Thapelo Lekabe

By Thapelo Lekabe

Senior Digital Journalist

Mapaila says SACP is ready to contest 2024 elections, questions whether the working class is ready

The SACP leader says the party has never been found wanting when it comes to the struggles of the working class.

The South African Communist Party’s (SACP) general secretary Solly Mapaila says the party is ready to contest the upcoming 2024 general elections.

Cosatu 14th national congress

Delivering the SACP’s message of support at Cosatu’s 14th national congress on Tuesday in Midrand, Johannesburg, the SACP leader said the party was unambiguous about its stance to eventually challenge the ANC at the polls by withdrawing its longstanding support for the governing party.

Mapaila said the SACP’s elective conference, held earlier this year in July, gave the party’s national leaders until December to conclude engagements with their alliance partners – the ANC and Cosatu – on their position.

“We’ve laid out an engagement process and that is why our congress has given us until December to come out clear on the next course of action we’ll take.

“So, don’t ever say the SACP is not ready [to stand for the elections]. That is incorrect, the SACP is ready,” he said.

ALSO READ: Cosatu reflecting reality of all of us

The question the communist party was grappling with in contesting the elections, was whether the working class was ready to ditch the ANC for it, Mapaila said.

“We’re not going to go into a debate. We’ll debate with you when we are in that consultation process before December to get to know whether the working class is ready.”

Mapaila said the SACP had never been found wanting when it came to the struggles of the working class.

“We’ve always taken the most difficult task of the revolution as the SACP. We were the first to go out and launch an armed struggle against the apartheid regime. We jointly established uMkhonto we Sizwe; it was not just established by the ANC on its own,” he said.

Meanwhile, ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe left the second day of Cosatu’s conference without delivering the governing party’s message of support to its alliance partner.

This after he was booed off the stage on Monday, by angry delegates of the trade union federation, who refused to listen to his speech.

‘Alliance has weakened a great deal’

Speaking to the media before he left the Gallagher Convention Centre, Mantashe admitted that the alliance between the ANC, Cosatu and SACP was at its weakest point.

“We must accept the fact that delegates of the conference didn’t want us to talk to them. We must just humbly accept that,” Mantashe said.

“It means the alliance is weak [and] it has weakened a great deal. We’ll have to get together and try to rebuild it,” he added.

Mantashe also raised concerns about the SACP “severing divorce papers” on the ANC at Cosatu’s conference.

“I also took note of the issues that were raised by the SACP and we [ANC delegation] were whispering there and said: ‘Why has the party served divorce papers in public?’. They must send divorce papers to us and we’ll read them so we can respond to them,” he said.

NOW READ: ‘Hamba Gwede!’ – Mantashe booed off Cosatu congress stage