SACP STATEMENT ON THE 50th ANNIVERSARY OF LILLIESLEAF FARM RAIDS
Today marks the 50th Anniversary of the barbaric apartheid police raid at Lilliesleaf farm, a farm owned by the SACP at the time, which led to the arrest of senior ANC and SACP leaders and the subsequent Rivonia Trial. Lilliesleaf had served as the central command for MK. Those arrested where charged with treason.
Amongst the many ANC leaders who were charged included Nelson Mandela, who was already serving a five year jail term for leaving the country illegally. As we remember Rivonia, Cde Madiba, presently in hospital, is also in our thoughts today.
The role of the Rivonia raid and the subsequent trial were aimed at smashing whatever structures of the liberation movement that were still in existence, after the banning of the ANC and the PAC in 1960. Whilst it is true that the people's movement suffered a major setback in the mid-1960s as a consequence of massive repression, the apartheid regime miscalculated badly. The raid and the trial instead achieved the opposite, conscientising our people about the necessity to fight the apartheid regime. The leadership of our revolution and the masses demonstrated that no amount of adversity could defeat us.
The commemoration of the Rivonia arrests and trial, must also be a reminder that, much as we honour the sacrifices and heroism of Cde Nelson Mandela, Madiba was part of a collective leadership who was never acting alone.
Today, faced with the difficult challenges, many have sought to sow despair and seeds of defeat. Like it has happened, many were mobilised to walk away from the agenda of the liberation movement and cast doubt and aspersion. Today our people are faced with the challenge of a deepening capitalist crisis which has had massive impact on our society resulting in massive unemployment, poverty, inequality and a sense of growing insecurities amongst the working class and the poor. Instead of uniting to deal with this challenges, our detractors are trying hard to cast aspersions on the revolutionary programme of the liberation movement. These are not new attempts to divert us. They are just taking place in new conditions. . Today, as we honour those who were arrested at Rivonia 50 years ago, let us, once more say no to despair.
As we mark the 50th anniversary of the Rivonia Raid we must commit ourselves to unite our people behind the revolutionary perspectives of the second phase of the National Democratic Revolution to create a South Africa that those who were arrested on that fateful day 50 years ago struggled for. The SACP says we will not be able to achieve that objective unless we deepen the radical phase to take us to Socialism.
Statement issued by the SACP, July 11 2013
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