SACP Media Release, 6 January 2008

13th Anniversary of the passing away of Cde Joe Slovo

Today, January 6th 2008 marks the 13th anniversary of the passing away of Cde Joe Slovo, the former National Chairperson and General Secretary of the SACP, a former commander of uMkhonto we Sizwe and a leading cadre who served in both the NWC and NEC of the ANC.

We honour this hero of our struggle and we pay homage to his contribution in the struggle for the liberation of our people.

We are this year commemorating Cde Slovo’s anniversary, in the wake of a historic ANC National Conference, whose resolutions impel us to accelerate economic transformation of our country for the benefit of the overwhelming majority of our people. This historic conference has also elected a leadership instructed by delegates to rebuild the ANC as a campaigning organization, rooted amongst the mass of the people of our country, matters that were very close to the heart of Cde Joe Slovo.

We commemorate his death against a background of a challenging year ahead of us as the SACP specifically, and the working class and the poor of our country generally. The SACP, in the wake of the ANC’s 52nd National Conference has to further strengthen its own structures, in order to ensure that the political capacity of the working class as the leading motive force of our revolution is drastically strengthened. There can be no better tribute to Cde Joe Slovo than to ensure that the working class remains, in practice and through struggle, at the head of the national democratic revolution, as our direct route to socialism.

His commitment to working class struggles and his selfless character will continue to guide us throughout this year as we see through the challenges of the year.

His versatility will be with us as we take forward the campaign on an efficient, accessible public health system and consolidate all our campaigns on the Financial Sector, land and agrarian reform, public transport and building sustainable livelihoods. It will be his revolutionary morale and commitment that will be at the back of our mind as we build active, safe and healthy communities - our 2008 Programme of Action!

Together with our Allies, we will deepen the campaign against corruption, patronage and the many ills that are threatening to erode some of the basic values of our revolution. Cde Slovo’s life and work was exemplary in fighting to defend the dearest values of our movement.

He understood that our struggle for Socialism, and ultimately communism, is not opposed to the construction of a united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa, but that these were important for socialism to triumph. At not stage has there ever been a fundamental distinction between these tasks of the National Liberation movement and that of the socialist forces for socialism. This has always been the basis for a common national democratic programme of our revolutionary alliance.

In honour of the role that he played in his short tenure as Minister of Housing, the SACP will persuade our government to set up the Joe Slovo Housing Scheme to finance the housing of the poor and accelerate access to credit by those who are denied by the barbaric capitalist finance institutions.

We will be guided by his hatred for Capitalism in all our endeavors to roll back the current accumulation path which has prioritized the logic of the capitalist market over the developmental objectives of our revolution.

On this occasion, we salute and honour the memory and sacrifices of Cde Slovo!

Issued by the SACP

Contact: Malesela Maleka

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