Financial Mail - - EDITORIALS -

The only no­table de­ci­sion to come out of the SA Com­mu­nist Party’s con­fer­ence last week was the open-ended one to con­test elec­tions on its own (maybe). The rest was rhetoric.

Don’t be fooled: the threat to break away from its al­liance part­ner, the ANC, is no more than a gam­bit to sway the race to suc­ceed Ja­cob Zuma as pres­i­dent.

Blade Nz­i­mande’s or­gan­i­sa­tion knows that if the ANC picked Nkosazana Dlamini-zuma as its can­di­date, rather than

Cyril Ramaphosa, it would be a dis­as­ter — in which case, it may as well go it alone.

It’s re­mark­able that af­ter 96 years of fly­ing the red flag, the SACP is still hedg­ing its bets. But then, it must know that if it did ven­ture forth on its own steam, it would be con­signed to his­tory’s dust­bin faster than the ide­ol­ogy it claims to hold dear. Cer­tainly, for an “in­tel­lec­tual van­guard”, the party un­der Nz­i­mande and Jeremy Cronin got it hor­ri­bly wrong in lead­ing the charge a decade ago for Zuma to re­place Thabo Mbeki.

Far from lay­ing the ground­work for work­ers to “con­trol the means of pro­duc­tion”, lead­ing to the at­tain­ment of Marx’s dic­tum “from each ac­cord­ing to his abil­ity to each ac­cord­ing to his needs”, Zuma has emerged as a pe­tit bour­geois state plun­derer. The SACP should have the courage of its con­vic­tions rather than seek to play king­maker out of all pro­por­tion to its strength in the po­lit­i­cal mar­ket­place.

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