‘Factionalism is costing the ANC’

2011-06-28 11:39

Ongoing factionalism was harming the ruling alliance, SA Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande said today.

“Until very late in the [2011 election] campaign, at least apparently, some forces within our movement appeared to be holding back,” read a copy of his speech delivered at labour federation Cosatu’s central committee meeting at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand.

Elements of the “new tendency” seemed to be fighting the ANC’s election conference next year and the 2014 election campaign rather than campaigning for the local government elections held in May.

In its post-election analysis the ANC acknowledged utterances by leaders, such as the youth league’s president Julius Malema calling whites “criminals” could have harmed the party’s campaign.

“Demagogic anti-white utterances and theatrical parading with sub-machine gun-toting heavies fuelled the DA campaign not just in the white community, but also in other so called ‘minority’ communities, with the DA appealing to a sense of minorities under threat.”

The election campaign underlined the need to deal with “demagoguery, ill-discipline and factionalism”.

Nzimande said it would be a mistake for the ANC not to take the “warning lights flashing at us” seriously.

“There is a massive popular anger directed against many local ANC councillors and some voters were giving us a ‘one last chance’.”

He criticised the media for claiming victory for the DA, which only obtained 23% of the vote, and for saying the ANC had “lost” the elections when it obtained 63% of votes.

Nzimande told Cosatu’s central committee the relationship between the SACP and the union federation was “sacrosanct”.

“That is why we are saying we must close ranks against the new tendency and its shock troopers, and we must unite in common action around the five key strategic priorities on which we have long agreed.”

He said the relationship between Cosatu and the SACP went beyond individuals.

He was adamant that the recent source of tension between the two – SACP office bearers being put in government positions – was a “closed matter”.

Nzimande urged the government not to acquiesce to the Swazi government’s request for a loan, unless it allowed for “democratic expressions” by the country’s people.

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