The Communist Party of Australia expresses its profound sadness at the passing of Comrade Nelson Mandela. This marks the end of the life of one of the greatest revolutionaries of the 20th century, who fought for freedom and against all forms of oppression in both South Africa and globally. His legacy will never die.
Our deepest condolences are extended to his family, the African National Congress and its coalition partners COSATU and the South African Communist Party and to the South African people.
We share the grief of the millions of workers, poor and oppressed, Communists, democrats, socialists and others around the world who loved and admired him.
As the SACP says: “As part of the masses that make history, Comrade Mandela’s contribution in the struggle for freedom was located and steeled in the collective membership and leadership of our revolutionary national liberation movement as led by the ANC – for he was not an island. In Comrade Mandela we had a brave and courageous soldier, patriot and internationalist who, to borrow from Che Guevara, was a true revolutionary guided by great feelings of love for his people, an outstanding feature of all genuine people’s revolutionaries.”
With others, we not only mourn Comrade Mandela’s death but also celebrate his life. We remember the inspiration of the Freedom Charter, the treason and Rivonia trials, the Free Mandela campaign and the outpouring of joy and hope when he was released from jail and elected as South Africa’s first democratically elected president.
We celebrate the wisdom, integrity, dignity and humanity of the man known to all as Madiba, the man who we now know was, for a time, a member of the South African Communist Party’s Central Committee, the man who showed such endurance and courage during years of incarceration, the man who led the country and ANC in the establishment of a new South Africa based on peace, reconciliation, democracy and built with the involvement of the mass of the people. We recall the major role he played in achieving the peaceful transition to the path of the National Democratic Revolution and the tireless way he worked to build a country free of racism, sexism and all forms of discrimination.
We also recognise and celebrate the anti-apartheid movement in Australia, which drew together workers, trade unionists, Communists, social democrats, people of faith and others into a mighty united force in support of the liberation struggle of the South African people.
To honour the legacy of this inspiring leader, we rededicate ourselves to the worldwide anti-imperialist struggle for real change, to the fight for peace, not imperialist war, for an independent Australia, not one subservient to an imperialist US, for sovereignty for the Indigenous people, for workers and trade union rights, against racism and all forms of inequality.
Next article – Season’s greetings to Guardian readers
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