Alliance partners urge unity
Kimberley - The ANC's alliance partners urged unity in their messages of support delivered at the party's 98th anniversary celebrations in Kimberley on Saturday.
"We want to say that at no stage of our history did we need to strengthen our alliance as we do now," said South African Communist Party (SACP) secretary-general Blade Nzimande, as he concluded his message of support.
He urged members of the alliance not to allow the "media agenda" to divide the movement.
"Msholozi [referring to ANC president Jacob Zuma by his clan name], you have got dependable allies," Nzimande said.
Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) president Sdumo Dlamini said it was important "to engage with respect" with each other on public platforms and in private. He said Cosatu was proud of the ANC as the leader of the alliance and of the "alliance being the strategic political centre that leads us in this country".
Earlier ANC Youth League president Julius Malema described the ANC as the centre of the alliance and also the centre of power.
This follows recent perceptions of tensions in relations between alliance partners fuelled by public spats.
SACP deputy secretary-general Jeremy Cronin and Malema had a public row late in 2009 over the ANCYL's call to nationalise mines. In a newsletter Cronin called this an obsession with "bling", while Malema responded that he did "not need the permission of white political messiahs to think".
Malema was then booed at the SACP congress in December.
Malema, who started his greeting with "long live the South African Communist party" before greeting other parties, said ANC leadership was under attack from "super revolutionaries" who visit ANC President Jacob Zuma at home and talk against the youth league.
"They lie that the YL wants to remove Zuma."
He further gave and acknowledged support for Zuma saying the ANC president was not "co-governing" the country with anybody and that he was a "president alone".
He told Northern Cape youth that they would get a university.
"Zuma will give you a university", he said with huge support from the crowd. He also congratulated matrics who passed the exams and told those who failed not to give-up.
By midday on Saturday Zuma was delivering the anniversary statement which was announced as a "clarion call" for work in the year ahead.