This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.
Major Decisions of the Central Committee
THE MAJOR DECISIONS AND DELIBERATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE
1. Launching of the New Legal Party
The new legal Party will be launched at a mass public rally in Johannesburg on our Party's anniversary - Sunday 29th July. This will be announced publicly at a Press Conference to be held in Johannesburg in the course of the week beginning 18th June 1990. The Party's national Interim Leadership Group (ILG) will be introduced for the first time at the rally.
In the meantime this ILG will be constituted, in consultation with fraternal organisations – specifically where their own members are involved.
The Central Committee would like all our fraternal organisations to play a part in making this launch a success.
We would welcome any comments from our fraternal organisations on this report.
1.1 We will maintain our clandestine structures during period of transition and this will affect the extent to which all our members are identified as Party members.
2. The Party Programme
Discussion will be held throughout the ranks of the Party on the "Path to Power", the Party programme, in the light of developments since its adoption in the middle of 1989. All fraternal organisations will be invited to contribute to this discussion.
2.1 Party Programme, interim Constitution and a Code of Conduct
An Interim Constitution which will guide the Party in the period of reconstitution and a Code of Conduct will be drafted. The 8th Congress will be charged with the task of working out a new constitution for a legal Party. The Party will also be reviewing its Programme, the "Path to Power". In the meanwhile all units and members are required to begin discussions on the Programme, the Interim Constitution and the Code of Conduct.
3. A New Mass Party
The Party needs to be transformed into one which has a large membership. The criterion for membership should be:
a. Acceptance of the Party programme and a revised interim constitution.
b. Acceptance of its resolutions.
c. Commitment to abide by a code of conduct.
d. A commitment to engage actively in the pursuit of the Party's objectives.
It should be noted that although the Party may develop a large membership, organised into branches, it should nonetheless still strive to play a vanguard role. All of its members should be activists, doing agitational and propaganda work among the people and recruiting for the Party.
It is essential that all communists worthy of the name grasp that the crucial question is that of humanity. This humanity derives from being active in the struggle, knowing what our peoples demands are, from suffering the people and knowing what workers are struggling for demanding.
We need a code of conduct to ensure a membership which being moulded into a fighting force true to the people. Probation as previously practised should be abandoned, but inner Party cadre development must receive priority attention. Except in special cases, where there are serious security or similar problems, all those applying to join the Party, and accepting the above conditions, should be admitted into Party structures. In the period of transition from clandestinity to full legality, as a provisional measure, Party membership should be reviewed jointly (by both new members and their Party structures) at the beginning of 1991.
Members are to pay an annual registration fee and a monthly subscription.
4. Internal Democracy and Accountability
Under conditions of legality the Party should practice full internal democracy. This will involve major changes to the present Party constitution. As a provisional measure and with due consultation, an internal, national interim leadership group and interim district committees will be appointed.
But we must aim, as soon as possible, to have all levels of our leadership - branch, district and central committees - directly elected by the membership. There should also be accountability directly to the members. All elected should be subject to recall. Branches should enjoy direct representation to the National Congress.
The Central Committee has decided that this Congress shall be held on the 70th Anniversary of the Party in July 1991, when a new leadership will be elected.
5. Party Organisational Structures: Residential/ Production basis
In the immediate period the Party organisational structures will be on residential basis. However propaganda work will also be carried out at points of production. Ultimately the Party will work for a combination of community and industrial organisation.
6. Propaganda, Education and Research
6.1. On the AC
The CC resolved to retain the AC as the theoretical Journal of the Party. The AC will start production at home from 1991. It will be forum of socialist debates with the task of guiding our people, including the radical intelligentsia. It will also accept contribution from outside the Party ranks.
Noted that Umsebenzi is already produced inside and is sold for R1. Its format should change to suit legal conditions. We should aim to produce it monthly.
Both AC and Umsebenzi will be sold to generate funds.
6.3 Badges etc.
The reproduction and sale of Party badges, stickers etc will be handled by the Finance Committee as a fund generating project. Of course with the assistance of the Propaganda Sub Committee.
6.4 Public Relations
The Party should appoint a spokesperson who will liaise with the media.
6.5 Production and distribution
The Party should co-ordinate its propaganda work with the other members of the alliance. It should appoint a National Distribution Officer to handle distribution.
At the same time it should consider distributing commercially.
The Alliance should coordinate efforts in the field of education and research.
A study programme should be produced and an intensive crash course for new recruits be organised.
A resource package should be prepared comprising our key publications. Parts of the draft primer which are suitable should be incorporated into the package.
a) The PB will continue its efforts to solicit financial assistance from fraternal Parties. It may, in this connection, consider sending a delegation to these Parties.
b) The Party will generate funds by selling its publications, badges, stickers etc and will consider other means
c) Registration fees and monthly dues will be another source of funds.
8. Return of Members of the Alliance
a) The return of members of the Alliance (ANC, CP, SACTU) is being organised by the ANC HQ and its regional offices.
Party members are requested to inform the Centre of the date of their departure and their destination in South Africa. They will be contacted by the Party. In the event of a long delay, Party members should take the initiative to contact the Party office which will be publicly announced.
9. SACP - ANC - COSATU Alliance
9.1 a) we fully endorse the move towards a more dynamic, structured relationship, which will fully respect the independence of each constituent.
b) the emphasis must be on decisiveness and capacity to act.
c) joint campaigns of the alliance do not exclude each constituent having its own campaigning programme.
d) there is an urgent need for the revolutionary alliance to launch a powerful mass offensive on the principal political demands of the day.
9.2 Local Joint Organs
The local tripartite collaboration is vital; this is where democratic grassroots decisions are made; this is where the work gets done; they must be encouraged and guided in their work. This is the site where the widest range of forces can be drawn into the mass offensive.
9.3 Build the ANC and the Trade Unions
These are vital tasks for all Party members. The CP must have close working relations with Cosatu. It is however not necessary at present to set up a joint forum with Cosatu.
9.4 Mass Organisations/Sectoral Structures
a) Party members must play a vital role in the development of the other mass organisations (MO) with particular emphasis on women and youth.
b) Party members in these organisations will operate under the discipline of these organisations and fully respect their internal democratic processes.
10. Mobilisation and Organisation of Women
a) Formulate a code of conduct for Party members which will address issues of morality, sexism etc.
b) In the composition of Party structures particular attention must be given to affirmative action for women - without tokenism.
c) Formulate a campaign around the interests of working women.
11. Negotiations, Struggle and Organisation
The Central Committee deliberations reviewing the work the Alliance and the MDM since February 1990 noted that :
1. The masses must impact on the negotiating table.
2. Negotiation is only one terrain of struggle. Concomitently with negotiations, the mass struggle for power must be intensified.
3. Organisation and struggle cannot be mechanically separated. They are interrelated. The organisation and mobilisation of the people for struggle must proceed simultaneously and with equal zest.
4. We need to give a national focus to the various militant local and national action of our people.
The CC noted with concern the problems facing the International Communist Movement. As one of the Parties still enjoying international prestige, the Party is called upon to play a role in the rebuilding of this movement. The CC noted that in the immediate period ahead (of legal reconstruction) the Party will not be in a position to fully discharge its international obligations. However steps will be taken at a later stage to fulfill our international duties.