SACP endorses Gwede Mantashe
THE general secretary of the South African Communist Party, Blade Nzimande, is already casting his eyes towards Mangaung, where the ANC holds its elective conference later this year.
This became apparent yesterday when he lent his support to the re-election of Gwede Mantashe as the ruling party's secretary general.
Nzimande alluded to this when he delivered his political report to the more than 2000 delegates during the opening of the party's 13th national congress in KwaZulu-Natal.
"When the ANC identified you as a worthy candidate to become secretary general, we said we would give you space to carry out that function, and we hope it will be for a long time still," Nzimande said.
Mantashe is expected to stand for re-election alongside President Jacob Zuma, although the latter's deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe, is rumoured to be ready to also contest the country's top post.
"The SACP is indeed satisfied with the current leadership of the ANC and the manner in which it has sought to foster and deepen the unity of the alliance. So do we also note with satisfaction some important progress made by government under the leadership of (ANC) president Jacob Zuma.
"That's why we say as the SACP that we are not selfish, and as communists we will give space (to Mantashe) to go to that work," he said.
Nzimande said although they were largely satisfied with Zuma's leadership, they were not entirely happy.
Delegates should reject assertions that the SACP should behave like its tripartite alliance partner Cosatu.
Although admitting that the two organisations were complementary, he was quick to point out that they were also inherently different.
Speaking in the context of the recent outcry by Numsa over SACP members serving in government, Nzimande said while Cosatu members appointed to serve in government would be required to cancel their union membership, the opposite was true for SACP members.
"If comrade Jeremy (Cronin - Nzimande's deputy in the party) is deployed to government, he will continue to be a member of the SACP, but if we deployed comrade Frans Baleni (NUM general secretary) to government, he would have to cancel his membership of Cosatu," he said.
Nzimande used the political report to take a swipe at Cosatu for what he suggested was the union federation's failure to stamp out increasing casualisation of workers.
Cosatu may have "reacted" when it rejected calls for it not to get involved in politics but rather focus on workers' issues.
Notable personalities at the congress included Sadtu president Thobile Ntola, ministers Trevor Manuel and Susan Shabangu, Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini and mining magnate Patrice Motsepe.
SA faces 'American' threat
SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande says the country's revolution is having to face the creeping threat of "Americanisation" of South African politics.
"The first are attempts to change our internal leadership electoral processes to some kind of United States presidential primary elections," he said.
"This manifests itself through, among other things, impatience with adhering to our long- standing organisational procedures and protocols and instead seeking to open such elections as some kind of individual beauty contests and parades."
He added that like in the US, it is also often moneyed interests and individuals who are trying to push for this Americanisation and urged alliance members to resist this.
Nzimande said another threat to the country's politics were nonpolitical and civil formations that are funded by international donors.
"(This threat) which is presented as being the best custodian of our democracy ... manifests itself in the mushrooming of issue-based nongovernmental organisations, funded in the main by foreign and imperialist donors, often under the claim that our democracy and Constitution are under threat."