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Young lions must be at forefront of struggles of the poor

KARL Marx warned that: "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as a farce."

Recent attempts to isolate and embarrass the national chairperson of the Young Communist League, David Masondo, after his article in City Press requires critical analysis.

Masondo's article - attacking the manner in which family ties and connections have been utilised to secure lucrative BEE deals for those related to President Jacob Zuma - offers an honest and refreshing analysis.

In fact, on closer reading of the YCL statement one notices that no substantive reasons have been tabled by the so-called national office-bearers of the YCL that require the organisation to distance itself from the views expressed by Masondo.

It seems communists had different conceptions about the role of working-class formations during the post-Polokwane period.

When former president Thabo Mbeki used the ANC to secure deals and pave the accumulation route for those close to him, the YCL was among the first to condemn this.

The bourgeoisification of the ANC leadership was regarded as a threat to the working class and the poor in this country.

It was this bourgeoisification of the ANC that invited so much anger after the organisation was used to secure deals for the likes of Smuts Ngonyama in one of the country's most powerful parastatals - Telkom.

During the post-Polokwane period, we expected working-class formations to engage in a process of rebuilding, of deepening their independence and fighting for a reconfigured alliance as well as ensuring that the working class fared better under Zuma.

Instead, what we see is a criminalisation of dissent, subjugation of working-class organisations such as the YCL and certain individuals and the prioritisation of participation in the state over and above building a mass base for working-class organisations.

Instead of demobilising criticism and telling the working class to hold its tongue until they reach the promised land, the YCL should be actively taking part in the struggles against labour brokers and high unemployment and HIV-Aids prevalence that affect poor young people the most.

The YCL should be visible in the picket lines when workers are waging an assault on capital.

The league should be fighting all those who utilise the state and our organisations to secure lucrative tenders and narrow BEE deals for self-enrichment.

In all corners of the country there is a serious disillusionment with the manner in which leaders are driving the latest luxury cars, are swimming in extravagance, and the way in which communities in Diepsloot and Orange Farm must struggle to eke out a living in crowded shacks while shopping malls and golf estates are being constructed at an accelerated rate.

The working class knows that it is not a matter of coincidence that those who are related to Zuma have suddenly become instant billionaires!

These are realities we should remember as we ponder on questions relating to alliance unity and cohesion.

Choosing which horse to bet on during the coming congresses must always be a tactical consideration.

This being so, betting on a certain horse should not mean that that horse must have unlimited space to pour dust and grass in the eyes of the working class and the poor in this country.

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