The South African Communist Party (SACP) says it feels betrayed by the ANC over its failure to implement its 2007 Polokwane resolutions that were intended to see the party bring about transformation in the country.
The prevalence of corruption and the influence of “parasitic forces” posed a threat to the state of the ANC-led alliance, the SACP said on Tuesday, the first day of the party’s 14th national congress being held in Boksburg‚ east of Johannesburg.
“We want to say this as the South African Communist Party, including speaking for myself personally, we feel a betrayal in terms of the understanding we had in Polokwane. Our trust has been broken,” SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande said.
“And we must learn the lesson as the SACP. Unless we root ourselves among the people we can’t just freely give trust, which, when broken, things go haywire. Personally nje ngo Zimande, that’s how I feel.”
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Key to breaking the trust with the SACP has been the influence of the Gupta family on the ANC. Taking a swipe at President Jacob Zuma, Nzimande blamed alleged illicit dealings with the Guptas for the ANC’s decline in support and the deteriorating state of the alliance.
“Much but not all of this decline is related to the almost daily revelation of embarrassing scandals involving highly placed ANC politicians in government, particularly those who have been entangled in the notorious Gupta empire, including the president’s own family, unfortunately,” he said.
Zuma has been banned from attending the SACP’s congress. It was expected that he would give an address on behalf of the ANC. Instead, ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa will address the gathering on Wednesday after the SACP made it clear that “any other delegate would be better than the president”.
Although the ANC president did not attend the opening of the congress other ANC leaders, including deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte, former president Kgalema Motlanthe and ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu, were present.
The SACP also rejected the use of the term “white monopoly capital”, saying only capitalists, not capital had a race.
Nzimande lambasted ANC leaders who defended dealings with the Guptas as a form of transformation: “The Guptas are not an answer to monopoly capital. In fact, they are two sides of the same coin.”
Nzimande said the SACP wanted the creation of an independent commission of inquiry into state capture, the terms of reference of which would be based on the public protector’s State of Capture report.
“The commission must not be a tactic to delay the immediate investigation and prosecution of all those involved in corruption, money laundering, illegal sharing of top secret Cabinet information with private parties,” Nzimande said.
“We at this conference must call for the termination by the state of all Gupta-related business dealings.”