Communists clash on backing ANC

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

Despite the display of a united front over the weekend, the South African Communist Party is divided on whether to support the ANC in the coming election.

At a post-policy conference briefing on Sunday SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande said his party would throw its full weight behind the ANC to ensure an overwhelming victory in next years' national and provincial elections.

But sources have told Sowetan that the SACP Western Cape leaders told ANC president Jacob Zuma that they would not campaign for the ANC if the party's newly elected provincial executive committee continued to sideline them.

An ANC source from Cape Town's 30 000 strong ANC Dullah Omar region says the threat was communicated to Zuma and ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe at a meeting held on the sidelines of the SACP policy conference at the weekend.

The SACP Western Cape and ANC Dullah Omar region have allegedly formed an alliance against the new ANC provincial executive committee.

ANC and SACP leaders are struggling to keep the lid on tensions in the province, with a desperate scramble for places on the parliamentary candidate's list set to start next month.

The Dullah Omar region wants the NEC to hold another provincial conference and oversee the election of a new provincial executive committee.

Last week two ANC provincial conferences were held at the same time.

A breakaway conference organised by the Dullah Omar region accused the official conference of deregistering supporters of MP Lerumo Kalako, who stood for the position of chairman.

The official ANC conference, made up of delegates who supported Mcebisi Skwatsha for provincial chairman, then "dissolved" the ANC Dullah Omar region.

ANC provincial spokesman Garth Strachan told Sowetan that the region had been dissolved because regional executive members had played a role in "attempting to mobilise branches to boycott" the official conference.

But a source said "they had to disband us because the next meeting is the one where people get nominated for parliament".

"They want to put in place an interim committee to nominate their own candidates for parliament."

Breakaway conference organiser and Dullah Omar regional secretary Mbulelo Ncedane told Sowetan that the region has not been officially told they are disbanded.