Factional leaders including ANC president must go- Nzimande

2016-12-10 17:38
(City Press)

(City Press)

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Soweto - Factional leaders, including the president of the ANC, must go, SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande said on Saturday.

"If you are factional, it means it's time to go. If in Cosatu you are the president who sides with a faction, you are not fit to be that so if you are president of the ANC, you can't be seen to be siding with a faction," Nzimande said.

He did not mention President Jacob Zuma by name but repeatedly emphasised that a leader must unite the party, the alliance and the country.

"This is very important. What I saw in Cuba, you can't have accused Fidel [Castro] of having sided with a faction. That revolution would have been long [ago] defeated."

Nzimande said the ANC was tearing itself apart with the factional battles and vote buying.

The ANC is heading for a fierce leadership battle at its 2017 elective conference, a race already marred by factions, with one side dominated by President Jacob Zuma's staunch supporters lobbying for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and another for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to replace Zuma.

"The ANC must learn how to manage the transition of leadership. Yes, of course, the question is; are the ANC capable of doing that?  If it is not, they must come for help in the alliance," Nzimande said.

"This is completely unacceptable and we are tearing ourselves apart. If the ANC continues to divide itself, I fear 2019."

Act collectively

The tripartite alliance's time is up and must be reviewed.

In another hard-hitting attack on the ANC, Nzimande accused it of using its alliance partners SACP and Cosatu to campaign for votes only to exclude them from key policy decisions after elections.

“It cannot be that we continue to act as an alliance when we go to elections but after the elections, key policy decisions and deployment decisions are taken by the ANC alone. No, that is no longer sustainable,” Nzimande said.

He told the Young Communist League National Council that is underway in Soweto that they should “unapologetically discuss if the way the alliance’s function is still relevant".

 “Comrades this arrangement, which we did after 1994, if it had served a purpose at a particular time – its time is up and I don’t remember it serving its purpose even under Comrade Madiba by the way, we were mistreated and we were complaining.”

“We must make a decision if we are an alliance, we must act collectively,” Nzimande said.

Swipe at Ace

Nzimande also took what could be seen as a veiled swipe at Free State premier and ANC chairperson Ace Magashule.

He is reported to have told the party’s heated national Executive Committee meeting that cabinet ministers who called for Zuma to step down must themselves step down or be fired as they have no faith in the president.

The motion was raised by tourism minister Derek Hannekom and supported by other ministers and members of the NEC but eventually failed.

Nzimande questioned the constitutional “prerogative to appoint ministers”, saying it is being abused and it is leading to patronage and corruption.  

“You know this thing of a prerogative to appoint, we are not just talking cabinet, we are talking any position… it’s a revolutionary prerogative of revolution and movement.”

“It can’t be that a comrade can stand up in meeting and say if you were in my Provincial Executive and you were speaking the way you are speaking I would fire you right away. Yes I won’t say who said what where because I don’t gossip but its abuse of the prerogative of the revolution. That is what leads to patronage and corruption and that thing must come to an end,” Nzimande said.

Nzimande who was part of the coalition that led to Zuma ascendency to power in 2007 has over the past few months become publicly critical of the ANC under President Jacob Zuma.  

He dismissed criticism that he had stopped being critical because he was appointed minister.

“No one will shut me up because I am losing a cabinet post,” he said. He suggested there are deeper divisions in Zuma's cabinet, with some using the fees must fall crisis at universities to push ANC factional battles.

"If we disagree with you in portfolio – don’t endanger government, if comrades feel I no longer deserve to be minister, they must go to relevant people to make decisions don’t destroy our universities," Nzimande said.

Read more on:    sacp  |  cosatu  |  anc  |  jacob zuma  |  blade nzimande

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