Nzimande, who is the Minister of Transport, shared the podium with former president Jacob Zuma at the funeral of ANC and SACP stalwart Eric “Stalin” Mtshali in Durban.
“When we say goodbye to Mtshali, we need to remind ourselves that the fact that we were in the Struggle against apartheid is not a licence (to) use your position to loot and enrich yourself,” he said.
Nzimande said Mtshali was one of the leaders whose Struggle against injustice did not end when apartheid collapsed.
“Those (Struggle) values are even more necessary today,” he said.
Nzimande said the fact that Mtshali died when the country was facing economic stagnation (meant that Mtshali’s) comrades should support President Cyril Ramaphosa’s initiatives to revitalise the economy.
“We must support the job summit resolutions and next week’s investment conference convened by President Ramaphosa,” he said.
He also called on citizens to defend the state from corporate capture. Nzimande also took aim at religious leaders, who he said were being quiet when other religious leaders were allegedly sexually abusing young women.
He cited the case of Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso, who is facing charges for allegedly sexually abusing young women, as an example.
“Why are we quiet when these pastors keep young women in order to turn them into sex slaves?”
Zuma, who spoke as Mtshali’s friend, called on the SACP to continue with its liberation Struggle until it delivers socialism to the country.
Mtshali, who was one of the first volunteers of uMkhonto weSizwe, died at the age of 86 on October 12 after a long illness.
Speaking on behalf of Ramaphosa, Minister in the Presidency for the National Planning Commission for Policy and Evaluation, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, said that, as South Africa’s former representative in the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), Mtshali “belongs to all of us, in South Africa and in the world”.
“As all true Marxists, he understood that the disorganisation of the working class is one of the fundamental causes of their exploitation.
“His focus in the WFTU on mobilisation and strengthening trade unions in Ethiopia, Sudan, Zambia, Tanzania and Morocco proves that 'Stalin' was also an internationalist,” said Dlamini Zuma.