Perspective from his former Assistant.
Sizwe Alhajra Zingitwa
The National Democratic Revolution requires us to be combatants of the truth. Therefore activists of this National Democratic Struggle must always attempt to establish truths from facts. Chairman Mao Tse Tung makes us understand that “Facts” are all the things that exist objectively, “truth” means their internal relations, that is, the laws governing them.
Like Chairman Mao I also belong to a school of thought that believes in “No investigation no right to speak” because hogwash will occupied the space. This is not to be a narrow empiricist but avoid ignorant twaddle in a form of that Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book about our Secretary General Cadre Ace Magashule.
Unlike others; we will speak about Cadre Ace Magashule we know and love. When good things are said about Cadre Ace Magashule we are labeled as defenders as if our role and duty in the revolution is to hate on the SG of our movement. We are not defending here but speaking truth to power.
Cadre Ace Magashule’s sin was only to implement the decisions of the ANC. For the purpose of the context I will only speak about education this is because the African National Congress government had made Education priority number one. This is how Cadre Ace Magashule and his team translated ANC resolution to a government program.
Because I am also a former Provincial Chairperson of SASCO Free State i will concentrate; for now; on higher education because I worked with him in that sector for long.
Since he took office in 2009, the Free State ANC government increased access to higher education massively for our people, the poor and the working class in particular. In 2009, there were only 129 bursaries funded by the provincial government.
The number of bursaries awarded to students increased from only 129 in 2009 to more than 8000 currently. Under his capable leadership, Investment on bursaries increased from R 5.4 million in 2009 to more than R 400 million in 2015 and over R 330 million currently.
Stratcom, the propoganda apparatus of the apartheid security police, has resurfaced. Now it is using Cadre Ace Magashule as a tool to discredit the entire African National Congress. It is carrying out disinformation campaigns. Amongst the list is propaganda, fake news as well as smear campaigns like the the hogwash Pieter-Louis Myburgh wrote.
Former Stratcom head Vic McPherson confessed to have done the same with the mother of our nation, the late Mma Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in the famous “Operation Romulus”. The intention has always been to discredit the ANC, to promote disunity between the ANC and Communist Party, and to sow division within the ranks of the liberation movement.
McPherson said: “The subject, Winnie Mandela, was considered as a revolutionary.” The problem with the SG, just like Mme Winnie, is to be a revolutionary. Because to be a revolutionary means you will be an irratation to the current beneficial status core to which you want to change.
Because of his visionary leadership. They have sent a number of students to international universities and vocational colleges. Under his leadership, they sent
over 1 200 students to study at various institutions across the world. The Free State Provincial Government is supporting students studying in various fields, including Medicine, Engineering, Nuclear Science and Agro-Processing.
– About 235 studying Medicine; Agriculture, Veterinary Science; Nuclear Science in Russia
– 209 studying IT; Engineering; Photography and Tourism in Madeira, Portugal
– 189 Studying medicine in the beautiful socialist country of Cuba.
– 279 Studying Medicine; Engineering; Agriculture; PhD in Environmental in the socialist country of china.
– 171 studying Medicine; Engineering; Pharmacy; Mechatronics; Robotics in Turkey. This is just to mention a few.
A careful reading of comrade James Naxumalo’s (Comrade Mzala) “cooking the rice inside the Pot” will inevitably understand the importance of sending these compatriots of ours abroad.
In the process of prosecuting the struggle for progressive change and transformation sympathizers of Hendrik Verwoerd are held back to fight against progress. They believe that “There is no place for [the Bantu] in the European community above the level of certain forms of labour … What is the use of teaching the Bantu child mathematics when it cannot use it in practice? That is quite absurd. Education must train people in accordance with their opportunities in life, according to the sphere in which they live.”
This is the context underpinning their hatred for Cadre Ace Magashule. They could never imagine the progressive realization of the ideals of the Freedom Charter; That is the doors of learning and culture be opened for all. They don’t want to speak about hundreds of black youth graduating every year because of the contribution of our Secretary General.
Yes. All is not won but these are revolutionary advances which will create further possibilities of our ideals of the National Democratic State. The long transition to the realization of our strategic objectives will never come easily. There will be an imperialist backlash.
Cadre Ace Magashule refused to conform to the imperialists impositions that is the adjustments to the needs of capitalist global expansion – which involves deepening underdevelopment, polarising the world more and more. He chose to side with the people. The ordinary members of our communities.
He opted for ‘delinking’. Samir Amin explains ‘delinking’ to mean “you reject that logic, and therefore you try to, and succeed, as far as you can, to have your own strategy, independent of the trends of the unequal global system.”
Cdre Ace Magashule launched the skills academy of the Free State in Maccauvlei. This skills academy delivers cutting edge quality ICT skills and accredited training programs. There is an appreciation that these specialised skills are necessary to drive the Free State growth and development strategy and position the province as a strategic national and international competitor in the sector.
We, who live and stay in the Free State will speak about Cadre Ace Magashule. His singular and collective leadership to advance to course of our democratic revolution. That
journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh must ask us about the SG. He went to disgruntled ANC members and COPE people intentionally. But we wont keep quiet.
Free State under his leadership became known for its number one on matric results. This did not come from heaven but were a result of commitment and Stirling leadership to achieve desired outcomes.
Matric Pass Rate has become a measure of educational performance in South Africa. In what is now becoming a norm, the performance of the Grade 12 good leavers popularly known as the matric class of 2017 again placed the Free State in the number one spot.
In 2009, when Cadre Ace Magashule took office, Free State grade 12 pass rate was at (69.4%). In 2013, the Free State achieved the highest matric pass rate in the country at 87.4%, which was the highest in the history of post 1994.
In 2016 and 2017, the Free State again achieved the highest matric pass rate in the country at 88.2% and 86% respectively.
The DA, COPE, EFF and Pieter-Louis Myburgh will never write about these progressive advances for the logical realization of the National Democratic State.
Amilcar Cabral of Bissau-Guinean and Cape Verdean impressed us on to “Hide nothing from the masses of our people. Tell no lies. Expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures. Claim no easy victories.”
Ofcourse, Cadre Ace Magashule is no saint or holly. He is an Activist! An activist of the National Democratic Revolution. He will commit mistakes and tactical shortcomings. Comrade Harry Gwala used to be scathing of those comrades who would pride themselves that they had never or do not commit mistakes in their work.
He used to say “true revolutionaries do commit mistakes, as it can only be those sitting back and doing nothing that are incapable of committing mistakes. Mistakes are an integral part of any revolution, including adoption of wrong policy choices at crucial moments in the progress of any revolution. The task is to admit and learn from these”.
Cadre Ace Magashule is an Activist, an activist of the National Democratic Revolution. What is important to us is not who he meets and visit. What is important to us is his role in advancing the revolution. The National Democratic Revolution and its prosecution is more important to us than Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s media soundbites.
We shall not be deterred. The enemy is trembling, we should heighten our agitation. Like Abdulrahman Mohamed Babu, used to say that, “You organise or agonise”.
We choose to organize not mourn- Vistory is Certain!
Sizwe Zingitwa is member of the African National Congress and writes in his personal capacity.