SA Communist Party (SACP) leader Blade Nzimande on Monday condemned the “dangerous provocation” by the US in the Middle East.
Nzimande was speaking at a commemoration ceremony of Joe Slovo, who died of cancer 25 years ago.
“We remember Joe Slovo at a time when the US government is once again embarking on dangerous acts of provocation and threatening war in the Middle East.
“The SACP strongly condemns the acts of aggression by the United States government against both Iranian and Iraqi people. These attacks are a violation of the two countries’ rights to national sovereignty and self-determination,” Nzimande said.
He said the “flagrant” violation of Iraq’s sovereign air space was one of many examples that proved the “imperialist regime of the United States has never cared about the freedom of any people in any part or region of the world”.
“In fact, the United States is always prepared to violate international law whenever it wants to do it with impunity. It is a well documented fact that the US involvement in the Middle East has nothing to do with peace for the people in the region. Neither does it have to do with the promotion of international peace and security,” Nzimande said.
Nzimande said Slovo taught the movement to be in the thick of things and be on the battle fields all the time.
“As we remember Comrade Joe Slovo, we must also remember the gains we’ve made since 1994. Government provides assistance from Grade R to university. Every student who has passed matric will get NSFAS without fail,” Nzimande said.
He said Slovo was a pioneer of free housing for the poor.
“Despite the many achievements we have, we still have challenges. One of the key sources of these challenges is capitalism. It is a system that enriches a few at the expense of the majority.
“Our communities are facing huge challenges because of high rates of unemployment as a result of this capitalism. Families are not able to make ends meet,” said Nzimande.
He noted that the increase of gender-based violence was another challenge the country faced.
“We will continue to fight against gender-based violence. We must call those responsible [for gender-based violence] to order and tell them women should be loved and not abused.”
Nzimande said the year 2020 should see those implicated in state capture going to jail.
“This year we must see people go to jail. We are neither for state capture networks nor neo-liberalism. There is a specific task facing the alliance to fight state capture,” he said.