The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) are on the forefront with “political schools” in the country. The point of the schools is “to bring capitalism down”, but in South Africa’s racial reality it probably means a new, organized anti-white front.
“Numsa has taken the lead in the establishment of a new United Front that will co-ordinate struggles in the workplace and in communities,” read one of their key resolutions from their special national congress in December last year.
One of the speakers at the week-long school held in Gauteng, from the University of Johannesburg, is academic dr Carin Runciman. She assures the comrades once more that world we are living in is divided into two.
Runciman is lecturing on “Marxism as the dominant working-class ideology and programme in the 20th century”.
No one seems to mind her heavy Scottish accent. Strangely, dr Runciman has not a sinle photograph of herself on the Internet, although she works in the field of “social change”.
Runciman sifts through 10 years of data analysing protests in the country.
“There is this idea that the recent protests in Madibeng have been ‘popcorn protests’ with no informed organisation or outcome, but that isn’t true,” says Runciman.
She shows us a graph illustrating 24 protests recorded in the municipality since 2007. “Eleven of these cited water as a grievance,” Runciman says. “In 2013, all the protests in the area were related to water and sanitation.”
Her audience is suitably bamboozled by the graphs, stats and academese.
Numsa invited more than 100 small community organisations and grassroots protest movements to engage in the Marxist debate.
They aim to be “very democratic”, with all views allowed, but in fact the whole exercise is nauseatingly doctrinaire.
Numsa spokesperson Castro Ngobese laughs off rumours of Numsa joining the EFF or Wasp [Workers and Socialist Party].
“We’re playing the long game. We’re not in a rush like these guys,” says Ngobese.
More rumours abound about how true Marxist ideology at Numsa could single-handedly realign South African politics at the polls if it wanted to, in tearing the ANC apart.
Opinion is divided among the shop stewards in attendance at the course.
So-called “social movements”, many funded from outside the country, all hope that Numsa might deliver.