‘We can’t only blame the Guptas, but their collaborators too’ – Nzimande

Blade Nzimande at the ANC policy conference at Nasrec Picture: Deaan Vivier/Netwerk24
Blade Nzimande at the ANC policy conference at Nasrec Picture: Deaan Vivier/Netwerk24

The ANC will inevitably lead itself to destruction if it doesn’t decisively deal with the toxic Gupta family and their collaborators.

This is a stern warning by South African Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande on the fifth day of the ANC’s policy conference in Nasrec, south of Johannesburg

“Unless we deal with that we are on a slippery slope,” he said on the sidelines of the conference today.

The SACP was first to make noise about the influence of what it termed “parasitic patronage networks”.

Nzimande’s deputy Solly Mapaila led the charge, specifically calling out President Jacob Zuma over the influence the Guptas had in the affairs of governance and the ANC itself.

Nzimande said he was glad that the issue of the Guptas was finally out there.

He added: “We can’t only blame the Guptas, we have blame their collaborators and government as well. Unless we deal with that we are on a slippery slope.”

Cracks between the ANC and the SACP were laid bare last Friday when Zuma attacked everyone who has called for his removal, including the once close ally, the SACP, and ANC stalwarts.

READ: Everybody else is to blame for the ANC’s problems, not Zuma, okay

“The unity of the alliance is sacrosanct and must be protected at all times. It must not be undermined by sectarian agendas and personal hatred. Our discussions about the renewal of the ANC must reflect on the relationship with the alliance partners and how this can be strengthened so that it continues its role of advancing the goals of the national democratic revolution.”

He went off the cuff and lobbied branches to not allow such people to take away their power to hire and fire.

“Amandla asemasebeni (power in the branches) … Some people have no right to come tell you that ‘the president must go’. They don’t consult me, niyathula (you just keep quiet). Angazi nadalwa kanjani (I don’t know how you were created). You are the only ones who can hire and fire,” he said before ending with his trademark exclamation of “mayibabo”.

Nzimande said he did not know what Zuma meant when he spoke of personal hatred.

“I heard that but I’m honestly unable to respond because I don’t know what he meant by that. I heard that but I don’t know what it meant,” he said.

“From the SACP point of view, we have no hatred against anybody but what we have got hatred for is the parasitic networks that have threatened to tear us apart.”

Speaking about the policy conference, which ends tomorrow with Zuma’s closing address, Nzimande said discussions had been robust. He added that he was hopeful that the ANC would be able to overcome the problems it faced.

He said there was a diagnostic report that reflected on ANC weaknesses by secretary-general Gwede Mantashe but that he hoped the conference would come out with solutions.

“The bigger problem at the moment is not so much so policy but that the ANC unites itself.”

The SACP has threatened to leave the alliance, a discussion that will continue at its elective congress starting on Monday.

“The ANC has to be decisive and take action. We can’t just rely on the generosity of those who are implicated in such things [state capture]. The organisation itself must take action. I suppose together with its allies.”

Hlengiwe Nhlabathi
Political journalist
City Press
p:+27 11 713 9001
w:www.citypress.co.za  e: Hlengiwe.Nhlabathi@citypress.co.za
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