Gwede: I did SACP wrong

2012-07-12 12:45

Johannesburg - Outgoing SA Communist Party (SACP) chairperson Gwede Mantashe has admitted he had done a “disservice” to the communist party for trying to be chairperson while he was also ANC secretary general, a full-time position.

Opening the SACP conference at the University of Zululand in KwaDlangezwa near Richards Bay on Thursday, Mantashe gave a farewell speech of sorts to the almost 2 000 delegates attending the four-day gathering.

“Being an official in both parties is just impossible. It leads a person to be an absentee chairperson in the party. That is a disservice to the party,” he said.

But he admitted stepping down wasn’t an easy decision. “Being a member of the party for this length of time makes one appreciate that such a membership is a prestige and a privilege.

“It is not something you can walk away from. It is prestigious. It is nice, you feel good. You can’t walk away. When I was elected in the ANC there were a number of delegates saying to me ‘resign from your position’ [in the SACP].”

Practical consideration

Mantashe said his stepping down wasn’t an ideological decision, but a “practical consideration”.

Senzeni Zokwana from the National Union of Mineworkers – where Mantashe comes from – is expected to step up to Mantashe’s position.

Mantashe was elected chairperson at the SACP’s conference in 2007, and six months later he was elected secretary general of the ANC.

City Press has learnt that Mantashe had tried to step down from his SACP position mid-way through his term, but because of expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema’s campaign against him, which started around 2009, Mantashe couldn’t.

“This would have been seen as bowing to that pressure,” an SACP leader said.

Mantashe told the gathering despite the difficulties, his two positions “provided us with a broader horizon from which we could observe each individual component of our revolution”.

He said “there is today a deeper understanding of the contradictions in the movement”.

No unsavoury battles

He said he was “grateful” for this opportunity.

“These were five wonderful years of learning, unequalled to any in my experience,” he said.

Mantashe joked that journalists were “disappointed that there are no unsavoury battles in this congress”.

He said: “They are digging. It is not going to work. To create controversy they will try to describe it as a driver for Mangaung, to say those elected are a boost or a setback for Zuma.”

Before his speech, Mantashe said jokingly that those who make the substitution sign – seen as opposition to a second term for President Jacob Zuma – will be “arrested with the intention to disrupt”, while those who hold up two fingers, seen to be signifying two terms for Zuma, will be “welcomed”.

The SACP has shown support for Zuma’s leadership and are expected to support him for a second term at the ANC’s elective congress in Mangaung in December.

The conference started about two hours late after delegates had to make their way through the rain from the marquees on muddy sports fields to the hall where the plenary took place, conference organisers said.

But City Press has also learnt that there were problems with registration, which went on until the early morning hours on Thursday, with some people complaining that their tags did not scan properly.

  • sharon.erwin.96 - 2012-07-12 12:49

    Gwede is finding the truth in the old saying: if you stand with one foot on either side of the road, you are very likely to be hit by a bus. One cannot divide loyalties, because in the end everyone loses.

      jackal666.daniel - 2012-07-12 13:38

      Balls with that he did the whole of SA wrong!

      wesley.nel.5 - 2012-07-12 16:56

      Qwede you did a disservice to eveybody

  • Henk - 2012-07-12 12:55

    How many members does the SACP have? And they have influence!!! African Democracy....

  • peter.ndamase - 2012-07-12 12:56

    Is this another proof that SACP might be breaking away from the ANC? While you are at it Gwede, please ask Blade "faceoff" Nzimande to return the R500k he stole from the party. He is a big shot now and can afford to apologise.

  • bennie.kruger.5 - 2012-07-12 12:57

    Only Certain people keep Appartheid and Communism Allive.!!

  • mark.haupt.31 - 2012-07-12 12:58

    Being chairman of the SACP - with a membership of probably 666 - must have been a tough job. Hope he didn't battle financially as well.....

  • tphaiphai - 2012-07-12 12:59

    Gwede wil suffer a heartattack if he cant be re-elected at Magaung. He will be on the space. No one has guaranteed u a second term as u desperately cry for it.

      mteshie - 2012-09-06 12:22

      phaiphai my friend in December at Mangaung Zuma will still be the President.........Gwede knows the ANC he will still be the ANC secretary ! surely you will be sticking your finger deep in your ass then

  • tphaiphai - 2012-07-12 13:00

    Gwede wil suffer a heartattack if he cant be re-elected at Magaung. He will be on the space. No one has guaranteed u a second term as u desperately cry for it.

  • jeffrey.mnisi - 2012-07-12 13:07

    Very stupid to say sorry if you have been advised before and become bigger than your head, wait and see Blade Nzimande. this guys are so stuborn to an extent that when their party members advice, they close their ears. ah, Bible says" ignorancy is as evil as witchcraft". later it will be Zuma saying I am so sorry.

  • ishmael.mona - 2012-07-12 13:14

    He must take up farming now a.s.a.p/I've Been wondering who's looking after the herd with both hands in the cookie. It's each man for himself now leading up to mangaung.

  • sisie.indola - 2012-07-12 13:26

    This is not what you were preaching months ago, it was a case of how you can divide the two. Yes right - divide and conquer - you are in it for the money, and really don't give a rats ar** about either. Oops sorry you are a communist at heart that is why your suits come from Saville Row.

  • kathleen.whiteley.7 - 2012-07-12 13:31

    There will never be communism here: piecemeal confiscation perhaps, followed by sales to consortia in return for sinecures. Why, even the successful tenderers at Pilgrims Rest are offering their leases back to their former owners or any wealthy taker.

  • nhlanhla.ndlovu.10 - 2012-07-12 13:36

    You held those two posts just because you are a position mongering opportunist.You have now made miscalculations which might lead you into a political cul-de-sac.

  • thapelo.sekia - 2012-07-12 13:41

    No, I respect cde Chairperson for bein honest and not bein greedy. He is a true communist and I respect that.

      jeffrey.mnisi - 2012-07-12 14:17

      I beg to disagree with u. he knew that he was bloody greed unpolical. A reasonable man will always treat his pathways with emphathy and modesty. he has got faculty to think to determine the wrong and the right.

      Randomhero6661 - 2012-07-12 15:03

      thapelo, what do you do for a living?

  • kathleen.whiteley.7 - 2012-07-12 13:52

    Aye, thee goa draan in 't dam; it'll non be me at'll fotch thee art

  • Sisi - 2012-07-12 13:56

    Mara Mantashe do you know how handsome you would look if you could once in your life shave that beard?If you looking for a second wife I'm available.You should learn one or two things from Zooma.But eish Yall dumb

  • theo.schoeman.71 - 2012-07-12 13:56

    Communist party ?? Realy... is there still pathetic people out there believing that communism can work - we have seen what happened to Russia and many other communist countries. Mr Mantashe you have not only done a “disservice” to the communist party but to South Africa as a whole. What have done that is worth while noting ?

      ralph.thornley - 2012-07-12 19:01

      They are nothing more than a bunch of parasites out to line their own pockets. They cannot stand on their own! First general election they would be no more. So what is the point of their existence.

  • Michael - 2012-07-12 14:00

    A politician who can belong and hold positions in two different political parties, even if there is an alliance, cannot be trusted. This is even worse than when members of Parliament are allowed to 'cross the floor'. Where does this leave the voters?

  • tony.kirby1 - 2012-07-12 14:16

    Now that he is the out going Chairman he admits to this. Took him long enough or was it the money and fringe benefits that kept him saying so earlier.

  • kathleen.whiteley.7 - 2012-07-12 14:24

    Too many cokes spoil the broth

  • Khaya - 2012-07-12 14:29

    The value that cde Gwede Mantashe has added into the SACP over the years is enomous and no amount of critisising will water it down. I agree that his skills are needed more in the ruling party where he will better represent the interests of the working class.

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-07-12 14:33

    Gwede, for your information, it is not a prestige to be a member of an entity that breaks down and destroys a country!

  • Erna - 2012-07-12 14:54

    Shouldn't have been allowed in the first place! I would imagine that the policies in the two parties are in total opposition to each other.

  • clint.rusford.3 - 2012-07-12 15:02

    And what about the wrong that u nd ur buddys did and continuously keep doing against us and our precious country SOUTH AFRICA?????!!!!

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