National 22.9.2016 04:24 pm

SACP refuses to be drawn into ANC succession debate

SACP 1st General Secretary, Jeremy Cronin (L) and SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

SACP 1st General Secretary, Jeremy Cronin (L) and SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The SACP has decided to stay mum on who will emerge as the African National Congress’ next leader.

The SA Communist Party (SACP) has refused to weigh in on the ANC’s succession debate, saying it does not want to “conflate matters” of the ruling party.

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SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo said the issue of who should replace President Jacob Zuma was an organisational matter of the ANC. “The long-standing policy of the SACP is that we never pronounce on ANC leadership,” Mashilo told The Citizen yesterday.

As Zuma’s term is nearing the end, jostling for the top job is playing out like a blockbuster movie behind closed doors. The ANC has kept details of the succession debate secret, but its own junior structures have made pronouncements on the leadership.

The SACP, the ANC’s leftist ally, helped to propel Zuma to power in 2007 in Polokwane. It also played a role in the 2008 removal of former president Thabo Mbeki nine months before the end of his term.

Trade union federation Cosatu has also taken a cautious approach to the succession debate. This week the federation refused to officially endorse Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa but said the ANC’s traditions must be followed when choosing the next party leader. Cosatu is known to support Cyril Ramaphosa, the founding general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

Meanwhile, at a bilateral meeting this week, the SACP and Cosatu resolved to fight corruption and corporate capture. The two working class formations of the ANC-led alliance held a two-day meeting in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, where an analysis on the political situation in the country and the conditions facing the working class were discussed.

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The SACP has been critical of the controversial Gupta family’s reported influence over Zuma and several of his Cabinet ministers. The two allies also agreed to work together to ensure a review of the national development plan (NDP).

The pair have criticised some parts of the NDP in the past. “The alliance must walk the talk, match words with deeds,” they said in a joint statement.

– ngwakom@citizen.co.za

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