Some of my own comrades fuelled #FeesMustFall protests – Nzimande

SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande has hit out at some of his own “comrades”, who he said had fuelled some of the #FeesMustFall protests as part of a factionalist agenda.

He said that part of the reason he was removed as minister of higher education specifically related to the fees protests.

“I’ve been expecting that something (his removal from cabinet) like this would happen. Plus, also when Fees Must Fall started in 2015, I discovered in the middle of that, that actually I have far less support in government than I thought,” Nzimande told News24 on Monday night.

“Some of my own comrades were actively fuelling student protests as part of [a] factionalist reaction to the communist party.”

Another reason for his axing was because of the SACP’s stance on state capture and President Jacob Zuma.

Nzimande, who spoke to News24 on the sidelines of a commemoration of the first anniversary of the death of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, said he was made aware of the reshuffle just moments before media announced it, and that he has not spoken to Zuma since.

“They never consulted the alliance, he [Zuma] never consulted me – he never consulted the communist party, and he only called to inform me in a matter of minutes before his statement was in the media.”

Nzimande said the reshuffle disregarded the relationship of the tripartite alliance, which held a political council meeting last Thursday.

‘We all campaign for ANC’
“The alliance meeting was okay, in the sense that it couldn’t do more than what it did – because we haven’t met for a long time and relations are at their lowest, maybe since the 1930s.

“So, all that we could do is reaffirm the importance of the alliance and then try and map someway forward on how we rebuild the alliance.

“From our stand point, as the SACP, we are firmly of the view that we need a reconfigured alliance, it can’t function anymore in the manner that it has been functioning.”

Nzimande added that it was important that the focus is not only internal, but also responded to the needs of South Africans.

With regards to the ANC’s upcoming elective conference, Nzimande said South Africa did not follow the United States of America model of a presidential election, where a person stands as an individual, instead of as a party representative.

“We all campaign for the ANC and the ANC-led alliance, so we expect everybody to act in that way and not to act like some imperialist king.”

In his lecture, Nzimande touched on the topic of state capture saying that Cubans did not fight for the freedom of the country, only to see it sold the highest bidder after freedom was attained.

“Another lesson we can learn from Fidel and his collective is his need to fight insistently against all forces and tendencies that want to undermine our revolution, including in our case, the phenomena of state capture and factionalism. – News24

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Alex Mitchley
Alex Mitchley
South African Journalist at News24

Inside Facebook’s big bet on Africa

New undersea cables will massively increase bandwidth to the continent

No back to school for teachers just yet

Last week the basic education minister was adamant that teachers will return to school on May 25, but some provinces say not all Covid-19 measures are in place to prevent its spread

Engineering slips out of gear at varsity

Walter Sisulu University wants to reprioritise R178-million that it stands to give back to treasury after failing to spend it

Lockdown relief scheme payouts to employees tops R14-billion

Now employers and employees can apply to the Unemployment Insurance Fund for relief scheme payments

Press Releases

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

Call for applications for the position of GCRO executive director

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory is seeking to appoint a high-calibre researcher and manager to be the executive director and to lead it

DriveRisk stays safe with high-tech thermal camera solution

Itec Evolve installed the screening device within a few days to help the driver behaviour company become compliant with health and safety regulations

Senwes launches Agri Value Chain Food Umbrella

South African farmers can now help to feed the needy by donating part of their bumper maize crop to delivery number 418668

Ethics and internal financial controls add value to the public sector

National treasury is rolling out accounting technician training programmes to upskill those who work in its finance units in public sector accounting principles

Lessons from South Korea for Africa’s development

'Leaders can push people through, through their vision and inspiration, based on their exemplary actions'

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday