Nzimande uses Cosatu strike to further endorse Ramaphosa

SACP leader Blade Nzimande spoke out against monopoly capital and the role of business, alongside corrupt politicians, in state capture. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

SACP leader Blade Nzimande spoke out against monopoly capital and the role of business, alongside corrupt politicians, in state capture. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

As he stood on the back of a truck swathed in the red of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and labour federation Cosatu Blade Nzimande made an ambitious promise: “We are going to Dubai and we are going to fetch everything they have stolen.”

The SACP secretary general was addressing about 2 000 to 3 000 people outside the FNB building in Johannesburg. The protest had gathered there to hand over a memorandum of demands against state capture, abuse of workers’ rights and corruption in the state and private sector. 

The strike action was also used as an opportunity to rally support for ANC presidential hopeful Cyril Ramaphosa.

In a short speech that drew support, Nzimande reaffirmed the SACP’s support for  Ramaphosa as the party’s December elective conference creeps closer.

“If the ANC gets taken over by a faction in December, then that’s not the ANC of Mandela and Tambo if the faction wins,” he said.

Nzimande said that banks such as FNB should service all South Africans and eliminate bank charges. He did not talk about “white monopoly capital”, but said the prevalence of monopoly capital wasn’t solved by the Gupta family.
Monopoly capital is a reference to the ownership of business and capital by a few.

“The Guptas are not an alternative to monopoly capital. The Guptas are undermining our capacity to fight against monopoly capital,” he said.

However, Nzimande said the SACP still supported the ANC, showing that he still believes in the alliance, which has faced problems since both the SACP and Cosatu endorsed Ramaphosa - and not Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma - as the next ANC president. Both organisations have banned President Jacob Zuma from speaking at their official events.

Of Wednesday’s stayaway and protest marches, Nzimande said: “This is not a strike against the ANC. This is not a strike against our movement, but what against what is wrong in our movement.

“The ANC is being stolen in broad daylight. The ANC does not belong to its leaders it belongs to the people.” 

The march will continue from FNB to other banks, the premier’s office, the department of labour and the Chamber of Mines.

Ra'eesa Pather

Ra'eesa Pather

Ra’eesa Pather is a general news journalist with the Mail & Guardian’s online team. She cut her teeth at The Daily Vox in Cape Town before moving to Johannesburg and joining the M&G. She's written about memory, race and gender in columns and features, and has dabbled in photography. Read more from Ra'eesa Pather

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