The SACP's new handlers
South African Communist Party national treasurer Joyce Moloi-Moropa says she is not intimidated to be the only woman out of the party's newly elected top six officials led by general secretary Blade Nzimande. One of her priorities in the next five years of her term will be to push for the gender parity at the top leadership level, which is dominated by men. Out of the 40 central committee members, only 12 are women. In contrast, the party's alliance partner the ANC has a policy of 50/50 gender parity in all its structures.
"We can do better in terms of gender. I'm going to try my best to push for that," Moloi-Moropa told the Mail & Guardian this week.
Born in the dusty streets of Soweto in Mofolo Central, Moloi-Moropa first rose to prominence when she was elected gender officer for the South African Student Congress [Sasco] in Limpopo in the 90s and moved became the its provincial chairperson from 1993 to 1995.
Between 1996 and 1997, she served as an ANC branch secretary in Polokwane, Limpopo. In 1997 she was elected to the provincial executive committee of the SACP in Limpopo and to the party's central committee in 1999. She also serves within the party's politburo. In 2007, she was elected a member of the ANC's national executive committee. Before she took over as the SACP national treasurer, she served as the party's deputy chairperson- replacing Ncumisa Kondlo who died in 2008.
Moloi-Moropa, who is known to be Nzimande's close ally, first served in Parliament between 2001 and 2004, and returned there after the 2009 elections. She currently chairs the Public Service and Administration Portfolio Committee in the National Assembly. Moloi-Moropa holds BA Hons Degree and a Higher Education Diploma from the University of Limpopo. She is currently studying part-time with the University of London doing microeconomics post-graduate diploma.
SACP chairperson Senzeni Zokwana
SACP chairperson and National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) president Senzeni Zokwana & earned himself a reputation for shooting from the hip when addressing large union gatherings. Many will still remember his most recent controversial statement where he called on union members to lead a naked march to the Goodman Gallery in protest against the Spear – a controversial portrait of President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed. He told over 1 000 NUM delegates attending the union's elective conference last month the naked march would give Goodman Gallery owner Liza Essers and artist Brett Murray good reason to paint blacks with their genitals exposed.
In 2006, he was forced to make a public apology after he told the NUM's congress: "We don't listen to the Ten Commandments, and we don't have to listen when Christians tell us adultery is wrong ... We also don't need Christians to tell us who our leaders should be."
Zokwana was speakingin defence of then ANC deputy president Zuma who was facing charges of rape. Zuma was later acquitted.
Zokwana, one of the most vocal Zuma supporters within the trade union movement, has been in leadership positions at the union since serving as a shaft steward at the President Steyn mine in Welkom up until the time he was elected president of NUM in 2000 – a position he will hold until 2015. Before he was elected president, Zokwana served as NUM's vice-president between 1994 and 2000. Until early this year, he also served as president of the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers – a global federation with a membership of more than 20-million workers. He was recently elected deputy president of the Industrial Global Union, which has over 60-million members worldwide.
The union was formed after the merger of International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers and the International Metalworkers Federation. He replaces ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe as SACP chairperson. NUM is one of the biggest funders of the cash-strapped SACP.