SACP hits out at mayor’s ‘old se­cu­rity branch’ men­tal­ity

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - LUYOLO MKENTANE

PRES­I­DENT Ja­cob Zuma’s strong­est critic, the SACP, has likened Ekurhu­leni mayor Mzwandile Masina to the apartheid se­cu­rity branch.

This af­ter the for­mer ANC MP called on Cosatu and the SACP to stop “dic­tat­ing” who should lead the ANC when Zuma steps down in De­cem­ber.

He said their be­hav­iour was for­eign to the ANC, say­ing: “Let’s also stop this thing of ban­ning each other from ad­dress­ing each other’s gath­er­ings. It’s un-ANC.”

He made the re­marks at the elec­tive con­fer­ence of the uMkhonto we Sizwe Mil­i­tary Vet­er­ans As­so­ci­a­tion, Zuma’s staunch sup­port­ers, in Boks­burg, yes­ter­day.

Zuma de­liv­ered the key­note ad­dress at the dis­puted con­fer­ence, which was boy­cotted by some MKMVA na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­bers, who claimed that about 60% of the 700 vot­ing del­e­gates “do not have as­cer­tain­able bona fides as MK mil­i­tary vet­er­ans”.

SACP spokesper­son Alex Mashilo did not take kindly to Masina’s re­marks. He told In­de­pen­dent Me­dia that the party had never is­sued a state- ment on its pre­ferred can­di­date to lead the ANC in suc­ces­sion to Zuma.

Cosatu, how­ever, has said it wants Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa to suc­ceed Zuma.

“In­di­vid­ual mem­bers of the ANC, re­gard­less of whether they are only ANC mem­bers or they also be­long to other al­liance part­ners, have an equal right to ex­press their views in their in­de­pen­dent right as ANC mem­bers, within its rules and dis­ci­pline.”

Mashilo added: “But there are those who fac­tion­ally claim that right and have be­come some sort of an old or­der sec- urity branch that pro­hibits oth­ers from ex­press­ing their views if those views are dif­fer­ent from theirs. And Mzwandile is not speak­ing on be­half of the ANC na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee.”

At the con­fer­ence Masina, who gave the wel­com­ing ad­dress, turned to Zuma and said: “Mr Pres­i­dent, let’s ask the Gup­tas to give the ANC space to lead the rev­o­lu­tion… We can’t sur­ren­der the sovereignty of the ANC.”

The con­tro­ver­sial busi­ness fam­ily, who are Zuma’s per­sonal friends, are at the cen­tre of al­le­ga­tions that they wield un­due in­flu­ence in the award­ing of state ten­ders and ap­point­ment of cab­i­net min­is­ters. A trove of e-mails per­tain­ing to state cap­ture has since been leaked to the me­dia.

In his ad­dress, Zuma ad­mit­ted that the move­ment was bat­tling a num­ber of chal­lenges “which threaten our so­cial stand­ing as a le­git­i­mate leader of South African so­ci­ety”.

He called on con­fer­ence del­e­gates to close ranks, say­ing: “We are al­ready un­der at­tack from many fronts. We can’t af­ford any more self-in­flicted pain. Our chal­lenges are not in­sur­mount­able, they need us to be clear to face them.”

Zuma also crit­i­cised those who joined marches by civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tions, call­ing on him to step down, say­ing they wanted to ap­pear “in­tel­lec­tu­ally and morally sound” and dis­missed them as “counter-rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies”.

He told the for­mer MK sol­diers they were best placed to deal with the chal­lenges dog­ging the move­ment be­cause of their mil­i­tary and po­lit­i­cal back­ground.

“I (say) so pre­cisely be­cause I know your level of po­lit­i­cal and ide­o­log­i­cal train­ing is the best.”

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