James Nxumalo File picture: Sibusiso Ndlovu/Independent Media
Durban – The South African Communist Party's 14th National Congress in July will have to face calls for the party to contest the 2019 elections itself, the party's KwaZulu-Natal provincial chairman warned.

James Nxumalo, the party's KwaZulu-Natal provincial chairman, speaking at a march of about 500 people in Inchanga to demand a police station to protect the predominantly SACP stronghold, said: "It is an issue that will be discussed in July."

He said continued dissatisfaction over the African National Congress's gatekeeping of membership and preventing SACP members from joining the ANC had fueled questions within the party over its continued participation with the ANC.

He said it would be noted that other parties in the Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay were in alliance with the Democratic Alliance. "Why couldn't we stand and have an alliance with the ANC?" he questioned.

Nxumalo, who was ousted as the ANC's regional eThekwini chairman at the end of 2015 after a bitter struggle with his successor Zundile Gumede, said that he was extremely worried about the ANC.

"The internal democracy of the ANC is depreciating because of the factionalism and the gatekeeping," he said. Nxumalo said that he viewed his contest with Gumede as "water under the bridge, but I am a victim of that situation of factionalism".

He said that despite protests and protests, the ANC had not been to Inchanga to allow the SACP members to sign up. He said that although the dissatisfaction over the way the ANC was handling issues appeared to be strongest in KwaZulu-Natal, he said it was not limited to the province.

At least 12 people have been killed in political violence in the area during 2016. The area had previously returned an ANC candidate, but in the August 2016 election an independent candidate and SACP member, Petros "Malombo" Nxumalo, contested and won the ward in clear defiance of the ANC.

Marchers handed over a memorandum to a senior police officer, before peacefully dispersing.