Reliable ally: SACP still adds ‘value’ to ANC

2012-07-16 00:00

SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande and party officials spent most of a press conference this afternoon rubbishing claims that he had snubbed Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe last night.

Suspicions of the snub arose after different stories were told about why Nzimande could not make the party’s fundraising birthday gala dinner in Durban.

Following the party’s four-day conference at the University of Zululand in KwaDlangezwa near Richards Bay, which ended at lunchtime, Nzimande said: “It was not a snub to the deputy president.”

He said newly-elected party chairperson Senzeni Zokwana was sent to represent the party at the dinner “because some comrades were still running the conference here [at the university]”. “I was just exhausted, there was nothing fishy or funny about the fact that this was a manufactured illness.”

He said he was “just exhausted” and his deputies, Jeremy Cronin and Solly Mapaila, told him to rest.

“Uncharacteristically he complied,” Cronin joked.

Nzimande also said it had nothing to do with his hospitalisation last month before the ANC’s policy conference. He confirmed that he was hospitalised after he caught the flu on a visit to China and couldn’t get rid of it.

Confusion over whether Nzimande was at the dinner or not arose after deputy chairperson Thulas Nxesi told conference delegates that Nzimande had left for the dinner. But he explained today that Nzimande was going to attend the dinner after officials told him otherwise. A few weeks ago Motlanthe said at a lecture in Johannesburg that the SACP could no longer be depended on to provide political education. But last night Motlanthe told guests at the dinner, that “we in the ANC continue to regard the SACP as a reliable ally capable of analysing the challenges of today as well as producing theoretical clarity on how to tackle them”.

He said in the past the SACP had always been the ally which had equipped the ANC with the “tools of analysis and education for the struggle”.

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