Johannesburg – SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande has accused politicians within the ANC-led alliance of having prioritised their stomachs at the expense of the welfare of the movement and the country.
On Wednesday Nzimande said leaders feared to speak up against the rot and state capture. Nzimande was among leaders who addressed the 26th commemoration of the assassination of anti-apartheid activist Chris Hani in Ekurhuleni in Wednesday.
Hani was the SACP general secretary, a chief of staff of uMkhonto weSizwe and a member of the ANC national executive committee when he was killed by Polish immigrant Janus Walus in Boksburg, in 1993.
Nzimande hailed Hani as a principled revolutionary who never shied away from sharply raising his voice against wrongs within the movement, sometimes at personal cost.
He took a swipe at the current crop of leaders, saying they were a far cry from Hani’s calibre as they had preferred to keep quiet while the ANC and the alliance were being led astray.
“Today we are scared of raising wrongs because we are thinking about our stomachs. The difficulties we are in today, it is because many of us can’t stand up and point out wrong things that are happening right now in our own movement,” Nzimande said.
He said factionalism, state capture, corruption, anti-intellectualism, populism and gatekeeping still dominated the political culture within the alliance.
Nzimande said while the SACP would campaign for an ANC victory in the upcoming elections, the governing party would soon be dislodged from power if the alliance did not renew itself and disassociate with wrongdoing.
“We are going to be raising the things we are unhappy about in the organisation, even sharply. We cannot continue like this, otherwise our revolution is coming off the rails,” he said.
He said the SACP was fully behind President Cyril Ramaphosa and his fight against rot in government.
“This rot he is fighting, we fully support as the communists. Even those who are saying we are supporting comrade Cyril because we want positions – we want to say the communists have never fought for positions,” he said.
In a clear rebuttal to Nzimande’s speech, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule slammed those who wanted to “shine” and speak out as individuals about issues they were not happy about within the alliance.
“The ANC has principles. The ANC believes in collectivism. When we take decisions and once we have taken a decision as a collective, you cannot go out of the collective and you become this special individual,” Magashule said.
He called on those who made it on the party’s list to Parliament to toe the party line and not act independently.
“They must not be led by their conscience. They must be led by the principles of the ANC.”