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

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Alex Mitchley
Alex Mitchley
South African Journalist at News24

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