been composed of Africans.

In the words of Moses Kotane, the general-secretary of the SACP from 1939 to his death in 1978: ``I am first an African and then a communist.'' This summed up what in practice was to be formalized in later years as the ANC-SACP alliance.

In 1950 the ANC and SACP organized jointly the May Day celebrations to protest the Suppression of Communism Bill, during the course of which the police shot and killed 18 Africans and wounded many others.

Throughout the 1950s when the Nationalist Party government mounted its most vicious onslaught against African rights the SACP fought side by side with the ANC.

When the ANC was forced to embark on the armed struggle in 1961 because all channels of expressing their grievances had been blocked by the Nationalist Party government, the SACP and the ANC entered into a formal alliance to form Umkhonto We Sizwe (MK) to conduct the armed struggle.

The alliance which was entered into by the ANC and SACP is going to continue until apartheid, which is the scourge that seeks to destroy democracy in South Africa and to spread its poisonous slime throughout the world, is eliminated.

When mankind was faced with Nazism, which was based on racism as apartheid is, the imperialist countries and the rest of the countries that make up what is called ``Christian Western civilization'' entered into an alliance with the Soviet Union to destroy the Nazi forces.

We in the ANC find it difficult to appreciate the concern of those in the ``Christian Western civilization'' camp - who fought to destroy racism in Europe - about the ANC-SACP alliance, which is today locked in a deadly struggle to eliminate racism in South Africa.

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