‘Beware of snakes in ANC’

2012-07-14 00:00

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has warned against “snakes” in the ANC and its alliance partners, saying the poisonous ones should be kept at arm’s length.

And he couldn’t resist making fun of expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, who “once upon a time”had said “they are now replacing the party”.

Malema last year said the youth league was becoming the vanguard of the workers as the SA Communist Party had failed them.

Addressing SACP delegates during the second day of their conference at the University of Zululand in KwaDlangezwa near Richards Bay yesterday morning, Zuma warned against “new tendencies” in the alliance, saying these should be analysed and understood.

“You know you can live with a snake, but you must know … if it is poisonous or not … If it is poisonous and has fangs, you must learn how to live with it. Keep it at arm’s length.”

Zuma praised the SACP, saying the party was an important ally of the ANC in attaining the society the governing party wants.

He emphasised unity, which he said was now more important than during apartheid.

“No one else is going to defend this revolution. No bright person can do it. There are many clever people who were not clever enough [and] couldn’t defend revolutions because they were not united; they were not organised,” he said.

He encouraged the SACP to take part in the ANC’s policy debates and think about how poverty, unemployment and inequality could be alleviated.

Earlier, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi told the gathering that the ANC alliance did not lack ideas, but the political will to do something about the challenges that faced the country.

“Our track record in doing anything about the identified weaknesses leaves much to be desired.

“We lack political will to implement our own decisions, in particular when those decisions are against powerful interests in the organisation.”

Vavi said no economic transformation was possible unless there was unity in the alliance.

Vavi explained that the labour federation and the SACP had ironed out differences between them about SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande being both a minister and party official.

He urged the party to meet metalworkers’ union Numsa soon to talk about the differences between them on this matter.

Elections for leadership positions are set to take place this afternoon, but they are expected to be uncontested.

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