Raymond Suttner: ANC crisis-is NUMSA giving us a lead?

I have posted reports on the NUMSA impending split from the ANC ,SACP and possibly COSATU as a whole.The ANC-led alliance faces a crisis on a range of fronts –credibility and trust, crisis of integrity related to involvement in patronage and corruption, crisis of violence perpetrated or condoned on a number of different levels, amongst others.  It is important that a way is found out of the present situation, which threatens to undo the gains of 1994.  But NUMSA, with its inflexible version of Marxism, seen as a series of fixed formulae and reversion to minimum programme/maximum programme rigid demarcation between what are connected objectives, offers a crude version of socialism and little sense of how it will address broader issues affecting all who suffered and continue to bear the effects of national oppression. For this we need a broader front than NUMSA seems to have in mind. We also need to recognise that we are on a terrain of reform. The apartheid state was not ‘smashed’.  The question is how we make such reforms of structural significance (paving the way for socialism, for those who support socialist objectives )and how we defend the constitution. It is noticeable that gender does not figure at all in NUMSA’s statements, yet patriarchy and especially masculine acts of violence comprise some of the most serious elements of the problems we now confront. At this juncture what is needed, in my view, is a broad front behind shared goals, which are close to those in the constitution, in the light of those now being endangered.

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