South African Communist Party sets record straight on the reckless and irrational attack by Professor BB Senokoane of Academic and Professional Staff Association (APSA)
The South African Communist Party (SACP) is shocked and dismayed at the reckless and libelous statement issued by some discredited Professor Senokoane, who has never published anything of substance, against our General-Secretary, the current Minister of Transport, and the former Minister of Higher Education & Training Dr. Blade Nzimande. This is nothing but a lousy attack on the person of Comrade Blade, as well as the SACP. While we will not deal with all the wild and unsubstantiated allegations contained in that statement, we wish to state the following:
1. Unlike so-called Professor Senokoane, the people whose reputations he seeks to disparage in his statement, are all highly respected professionals, who have achieved a lot in their academic careers in their own right, and don’t need Cde Blade to do them any favours to advance their careers. Their credentials and achievements are well known in academic circles.
2. While we do not speak for the National Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences (NHISS), we know for a fact that this is an institution with a very important mandate in the system of Higher Education, which has scored remarkable achievements in its short period of existence, since 2013 to date, which include:
- Over 150 research grants awarded to academics in 23 Universities.
- Over 180 research outputs, including peer reviewed books.
- Over 600 doctoral scholarships awarded in 19 universities. Majority of funded students are Black students, below the age of 35 years.
- Establishing National Doctoral Mentoring Programme to assist doctoral students, introducing various initiatives (annual conference, writing retreats, regional meetings).
- In 4 years, 85 doctoral students have graduated – Majority of graduates are Black female.
- Post-doctoral fellowships on Land and Agrarian reform in honour of Prof Sam Moyo awarded to 4 South Africans.
- Launching the African Pathways Programme and awarding over 20 scholars on short research and teaching visits in the continent and BRIC countries. The Institute is working closely with CODESRIA
- Establishing more than 10 Humanities Hubs.
- Coordinating the BRICS Academic Forum
3. Contrary to the spurious allegations by this so-called Professor, the Institute is run very professionally and has received a clean audit from the Auditor-General for the 2016/17, and the 2017/18 financial years.
4. We also find the chauvinism and sexism contained in that statement very problematic. Prof. Sarah Mosoetsa is a professional and highly ranked academic in her own right, and not merely the wife of Dr. Mandla Radebe, and leader of the SACP in Gauteng.
5. What we find the most disturbing of all the rantings by this mad Professor however is the implicit “rooi gevaar” message contained in his statement. According to him, in the same way P.W. Botha used to believe, as well as other anti-communist former leaders of the ANC (whose links to this whole effort we are aware of), communists are not to be treated as ordinary members of society, and cannot assume leadership and other professional roles, merely because they are communists. For the record, we wish to state that there is absolutely nothing wrong when Comrade Blade appoints communists, among the many other people (including business people) that he appoints, to positions of leadership in entities that report to his Ministry, so long as those people qualify for those appointments. This constant denigration of people simply because they are communists has been tried before, and like all those other times, it will fail again now.
6. We hope that South Africans will see this for what it is, a lousy attempt to discredit Comrade Blade, and defocus him from the sterling work that he is doing in the Department of Transport, of rooting out corruption and state capture, and putting that department and its entities on a higher trajectory of service delivery. We want this so-called Prof. to know that we will not allow him to attack our General Secretary, and the SACP, and get away with it. We will put him and his allies under immense scrutiny and expose their agenda.
7. As the SACP we will continue with our work which includes amongst others ongoing celebrations of our 97th Anniversary, which were launched last weekend in the Eastern Cape; our campaign to fight against Gender Based violence; the fight against corruption and corporate capture of the state; the fight for universal public health care system which is affordable and accessible, in particular the provision of the National Health Insurance (NHI); and many other programs, and we will not be diverted by a small rented group with an anti-communist agenda. We call upon all South African Africans to unite and ensure that the barbaric violence against women and children is defeated.
Statement issued by the SACP, 8 August 2018