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12 May 2008 15:47
Unionist Willie Madisha has been expelled from the South African Communist Party (SACP), of which he was a central committee member, the organisation announced on Monday.
It said the move followed a recommendation by a disciplinary committee that found he never disclosed a supposed R500 000 donation, and that he brought the party into disrepute.
“In the light of these findings, and noting the further aggravating factor of Madisha’s persistent non-cooperation with the disciplinary committee, the CC [central committee] could come to no other conclusion than that Madisha should be expelled from the SACP,” the party said in a statement.
Madisha was suspended as president of the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) in December last year, and in February this year was axed from his post as president of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).
Malawian businessman Charles Modise laid a criminal complaint against the SACP last year in connection with a R500 000 donation he claimed to have made to the party in 2002.
He claimed he gave the money, packed in black plastic bags, to Madisha, who in turn swore he transported the money in the boot of his car to SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande.
Nzimande denied ever receiving the money.
The SACP said the first charge against Madisha had been that he served for five years in various top-level structures, and never disclosed that he received the donation.
This was serious negligence and a dereliction of his fiduciary duties.
The second charge was that in publicly defending his claim about the donation, he persistently went out of his way to damage the SACP and its leaders. In addition, he never responded to the committee’s attempts to secure his cooperation.
The disciplinary committee found Madisha guilty on both counts, and the central committee upheld its general findings.
The SACP noted that a task group it set up, assisted by independent auditors, had conducted a comprehensive inquiry and could find no shred of evidence to uphold Madisha’s story about the donation.
The party said expulsion was not a matter the SACP took lightly.
“The SACP is committed to fostering a climate of comradely debate in its ranks and tolerance of constructive political difference within the parameters of our broad values, our programme and our constitution,” it said.
Madisha is currently facing a Sadtu inquiry, which is looking at, among other things, whether his handling of the donation saga damaged the union’s reputation.
He has also launched a court challenge to the Cosatu sacking.—Sapa
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