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