Mpumalanga SACP cracks whip on Kholwane for not toeing party line

2015-08-06 16:13
Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza

Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza (Adele du Toit)

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Mpumalanga SACP chairperson, Eric Kholwane, is expected to appear before a disciplinary committee tomorrow on five charges relating to defying the party. 

Kholwane, who is also finance and economic development MEC in Premier David Mabuza’s cabinet, angered the South African Communist Party leadership when he allegedly spoke ill of the party concerning its cold relationship with Mabuza. 

The SACP has repeatedly called for Mabuza to step down after accusing him of causing divisions between the SACP and the ANC, and rampant corruption in his government. 

Kholwane was suspended from the SACP in May after he criticised the party during the ANC’s provincial general council held on March 27. 

The party has charged Kholwane for lambasting the SACP during the general council, where he allegedly said: “Even if it means that tomorrow I’m expelled, I don’t care, let it be so, I will always speak the truth.” 

Kholwane allegedly accused the SACP of supporting concerned groups such as those complaining about being owed millions of rands by the Mpumalanga education department for providing scholar transport. 

He also allegedly said that the SACP’s platform should not be used to attack and insult the ANC and its leaders, and that ANC members who lose debates in the organisation’s structures should not be allowed to join the SACP. 

“It is alleged that you undermined the party’s principle of democratic centralism while addressing the [provincial general council] and speaking contrary to the very same principle you were expected to be aware of as a senior leader in the organisation,” reads the SACP charge sheet. 

The party’s provincial secretary Bonakele Majuba confirmed that Kholwane would be hauled before the party’s disciplinary committee. 

“He was expected to appear last week Friday, but he asked for a postponement,” Majuba said. 

Kholwane was not available to comment. 

When Kholwane addressed the conference, relations between the SACP and the ANC had deteriorated even more after the ANC members disrupted an SACP lecture in KaNyamazane on January 25. 

They protested because the SACP had invited former ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa to address the lecture. 

A fight broke out and members from both sides were injured. The matter has gone to court because SACP members laid charges. 

ANC Ehlanzeni regional executive member and Mbombela mayoral committee member, Bheki Zulu, is among those charged. 

Matters worsened when the SACP supported calls for Mabuza to be investigated on allegations that he was an apartheid government spy. 

Phosa submitted a document detailing these allegations to ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte. 

Mabuza indicated that he had asked President Jacob Zuma to appoint a commission of inquiry to clear these allegations and had laid criminal defamation charges against Phosa. 

Kholwane also defied the SACP when he accepted a cabinet position in 2014. The SACP had put Majuba top of its list of members who were to be deployed in government.

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