Nzimande to retain his SACP post

Kingdom Mabuza

Kingdom Mabuza

South African Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande will retain his position in the party while also executing his functions as the Minister of Higher Education.

SACP spokesperson Malesela Maleka confirmed yesterday that Nzimande remained the general secretary of the SACP. There had been speculations that the party's central committee, which met at the weekend, would review his position and that of his deputy, Jeremy Cronin, who is now the Deputy Minister of Transport.

Maleka said the central committee resolved that the issue of the two leaders should be discussed "with the broader membership of the SACP".

He said a special congress would be held in December to discuss the issue.

When asked if having the two key SACP leaders being appointed as ANC ministers did not amount to co-option, Maleka said it was important that communists participated in the implementation of the ANC manifesto.

He said some of the proposals included in the manifesto, such as the establishment of national health insurance, creation of decent jobs and formation of institutions such as a state-owned bank, were in line with the SACP's vision.

"Communists should participate in the current political framework to ensure that there is implementation of a pro-working class government programme.

"We cannot remain outside that process. We cannot open the doors, like we did in contributing to the formation of the Polokwane resolution, and then not walk through it," Maleka said.

Yesterday the SACP also committed itself to fighting alongside Cosatu against the sale of Vodacom to foreign owners.

Responding to concerns that the markets would have been affected had the deal been blocked, he said: "It's not markets only that are important, it is also our people."