'No plan to oust Thabo Mbeki'

Eric Naki

Eric Naki

The SACP has dismissed as mischievous allegations that there is a plan to oust President Thabo Mbeki through a parliamentary vote of no confidence.

This was the reaction from SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande to yesterday's Sunday Times' report which claimed that Mbeki could be forced to call an early election if beaten by his deputy, Jacob Zuma, at the ANC national conference in Limpopo.

The paper said Zuma's political allies have devised a strategy to oust Mbeki as the country's president with a vote of no-confidence if he refused to call for a general election next year.

Asked if the SACP was part of the plan or supported it, Nzimande said: "We would not support that, it is mischief actually."

Speaking to journalists after the party's three-day central committee in Johannesburg, where among other things the party discussed the ANC's 52nd national conference to be held in Limpopo from December 15, Nzimande said a cloud of suspicion still hangs over the the suspension of NPA chief Vusi Pikoli.

He said the Ginwala Commission, which is investigating the issue, should hold an open inquiry and expedite the process.

"A dark cloud of suspicion and concern hangs over this whole matter, and only an expeditious and transparent process will help to settle this matter."

Nzimande told a press briefing yesterday that while the electoral contest within the ANC is an internal matter and the party did not back anyone among the candidates, the party is not a disinterested observer.

He said the ANC leadership must change or face further revolt from members.