Zuma faces fiercest critics in the alliance

President Jacob Zuma. Picture Credit: Masi Losi
President Jacob Zuma. Picture Credit: Masi Losi

President Jacob Zuma is expected to come face to face with his nemesis in the tripartite alliance for the first time since he fired Blade Nzimande when the ANC, the SACP and Cosatu hold an alliance political meeting on Thursday.

A source confirmed to Sowetan yesterday that Zuma will attend the meeting, which is expected to take place at Luthuli House in Johannesburg.

The meeting comes days after he axed Nzimande, SACP general secretary, as higher education minister. Nzimande's removal is seen as punishment by Zuma for the criticism of the Guptas, friends of Zuma.

Zuma will now face SACP and Cosatu leaders who have called on him to step down.

The meeting will also be the first one since Zuma's two cabinet reshuffles last week and in March.

The ANC and its alliance partners are supposed to meet frequently to discuss key decisions, but that has not been happening under Zuma's leadership. He did not even inform the SACP and Cosatu when he reshuffled his cabinet last week.

Sowetan understands that the meeting, which will be attended by national office bearers of the tripartite alliance, will be robust.

The SACP held its special central committee meeting on Friday to discuss what it called the "reckless" cabinet reshuffle by Zuma.

"This was not the move of a master chess player, as some in the media are suggesting. It was a desperate move by a desperate man who increasingly bypasses his own cabinet, his own ANC NEC [national executive committee], his own ANC top six, let alone the broad alliance, in an attempt to ram through his own private agendas," SACP spokesman Alex Mashilo said.

Mashilo said the latest developments have reinforced the SACP's determination to work with hundreds of thousands of ANC members to rid the collective liberation movement of 'despotic tendencies and parasitic looting'.

"The SACP will not be misled into rash actions by a provocative president hiding behind a presidential prerogative. The SACP remains committed to its strategic vision of contesting all key sites of power, not for the sake of the SACP or our members - but in the interests of the great majority of South Africans, the working class and poor."