Polokwane - The DA and the Economic Freedom Fighters were the main victims of SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande’s sharp tongue at Thursday’s national May Day rally in Polokwane.
Addressing thousands of workers affiliated to Cosatu, Nzimande labelled the DA the “arrogant party of white monopoly capital and white minority privilege” that needed to be taught a lesson in Wednesday’s elections.
Nzimande, who spoke before Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini and ANC president Jacob Zuma, accused the DA of being anti-workers. He said the official opposition party had projected Cosatu, an alliance partner of the ANC, as the enemy.
“(It’s) a party whose marchers to Luthuli House (ANC headquarters) are all black, but its members of Parliament in Cape Town are predominantly white.” Nzimande claimed 70 percent of the DA’s candidates for Parliament were white.
He criticised the DA’s failed attempt to “hire at night” AgangSA leader Mamphela Ramphele as its presidential candidate.
“This is a new phenomenon in our politics, which is called political labour brokering.”
Regarding Julius Malema’s EFF, Nzimande said to loud applause: “Let us also teach a lesson to these tenderpreneurs who have stolen our red colours, who are trying to say they are better than anything – these loudmouths and demagogues who have never worked for a day but have got millions and millions of rand in their pockets. Our youths must not be fooled.”
While other speakers highlighted the ANC’s achievements in the past 20 years, Nzimande singled out the successes of the Zuma administration. He said investments in infrastructure by Zuma’s government were the largest in the country’s history.
“It is the result of our campaign that we have ensured the removal of adverse credit information from the credit bureaus, and this came into effect a month ago, thus relieving 10 million South Africans who were suffocated by mashonisas (loan sharks) and high bank charges,” Nzimande said.
He said Zuma’s administration had rescued the country’s car industry by investing R22 billion, therefore preserving 46 000 jobs and adding 9 850 more.
The best way of fighting corruption was by voting for the ANC, he added.
Zuma called for unity in Cosatu, saying it should begin with affiliate unions. He said successive ANC-led governments’ policies were informed by workers’ rights.
“A vote for the ANC is a vote for decent work, a better life for all.”
He expressed concern at the three-month-long wage strike in the platinum mining industry, insisting “endless strikes are not in the interests of anyone, the economy, and indeed are not in the interests of workers themselves”.