SACP wags finger at Zuma

2017-08-27 05:58
Solly Mapaila. (Bongiwe Gumede, City Press)

Solly Mapaila. (Bongiwe Gumede, City Press)

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Ahead of a crunch meeting with its alliance partner, the ANC, the SA Communist Party (SACP) has warned President Jacob Zuma against reshuffling the Cabinet “willy-nilly” again.

The leaders of the two parties will meet tomorrow for the first time since tensions between them burst into the open earlier this year.

It will also be the first time they come face to face since the SACP called for Zuma to resign following his dramatic late-night reshuffle in March.

Addressing growing speculation that Zuma was about to make more changes to his Cabinet, the SACP’s first deputy general secretary, Solly Mapaila, said it would be foolish for him to do so.

Mapaila said the reshuffles were a tool of patronage used by Zuma to intimidate SACP Cabinet members in particular.

“It’s not for him to do willy-nilly as he pleases. His Cabinet reshuffles have been doing too much damage to our organisation.

“He has proved his incapacity to cohere our movement. It’s not a decision that he should use as a tool of patronage because he wants to consolidate political power in the run-up to [the elective conference in] December or punish people.”

Another likely sticking point in the meeting could be the ANC’s decision to discipline MPs who defied the ANC in the motion of no confidence vote against Zuma.

The SACP is also expected to formally inform the governing party of its intention to contest elections independently.

The SACP previously declined to meet the ANC for a bilateral meeting, insisting that an alliance political council be convened instead.

The SACP was angered when the previous political council was unilaterally cancelled by the ANC because Zuma and the ANC had said it was pointless to sit in a meeting with the SACP and trade union federation Cosatu if they were not prepared to listen to him anywhere else.

This happened after the SACP and Cosatu barred Zuma from attending any of their gatherings and called for him to step down.

Mapaila said meeting the ANC now was part of the communist party’s mandate resulting from its congress last month to engage alliance partners on its chosen path.

“We have to discuss with the ANC the outcome of our congress, this is normally what we do, but in this case the question of a road map [to 2019] is far more important, and that’s why we will be tabling that as a key issue, and of course some of the issues that confront our movement,” he said.

“We are meeting the [ANC] officials but it would go beyond just the officials, given the nature of the issues that are coming up.

"For instance, one of the critical issues that we must all discuss is the issue of dual membership of our members.”

The party was considering how it could contest against the ANC at the polls, while sticking to the current dual membership model.

“There will be consequences for the option of dual membership ... We want to elaborate our understanding of this and what it means, and we will also discuss that with the ANC on Monday,” said Mapaila.

The party said it believed the ANC’s ability “to embark on serious self-correction is uncertain”.

Meanwhile, Mapaila said there was no way that the SACP could retreat from its position on Zuma.

“It’s an essential matter for us at the moment. We will definitely table it. We will put it to the ANC and say as our ally ... for the sake our revolution, it would be better that the president resign.”

The SACP said it was already working with civil organisations to chart a new path towards forming and leading a popular front of working class and other progressive forces.

Read more on:    sacp  |  anc  |  jacob zuma  |  solly mapaila

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