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The SA Communist Party has denied reports that its secretary general Blade Nzimande was a former Inkatha Freedom Party member.
“Occasionally in the run up to major congresses of our organisations this allegation and others are thrown up with an intention to tarnish the name of the general secretary of the SACP,” spokesman Malesela Maleka said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Comrade Blade's record of struggle is there for all to see.”
The SA Communist Party was reacting to a report on Sunday that African National Congress national executive committee (NEC) member Tony Yengeni and Nzimande got into a scuffle at an NEC meeting last week.
It was reported that according to unnamed eyewitnesses at the meeting, the men were having a debate about former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema's expulsion.
President Jacob Zuma’s parliamentary counsellor Siphiwe Nyanda reportedly told the meeting that people couldn’t speak freely because they felt they were under a dictatorship. Nzimande objected to this.
Yengeni took issue with Nzimande and told him that he “doesn’t know the ANC and its traditions because he’s originally from the IFP”, according to a media report.
Maleka said the only way Nzimande could be isolated was by associating him with the IFP.
“The absurdity of this claim is also in its tribalistic undertones, building on (IFP leader Mangosuthu) Buthelezi's and the apartheid regime's claims in the 1970s and 1980s that all Zulus were members of Inkatha,” he said.
“It is a repeat of the same script, because Nzimande is Zulu, therefore he was Inkatha. No shred of evidence has ever been produced to support this ludicrous claim,” said Maleka. - Sapa