Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
3 minute read
4 May 2017
5:01 am

Zuma walks or we walk – SACP

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

The party’s second deputy general secretary, Solly Mapaila, issued a firm warning to the ANC yesterday that without its alliance partners, it would have no power.

Solly Mapaila of the SACP. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Pressure is mounting on the South African Communist Party (SACP) to break away from the tripartite alliance, according to an analyst.

This after the party’s second deputy general secretary, Solly Mapaila, issued a firm warning to the ANC yesterday that without its alliance partners, it would have no power.

Mapaila was addressing members of the National Union of Mineworkers yesterday when he touched on the issue of corruption and power within the strained alliance between themselves, the ANC and trade union federation Cosatu.

“The ANC must understand that without the communist party and Cosatu, it will be no better than the DA [Democratic Alliance]. The ANC – what will remain of the ANC? A group of these so-called rich people and the so-called professionals who are confused about which class they belong to,” he said.

Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni yesterday predicted growing pressure for the SACP to part ways with the alliance should its concerns about its leadership not be addressed.

“I do think that it will be a weapon that the SACP may use if certain things don’t happen, but on the ground the pressure will grow on SACP leaders to break away, because that has been a call that has been there for some time,” he said.

Mapaila also called for an internal discussion about the powers of the ANC within the alliance.

“We have a situation where the modus operandi of the alliance has [tended] towards giving the ANC more power over the other alliance partners and that’s an issue that must be debated and discussed within the framework of the alliance, because the alliance is made of equal partners.”

Fikeni noted that power struggles in the alliance would have to be discussed at the next alliance meeting.

“The question of who is the senior and who is the junior partner of the alliance is going to come up and it is going to be key in these times when there are challenges politically. So that is what we should be expecting in the meeting of the ANC and alliance partners [and it] ought to resolve that.”

The communist party has been vocal about its call for President Jacob Zuma, who was booed at Cosatu’s May Day rally, to step down.

While Mapaila attributed the anti-Zuma disruptions at the Workers’ Day celebrations to factional leaders paying off parts of the crowd, Zuma spoke up for the first time about the incident at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban.

Zuma said him being booed off the stage was a sign of a healthy democracy.

“The problem is that people have not understood what democracy is all about. You will have understood that in countries of dictators there will be no protest, there will be no booing. Protests, booing and debates are part of the culture of democracy,” Zuma explained.

“Now, unfortunately people misunderstand this, they misread this. Now, as in any political democracy, people engage heads of states, people criticise heads of states, they call for their removal etcetera, because they are expressing freely. That’s the culture of democracy.”


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