Blade Nzimande: We are not attacking the judiciary, we are debating

2015-07-08 17:16
Blade Nzimande. Picture: Nelius Rademan

Blade Nzimande. Picture: Nelius Rademan

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South African Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande says the party will convene a summit to discuss the judiciary.

Nzimande today said the party could never back down despite being accused of interfering with the judiciary.

Instead, he said, it was the judiciary that was interfering with the state through its overreaching judgments.

The raging debate on the judiciary was exacerbated by a ruling in the North Gauteng High Court, which had barred Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir from leaving the country while attending the African Union summit recently.

Bashir had to slip out of the country after the high court had ruled that he should be detained and handed over to the International Criminal Court.

The Sudanese leader was wanted by the ICC for charges on crimes against humanity.

Nzimande pulled no punches today as he delivered his political report at his party’s special congress, charging that he and other ANC leaders had the right to point out the flaws of the judiciary.

“We want to open the debate. We are not attacking, like we are thought to be, when we speak about the judiciary.

“We also have to think and speak. We created this freedom and they tell us we must shut up now. We are not going to shut up,” he said, to thunderous applause from about 800 delegates attending the congress at the University of Johannesburg in Soweto.

Nzimande reiterated utterances by ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe that he did not have anything against the judiciary but that “there is an overreach”.

“It’s against the spirit of separation of powers. That’s why we say let the matter be debated.”

Nzimande said those who complained about that the SACP and ANC leadership were interfering in the judiciary must know they have the right to speak.

“As the South African Communist Party we belong to this country and we liberated this country and are participating in rebuilding it. We are not going to ask for permission from forces who were never with us in the trenches.”

Meanwhile, Nzimande cautioned members who wanted the party to contest elections, particularly from Mpumalanga, that such a serious decision should not be driven by ongoing tensions between them and the ANC.

Nzimande said he would hold a meeting with ANC leaders to request the alliance partners to contain their members.

“The debate on whether the SACP should contest elections is caused by the manner in which some of the ANC structures are treating us but at the same time we must be careful that we don’t take decisions on a serious matter like that based on irritations. It must be based on serious political and strategic considerations.

“But we must also engage the ANC; that’s what we are actually going to do at the alliance’s political council.”

The Alliance Summit held last week resolved that a political council should be convened on an urgent basis to deal with outstanding matters that the parties disagreed on, including e-tolls.
Read more on:    sacp  |  blade nzimande  |  e-tolls
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