BLF President Andile Mngxitama, spoke recently to a group of ANC RET comrades on the issue of Radical Economic Transformation. The following is an extract from that engagement.
You need a government to implement RET in full. Comrades RET is a political program. It can only be implemented in full by a government. Let’s start there. To implement RET in full you need a government.
However, as revolutionaries off course we need to be doing some actions towards that. For instance, there’s nothing that stops us from defending the land reclamation program of our people, advancing massive land occupations, moving into the economy at a small scale, defending our people, defending black leadership, as part of implementing RET before the revolutionary or even just a progressive state is established,
A very important political discussion we must also have is to understand what the enemy is doing.
You see comrades, the enemy is determined. And it doesn’t matter what we think about the ANC, whether we think the ANC is a sellout organisation or whatever, I don’t think that is a significant and productive area of engagement.
The ANC did become progressive under President Zuma, off course during the last stanza of his presidency. The ANC adopting RET as a pole against white monopoly capital is a radical progressive stance. Even with our other criticism of the ANC including the criticism we have for the Freedom Charter, when RET became a factor in the ANC that was a serious push towards a black agenda. Not only that, it was a left agenda. I mean you see those things that President Zuma was doing about BRICKS, withdrawing from the ICC and so on. For the first time a sitting President was talking about black organizations uniting for the resolution of the land question. That was a progressive move which I think must be characterised as such. It’s a progressive move that gave us the chance to fight.
However as we have said before that move has been defeated inside the ANC at this point. You see the enemy got a big fright at the time when President Zuma, NDZ and the ANC comrades were moving with RET. It was so frightened that it then started testing whether smaller parties like EFF and the DA can undermine the ANC. In the event that RET won in Nasrec the kind of experiment with metros where the ANC had lost, they would have attempted it at national politics. Off course if we emerged in Nasrec the enemy believed it would sponsor a splinter in the ANC. That splinter together with the EFF and the DA would have then become a government. But the first price was always, the enemy must capture the ANC and it has done so with the R1 billion that was given to Ramaphosa. So I think we must also understand what the enemy’s moves are. Right now the enemy is settled and the enemy is very very strong inside the ANC. That is why all these things are happening. The court cases, the possibility of sending President Zuma to jail, the push back with the set aside rules, the attack on Ace, the attack on the Public Protector, we must not underestimate how organised and how resolute the enemy is and how the ANC is that instrument to basically push back on the black agenda.
Let’s understand comrades that we are operating within an environment where the enemy has its first option, which is capturing the ANC. The EFF and the DA, by and large, as organizations are irrelevant except that the DA is the ideological leader of the ANC. And we all know that they have said they will consider coalition with the ANC.
So this is a 2 line struggle for RET forces inside the ANC. The first is to fight to regain the ANC but that fight must not be to undermine the Black Agenda. We cannot leave the ANC in the hands of the enemy. That’s the first thing. But at the same time as long as the ANC is in the hands of the enemy we cannot strengthen the ANC through our votes so that it can destroy us. So that is the first line in this two line struggle which is the fight must be inside the ANC to regain the ANC.
But the second line which must simultaneously be pursued is to develop and build BLF as the insurance for the Black Agenda. You comrades of the ANC by now should know, BLF is not the enemy of the ANC and in no way will we take any moves that will harm the agenda of liberation of black people. Therefore BLF is now the insurance for that Black Agenda and until the ANC is fully regained there is no way that radicals, revolutionaries, progressives can give their votes and support to the ANC.
So comrades must fight inside the ANC to regain the ANC whilst building BLF and supporting BLF. If you don’t do this you’ll sit with the same problem we have right now where you have a parliament of majority ANC, but that majority serves the interests of white capital. There is no party in parliament raising the RET agenda, that would have been the job of BLF.