Cronin: Nzimande will stay

2012-07-12 06:49

SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande isn’t always right, but the party is happy to elect him for another five-year term, his deputy, Jeremy Cronin has said.

Cronin, who has been in his position for 17 years, said “the party is much more than comrade Blade, and we don’t always agree with him. It’s not like we are always at awe and under the thumb of comrade Blade. We have robust discussions.”

Nzimande has led the party for 14 years and some within the ANC and Cosatu have called for him to step down, especially after his appointment to Cabinet in 2009.

Cronin, who is also up for re-election too and who joked that his statement was not “an electoral speech from my side”, told journalists at a press conference at the University of Zululand at KwaDlangezwa outside Richards Bay yesterday that leadership renewal was needed, but continuity was also important.

He said the fact that the party was going into a “very stable congress” showed that this continuity had served the party well.

SACP chairperson Gwede Mantashe will be stepping down from his position to concentrate on his ANC work as secretary-general.

Treasurer Phumulo Masualle, who is also ANC Eastern Cape chairperson and finance MEC, will also step down.

Head of the general secretary’s office Solly Mapaila, who is expected to be elected into one of the new deputy general secretary positions that will be created at the party’s conference which starts today, yesterday denied that Nzimande ruled by fear and disciplinary action.

He said the party leadership structures in Limpopo were disbanded because they weren’t functioning properly anymore.

Limpopo MEC David Masondo, who is also a member of the party’s central committee, was also suspended after siding with ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema on nationalisation.

Mapaila also said the suspension of Gauteng SACP chairperson Nkosiphendule Kolisile, after reportedly opposing the disbandment of an anti-Nzimande party region, was because Kolisile “was almost trying to create a Cope in the party”.

Deputy chairperson Joyce Moloi-Moropa is expected to be elected treasurer and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi is set to take her old position.

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