SACP must become a real Party

Veteran South African communist leader, Harry Gwala, talked to Peter Manson

WHAT MUST be understood in the present context is that we have a bourgeois democratic revolution, led by intellectuals and the middle class, but not yet by the working class. Before we can reach that stage, a lot needs to be done. We should not look at the bourgeois democratic revolution in a static manner.

The overwhelming majority of the people is made up of the urban and rural poor, and all the measures that can be taken by the present government will not meet the needs of the people. We have a bourgeois parliament, operating to bourgeois norms.

Although the government has called for restraint, strikes continue, because the process of democratisation and the needs of the people have not yet been met. As long as that is the case, people are going to continue struggling for real change in the country.

I don’t think we have reached the point of breaking with the government yet. We have built this bourgeois democracy around characters, around certain individuals. Until we destroy that myth, any criticism will appear to be against an individual and not against the system. We must get our people away from that.

If you take the question of the Communist Party, I think it must become a real party of the working class. It must come back to its roots - those of Marxism-Leninism - the vanguard of the working people of this country, not just another organisation.