SOUTH AFRICA’S ruling ANC attacked the South African Communist Party (SACP) on Wednesday night after it complained of a “witch-hunt” against rebel MPs. In the strongest criticism of its alliance partner to date, the ANC slammed the communists’ “extremely ill-advised and gravely unfortunate statement” earlier that day.
The SACP called the decision to discipline MPs who have admitted voting with the opposition in last Tuesday’s no-con?dence motion against President Jacob Zuma a “myopic campaign clothed in the name of discipline” and in pursuit of a “factionally charged agenda.”
ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said: “We reject with the contempt it deserves the notion that acting against ill discipline of the worst order in our ranks is factionalism.”
On Tuesday, ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu publicly rebuked ?ve MPs who had refused to attend meetings of the portfolio committee on public service and administration chaired by their colleague Makhosi Khoza, who had publicly called for the motion to be supported.
However, the party dismissed Ms Khoza as the committee’s chair yesterday, citing an “irretrievable breakdown of trust” between her and its ANC members.
The SACP had urged ANC MPs — communists among them — to vote against the opposition motion, which was tabled in response to Mr Zuma’s sacking of ?nance minister Pravin Gordhan in March.
But the communists also attended a Cape Town march against the president the day before which called for Mr Zuma to resign or be recalled by his own party over his shady links to the billionaire Gupta family.