"Red October in South Africa"
Several parties in South Africa claim the Russian Revolution as their own, some as a landmark in their history, all as a pivotal point in the imaginary world which they strive to achieve. The South African Communist Party (SACP) is the most influential of them, though not in the sense of membership or the number of parliamentary seats.COSATU, South Africa’s biggest trade union federation, also ascribes to the SACP the role of ‘the vanguard of the South African working class’ in the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) which both organisations see as the ‘Road to Socialism’ in South Africa. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which split from the African National Congress (ANC), South Africa’s ruling party, in 2013, positions itself as a Marxist-Leninist, anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist party. The Black First Land First (BLF), a splinter from the EFF, lists Marxism-Leninism as one of its ideological guidelines.
All these organisations had a reason to celebrate the centenary of the Russian Revolution in 2017 – and they did, although in a very different manner. This article looks into the ways the revolution was commemorated and into the reasons behind this.