SACP calls for patience among alliance partners after spat between Sanco and ANC KZN

Themba Mthembu in a red shirt speaks at a briefing.

SACP provincial secretary Themba Mthembu said they cannot risk divisions in the alliance ahead of the elections. File Picture: Independent Newspapers Archives.

Published Dec 22, 2023

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THE SACP in KwaZulu-Natal has called on alliance partners to exercise patience with one another after a spat between the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) and the ANC, over former president Jacob Zuma’s endorsement of a newly formed party for next year’s elections.

Zuma, who has been an ANC member for 62 years and served time as a political prisoner on Robben Island, has announced that he would not campaign for the governing party, nor vote for it. Instead he would campaign and vote for the new political formation, the uMkhonto weSizwe party, in next year’s polls.

He said it would be a betrayal to campaign for the ANC of Cyril Ramaphosa.

In response, ANC provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo said there had never been a former president and senior leader of the movement who had publicly campaigned against the organisation.

On Wednesday, Sanco said it would not remove Zuma as its provincial chairperson and slammed Mtolo and ANC provincial chairperson Siboniso Duma for trying to pressure the organisation to remove him from the position.

SACP provincial secretary, Themba Mthembu, called on alliance partners to exercise patience with one another and to not personalise the issue “because we need each other”.

“We cannot risk divisions in the alliance, especially with elections next year. We should not be so irritated with each other, but instead should be tirelessly talking to one another.”

Divisions among alliance partners “would play into the hands of the enemy of the ANC rather than the party and the people it serves”, he said.

“The ultimate strategy is to weaken the ANC, especially by those already describing it as a fading power, to usher in parties that are pro-business as opposed to being pro-people,” Mthembu said.

The SACP’s provincial executive committee (PEC) issued a statement yesterday, saying it had noted the persistent attacks directed at the ANC.

“The PEC agreed that there were serious crises both in the ANC and in government.”

It said these crises had been “historically designed, engineered and weaponised to preserve oppressor domination in the previously colonised or occupied countries”.

“Since the dawn of the new democracy in South Africa there has been a fierce anti-majoritarian liberation offensive directed at the ruling party, the ANC and its government.

“This project is now earmarked to deliver in this forthcoming national and provincial general elections,” the SACP said in a statement.

It said this project had delivered the Western Cape and many major economic hubs of South Africa like Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni.

“The main target now is the National Assembly and the provinces of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

“There is also a well-funded project to rubbish and demonise the National Democratic Revolution,” the SACP said.

Duma, speaking during an engagement with the party’s structures on the KZN South Coast yesterday, said there was no conflict between the ANC in KZN and Sanco but there were contradictions.

“Sanco is an important component of the alliance. And we do not believe that it is in our interests to respond to issues they raised at a media briefing yesterday.”

The ANC engagement included the SACP, Cosatu, Sanco, ANC Women’s League, uMkhonto weSizwe Liberation War Veterans, the ANC Youth League, and other alliance partners.

The Mercury