Factionalism destroying the alliance: Nzimande

Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande Picture: Antonio Muchave/ Sowetan
Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande Picture: Antonio Muchave/ Sowetan

Faced with an increasingly hostile alliance with the ANC‚ South African Communist Party leader Blade Nzimande has said party members should not shy away from discussing  the prospect of going it alone in 2019 and beyond.

The issue is gaining momentum ahead of the party’s 14th national congress in July with the Young Communist League and senior SACP leaders speaking openly about it.

Addressing hundreds of party faithful at the OR Tambo memorial lecture in Umlazi on Sunday‚ SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande said the party will no longer be intimidated.

“We have been talking about the need to reconfigure the alliance. I challenge you that the delegate you send to our congress in July be given a mandate to discuss this. You must be bold. In the central committee we have come to one correct conclusion; you may differ with us‚ that the way the alliance has been operating since 1994 has reached its time. It’s not the alliance that has reached its time but it’s the way the alliance works‚” said Nzimande.

“We now need an alternative‚” he said.

“This factionalism is destroying the alliance. They say we are moaning‚ but let’s not moan comrades‚ let’s come up concrete proposals. Let’s debate this issue and let us not be intimidated. We are an independent political party.

Let’s debate on whether it is not time for the South African Communist Party to stand for elections on its own‚” said Nzimande.

“We feel it at national level that actually we are no longer in the alliance with the ANC but with the alliance with the dominant faction in the ANC. We are not an ally to the faction of the ANC but an ally to the ANC‚” he said.

“We must not be misunderstood‚ we are really committed to this alliance. We were in the fore front of building this alliance‚ but it has to move with the times. That’s very important‚” he said.

Speaking to The Times on Friday‚ SACP second deputy general secretary‚ Solly Mapaila‚ said some provincial structures had already taken a decision on whether the party should go it alone.

 Mpumalanga SACP structures have decided the party should contest the 2019 elections separately.

 “We can’t be naïve that the decision would not impact the alliance‚” said Mapaila.

National chairperson of the Young Communist League Yershen Pillay told The Times that the SACP was the only party that could lead a movement in order to achieve radical economic transformation.

 “Should the SACP decide to lead a new movement for change‚ it will inevitably result in the termination of the current configuration of the tripartite alliance. We will have no choice but to directly contest the ANC through the ballot in 2019‚” said Pillay.




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