Young Communists throw support behind Nzimande

Allegations of embezzlement against South African Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande were unfounded, the Young Communist League (YCL) said on Monday.

Speaking at a press briefing at Cosatu House, YCL chairperson David Masondo said: ”We as the youth wing have engaged with Nzimande, and he said the allegations were untrue.”

Masondo was responding to weekend news reports that Pretoria businessman Charles Kasinja Modise had accused Nzimande of embezzling a R500 000 donation he made to the SACP in March 2002.

The money was to be used to pay rent, telephone bills and staff salaries.

YCL secretary Buti Manamela said that Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) president Willie Madisha’s decision not to comment on the matter was ”childish”.

The money was apparently loaded into Madisha’s car boot and taken to Nzimande to give to SACP treasurer Phillip Dexter, who has since been suspended for criticising the party.

Masondo said the league was not attacking Cosatu, but the childish behaviour of some of its members.

He noted that the allegations were surfacing ahead of the African National Congress’ national conference in December, at which a new party president will be chosen.

”Given the currency of the SACP and Cosatu, we’re quite convinced that it’s a campaign to smear Nzimande’s name before the conference.

”People are aware that the SACP’s voice will be critical at the conference,” said Masondo.

Masondo said the allegations had to be investigated and if anybody was found to be at fault, ”heads must roll”.

On Sunday, Gauteng police confirmed that they were investigating fraud charges against Nzimande.

”A case was opened in the Bedfordview police station in the past week. I cannot say anything other than that,” said Director Govindsamy Mariemuthoo.

The league said the allegations against Nzimande would not affect the relationship between the SACP and Cosatu.

”People want genuine leaders,” said Masondo. – Sapa

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