SACP drums up Zuma support

2012-04-21 19:27

The South African Communist Party has launched an apparent charm offensive to solicit support for President Jacob Zuma’s leadership ahead of the ANC’s elective congress in December.

The SACP’s elective congress is in July and general secretary Blade Nzimande, a staunch Zuma ally, is expected to stand for re-election.

The party is an alliance partner of the ANC but has no voting rights at ANC congresses. The SACP has in the past been used to lobby support for ANC leaders.

It was a vocal supporter of Zuma in the run-up to the ANC’s 2007 Polokwane congress.

Nzimande in last week’s ANC Today praised the “advances that the ANC government in general, and the Zuma administration in particular” has made.

On Thursday he invited political journalists, editors and analysts for informal political discussions and debate to a lodge outside Johannesburg, where he re-iterated the party’s policies and strategies.

He defended Zuma’s leadership and lashed out at detractors, the “Polokwane grievers” and the “liberal offensive”, who Nzimande said used the courts and media to discredit Zuma and the ANC.

SACP politburo member Solly Mapaila, who also heads Nzimande’s office, told City Press the ANC was “on the correct path” since Zuma took over. Zuma has advanced the interests of the working class, said Mapaila.

“There’s no convincing needed whatsoever. We participated in shaping and implementing the last two manifestos of the ANC and we think a lot has been achieved on that. We have a good relationship with the ANC primarily because of Zuma’s appreciation for the alliance”.

Mapaila said the SACP knew some in the ANC were unhappy about the SACP’s influence.

But he said these critics merely wanted to accumulate wealth and they see the communists as “a stumbling block”.

The SACP aims to raise its 150 000-strong membership from 0.2% to 1% of the country’s population, in line with the international benchmark for communist parties.

The SACP will release the party’s updated medium-term vision on May 10, and the party-building strategy at its congress.

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