Blade Nzimande tells Cosatu and SACP to play watchdog role over ANC after elections
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After the local government elections, alliance partners must "force" the ANC to stick to the promises made in the party’s election manifesto, says SA Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande.
Speaking in Durban yesterday at a Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) shop stewards' council, he said the time had come for communists from the SACP and workers from Cosatu to take over the oversight role from opposition parties and demand that the ANC fulfil all the promises it was making while on the campaign trail.
Although the SACP was happy with the ANC and its local government election manifesto, alliance partners had to take on an oversight role.
Touching on a range of topical issues, such as corruption in the public sector and collective bargaining, Nzimande said the SACP still had confidence in the ANC.
“There are lot of things we like in the manifesto of the ANC; in fact, there is no single thing we don’t like in the manifesto. Now, comrades, the challenge is about fulfilling all the things contained in the manifesto.
“Let me give this challenge to Cosatu and the Communist Party: That after the elections, we must force the ANC to fulfil all that is contained in their manifesto. It should be us who raise these issues, not the opposition; it should be us raising the issues about our party,” Nzimande told the gathering.
Turning to internal ANC matters, Nzimande said the recent spate of political killings had to stop, lest all capable people developed a fear of taking public offices.
He said the killing of Siya Mkhize, an ANC councillor candidate in Cato Manor in Durban was a reminder that political killings were still taking place, and no-one had been arrested.
“One of the things that we should fight to end right now is political killings within organisations; the killing of each other over positions, we should end it now, otherwise no one will agree to take over a public office. We are concerned that killings, like the killing of comrade Siya Mkhize, was carried out by people within the ANC, it’s very clear.
“People get killed and no-one is arrested, we must stand up and make sure that they are arrested. There was once a Moerane commission that investigated (political killings in KwaZulu-Natal) but we are not seeing any action. Let us stand up and make sure that the killing of one another over position ends,” Nzimande pleaded.
Mkhize was killed on Friday evening in the densely-populated township.
Speaking at the same gathering, Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said the federation was aware that some working class people believed that life was better under apartheid rule than under the democratic rule of the ANC.
Using a Biblical allusion, he said those making such claims were behaving like the children of Israel, who, after being rescued from Egypt and on their way to the promised land, kept on lamenting that life was better under the Pharaoh's rule.
Echoing Nzimande, Ntshalintshali said a good aspect of the ANC’s election campaign was that the party acknowledged its past mistakes and had undertaken to correct these after the elections.
“Let us go and vote for the ANC … after the elections, we must stand and force it to correct all the mistakes they have admitted they made in the past,” Ntshalintshali said.