The South African Communist Party (SACP) has threatened to lead a Zuma Must Fall campaign if President Zuma refuses to tackle some issues plaguing the ruling party.
SACP, a partner in the Tripartite Alliance consisting of the African National Congress and the Congress of South African Trade Union made this known on Monday, in a meeting between SACP and ANC top leaders in Tshwane.
During the bilateral meeting, the SACP left the governing ANC with two options – to revoke the Guptas’ citizenship, kick former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe out of Parliament, denounce the so-called premier league faction, and investigate Sassa for social grant debacle, or the party would kick off a campaign for Zuma to step down.
Chaired by SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande, who is also SA’s higher education minister, the communist party warned the ANC against using state organs to settle political scores.
Relations between the SACP and the ruling party appear to have reached a sour state, particularly as its leaders feel betrayed by Zuma.
Last year, SACP called on president Zuma to severe ties with the Gupta family, after it emerged that the wealthy family influenced some ministerial appointments in his government.
SACP second deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila declined to comment about the meeting in details. He, however, confirmed the party’s position on the Guptas and Sassa.
“We spoke about the toxic role of the Gupta family that continues in the movement. Of course, as you know, the relationship with the president is a conundrum of sorts. We called for [the Guptas’] citizenship to be revoked,” he said.
Mapaila asserted that President Zuma has disappointed those who helped him dethrone former president Thabo Mbeki, as they had expected him to do things differently.
The bilateral meeting had in attendance ANC’s top six officials and national working committee members on one side and the SACP’s top six accompanied by its Politburo on the other.
In the meantime, the ANC has promised to come up with a response to SACP’s ultimatum on March 27, 2017. It, however, insisted that it is Zuma’s responsibility to lead efforts to unite the ruling party and the alliance.
Amid an increasingly hostile alliance with the ANC, a debate on whether or not the SACP should going into the next general election alone is gaining momentum ahead of the party’s 14th national congress in July.
SA Communist Party leader Nzimande has urged party members to openly discuss the prospect of contesting the ANC in 2019 and beyond.
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Speaking to hundreds of supporters at the OR Tambo memorial lecture in Umlazi, Durban, yesterday, the SACP general secretary admitted that factionalism is more harm than good to the alliance, adding that the party would no longer be intimidated by the ANC.
The SA Communist Party was founded in 1921. The party also participated in the struggle against apartheid rule. It first came to prominence in 1922 during the armed Rand Rebellion by white mineworkers.