RESPONSE TO NICKY OPPENHEIMER, JEREMY CRONIN AND SUSAN SHABANGU ON THE NATIONALISATION OF MINES:
The African National Congress Youth League (ANC YL) has noted the reaction of Nicky Oppenheimer, De Beers Chairperson to the misleading statements of Minister of Minerals, Susan Shabangu that Mines will not be nationalised in the Minister's lifetime. We have also noted attempts to divert the debate on Nationalisation by Jeremy Cronin, who once again, used the platform of the South African Communist Party (see here) to express his views. We decided to respond to Nicky, Susan and Jeremy together because their wish to retain the status quo in terms of property relations is the same, the only slight difference is that the other one uses sophisticated English to mislead our ally, the SACP on its response to Nationalisation of Mines.
NICKY OPENHEIMER, SUSAN SHABANGU AND DE BEERS:
It is totally dishonest and criminal for Nicky Oppenheimer to say he agrees with the misleading statements of Susan Shabangu that Mines will not be nationalised in her lifetime. By saying Mines will not be nationalised in her lifetime, Susan Shabangu Is referring to her lifetime as a Minister of Minerals, because we doubt if she will be a Minister for that a very long time. De Beers is a Mining partnership with the governments of Botswana, Namibia and Canada, yet seems to be refusing that the people of South Africa benefit from mining of diamond.
De Beers is an inconsistent and immoral, inhuman corporation, whose development and growth was at the expense of many Africans' innocent lives. De Beers super-exploited African labourers through forced cheap labour and for many years sponsored the conquest of the African majority by the white minorities. De Beers operated in South Africa during apartheid and basically sponsored the murderous, destructive and racist actions of the colonial/apartheid repressive regime. If there is ever any corporation that has to be remorseful and understand that the people of South Africa should share in the country's wealth, it is De Beers.
De Beers should not be misled by Susan Shabangu, but should begin to design models of engagement with the State in the same manner they did in Botswana, Namibia and Canada. In South Africa, De Beers should begin to adjust to giving away 60% of its ownership and control of Mining, because that is what is going to happen. De Beers should be leading other Mining corporations in making them understand that Mining can happen even when the State has a greater stake in the mining corporations, and stop listening to wrong advice by the Minister of Minerals.
We do not expect Nicky Oppenheimer to support Nationalisation because he is protecting his ill-gotten wealth, currently worth billions of Rands, which he inherited from his war mongering forefathers. Whilst not openly supporting Nationalisation, Patrice Motsepe has said in a constructive manner that if it happens in the interest of South Africa, he would support nationalisation. But a greedy, unethical capitalist, who stays in London, does not care about the interest of South Africa. If Nicky Oppenheimer thinks that he has a hold on the ANC through Minister Susan Shabangu, then he is misled, because Susan Shabangu is not the ANC and does not understand the ANC.
JEREMY CRONIN AND THE SACP
The ANC Youth League wants to place it on record that Jeremy Cronin has on several occasions been given the opportunity to contribute into the discussion document on Nationalisation of Mines. He was specifically asked to write a chapter in the document on how Nationalised Mines should alter South Africa's accumulation and growth path in order to address the Minerals-energy-finance complex.
As always, the only thing he could do was make a false commitment that he will contribute, but chose not to. In November 2009, Jeremy Cronin committed to make input and we are still waiting for his input. He instead chose to use the platform of the Communist Party to try and divert focus from the ANC Youth League's call for Nationalisation and label it opportunistic and weak, primarily because of a section which he was requested to make contributions on.
The ANC Youth League is acutely aware that what are presented as views of the SACP Politburo are personal, reactionary views of Jeremy Cronin who forever succeeds in misleading the Communist Party. The SACP's support for Nationalisation is couched with lots of doubts and aspersions intended as questioning the legitimacy of the ANC Youth League to raise the debate. The Communist Party should intensely look within itself and ask the relevant question of why is it that all the personal beliefs of one Jeremy Cronin without failure become the views of the Communist Party. The ANC YL is aware that the labels of "Kebble-ism", "anti-communist"
Jeremy Cronin is again re-committing the same mistake he committed when he said our understanding of beneficiation is bling. Jeremy Cronin does not read the official document of the ANC YL, but rushes to respond even on issues that have already been addressed. This specifically relates to the conceptual foundation of the document which unequivocally says that "nationalisation does not amount to bailing out of indebted capitalists". The entire question of South Africa's State Owned Enterprises is addressed in the discussion document, but as always, Jeremy Cronin ignores it and instead chooses to raise false alarms on the whole debate.
Why a Communist cadre in the form of Jeremy Cronin refuses to constructively input into the Nationalisation of Mines perspective even when humbly requested to is worrying. But as they say, blood is thicker than water. The ANC YL is neither grand-standing, nor threatening anyone. Inspired by the 1944 founding generation of the ANC, we will not support any leader of the ANC who is opposed to our political programme. It would be foolhardy for the Youth League to support leaders who are opposed to our programme.
We will continue to engage with the Communist Party and COSATU and develop a proper programme moving forward. Nationalisation of Mines will happen, and for Nicky Oppenheimer and Jeremy Cronin, we appreciate your opposition because it makes us more determined.
Statement issued by Floyd Shivambu, ANC Youth League spokesperson, February 4 2010
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