Imperialism prepares a palace coup against Zuma

When Zuma had a mass reshuffle of his Cabinet in the middle of the night (evening of the 30th March) the Rand dropped in value from R12, 84 to the dollar to R13,42. A drop of about 60 cents. Yet when imperialist rating agency, Standard and Poore, downgraded the SA credit rating to junk status, the Rand only weakened to R13,60, a drop of less than 20 cents. How do we explain such changes?

When the Rand is worth less compared to the dollar, it means that it takes more Rands to purchase anything in dollars. It means that imported goods become more expensive but also means that wages in South Africa are cut, compared to international standards. Imperialism uses currency manipulation to put the burden of their crisis on the shoulders of the masses in the neo-colonial areas such as South Africa.


Imperialism is very happy to have the ANC ruling the country. They have made more profits under the ANC than they made under the apartheid regime. Currently there is no strong alternative for imperialism who can keep the masses under control.


The bigger fall when Zuma changed the Cabinet showed that imperialism was upset at not being consulted. Imperialism has rolled out all their points of support in rapid succession: the ANC ‘Integrity Commission’, the SACP and Cosatu leaders and the S&P ratings agency. This is to discipline the ANC govt not to steal so much.


While Gordhan called for ‘mass action’ against Zuma, the ones with real control over working class formations, the SACP and Cosatu leaders did not even plan a single demonstration. Why? Imperialism realises that if the masses go on the march against the ANC government, the tide may become unstoppable and the regime may be threatened. Imperialism does not want regime change although they may want to change Zuma, if they think that can bring better conditions for them to continue exploiting the masses here. We need to remember the case of Zimbabwe when the MDC proved incapable of controlling the masses, imperialism settled for reinstating full control to Mugabe, even at the expense of pauperising the entire working class and having millions forced to flee the country. Imperialist plan to replace Zuma will involve a technical, legal process, a palace coup. They most likely have a successor in place, even though they do not have any credible candidate. This means that they would only temporarily stave off a mass revolt.


Thus at most imperialism may want to organise a palace coup, that is removing Zuma without the involvement of the masses, in order to keep the ANC regime in power.


The SACP- Cosatu wing and the Zuma clique are both in the service of imperialism. The SACP wing merely wants Zuma to be more careful and less obvious in his theft of the coffers of the state, while Zuma does not know his limits and wants more and more unbridled self enrichment.


Both wings are claiming to support radical transformation. A key to exposing both these pro-imperialist factions is the following programme of demands:


  1. The banks have been proven to manipulate the currency over decades; expropriate the banks without compensation, including the Reserve Bank and place them under workers control;

  2. The mines have long stripped the wealth of the country, often through illegal means and since 1994, at least, they have been on an investment strike. They carry off profits of at least R1 trillion each year. Expropriate the mines without compensation and place them under workers control

  3. Use the funds to pay pensioners and grant holders the minimum wage; use the funds for decent housing for all close to places of work; free, decent health care for all, free, liberatory education from cradle to the grave. Share the work among all who can work, without loss of pay.

  4. Expropriate the 25 000 large commercial farms without compensation and place them under workers control;

  5. The current Constitution was dictated by imperialism (the protection of private property) there is also no direct control by constituencies; thus we call for the immediate disbanding of parliament and the convening of an unfettered Constituent Assembly, with 1 delegate per 20 000 people, on a constituency basis, subject to instant recall and all delegates only earning the average wage of a skilled worker. The entire Cabinet must go. We support the call of the NUM youth that all SACP Ministers should resign. If they are worth anything, let them join the ranks of the masses in actions and marches against the regime. We support the call for marches against all legislatures and Councils, be the ANC or DA controlled. They must all go.


To give effect to the above programme of demands, we call for the setting up of action committees at each workplace, mine, farm, school, university, community; with co-ordination councils; all structures formed irrespective of party or union affiliation or whether local or immigrant. We do not support the marches of the DA/Save SA; mass action should be independently organised.


We call for the left to discuss a framework of demands that would form the basis of a programme for a new, revolutionary working class party.


We call for consideration of an incremental strike, such as a 1 hour strike on Monday 10th April, extending this every day as part of preparation for a general strike, based on the above demands. We call for co-ordinated protests in communities as well.


Workers International Vanguard Party- WIVP

4. 4. 2017

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