Blade was never IFP member — SACP

2012-06-20 00:00

THE SA Communist Party has rubbished media reports that its general secretary, Blade Nzimande, once belonged to Inkatha Freedom Party, saying such “gossip” had “tribalistic undertones” and resembled apartheid-era tactics.

“This phenomenon is similar to how the apartheid regime sought to label our leaders in order to isolate them from the oppressed masses of our people,” party spokesperson Malesela Maleka said in a statement.

Nzimande’s struggle record was there for all to see, he said.

The IFP, meanwhile, has told the SACP not to involve it in the ANC’s battles.

Sister newspaper City Press reported at the weekend that ANC national executive committee (NEC) member Tony Yengeni had accused Nzimande of being an Inkatha member before 1994.

It reportedly happened during a heated exchange between the two leaders during last Monday’s NEC meeting.

“Today, under conditions of freedom and democracy, the only way to seek to isolate the general secretary of the SACP is to associate him with the butchers who killed our people in collaboration with the racist regime,” Maleka said.

He said the SACP had decided to react to the reports, despite not wanting to comment on internal discussions in the NEC.

He said the allegation had surfaced because this was whathad happened “in the run-up to major congresses of our organisations”.

The SACP is expected to have its elective congress next month, but so far no major contenders against Nzimande have emerged.

The ANC is set to have its elective congress in December, while its policy congress is taking place next week.

Maleka said that in the allegation against Nzimande “we can see the hand of the same elements who worked as informers and collaborators with the apartheid regime and its murderous networks in attempting to tarnish our comrades”.

The claim was “tribalistic” because it built “on [IFP leader Mangosuthu] Buthelezi and the apartheid regime’s claims in the 1970s and 1980s that all Zulus were members of Inkatha”.

In his reaction, IFP spokesperson Joshua Mazibuko said it was a lie to say that Buthelezi had ever claimed that all Zulus were members of Inkatha.

He added that Maleka’s accusation that Inkatha’s hands dripped with blood was “an insult to more than 20 000 of Inkatha members and about 400 of our leaders who lost their lives in that tragic black-on-black low-intensity civil war” in the 1980s and 90s.

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