Why Blade Nzimande went ballistic on Malema: The SACP deception

2017-05-29 18:17

Tuesday evening Blade Nzimande delivered a keynote address to the Cosatu Central Committee meeting. In his address he made a critical assessment of the State. He began by saying that part of his speech will be about reviewing what he calls the "Zuma Administration". I wondered why he said that now because these are the people that will tell you it is not about individuals is the ANC.

And so he opened his address: “We want to focus on the Zuma Administration which started in 2009”.

And then in a bizarre turn he singled out Julius Malema, the leader of the EFF.  He said: You know comrades we went to Polokwane [in 2009] and scored important victories. But the fact of the matter is that as the working class formation we were in alliance with some forces who were not genuinely wanting the ANC to be transformed to serve its historic duty but they were angry that they were outside the trough that has eating. Yes. Others started to leave. Like Malema to EFF. We were in an alliance with him in Polokwane not because he was interested in the fundamental change for the benefit of the poor but because he was outside, angered that he was not eating because of Mbeki.

Blade Nzimande offers no empirical proof for these claims. Just like most of his speeches, there are assertions about things without offering sustained and compelling arguments.

Everyone knows that Julius Malema left the ANC because of his criticism of President Zuma. Has he wanted to eat he could have easily been co-opted into the network of corruption. He could have been indispensable defender if his aim was to eat. As the ANC Youth League leader he was the most powerful ANC youth leader ever after Nelson Mandela. For him to criticize President Zuma that time was a big sacrifice, a big sacrifice that he made, and soon was in the cold.

Since what Blade Nzimande calls the "Zuma Administration" I have observed him with keen interest. The rabble-rousing and inflammatory style he is known began to evaporate. Gradually he began to be just another elite ANC politician. While his closest fellow working class leaders like Irvin Jim and Zwelinzima Vavi were expressing their frustrations, he was the momentary darling of the president.

But now here he is, hungering to be seen as rebellious to President Zuma by attacking the Guptas. Blade’s attacks on the Guptas lacks a crucial element. Where was he all along? Why now of a sudden? Julius Malema left early on, so is Irvin Jim and the others.

Are these attacks his intentions to ingratiate himself to Cyril Ramaphosa?

The fact of the matter is that the SACP is no longer the top shelf idea of the left. EFF has since taken that role and space. That is the reason recently the SACP is seeking to partner with AZAPO while on the other hand attacking EFF. Both these strategies are desperate efforts to reclaim the lost ground. It will be very difficult to dislodge the EFF from its solid position as the vanguard of the poor.

Both SACP and EFF advocate interventions for our most vulnerable citizens, but while SACP focuses only on combating market forces, EFF on a daily basis is with the people on the grassroots, breathing the same air, eating their food, feeling the people's pain and seeking different practical solutions to ease people's sufferings.

The further difference between SACP and EFF is that SACP argues that the fall of the ANC is the greatest threat to black South Africa— not material hardship or poverty or landlessness as EFF does. SACP sees the ANC as the anchor, EFF sees the people as the anchor. Blade’s speech at the Cosatu Central Committee affirmed this position. He was very deeply sorrowful about the demise of the ANC, not the escalation of suffering and the growing poverty of the people, but the fact that: the ANC today is facing serious challenges.

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