SACP theft charge a 'smear campaign'

Waghied Misbach

Waghied Misbach

The SACP believes that theft charges against its secretary-general Blade Nzimande is part of a widespread smear campaign aimed at discrediting supporters of ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma.

Gauteng police confirmed yesterday that they were investigating fraud charges against Nzimande, pictured.

A case was opened at the Bedfordview police station.

Two weekend newspapers reported that Nzimande has been accused by businessman Charles Kasinja Modise, a Pretoria mining magnate, of stealing R500000 he donated to bail out the struggling communist party.

SACP members reportedly suggested that the charges are "the latest in a long list of smear campaign activities" aimed at Nzimande and other leaders sympathetic to Zuma.

The cash was allegedly given to Cosatu president Willie Madisha and taken to Nzimande, but never reached the then SACP treasurer, Phillip Dexter.

Newly elected SACP chairman Gwede Mantashe said the case looks "suspicious" because it took five years for Modise to lay the charge.

Dexter had apparently conducted an investigation into the matter.

The party is expected to discuss the matter on August 17 at its central committee meeting.

The party's financial statement containing Dexter's questions about the donations was supposed to be discussed at the party's elective conference in Port Elizabeth last month, but Nzimande ruled that the discussion should rather take place at the central committee meeting.