SACP denies parting with ANC

The SACP denied reports that it is planning to use its conference this week to break away from the ANC.

SACP General Secretary Blade Nzimande. Picture: Stephen Grootes/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Communist Party (SACP) on Wednesday angrily denied reports that it was planning to use its conference this week to break away from the ANC - and go at it alone in next year's elections.

About 2, 000 delegates will attend the SACP's 13th congress in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, which officially starts on Thursday.

Delegates were collecting their accreditation at the University of Zululand.

On Wednesday, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) said the party was planning to leave the tripartite alliance with the ANC and the Congress of the South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

The SACP's national secretary Solly Mapaila said the reports were a distortion of an interview he gave to the public broadcaster on Tuesday.

The question of whether the SACP will go at it alone has risen before, but the party's general secretary Blade Nzimande is seen as very close to ANC president Jacob Zuma.

Their close relationship makes it unlikely that the communist party would take such a step.

The SACP is expected to make decisions about its stance on labour broking, the general economy and possibly mine nationalisation at its congress.

The party is also expected to change its constitution this week to allow it to change the way it is run.