Blade Nzimande hijacks Chris Hani event

2014-04-10 15:26

The event to mark the 21st anniversary of the murder of SA Communist Party and ANC leader Chris Hani degenerated into an electioneering circus when communist party boss Blade Nzimande used it to attack his political rivals.

While Cosatu and ANC leaders emphasised the need to bring about unity in Cosatu, following ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa’s intervention, Nzimande struck a jarring note by warning against worker leaders who had no qualms about walking away from the alliance.

In a veiled reference to the supporters of embattled Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi in metal workers’ union Numsa, Nzimande said such leaders were “playing directly into the hands of unbridled personal and factions ambitions” of the DA and the EFF by campaigning against the ANC and calling on workers to abstain from voting.

Hani was slain by rightwingers in 1993 in front of his Boksburg home, forcing the apartheid government to speed up transition talks and declare a date for the first democratic elections of 1994.

Nzimande said workers should not allow themselves to be misled to dump the ANC.

“Chris Hani never walked away from Cosatu, the ANC and the SACP, even when the movement was faced with difficult challenges. Walking away from the alliance can only act to divide the working class and the only beneficiaries in this instance will be the bosses,” he said.

He said the DA was a party for “white people” of “white privilege”, which needed to be defeated at the polls.

“These are political labour brokers who were bringing in Mamphela [Ramphele]. The DA is a party of baase and madams. That’s what it stands for,” he said.

The SACP leader came under fire yesterday from the DA for claiming that the news reports about Nkandla were “white people’s lies”. DA federal chairperson Wilmot James dismissed Nzimande as a member of the “Zuma protection unit” and said he should focus on education – his Cabinet portfolio.

Nzimande also said the EFF, which he described as the party of “the most corrupted” and “fascist tenderpreneurs”, was run by leaders who drove shiny cars and wore expensive clothes without doing an honest day’s labour.

“Electoral absenteeism and anti-ANC posturing plays into this agenda ... Let’s also deal an electoral blow against the EFF ... Workers are not fooled by these loud-mouths and demagogues who have stolen our identity and red berets,” he said.

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte asked for the Cosatu intervention to be given a chance to succeed and warned against “doubting Thomases” who said it would work because the ANC was embarking on it for the elections’ sake.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said he was happy that the deal to broker peace was happening in the month in which Hani was remembered and said he had received reports that workers were also happy about it.

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