Nzimande laments ‘smash and grabs’
The SA Communist Party (SACP) has urged the ANC to urgently develop a clear policy on succession to avoid divisive fights each time a new leadership has to be elected.
City Press understands that the SACP was to propose that the constitution of the ANC be changed to assure certainty in specific terms about who among those in the top six leadership positions must take over as the new president.
SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande said it was unacceptable that a 105-year-old liberation movement did not have a clear policy on leadership.
There has been mumbling within the broader alliance on lobbying for a candidate who did not serve in the top structure of the ANC – notably Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Dlamini-Zuma’s name has emerged alongside that of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa has been endorsed by Cosatu, another ANC ally, while Dlamini-Zuma’s name was touted by a grouping associated with President Jacob Zuma, known as the Premier League.
Speaking after a two-day augmented central committee meeting, Nzimande advised that the ANC give key consideration to a leader who was effective and not factional, a criterium that must also apply to those he/she leads with as a collective.
“A key consideration would be the capacity of a leader and a leadership collective to avoid being factionalist, and to unite the ANC, the alliance and the historical support base of our liberation struggle,” Nzimande told journalists on Friday.
Last week Nzimande turned up the heat as he berated alleged factional leaders in the tripartite alliance, saying they did not deserve to be in their positions, including the president of the ANC, whom he did not mention by name.
City Press has heard that there were attempts to force the SACP to resolve on the issue of an embattled Zuma stepping down.
However, this was sidestepped on the basis that the issue was not tabled for discussion but raised at the eleventh hour.
Meanwhile, Nzimande was scathing on Zuma and those close to him when he delivered his political report at the meeting.
The current Zuma administration, the report reads, “has been marked by ever more aggressive and reckless interventions by the Gupta-captured network, which often conducts itself as a shadowy, parallel state outside of Cabinet, and [which] is above answerability to Parliament or the ANC”.
“Part of this recklessness is attributable to a sense that things are not assured for those whom the net is closing in on, as the scandals pile up.”
The comment is seen to allude to Zuma, whose term has been clouded by many controversies including the spy tapes scandal, Nkandla and recently the Public Protector’s State of Capture report.
In his report, Nzimande further laments “smash and grab” practices, where some see personal gratification “as a natural right, while preaching a gospel of patience and dependence to their ‘flock’.
“Church leaders are advised to ‘pray for us’ rather than be involved in politics,” he said in the report, in a veiled reference to Zuma, who earlier this month told spiritual leaders that the church must stop meddling in politics.