The SACP in Mpumalanga has suspended its provincial chairperson, Eric Kholwane, who is deemed to be too close to Premier David Mabuza.The SACP provincial executive committee suspended Kholwane during its meeting on Sunday for, among other things, contradicting the party’s resolutions while addressing the ANC’s provincial general council (PGC) in March and putting the party into disrepute.Kholwane allegedly said he was against the SACP’s position that Mabuza should step down or his administration was corrupt and dared his party to fire him.He is MEC for finance and economic development in Mabuza’s cabinet. Kholwane has been close to Mabuza while the SACP has been having cold relations with the premier.Kholwane, who was chairperson of the parliamentary communications portfolio committee, accepted the provincial cabinet position last year even though the SACP had put its provincial secretary, Bonakele Majuba, at the top of its list for government deployments.“The PEC arrived at the conclusion that (Kholwane) has perpetually failed to adhere to these and other fundamental principles of communist conduct expected of party cadres and leaders; and that there should be means to rehabilitate his actions considering the important position he occupies in the organisation,” said SACP second deputy provincial secretary, Mandla Tebane, in a statement.“The PEC, guided by the constitution of the organisation, unanimously resolved to suspend (Kholwane) with immediate effect pending the disciplinary processes,” added Tebane.He added that Kholwane had not been attending SACP activities and had shown to be undermining the unity and cohesion of the organisation.Kholwane declined to comment and referred questions back to the SACP.“It’s better for you to go to the SACP secretariat. As I’m speaking to you there is no formal communication about my suspension,” he said.The bad relationship reached its lowest ebb on January 25 when ANC members closed the gate to KaNyamazane hall near Mbombela where the SACP had planned to have a memorial lecture in honour of former party secretary, Joe Slovo, and late Mbombela council speaker, Jimmy Mohlala.This led to a physical fight between members of both parties. Some members were admitted to hospital while one was shot in the hand.The ANC’s Ehlanzeni regional leadership had tried to force the SACP to exclude former ANC treasurer-general and Mpumalanga premier, Mathews Phosa, from addressing the lecture. The SACP refused.The ANC was miffed because Phosa had admitted that he sent an intelligence report to Luthuli House with details suggesting that Mabuza could have been an apartheid spy.ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has since appointed a two-member team of veterans to investigate the KaNyamazane violence.