Opposition relying on Protector’s report

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IOL ST_sa blade nzimande byline020 INLSA SACP General Secretary Dr Blade Nzimande. Photo: Sharon Seretlo

Durban - SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande on Saturday said oppositions parties' campaigns were limited to reports by the Public Protector.

Nzimande made the comments after he had addressed supporters in Durban's Gugu Dlamini Park following a march through the city centre in support of the African National Congress.

About 8 000 people marched from Durban's Curries Fountain Stadium to the park in the midday heat.

The joint march saw a memorandum from the SA Communist Party and the Congress of SA Trade Unions being handed over to ANC national executive member Joe Phaahla.

Speaking to the media after addressing the masses, Nzimande said he was concerned at the “hypocrisy” of the opposition parties and “sections” of the media when it came to the office of the Public Protector.

“They can't say that eight years ago it was correct to attack the Public Protector, but today it is not correct to criticise the public protector.”

He said opposition parties were approaching the office of the Public Protector in a way that served their interests.

Nzimande expressed concern about the timing of the release of the report on security upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's private home in Nkandla.

“Indeed our concern has been proven because that is just about the only thing the opposition is campaigning around.”

He said that while the SACP and Cosatu were backing the ANC in the upcoming election, the ruling party did not have carte blanche to do what it wanted without consulting its alliance partners.

“We have never voted for the ANC on the basis of a blank cheque. There are certain things we will continue to engage (government). There is no other organisation we believe that can respond to the issues of the majority of the people in this country, especially the workers.”

Accepting the memorandum, Phaahla told supporters the Democratic Alliance had accepted that the ANC was the leader.

“The DA is trying to mimic the ANC,” he said, adding that DA members were now toyi-toying the same way ANC members had done so for years.

He described the DA as being desperate and the Economic Freedom Fighters as being the “economic freedom fools” with a leader who had never worked and owed millions in taxes.

The EFF is led by former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema, but Malema's name was not mentioned by Phaahla or Nzimande, who said the EFF leader owed the SA Revenue Service R16 million.

Earlier, a few thousand people packed the stand's at Curries Fountain Stadium ahead of the march.

The stadium was a sea of red SACP T-shirts and yellow Cosatu shirts with President Jacob Zuma's face printed on them.

Marshals battled to control the crowd as people scrambled to get red flags that were being handed out.

Some people held banners reading “do it for Madiba”.

There was a visible police presence outside the stadium while the jovial crowd sang songs and blew vuvuzelas.

Sapa



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