Zuma at­tacks SACP, other turn­coats

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - THAMI MAGUBANE

PRES­I­DENT Ja­cob Zuma lashed out at the SACP yes­ter­day, say­ing some of its lead­ers dis­played “crazy be­hav­iour” and showed a lack of po­lit­i­cal ma­tu­rity and depth.

The ANC’s al­liance part­ner was not his only tar­get – those who have crit­i­cised the ANC in the me­dia also re­ceived a scathing re­buke.

Zuma was speak­ing in Caluza, out­side Pi­eter­mar­itzburg, at the un­veil­ing of the statue of the for­mer com­mu­nist party and ANC stal­wart Harry Gwala.

In an un­pre­pared speech last­ing about an hour, Zuma spoke in de­tail about the kind of leader Gwala was and said those men­tored by him re­main com­mit­ted and dis­ci­plined.

“We were ed­u­cated by him and we will re­main true to what he taught us and will never lose our way,” Zuma said.

“These days we hear com­mu­nist lead­ers when­ever they speak, es­pe­cially when they see the cam­eras, they say all sorts of things, in­clud­ing that the al­liance should be al­lowed to fail. What is that? When peo­ple say that, we see that they are po­lit­i­cally im­ma­ture.

“We could chal­lenge those crazy things they say, but we choose not to be­cause that could lead us to be­ing as­so­ci­ated with their crazi­ness,” Zuma said.

The re­marks ap­peared to be aimed at SACP Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Blade Nz­i­mande who has been crit­i­cal of the pres­i­dent, in par­tic­u­lar his as­so­ci­a­tion with the Gupta fam­ily. Nz­i­mande has ac­cused the pres­i­dent of loot­ing the state by redi­rect­ing state con­tracts in favour of Gupta busi­nesses, and has ques­tioned Zuma fam­ily links to the Gup­tas.

At the SACP’s re­cent congress, the party said it was forg­ing ahead with plans to con­test state power and was pre­pared to stand alone in the 2019 elec­tions. But it has not set any time­lines for that plan.

The party has also been crit­i­cal of the ANC’s new catch phrase, “white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal”, say­ing it only knew mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal. Zuma took aim at this, say­ing the SACP was back­track­ing from its agenda to up­lift so­ci­ety by fail­ing to ac­knowl­edge that white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal ex­isted.

“Why are you sud­denly ques­tion­ing that term?” asked Zuma of SACP Pro­vin­cial Sec­re­tary Themba Mthembu.

Zuma also crit­i­cised ANC party mem­bers who were speak­ing out against the al­leged rot within the party.

Vo­cal lead­ers, in­clud­ing MP Makhosi Khoza, have been openly call­ing for Zuma’s re­moval from power.

To­mor­row, Zuma will face his sev­enth vote of no con­fi­dence. A few ANC lead­ers, in­clud­ing Khoza, have in­di­cated that they will vote with the op­po­si­tion on the mat­ter, de­spite the ANC warn­ing them not to do so.

“There are some com­rades who take op­por­tu­ni­ties to at­tend fu­ner­als of dead stal­warts and use them to at­tack the party in pub­lic.

“Oth­ers, when­ever they see the me­dia, they do not crit­i­cise their leader in per­son, but say all sorts of things about them to the me­dia. Why would you go and air your dirty linen in pub­lic?”

Mthembu said they took the pos­i­tive from the pres­i­dent’s speech. “If you lis­tened to him, he was say­ing that the SACP pro­duced the best lead­ers and we still have a role to play in the al­liance. That is the pos­i­tive we are tak­ing from the speech.”

PIC­TURE: MOTSHWARI MOFOKENG

RE­SPECT: KwaZulu-Na­tal Premier Wil­lies Mchunu and Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma lay a wreath to hon­our Harry Gwala dur­ing the un­veil­ing of a statue of the for­mer com­mu­nist party stal­wart.

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