Zuma's report re-assuring - Nzimande

2010-09-20 15:24

Durban - President Jacob Zuma's comments about the importance of the ruling alliance was "re-assuring", SA Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande said on Monday.

"He’s actually telling us that to be in our alliance is not a luxury or a matter of something you can wear or take away tomorrow, but it’s a very necessary component to build unity of the forces that are best capable of taking this country forward, you know it was really wonderful," he said on the sidelines of the ANC's national general council in Durban.

"We have said it openly as the SACP, we have always been concerned that there is a small grouping of people which is hell-bent on destroying our alliance because they want to turn our organisation, the ANC in particular, into a vehicle for tenders, and the president was very strong on that."

The SACP and the ANC Youth League had been at loggerheads recently over, among other things, the nationalisation of South Africa's mines.

Nzimande said he was re-assured by the 2 000 ANC delegates cheering as Zuma urged unity in the alliance and stressed its importance, despite differences between the ANC, Cosatu and the SACP.

'Unifying speech'

Nzimande also welcomed Zuma's tough stance on those prematurely raising the party's leadership race in 2012.

"He said, which we welcome… that the discussion about leadership in 2012 is premature and I think it’s a call for all of us as leaders to say we must not allow our names to be used for something that is not supposed to be discussed.

"We should all stand up and say, not in my name, I as Blade Nzimande will not allow anyone to stand up and say 'in 2012 I want Nzimande as this or that'. The line was very clear so we should, all of us, follow this because that was a unifying speech as far as we are concerned."

Zuma earlier told delegates: "Mobilising and lobbying for succession so early also gives the wrong impression that the ANC comprises of groups of people who are pre-occupied with fighting for influential positions to advance personal interests, instead of advancing the programme of the organisation.

"It is clear that the time has come for the organisation to act. We must take a decision that those who engage in such activities are in fact undermining the organisation and its work and at worst, are undermining the unity of the organisation.

"Action must be taken against them."

The ANC Youth League recently came out in support of its former president, Deputy Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, to replace current ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe at the ANC's next elective conference in 2012.

At the ANCYL's own national general council last month, songs were sung in support of Mbalula and delegates displayed placards with slogans favouring him over Mantashe.