SACP fights 'purge' from ANC lists

Faiez Jacobs
Faiez Jacobs

The ANC and its alliance partner the SA Communist Party (SACP) in the Western Cape are at loggerheads over the list processes now under way.

The SACP wants the ANC to remove provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs from the provincial list committee (PLC), saying he was implicated in manipulating the list processes in the run-up to and after the 2016 local government elections.

List processes are meant to select candidates for provincial and national legislatures after the elections next year.

Jacobs, however, said the matter was a storm in a tea cup and that people in factions were playing politics.

The SACP provincial secretary, Benson Ngqentsu, said the party had written to the ANC’s second deputy general secretary, Solly Mapaila, asking him to take up the matter with the party at national level.

Ngqentsu said there was a faction of the ANC in the province which had, for the past few years, been hellbent on “purging” members of the SACP when they were deployed.

“It is something which led to the formation of the independents in 2012 and again in 2016. We fought hard and we were dealt a blow,” Ngqentsu said.

“A task team was established by the ANC with no consultation with the alliance.

“Wards led by communists were targeted and councillors were removed without consultation,” he said.

The report, which formed the basis for the demand for Jacobs to be removed from the PLC, was written by a national executive committee task team following a row over the list processes leading up to the 2016 polls.

The SACP was so aggrieved following that election that it opted to go it alone and contest the ANC in Metsimaholo municipality in the Free State.

In the 2016 report Jacobs was fingered as an person implicated for changing names on the lists of the West Coast and Overberg regions, non-registration of ward candidates in the Boland and Dullar Omar regions, as well as non-registration of mayoral candidates in the Boland region.

Jacobs told City Press that those who were resuscitating the old report were being mischievous because it was not relevant.

He admitted the ANC was plagued by serious infighting during the 2016 elections, leading to some decisions being made under duress.

He said the PLC was all-inclusive of ANC and alliance partners and that checks and balances were in place, making it almost impossible for them to be manipulated by anyone, including himself.

The SACP said it had already started seeing the signs of being shut out of the list processes.

Ngqentsu is one of those championing the call for the SACP to break ties with the ANC and go it alone if the ANC refused a reconfiguration of the alliance.

Both the SACP and union federation Cosatu said they had grown tired of the Big Brother approach whichthe ANC had taken, particularly when major decisions had to be made.

Next week the SACP’s augmented central committee will meet to assess the road map – indicating when a special congress might take place.

That congress would then make a call – once and for all – on if and when the SACP might go it alone at the polls.

Ngqentsu said alliance partners met in the province earlier last week to discuss the reconfiguration.

“The ANC is not taking the process seriously; we could tell from the delegation with whom we engaged. There were only three people, the acting chairperson, the deputy secretary and the chair of the youth league.

“We made substantive representations on how we should take this matter forward both in theory and in practice because we are serious about it.

“It gives the impression that some in the movement are fine with the status quo,” Ngqentsu said.

“Ours is to push hard; we are not going to win this in the boardroom. It is going to be a struggle and the party is prepared for that struggle.

“If the alliance is not reconfigured, our resolution is clear, we must lead a left popular front.”

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule told City Press the SACP had presented a paper to the ANC NEC.

“We are producing our own paper as the ANC. At the alliance council in December we will discuss areas where we agree and disagree.

“The ANC is a liberation movement and a broad church. We have Christians, atheists, Jews and gentiles, the rich and the poor, and professionals.

“The SACP wants socialism as the future while the ANC is a mixture. The SACP wants socialism but the ANC is not a socialist organisation.”

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