Blade not an IFP man, says SACP

2012-06-19 14:48

The SACP has denied reported claims that its general-secretary Blade Nzimande belonged to Inkatha in the past, saying this “gossip” had “tribalistic undertones” and resembled apartheid-era tactics.

“This phenomenon is similar to how the apartheid regime sought to label our leaders in order to isolate them from the oppressed masses of our people.

“Comrade Blade’s record of struggle is there for all to see,” party spokesman Malesela Maleka said in a statement today.

This came after a report in City Press on Sunday that ANC national executive committee member Tony Yengeni had accused Nzimande of being an Inkatha member before 1994.

This happened during a heated exchange between the two leaders during an ANC national executive committee (NEC) meeting last Monday.

“Today, under conditions of freedom and democracy, the only way to seek to isolate the general secretary of the SACP is to associate him with the butchers who killed our people in collaboration with the racist regime,” Maleka said.

He said the SACP had decided to react to the reports despite not wanting to comment on internal discussions in the NEC.

He said the allegation had surfaced because this was what happened “in the run-up to major congresses of our organisations”.

The SACP is expected to have its elective congress next month, but so far no major contenders against Nzimande have emerged.

The ANC is also set to have its elective congress in December, while its policy congress is taking place next week.

Maleka said in the allegation against Nzimande “we can see the hand of the same elements who worked as informers and collaborators with the apartheid regime and its murderous networks in attempting to tarnish our comrades”.

The claim was “tribalistic” because it built “on (IFP leader Mangosuthu) Buthelezi’s and the apartheid regime’s claims in the 1970s and 1980s that all Zulus were members of Inkatha. It is a repeat of the same script, because Nzimande is Zulu, therefore he was Inkatha.”

But he said “no shred of evidence has ever been produced to support this ludicrous claim”.

Maleka attributed it to “a public character assassination campaign”.

Maleka also hinted that claims about Nzimande’s alleged Inkatha membership were reported because some newspapers were “on a fight back mode after Nzimande’s role in the actions against some of the media”.

This presumably referred to the tripartite alliance’s recent campaign against the publication of a picture depicting President Jacob Zuma with genitals hanging out of his trousers.

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