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ANC, SACP admit to mistakes

2010-03-11 21:11

Johannesburg - The ANC and SA Communist Party have both made mistakes in the row over a booing incident, the alliance partners said on Thursday.

"The President of the ANC [Jacob Zuma] in summarising indicated that mistakes have been made on both sides," the parties said in a joint statement following a bilateral meeting aimed at resolving differences caused by the incident.

Both parties agreed that there would be "no further personalised public attacks on each other."

The communist party - in the context of the discussions - "re-affirmed its regret" that the booing took place at its special congress in December.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said the parties conceded that: "Too many statements were issued against each other on both sides and that was a mistake."

Hiccups


The bilateral meeting, he said, "addressed hiccups" in relations between the parties and dealt with broader relations, particularly how the parties "characterised" each other.

Senior ANC members ANC Youth League president Julius Malema and national executive committee member Billy Masetlha, were booed in December at a special SACP congress.

A furious Malema condemned Mantashe - who is also SACP chairperson - for failing to defend party leaders.

The booing fuelled tension between the league and the SACP after a disagreement between Malema and communist party deputy general secretary Jeremy Cronin over the nationalisation of mines.

The league believed the ANC's 2012 succession race was at the root of the animosity Malema was met with at the congress.

Public spat

Mantashe and ANC NEC member Tokyo Sexwale, who blamed him for failing to contain tensions in the alliance, also took each other on in public over a report on the booing incident.

Mantashe on Thursday reiterated that processes for the ANC's elective conferences "have not yet kicked in".

Relations between the ANC and its other alliance partner, the Congress of SA Trade Unions, also took a dark turn in past weeks.

Cosatu expressed disappointment with Zuma's state of the nation address and then blasted Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's budget.

Last week, Cosatu and the ruling party publicly lashed each other, with the ANC saying it was growing weary of Cosatu's attacks on it.

Little more than a front


Cosatu, following a meeting of its leadership, said the ANC was in danger from a "small right wing tendency" led by materialists and tender entrepreneurs.

Its general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said fear mongering over a "communist take-over" of the ANC was nothing more than a front for the agenda of this wealth-seeking faction of the party.

An alliance summit between all partners, planned for April, has been postponed, Mantashe said.

This was to make room for bilateral meetings between the partners ahead of the summit.

The next bilateral between the ANC and Cosatu, he said, was currently being planned.