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Nzimande: Leading anti-Mbeki campaign 9 years ago was a mistake

SACP General Secretary Blade Nzimande was asked if he regrets leading the anti-Thabo Mbeki campaign that paved the way for President Jacob Zuma to ascend to power.

FILE: SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - South African Communist Party (SACP) General Secretary Blade Nzimande has admitted that leading the charge against former president Thabo Mbeki and defending President Jacob Zuma over nine years ago was a mistake.

Nzimande was addressing Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)'s Gauteng provincial Shop Steward Council in Johannesburg.

Just two months ago Nzimande described the former president as one the greatest intellectuals the African National Congress (ANC) has ever produced, praising him for his stamina.

Nzimande was asked if he regrets leading the anti-Thabo Mbeki campaign that paved the way for Zuma to ascend to power.

“There are many things that we did which I think were correct. If some of them happen again now, like abuse of state organs, we’ll fight that.”

He does admit though that they may have made mistakes in that process.

“Maybe we might have made mistakes in the process. And one of the things we’re saying is this one which I’ll repeat... we dealt with the symptoms and never dealt the fundamental problems. You think you remove an individual and all the problems are solved.”

He says he was against Mbeki at the time because there was insufficient consultation in the movement and because there were factions that captured the organisation.

Nzimande says they are against the current president now because it seems history is repeating itself.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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