Mkhize pushes for urgent SACP meeting

ANC Tresurer General Dr Zweli Mkhize at elections results centre in Pretoria, Picture Mabuti Kali © Sowetan/Sunday World
ANC Tresurer General Dr Zweli Mkhize at elections results centre in Pretoria, Picture Mabuti Kali © Sowetan/Sunday World

The ANC wants an urgent meeting with the SA Communist Party (SACP) following the axing of Blade Nzimande as higher education minister.

Nzimande, the SACP general secretary, was the only casualty of President Jacob Zuma's cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday.

The decision to fire Nzimande - a fierce critic of the Guptas - has left the SACP seething.

In Johannesburg yesterday, ANC treasurer-general and presidential hopeful Zweli Mkhize said: "I have said to my comrades that I think we need an urgent bilateral meeting between the ANC and the SACP to deal with any disagreements. But also to look at a number of issues that have played themselves out in the public arena over the past few months."

Mkhize said it was only through proper engagements that unity between the ANC and its alliance partners - the SACP and Cosatu - could be deepened. "We are going through a difficult time because of the pending conference and various issues we have to deal with," he said.

Although Zuma informed the ANC top officials about his intention to reshuffle his cabinet, Mkhize said they did not expect it.

Mkhize said that ANC bigwigs had previously raised concerns about the timing and frequency of cabinet reshuffles that have a potential of creating a sense of instability in the country.

Yesterday, the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leapt to the defence of Zuma, saying that the president did not offend any component of the alliance.

"The ANCYL calls on those who are using this to drive a wedge between president Zuma and the SACP leadership to stop doing so. If His Excellency was fighting with leaders of the SACP cdes [comrades] like Buti Manamela, Thulas Nxesi, Senzeni Zokwana, Jeff Radebe, Jeremy Cronin and Ben Martins, among others, would have been recalled," spokesman Mlondi Mkhize said.

On his presidential campaign, Mkhize said his message inside the ANC was to eliminate slate politics.