SACP leader says theft claim a ploy to destroy him

Ido lekota

Ido lekota

South African Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande said yesterday that allegations he had misappropriated a R500000 donation were part of a campaign to destroy him.

He said the allegations were signs of how the South African revolution was now on trial.

Under such conditions, leaders used state apparatus to settle factional disputes and used the media to destroy each other, Nzimande said.

He also insinuated that President Thabo Mbeki's previous personal attack on him was part of an indication of how the revolution was on trial.

Nzimande also suggested that the corruption charges against ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma were part of the said scenario.

He said the political atmosphere today was different from that of the 1990-94 period when the alliance leadership frankly and openly discussed contentious issues, such as the role of the alliance and the formation of the government of national unity.

Nzimande said the situation was now so different that if the late SACP general secretary, Chris Hani, had argued for the sunset clause (that secured jobs for apartheid civil servants) and a government of national unity today, "others would have avoided engaging him in a comradely and friendly manner, but would instead call the NPA to investigate and possibly charge him on some concocted charges". "If Blade Nzimande argued against the sunset clause, he would be accused of stealing R500000 from the SACP, or be labelled 'extra-arrogant'. (This is how Mbeki had previously described Nzimande).

Nzimande was addressing more than 500 delegates, including African National Congress leaders and government officials attending a four-day central committee meeting of the Congress of South African Trade Unions.

On Monday, ANC national chairman Mosioua Lekota warned the same audience against workers "reversing the gains of the revolution" by engaging in destructive behaviour while on strike.

Lekota said failure by leaders to tackle such matters amounted to populism.

Yesterday, Nzimande took a swipe at Lekota, insinuating that he was part of the elite that "cynically dismiss the campaigns and struggles of the working class as populist".

He said through these campaigns, the working class had remained active participants "in the struggle to consolidate the national democratic revolution".