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 party.
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 said. 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 put a lid on the succession debate but its own junior structures have pronounced 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 then president Thabo Mbeki nine months before the end of his term. Trade union federation Cosatu has also taken a cautious approach on the succession debate.
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This week the federation refused to officially endorse Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa but said ANC traditions must be followed when choosing the next party leader.
Cosatu is known to support Ramaphosa, the founding general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers. Meanwhile, at a bilateral meeting last 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 was discussed.
The SACP has been critical of the reported influence of the controversial Gupta family 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.