We want Zuma - Nzimande

2012-07-12 17:30
Outgoing SACP chairperson Gwede Mantashe and SACP deputy general secretary Patrick Craven at the 13th conference of the SACP near Richards Bay. (Khaya Ngwenya, City Press)

Outgoing SACP chairperson Gwede Mantashe and SACP deputy general secretary Patrick Craven at the 13th conference of the SACP near Richards Bay. (Khaya Ngwenya, City Press)

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Johannesburg - SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande has endorsed President Jacob Zuma’s leadership and hinted that his party would like to see its outgoing chairperson, Gwede Mantashe, in the ANC “for a long time to come”.

Delivering his political report on the first day of the SACP’s four-day conference at the University of Zululand near Richards Bay on Thursday, Nzimande said “we are satisfied currently with the leadership of the ANC”.

He also said the SACP was “happy about many positive developments in government as led by President Jacob Zuma”.

Addressing Mantashe, Nzimande said the party had “not sold you to the highest bidder”, but will merely “give you space to go and do that job [ANC secretary general], and hopefully for a long time to come”.

As he said this, some delegates raised two fingers, signifying their support for a second term for Zuma and his supporters.

Nzimande jokingly reprimanded them and, making the sign of the skull and crossbones representing the soccer team Orlando Pirates, and said he preferred other signs.

In a speech that took almost two hours to deliver, Nzimande also called for closer co-operation between Cosatu and the SACP.

“The two organisations are the socialist axis for this alliance. We must not allow anything to destroy this relationship between our organisations.”

Cosatu had criticised Nzimande for accepting a Cabinet position while in the supposed full-time position of general secretary, but Nzimande said the two organisations had talked through their differences.

A special 2009 SACP conference allowed Nzimande to continue wearing two hats.

Nzimande said the only “outstanding problem” was metalworkers’ union Numsa.

Numsa wants to see a leadership change in the ANC.

“If Numsa is a problem, let’s come to the SACP and discuss matters,” he said.

He said the two organisations would be weaker without the other.

“Let us not allow pettiness to destroy this relationship,” he said.

Read more on:    sacp  |  cosatu  |  anc  |  numsa  |  blade nzimande  |  jacob zuma  |  gwede mantashe  |  politics

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