From: South Africa's Radical Tradition, a documentary history, Volume One 1907 - 1950, by Allison Drew

Document 16 - Letter from Clements Kadalie to E. R. Roux, 10 October 1928

INDUSTRIAL and COMMERCIAL

Workers Union of Africa

(I.C.U.)

NATIONAL COUNCIL

 

                                                                                                                                                              14 MARKET STREET,

                                                                                                                                                                   JOHANNESBURG.

                                                                                                                                                                      SOUTH AFRICA.

                                                                                                                                                                10th October 1928.

E. R. Roux,

53, Lensfield Road,

Cambridge.

Dear Roux

Dr. Norman Leys, of Bailsford, was good enough to send me your original letter you wrote to him with regard to myself and the I.C.U.

Your letter is libelous as well as deceitful when you speak very high of your Party in this country. With your Party, you are not making any success as you are made to understand by your remnants here. On the contrary, the I.C.U. is making remarkable progress under the leadership of Comrade Ballinger, its Adviser.31 We are establishing Minimum Wages in various parts of the country; meeting Farmers' Organisation. Bear in mind, not a "Good Boy" Union is doing this kind of work, but the original I.C.U...

We are fighting the Pass Laws too; I was arrested after a big speech I made at Pretoria in denounciation of the system, but I won in Courts. Your Party does nothing in this direction, except making usual fruitless noise.

Now let me come to the true object of this letter. Your letter is libelous. I am consulting my Attorneys about it. You say "KADALIE IS AS MUCH A ROGUE AS ANY OF THE OTHERS." You have to prove this. You say also that the finances of the I.C.U. were bad long before and you did not like to expose us then. If that is correct, any sensible person will agree with me that your Party - is rotten to the core since it connived a crime. Of the finances of the I.C.U. your Party only got its information from La Guma, Khaile and Gomas. None of them can say anything ill against me in that connection. But your Party decided the I.C.U. and you were hopeless and deceitful as Bunting is. I now refer to the way your manager turned both myself and Tyamzashe, our Sub-editor from your premises and threw copy of the Workers Herald in the Street. You are deceitful, because your Party got a lot of moneys from the I.C.U. through your printing press and also propaganda meetings.

Now let me tell you in plain language. Whether I do get pay or not, I shall never join the Communist Party, either in this country or in Europe. I studied International politics last year during my so-journ in Europe, I found out the worth of your party in Europe with the exception of Russia, where I did not go. Perhaps you think that if the I.C.U. were to kick me out to-day I shall join your Party. That is a grave mistake on your party and your click, if you think so.

I believe in Socialism and not in Communism with its violence methods.

You are afraid to get I.C.U. literature, because it will prove to you conclusively of its progress under the new regime. I learned a lot last year in Europe and upon my return to this country, I was doing everything to improve the I.C.U. but unfortunately some of my colleagues hampered my work. At last Comrade Ballinger came and he is doing splendid work for African Trade Unionism than the Communist Part has done for many years. The Chamber of Mines or the Joint Councils have nothing to do with the I.C.U. You speak of Mr. Howard Pim or Mr. Rheinaldt Jones32, but you should remember that those who were pioneers of Socialism or Communism, held from well-to-do families. For example Karl Marx, Robert Owen, etc. Messrs Howard Pim, Rheinaldt Jones, etc., are helping the I.C.U. in its fight against the Pass Laws, while your Party is silent.

                                                                                                                                                                             Truly yours,

                                                                                                                                                                   Clements Kadalie

                                                                                                                                                                  General Secretary.