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SACP calls for fair criticism of ANC

The SACP has condemned those it believes are pushing an anti-government agenda.

The SACP has condemned those it believes are pushing an anti-government agenda.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Communist Party (SACP) says it welcomes criticism of the government by trade unions, but says this must be done constructively when necessary.

The SACP held its central executive committee meeting last week and responded to accusations by Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) affiliates that it wants the federation to be lapdogs of the ruling party.

SACP Secretary General Blade Nzimande says such accusations perpetuate the wrong stereotypes.

Nzimande says Cosatu unions have a responsibility to fairly criticise the ruling party.

"The democratic government, collectively, must be supported but supported vigilantly and with constructive but robust criticism, where necessary."

Nzimande says reckless statements and narrow criticism creates the wrong impression among the ANC support base.

"It's a narrow anti-government opposition that elevates an endless stream of anti-ANC, anti-government invective."

The SACP will this week meet with the ANC and Cosatu at the alliance summit where it is expected to address divisions within the tripartite alliance.

Nzimande also believes that divisions within Cosatu are caused by corporate companies and mining bosses.

This comes as Cosatu remains divided following the suspension of the trade union federation's general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

Vavi was suspended after it emerged that he had an extra marital affair with a subordinate.

Initially, the woman accused Vavi of rape and reportedly demanded R2 million to keep quite. She later withdrew the charges.

The woman has also been suspended by Cosatu.

However, Vavi has indicated that he will oppose his suspension as he says he did not break any Cosatu rules.