Peter Taaffe

Peter Taaffe, a leader of the British far-left political movement, the Militant Tendency is on a visit to South Africa.

Taaffe was a deeply divisive figure in British politics, and was expelled from the Labour Party in 1983 for his sectarian politics.

Since then his political views have gained little support in the UK, and he has begun to look for members abroad.

He is accompanied to South Africa by Alec Thraves, who has been working for some months with the alternative movements in the South African mining industry that are opposed to the official union, the National Union of Mineworkers.

In October last year, Thraves addressed miners during a wild-cat strike.

Thraves, like Taaffe, has made no secret of his support for Leon Trotsky and the ideas that Trotsky used to attack the Soviet Communist Party, and Joseph Stalin.

The movement they lead makes a virtue of preying on other socialist movements, in an attempt to draw away their members for what Militant (of its new form, the Committee for a Workers International) sees as more revolutionary goals.

They have now established a foothold in South Africa, from which to attack the ANC.

Their party calls itself the Democratic Socialist Movement.

Thursday, 14 February 2013 17:38
By Sean Figg, Johannesburg

Hundreds of striking municipal workers meeting in a Pretoria park loudly cheered, sang and toyi- toyied after hearing speeches from visiting CWI members Peter Taaffe and Alec Thraves.The strikers waved CWI flags and constantly interrupted the speakers with repeated applause after offers of international solidarity were given, alongside an explanation of the capitalist crisis and its impact in Britain and across Europe. Peter’s vision of a socialist South Africa and the role of DSM in initiating the Workers and Socialist Party was enthusiastically welcomed.

After the speeches the strikers surrounded Peter and Alec, toyi -toying, shaking their hands and shouting ‘Viva DSM, Viva CWI’. They then marched out of the park, through the City streets to protest at their dismissals at the Council offices.The following day several hundred Harmony Gold mineworkers, who have been locked out of their shaft since December held a mass meeting to hear a report back from negotiations between their new union Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU)  and the company.

Before the report back Alec was invited to bring solidarity greetings from DSM/CWI. He explained that CWI sections around the world have been bombarding Harmony Gold with e-mails protesting at the lockout and the disgusting treatment of the mineworkers. After Alec’s speech the AMCU committee members thanked DSM/CWI for their tremendous support and said that they would most likely be seeking further assistance from DSM/CWI with future confrontations at other shafts.

The AMCU negotiators then reported that management had conceded to almost all of the demands of the workers, the mine would be re-opening the following day and AMCU was being officially recognised as the main negotiating union.

Comrade Nqulo, one of the Harmony Gold mineworkers and DSM national committee member from Carletonville reported that he had sold 50 copies of our recently produced paper ‘Izwi Labasebenzi’ around the doors of his mineworkers township and continued his sales drive at the meeting with his CWI flag held high.