SACP guns for Number 1
Amid a litany of charges against the governing party, President Zuma has been singled out as the archbetrayer
Relations between the ANC and the SA Communist Party (SACP) took a turn for the worse this week, with the SACP charging that its loyalty was being abused by its close ally. The rocky relations have formed part of discussions at the SACP’s central committee meeting, which started on Friday in Braamfontein.
Leaders took turns in making their comments on what is understood to be a frank political report by party leader Blade Nzimande, which painted a damning picture of the state of the alliance.
Nzimande’s lengthy report also dissected the political situation in the country and reflected on how former liberation movements treated their Communist allies after coming to power.
SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo told City Press that the party’s leaders could not bury their heads in the sand and ignore the situation.
“Things have come to the point where the central committee has to pay attention to the fact that the party’s rank and file, and leaders at the highest echelons of the party, believe that the guaranteed loyalty of SACP to ANC is being abused,” he said.
He added that there was strong sentiment for change in the SACP’s approach to dealings with the alliance partners, as the current format, which had the ANC as the leader and senior partner, was moribund and outdated.
Incensing the SACP this week was the decision by the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) to abort the probe into the Gupta family’s alleged state capture.
They are also angry about President Jacob Zuma’s failure to rein in the “factional” behaviour of the socalled Premier League, a group that includes the provincial chairpersons of the Mpumalanga, North West, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State. The faction is believed to be close to the Guptas.
SACP leaders said the party had now decided to draw the line after a series of disappointments and what they regard as betrayal at the hands of the ANC and, in particular, Zuma. These include :
The sidelining of Communists in the councillor candidate nomination processes through manipulation of branches – an issue that is fuelling demands among SACP members for the party to contest for political office independently of the ANC;
The ANC reneging on a decision by an alliance summit in 2013 that the SACP concerns around national development would be addressed. Instead, the document was endorsed by the ANC and is the central feature of government policy;
Information that Zuma is yielding to alleged Gupta pressure to axe SACP Cabinet ministers;
An alleged planned onslaught on the SACP by state organs, including the Hawks;
The failure to convene a bilateral meeting between the two parties because of Zuma never being available;
The continued harassment of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan by state organs and factions of the ANC; and
The increasingly violent and murderous display of factionalism, and the leadership’s denial of this problem.
City Press was this week told that security around some SACP leaders had been beefed up, following death threats against them.
SACP insiders said the feeling of betrayal by Zuma, who the party fought to elevate to the presidency and stoically defended through his swathe of scandals, was immense.
“The SACP is more disappointed in Zuma because they were expecting so much [from him], but every now and then he dumps the people that he works with. Not only in the SACP, but in the ANC itself you find comrades moving away from him,” said an SACP insider. “Mbeki was anti-Communist, but was a better devil.” The central committee is expected to call for an urgent bilateral meeting with the ANC and insist that Zuma be present so that they can tackle him directly about the contentious issues.
ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said yesterday that the party could not “comment on the internal thinking and discussions within the SACP”.
Earlier in the week, he responded to the SACP’s description of the NEC as being “led by a faction”, by saying that the party should raise issues within the alliance instead of making such a charge publicly.
“We reject with contempt the accusations that the ANC NEC is a faction or taking factional decisions. We are a democratically elected body. We take decisions collectively,” he said.
He added that, while the SACP did not need permission to speak out, both parties needed to deal with issues in a bilateral meeting.
“What must be a preoccupation before we speak is to say where we place the alliance, and the ANC as the leader of the alliance.
“People can be angry, they have that right. The issue at hand is the unity of the alliance,” he said.
HAPPIER TIMES President Jacob Zuma and SACP head Blade Nzimande. Relations between the two alliance partners have soured, with the SACP publicly condemning the governing party over various issues recently