SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande File photo: ANA

Durban – South African Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande told SACP supporters at a rally in Durban on Sunday to buy and read “The President’s Keepers” by author and veteran investigative journalist Jacques Pauw, which lays bare damning allegations about President Jacob Zuma and certain state institutions. 

“We want to officially say as the SACP, go buy and read that book by Jacques Pauw, because half of the things he says are things we have been saying as the SACP, including the abuse of our intelligence services,” the recently axed higher education minister said.

“You can’t use intelligence [services] against your own allies. We know we are being listened to,” Nzimande said. This indicated that the SACP and Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) had been “declared enemies”.
 
“We must fight this, and we want to say to the ANC as it goes into conference, elect a leadership that is not going to abuse state institutions,” he said.   
 
The SACP and Cosatu, along with the South African Civic Organisation (Sanco), have been in an alliance with the ANC since 1994. The SACP and Cosatu were originally strong supporters of Zuma’s bid for the presidency in 2009 and again in 2014, but the relationship has in recent times come close to collapse in the wake of corruption and state capture allegations.
 
Both organisations have called on Zuma to step down as president and have thrown their weight behind Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed Zuma.
 
Nzimande said the alliance needed to be reconfigured to serve the people instead of reflecting unilateralism, authoritarianism, and other forms of dictatorial leadership.
 
“When we say we are committed to the alliance we mean it. We want the alliance to function as a single revolutionary democratic unit. The alliance must implement our shared national democratic revolution through the state – which must be an organ of democracy,” said Nzimande.
 
It was “unprincipled” to expect alliance partners to campaign for the ANC and then have the governing party make decisions, “or worse, for an individual or faction to make decisions”.
 
“It is unfair to expect alliance partners to support the decisions they were not consulted on, and more so factional, divisive, and wrong decisions,” he said.
 
“It is unjustifiable to expect alliance partners to rally behind wrongdoing and the failure to hold those committing wrongdoing accountable. Those who have a problem [with] the alliance working together, who take decisions outside of the principles of democratic consensus-seeking consultation, collective leadership, and accountability, cannot be trusted when they talk about the importance of the alliance,” Nzimande said.
 
Refusals to "democratise the alliance, accept collective leadership of the national democratic revolution", or engage in consensus-seeking consultation before major policy and deployment decisions were made would leave the SACP “with no other option but to reconfigure the alliance via the ballot as the SACP or through a popular left front”, he said.