Man­tashe begs SACP to stay

ANC leader warns SACP all will be lost should they aban­don the al­liance and go to the elec­tions alone

The New Age (Free State) - - POLITICS - DEN­NIS CRUYWAGEN news@the­newage.co.za

OUT­SIDE the school named af­ter one of the great­est rec­on­cil­ers in mod­ern South Africa, Des­mond Mpilo Tutu and ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe loudly beat the unity drum.

Man­tashe urged a smooth lead­er­ship tran­si­tion, like the one that took place when Nel­son Man­dela suc­ceeded Oliver Tambo as pres­i­dent of the party of lib­er­a­tion.

He also urged the SACP not to walk away from the tri­par­tite al­liance.

If it did, he warned, the ANC and the party would lose power.

“The party is an in­de­pen­dent part­ner in the al­liance. So it’s about work­ing to­gether in de­fence of the rev­o­lu­tion.

“If they leave it means the time for rev­o­lu­tion is over and we go our dif­fer­ent ways. That is very risky in terms of los­ing power (for) both of us as the ANC and the party. It would be good about self-es­teem (go­ing it alone) but the out­come would be dis­as­trous.”

A for­mer SACP chair­per­son, he added that the ANC and SACP had gone through tough and good times to­gether.

“My own con­vic­tion is to en­sure that the ANC and the party work to­gether. We are crit­i­cal of each other we are to­gether in the rev­o­lu­tion.”

Man­tashe was speak­ing on Wed­nes­day night af­ter he had de­liv­ered the Oliver Tambo memo­rial lec­ture in the school hall in the Paarl town­ship that spawned South African and world long jump king Luvo Many­onga.

Dur­ing the lec­ture he had spo­ken in favour of ANC deputy pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa suc­ceed­ing the out­go­ing Ja­cob Zuma.

Asked about this, he said he pre­ferred a man­aged tran­si­tion. “Be­cause ev­ery time we al­low suc­ces­sion to go freely we run into chaos.”

He cited cases from the ANC’s his­tory when a poorly man­aged tran­si­tion had led to chaos. One such mat­ter, he said, was when Josiah Gumede was re­moved as pres­i­dent and suc­ceeded by Pix­ley ka Isaka Seme.

“That was the most dis­as­trous pe­riod of the ANC pre­cisely be­cause the class con­tra­dic­tions that led to that re­moval re­flected af­ter the re­moval.”

There was also dis­as­ter when the youth league of the young rad­i­cals An­ton Lem­bede, Nel­son Man­dela, Tambo, Wal­ter Sisulu forced out Dr AB Xuma and brought in Doc­tor JS Moroka.

“There was a dis­as­ter but when Oliver Tambo handed over to Man­dela smoothly there was sta­bil­ity. Man­dela handed over to com­rade Thabo and there was sta­bil­ity.

“When there was con­tes­ta­tion in Polok­wane there was a cri­sis. That cri­sis is rolling over to to­day. We say the ANC can­not with all that ex­pe­ri­ence al­low it­self to get into the mud with their eyes open and hope that it will be lucky to get to the other side clean.”

On a ques­tion as to why he never men­tioned the other ANC pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Man­tashe said he was prin­ci­pled.

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