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South African Communist Party reflects on century of ‘unbroken struggle’

THE South African Communist Party (SACP) reflected on a centenary of “unbroken struggle” today as it celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding.

At a hybrid conference, held virtually and in person, the party’s general secretary Blade Nzimande said it continues to support the African National Congress (ANC) administration led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, but that the ANC’s current problems extend beyond the “nine wasted years” of the Jacob Zuma administration.

He said that recent unrest in Gauteng and other provinces was part of a “counter-revolutionary conspiracy” and that questions remain over how such a situation could have developed after 27 years of democracy.

The SACP will continue its efforts to build socialism and help in the rebuilding of the country, Mr Nzimande said, drawing on its experiences and the leading role played by the party and its supporters in the defeat of the apartheid system.

“We will not allow this broad liberation movement that communists in their tens of thousands helped to build now to be hijacked by criminals and demagogues,” he said.

The process leading to the formation of the SACP started in 1914, when communists around the world, including in South Africa, condemned World War I as an imperialist conflict.

The founding conference of the SACP was held in Cape Town between July 30 and August 1 1921.

It went on to play a leading role in South Africa’s national liberation movement, with communists making great sacrifices in the struggle for democracy and social emancipation.

“At every key moment, SACP cadres were present both as foot soldiers and as strategic leaders and organisers,” Mr Nzimande said.

The SACP was banned in 1950 but adopted new methods of organisation, including the armed struggle.

Its most famous member, Nelson Mandela, went on to become the country’s first post-apartheid president.

Mr Nzimande said the struggle continues with communists not as “hitchhikers” or “entryists into the broad national democratic movement,” but as socialists committed to the end of the system of profit.

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