South African Communist Party (SACP) secretary general Blade Nzimande on Monday said the disruptions at Cosatu’s main May Day rally in Bloemfontein which laid bare the divisions within the tri-partite alliance between the African National Congress, Cosatu and his party were a sad day for the alliance and should send a strong massage to leaders.
President Jacob Zuma was meant to speak at the rally, but was heckled and booed by sections of the crowd that consisted of pro-Zuma and anti-Zuma supporters.
Nzimande said the disruptions were the “lowest point” in his history as part of the alliance with the ruling ANC, saying leaders of the organisations had to meet and discuss the events that transpired.
“I am extremely saddened. The entire leadership of our alliance should be saddened. It’s the lowest point in my own history as part of this alliance. I never thought it would come to this.
“But I don’t think we should despair. We should use this as a final wake-up call‚ not for the sake of our organisations‚ but for the sake of our country‚” he said.
“We will have to come together and properly analyse this‚ debate and decide what needs to be done. I think as the SACP we are relatively clear on what we think needs to be done‚” he added.
Last month the SACP and Cosatu called for Zuma to step down after his controversial Cabinet reshuffle, saying they no longer believed he was the right person to unite and lead the alliance.
Nzimande said he could not confirm whether the heckling directed at Zuma was choreographed as claimed by Free State Premier, Ace Magashule in an interview with Talk Radio 702.
He said the leadership of the organisations needed to stop looking for excuses and acknowledge worker’s disaffection, saying he arrived at the venue‚ Loch Logan Park‚ and he was shortly informed there were some workers who wanted to hold an alternative rally.
“There were red t-shirts that read 100% Zuma with no logo that seemed to anger some of the workers. And there were people brought in from the ANCYL and ANCWL from the province to come and occupy the front spaces while the workers were marching,” he said.