SACP leader Solly Mapaila File picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo/ANA Pictures
Fiery SACP leader Solly Mapaila has once again launched a broadside at President Jacob Zuma, saying he had agreed in private to distance himself from his friends the Guptas, but had failed to do so.

Mapaila, the SACP’s second deputy general-secretary, took umbrage at reports that Zuma had recently attended an event hosted by the Guptas.

“He agreed to deal with the problem. Quite recently, he attended some of their events. He is basically saying you can complain about the Guptas, I see no problem with them,” he said.

Mapaila was speaking at the National Union of Mineworkers’ education and training summit in Midrand on Wednesday.

The SACP and Cosatu have called on Zuma to resign.

Mapaila recently threatened that his party would embark on a “strategic programme” if the ANC did not recall Zuma as president.

He also slammed the so-called Premier League, a group of powerful premiers of the Free State, North West and Mpumalanga, who support Zuma.

Mapaila repeated his claims that the league had hijacked the elective conferences of the ANC Youth League and Women’s League for their own political ends.

He said the ANC had to deal with the Premier League, which he claimed “stole the ANC Women’s League conference and stole the ANCYL conference, openly, with money”.

There were people who arrived with “lots of money in the boots of their cars” at the ANCWL conference last year, and the security detail had been aware of that, Mapaila said.

The SACP had called on the ANC to investigate the issue of vote-buying at ANC conferences.

“What has happened to it, they can’t investigate because the source will point to leaders. Now that’s how you destroy the organisation.”

He urged the summit delegates not to allow themselves to be corrupted.

“You must never accept any leader who gives you money. When they give you money, because you need it, take it but show them the door.

“They are corrupting our movement with money; now members are addicted to money,” said Mapaila to loud applause.

He accused Zuma of being the de-facto leader of the Premier League, which favours former AU Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to succeed him as ANC leader in December.

The president was in fact sacrificing the unity of the ruling party, Mapaila said, also pointing out inconsistencies in the party.

“When you have a movement that is so factionalised, when wrong things are done by your faction you can’t speak up, you keep quiet. And that’s when you become inconsistent. The most excruciating feeling you can get as a member is when your leader can’t come above factions” he said.

“He’s controlled by factions, he doesn’t care about the people of the movement but cares about unity of factions. So, if your faction is united, that (becomes) the unity of the organisation,” he added.