SOUTH AFRICAN Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande claimed yesterday that “factionalism is destroying the alliance” with the ruling ANC.
Speaking at the annual memorial lecture for late ANC president-in-exile Oliver Tambo, he called for a debate on whether to stand separately from the ruling party in elections at the SACP’s July congress.
“We are an independent political party,” said Mr Nzimande, who serves as Higher Education Minister in President Jacob Zuma’s government.
“Let’s debate this issue and let us not be intimidated.”
Mr Nzimande said the SACP’s central committee had “come to one correct conclusion.
“It’s not the alliance that has reached its time but it’s the way the alliance works,” he said.
“We feel it at national level, that actually we are no longer in the alliance with the ANC but with the alliance with the dominant faction in the ANC.”
Mr Nzimande’s speech followed dramatic revelations to the media by SACP second deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila on Friday.
Mr Mapaila claimed the socalled “premier league” of three provincial premiers was ruling the century-old liberation movement.
And he said that in last Monday’s bilateral meeting, the SACP had given the ANC an ultimatum to sack MP Brian Molefe, seen as an enemy of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, and revoke the citizenship of the wealthy Indian Gupta family.
If not, the SACP would campaign for Mr Zuma’s overthrow.
But a previous attempt by Mr Zuma’s critics to depose him through a no-confidence vote at the ANC national executive committee in November failed.