Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma’s nostalgia about the relationship of yesteryear between the ANC and the SACP has been equated to an unfair blackmail attempt that would fail.
“He can characterise us the way he wants to. He can’t win, because he knows deep down he is being economical with the truth.”
These were the sentiments of the SACP’s first general-secretary Solly Mapaila on Sunday.
“The reality is that we can’t accept what he is doing, there is no other leadership that can accept this kind of conduct,” Mapaila added.
Zuma’s comparison of the relationship of the communists of Moses Kotane and the ANC of Albert Luthuli with those of today was inaccurate, as Luthuli had “had not given up the ANC”, Mapaila added.
“There is evidence of how he (Zuma) has given over government to some people outside the movement,” Mapaila said.
Zuma has been heavily criticised by the current SACP leadership for his relationship with the Gupta family. The SACP has also made numerous calls for him to step down.
In turn, Zuma came down hard on the SACP in his address at the 50th anniversary of the death of Luthuli, in Groutville, KwaZulu-Natal, at the weekend, calling the communists careless for criticising the ANC and accusing them of not understanding sufficiently the importance of their relationship with the ANC.
But Mapaila rubbished the claims and criticised the governing party leader for “failing to fix the rot inside the ANC”.
“We have been speaking to him since 2013 about the rot inside the ANC. We have been deeply concerned and raised these matters with him and the leadership of the ANC.
“Their failure to do that should not be blamed on the SACP. Moses Kotane would never have kept quiet if the ANC was run the way it is today.”
Mapaila pointed out that the SACP still needed the ANC, but did not need a morally corrupt leader in charge of the party and vowed that they would continue to speak out.
“At our congress, the SACP reaffirmed the need for the alliance but that the ANC must clean out the rot with the president, who is likely corrupt or associated with corrupt individuals,” he said.
Mapaila also said Zuma’s stance in questioning the credibility of the SACP in the eyes of the people in an attempt to defend himself, was pointless.
ANC KZN chairperson Sihle Zikalala, meanwhile, said the SACP cannot dictate to the governing party and that its leaders of yesteryear never tried to undermine or usurp the leadership role of the ANC.
Political analyst Protus Madlala blamed the ailing alliance relationship on the leadership of Zuma.
Madlala said Zuma speaking out against the SACP could cause further divisions and tensions.
“Ever since he (Zuma) was elected, there have been divisions after divisions. His leadership doesn’t look good at all
“I don’t think the SACP is against the ANC, they are against Zuma,” Madlala said.
Traditionally, alliance partners used to debate and come out united but that Zuma has himself to blame for the SACP’s public call for him to step down, he said.