Mantashe denies criticising SACP, says ANC needs united alliance partners

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says the SACP has a responsibility to raise issues in platforms set by the tripartite alliance.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe pictured during his address at a Chris Hani memorial lecture in the North West on 22 April 2017. Picture: @MYANC

JOHANNESBURG – African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Gwede Mantashe has denied that he is a critic of the South African Communist Party (SACP), saying the ruling party needs its alliance partners.

Mantashe delivered a key note address on Saturday at the Chris Hani memorial lecture in the North West organised by the Young Communist League.

He has refuted claims that he attacked the SACP at another memorial lecture on Friday, saying Hani would be disappointed in the party for sharing a stage with the opposition to deal with problems faced by the ANC leadership.

Mantashe says the SACP has a responsibility to raise issues in platforms set by the tripartite alliance.

“If the SACP is sharing the platform with the enemies of the ANC because it is irritated by Jacob Zuma, society is going to be confused. The party has got a responsibility and I can tell you Chris Hani would not run away from that responsibility.”

At the same time, Mantashe said divisions within the tripartite alliance would result in the ruling party losing political power in the next general election.

He said tensions were caused by emotional decisions which did not make political sense.

“So if a party delivers divorce papers to the ANC, [it’s] very emotional. The ANC will accept the divorce papers but the net effect is that we’re both weak.”

Mantashe added that the tripartite alliance was fractured and no longer solid.

“There is no organisation in South Africa that can challenge this movement on the basis of superiority of policies. Our policies are correct and superior. They can’t be challenged. But we create a space for enemies to attack us, which exploit our own mistakes.”

The alliance consists of the ANC, Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)