South African Communist Party (SACP) deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila has called on the ANC-led tripartite alliance to free itself from corporate capture by the Gupta and Rupert families – and emulate the example set by late Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro.

Mapaila addressed a memorial service held for Castro at the Johannesburg city hall on Wednesday which was also addressed by the outgoing chairperson of the African Union, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe.

Invoking the memory of fallen ANC and SACP heroes, Mapaila said South Africa’s freedom was won through bloodshed and these organisations should not allow it to be captured.

“Our revolution was won by the blood and sweat of our martyrs.
Those are the people that we pay homage to: Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo, Chris Hani, Joe Slovo – who died fighting for this land,” Mapaila said to loud applause. 

“Our revolution must free itself from all corporates: the Guptas, the Ruperts and everybody else. We have no apology in that regard as the SACP. To defend this revolution and to unite ourselves will be to fight against corporate capture,” he added.

Mapaila said the alliance must defend South Africa against corporate capture in order to maintain the sovereignty of the state. 

“Our state is sovereign. That is why we in the communist party have raised issues in our movement, inside the alliance, about the notion of corporate state capture. That is state capture by monopoly capital. If you allow the corporates to control your state, to decide what happens in your state, you cannot run a sovereign state,” he said.

The SACP leader also lauded Castro’s achievements in socialist Cuba which included the transfer of land to the locals within five months of overthrowing Fulgencio Batista Zaldívar in 1959. 

He also praised the political education that Castro undertook among Cubans after the country’s revolution, which led to them successfully defending the country from an attempted occupation by United States trained soldiers in 1961.

“How do we defend the revolution here at home? We can’t even build a basic street committee and we think we are defending the revolution. We have to re-organise ourselves. Castro established the committees for the defence of the revolution, it’s not an abstract thing,” Mapaila said.