Open letter to Joseph Mathunjwa, President of the AMCU

From one brother to another

(Voorgelê deur Republikein op Di, 2012-09-18 02:00)

Mr. Attie Beukes, president of the Communist Party in Namibia, writes:Open letter to Joseph Mathunjwa, President of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) in South Africa:

The Communist Party extends revolutionary solidarity and support to each and every worker belonging to the Association of Mineworkers and construction union (AMCU) of South Africa.

Having resorted to the strike-action as the only effective weapon against brutal socio-economic exploitation and oppression, your union has earned our deepest admiration and respect. With you the Communist Party most sincerely bemoans the cold blooded Marikana killings of 34 worker-comrades by the South African police force of President Jacob Zuma’s ANC-government.

The remaining number out of the total 44 deaths we obviously lament as well. The Communist Party offers our heartfelt condolence, extends sympathy with and gives solidarity to the bereaved families of the slain mineworkers and those of all the other victims.


Comrades, in this hour of brutal daylight annihilation of workers by the ANC-government which leadership is but an agent of international capital, the Communist Party most seriously urges you to remain steadfast in a revolutionary-spirit and manner, also to be calm, collected and vigilant on a 24 hour-basis! Please guard against every form of agent – provoketeerism as well, while refraining from the disastrous temptation of carrying traditional or any other weapons of whichever kind. The class-enemy is deliberately luring militant independent workers? unions such as yourselves into spontaneity which paves the way towards unnecessary physical battles in the class arena.

Comrade President, don?t let your AMCU be provoked by anyone, nor any real or artificially-created situation on the ground meant as a death-trap. As workers, all of you are revolutionary fighters central to production and most definitely not terrorists. As a result, do not resort to individualized terror-tactics derived from emotionalism, desperation and despair. As a workers? union you are indeed obliged by both the great realism and dialectical acuteness of revolutionary theory itself always to adhere to logic and to conduct every operation in a well planned and highly disciplined fashion.

The workers? fight for higher wages coupled with better fringe-benefits, must follow a strict revolutionary path of absolute order out of objective necessity far away from any actions of spontaneity, empiricism and sectarianism. This is essential for the achievement of real long term success of the workers movement not only in South Africa, but everywhere else in the world. Such a realistic approach and strategy alone, will lead to a consolidated and coordinated worker power-base in South Africa.

The following was clearly spelled-out by Comrade Hewat Beukes of the Workers? Advice Centre, at a worker demonstration, held at the South African Embassy here in Windhoek. Namely, that the South African ANCgovernment of Jacob Zuma (like is the case with the Swapo-government of Hifikepunye Pohamba in Namibia) is serving in the capacity as a caretaker government for the overall interests of regional colonialism as well as global-imperialism. The Communist Party, cannot but fully agree with his analysis.


The rank and file of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) nor COSATU itself should in our view not be considered by your AMCU as part and parcel of the class-enemy. The fact that NUM under COSATU is affiliated to the ANC and thus in a governing-alliance with the government, do not make its rank and file opponents nor enemies of the AMCU and of the South African working class in general.

On the contrary, unless the revolutionary- minded AMCU becomes organizationally totally integrated and absolutely one with the rank and file of NUM and therefore with the ordinary workers of COSATU as well as with the entire working class of South Africa, the AMCU itself is doomed to failure.

The issue of former trade union leaders such as ANC?s Cyril Ramaphosa, reportedly now a business tycoon, is of course an entirely different matter altogether!

It is imperative to caution against the popular tendency to romanticise sectarianism. Such practices unavoidably leads to the formation and glorification of so called ?red workers? union?, entirely isolated from so called ?traditional reactionary workers? associations?. Such concepts and actions remain a fundamentally reactionary and counter-productive.

The only purpose such philosophic outlook and theoretical thinking serve is the strengthening of the reactionary traditionalist leadership in the trade union movement, while weakening the workers? movement by dividing its membership and simultaneously selling out their overall socio-economic interests to the global right wing forces of anarchy!


While African despotic politics derives numerical strength from tribal alliances, the working classes on the continent are making their presence felt, everywhere, no doubt. This is the class significance of the moment we live in.

In this scenario the role of the trade union movements as the basic organization of the workers has effectively ceased to exist. Instead, the various trade union movements the world over have become instruments for either the continued socio-economic exploitation and oppression of the entire working class under a system of capitalist decay or the necessary tools for its very own political emancipation in a socialist conclusion.

Your ongoing battle is an accurate embodiment and reflection of the process to divide and so weaken the working class based upon camps of ?revolutionary reds? and ?reactionary collaborator? factions in and by itself become anti-working class. Solid workers? unity and revolutionary class consciousness are what is most needed at this juncture in history.

The execution of this vital task rests upon nobody but yourself and the comrades who are at the helm of both AMCU and the South African trade union leadership in general.

The Communist Party, congratulates the AMCU and critically supports the leading role it has chosen for itself in the turbulent South African labour-capital environment.



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