Nzimande: Discuss new leaders, the SACP must renew itself

South African Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande urged members to have open leadership succession talks o ensure organisational renewal.

He was addressing the SACP’s 14th National Congress on Tuesday in Boksburg.

“The party must renew itself. It cannot be forever dependent on the same leaders. At least start a discussion. A very serious and open discussion. None of us here in front are here as permanent furniture,” said Nzimande.

“Something that we have been doing very well as the communist party is that we do not fight for positions. We need to talk about succession. Some of us are getting old and the party must renew itself.” 

The party will elect its new leaders during the five-day congress.

In June, the Mail & Guardian reported that SACP insiders claimed that there is a strong lobby in the party pushing for its second deputy general secretary, Solly Mapaila, to replace Nzimande, who has served as the party’s general secretary for 19 years.

But, on Monday, Mapaila announced that he will not be going up against Nzimande for the position of general secretary.

The organisation’s first deputy general secretary Jeremy Cronin also announced that he would not avail himself for re-election after 22 years in his position.

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