SACP leadership. File picture: Itumeleng English
Johannesburg - Purge the capture of the ANC and Luthuli House by the Guptas or be on your own politically.

This was the unambiguous message to the SACP by the Police, Prisons and Civil Rights Union (Popcru) on Saturday.

Popcru president Zizamele Cebekhulu told the SACP first deputy secretary Solly Mapaila that Popcru and other Cosatu-aligned unions were seeing a mass exodus of members to rival federations due to the “capture of Luthuli House”.

Cebekhulu’s challenge to the SACP followed the communists’ elective conference in July in which they demanded a “reconfiguration of the Alliance”.

At that conference in Boksburg, the SACP argued for equal powers for all partners of the ANC - the SACP, Cosatu and Sanco - in decision-making. They also wanted President Jacob Zuma to be forced to consult with the alliance partners prior to reshuffling his cabinet and entering into important government deals.

READ MORE: Cosatu and SACP, it’s time to walk the unity talk

Saturday, Cebekhulu urged the SACP to explain their model, saying “the reconfiguration of the Alliance must touch on other matters that we are concerned about.

"Some of our affiliates and members are joining splinter federations.

“In the main, the leader of the alliance (ANC) has been captured,” Cebekhulu said.

He also made it clear that his union members were in support of ANC presidential hopeful and incumbent Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa but warned against him being given a “blank cheque”.

He said Ramaphosa must be told to look after the interests of all if he’s elected in December, “otherwise we are going to rebel”.

Mapaila agreed while addressing the Popcru central executive committee meeting in Irene, Pretoria.

Mapaila, who for years was a proponent of SACP contesting elections on its own, tactically suspended the option to contest elections alone yesterday.

“Do not give up hope on the ANC. We need a different ANC,” he said.

Popcru’s ultimatum had evidently forced Mapaila to divert from his prepared speech and to address their concerns.

“The ANC is so crucial and we can’t allow it to collapse or break up. We should not give up to do more to make it right,” Mapaila pleaded.

Adding more to Popcru’s unhappiness was the announcement of appointments of Fikile Mbalula as police minister and acting commissioners in the police and correctional services prior to them being consulted. 

In reply to the many concerns, Mapaila said: “That’s why as workers we must campaign that Zuma must step down. He can’t be our leader.”

Detailing the alleged influence of the Guptas on Zuma and ANC, Mapaila compared it to a “tongue eating fish parasite called cymothoa exigua”.“The parasite thrives by finding its way to a fish through its gills and attaches itself to the tongue where it sucks the prey’s blood.

“It attacks the tongue to atrophy from lack of blood, in other words until the tongue withers away from the lack of blood. 

The parasite then attaches itself to the muscles of the remains of the fish’s tongue, thus replacing it and rendering the fish to use the parasite as if it was its normal tongue, becoming the prosthetic tongue,” Mapaila said.

He said that was the only appropriate explanation for state capture in the country. Mapaila also lambasted the State Security Agency (SSA) plan to lodge criminal investigations against Jacques Pauw, the author of the book The President’s Keepers.

He urged Popcru members to rush to bookshops and buy a copy.

Sunday Independent