SACP’s Cronin backs Blade for another five years

2012-07-12 00:00

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

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 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 that leadership renewal was needed, but continuity was also important.

He denied media reports that the SACP would go it alone in contesting national elections and no longer under the banner of the ANC.

“I heard media reports about that this morning, but chances of that happening are highly unlikely.”

Cronin said the party would not be an opposition to the ANC, but would continue to speak out against any wrongdoing by the ruling party.

Nzimande will present the organisation’s political report today and KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize will welcome the delegates. Tomorrow ANC President Jacob Zuma and Cosatu secretary-genera Zwelinzima Vavi will address the delegates.

Registration got off to a slow start, but by lunchtime yesterday about 1 600 of the 2 300 delegates had been registered.

The atmosphere around the Vulindlela Community Centre was almost holiday-like as delegates queued outside the hall in warm winter weather for their tags.

Most of them are staying in university residences, but some of the national leaders are staying at hotels and guest houses in Richards Bay, where accommodation was hard to come by last night.

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