Time to leave Nasrec behind – Fikile Mbalula

2018-04-10 22:53
Fikile Mbalula (Gallo Images)

Fikile Mbalula (Gallo Images)

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ANC and South African Communist Party (SACP) leaders have called on members of the tripartite alliance to focus on building the movement and deliver services to the people instead of engaging in factional battles.

The ANC's Fikile Mbalula and SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande delivered messages at the 25th commemoration of the communist party's slain leader Chris Hani.

Hani was gunned down at his Dawn Park home in 1993 during a sensitive period, when the liberation movement and the apartheid government were negotiating terms towards democratic elections.

Clive Derby-Lewis and Polish born Janusz Walus were convicted of the murder.

Derby-Lewis was granted medical parole in 2015 and died the following year.

Walus is still in prison. While the parole board recommended that he could be released on parole, Justice Minister Michael Masutha halted the process and a Supreme Court of Appeal bid to have his decision overturned was also dismissed.

Nzimande said the SACP needed to fix some issues within the movement in Hani's honour and cited factions within Umkhonto weSizwe, which Hani once served as chief of staff, and the state of the tripartite alliance.

"The best way to remember Chris 25 years after his cowardly assassination, is to bring together the different factions of Umkhonto weSizwe," Nzimande said of the apparent split in the remnants of the ANC's liberation army.

He said they didn't want people to position themselves according to factions within the liberation movement.

"The AK47 is known for one thing. Its sound and melody is a unifying sound, not a divisive one," said Nzimande.

He, like Hani's daughter Lindiwe, who spoke before him, reminisced about the relationship he shared with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who died on April 2.

"Former generals, commissars and combatants of Umkhonto, take the lead and sort out this problem."

The ANC's head of elections Fikile Mbalula shared Nzimande's view that the organisation needed to put factions behind them.

"We must fight factionalism and walk the talk in honour of Mam' Winnie and Chris Hani," said Mbalula.

He said the issue of people becoming leaders in the party through slates needed to come to an end.

"When it came to [Cyril Ramaphosa] and [Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma], branches did their own thing. Even with additional members, they refused to vote according to a slate," said Mbalula

He was referring to the bruising leadership contest between now ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa and Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at the party's national conference in Nasrec in December.

Using himself and his previous experiences in ANC contests for leadership, Mbalula said Nasrec had been good for him, unlike the 53rd national conference, where he not only lost out on the position of secretary general but also didn't make it into the ANC's national executive committee.

"Bloemfontein was difficult for me. I didn’t even make it with a shoe, let alone a jacket," said Mbalula.

Nasrec was nice, I made it. I came in number 14 at Nasrec, right there by Bheki Cele," the ANC head of elections said to rapturous laughter.

Mbalula called on members of the ANC to support its elected leadership.

Nzimande also reiterated that the party's position on Hani's assassination was that the whole truth was yet to be revealed.

"Like Derby-Lewis, Walus has been doing everything to get released including through pretences. As I have [previously] said, we remain strongly opposed," said Nzimande.

"All he needs is to speak the truth," he added

Nzimande was also frustrated about the news that Walus had his South African citizenship revoked.

He said Walus needed to stay in South Africa and in prison.

"We don't like this citizenship issue. Who was consulted? Not the Hani family, not the SACP or ANC," said Nzimande.

"We will fight this thing, we are not threatening. We will make a noise because it's our government. We will fight it [because] we don't want him to go," Nzimande said.

Read more on:    sacp  |  anc  |  chris hani  |  fikile mbalula  |  blade nzimande

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