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SACP Comrades at each other's throats

By unknown | Oct 17, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Ido Lekota

Ido Lekota

Comrades in the SACP are at each other's throats. The cause of the red implosion is an allegation that party general secretary Blade Nzimande is a former member of the IFP.

Former SACP Limpopo provincial secretary Justice Pitso called for an investigation after the allegation was made.

"This is a serious allegation and if it is found to be true Blade must resign," Pitso said.

"We cannot have a situation where a communist movement is led by a person with links to the IFP."

Now the hammer has fallen on Pitso. Yesterday the SACP in Limpopo suspended Pitso, accusing him of bringing the party into disrepute.

Nzimande has described the allegation as part of a campaign to taint his political credibility.

The Young Communist League said the allegation was "part of the now failed R500000 fraud claim against comrade Blade".

The league went further to say that the allegation and Pitso's utterance were part of a campaign led by Mosiuoa Lekota to undermine the leadership of the ANCSACP-Cosatu alliance.

Last week Lekota launched a scathing attack on ANC president Jacob Zuma, saying that under his leadership the party had veered away from the Freedom Charter.

Lekota accused the ANC leadership of undermining internal democracy; undermining the rule of law by calling for a political solution to the corruption and fraud charges against Zuma; and of undermining the country's peace and security by "calling for the collection of arms".

This was in reference to Zuma's favourite song Awuleth' umshini wam.

In their turn the leaders of the tripartite alliance have accused Lekota of being a power-monger who refuses to accept his defeat in Polokwane.

The South Africa public is once again finding itself confronted with these political brickbats flying between individuals known as Zuma and Mbeki supporters.

What is unfortunate is that the two camps have elevated their political sabre rattling to the level of a political discourse that any serious thinking South African should be part of.

The question is: how will investigating the allegation against Nzimande improve the political discourse that South Africans should be engaging in to promote participatory democracy?

It is a well-known fact that the IFP does have a tainted political history, given its collaboration with the apartheid government.

But in the same breath it can be argued that during the apartheid era - with the ANC operating underground - the IFP was the most prominent party in KwaZulu-Natal.

Those who were pupils in KwaZulu-Natal in the 1980's will relate how the IFP's cultural and political events were almost part of the school curriculum or extramural activities.

It could also be argued that given the then political milieu the IFP provided a platform for political activism - hence the much spoken about tactical alliance that the ANC had with the then IFP cultural movement.

The argument about whether Nzimande is a former member of the IFP is, frankly, much ado about nothing.

Like in the Shakespearian classic, its plot revolves around "the critiques of other, written messages, spying and eavesdropping".

As a colleague is wont to say: "The argument releases more heat than light."

So what if Nzimande had been a member of the IFP?

Does that mean he is "genetically predisposed" to be a noncommunist?

One wants to believe that Nzimande was elected because of the party's confidence in his leadership and commitment to espousing its objectives and policies.

He must be judged on his capability to deliver on that mandate.


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