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Nzimande: Cosatu not standing up against abuse of state institutions

SACP general secratary Blade Nzimande says the lack of leadership in the ANC has resulted in an internal stalemate in the NEC while revealing that some people have been threatened in NEC meetings.

FILE: South African Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande.

JOHANNESBURG – South African Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande says that the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is not standing up as it should to address problems regarding the abuse of state institutions.

On Monday, Nzimande delivered the communist party’s message of support at Cosatu’s central committee meeting in Pretoria.

He called President Jacob Zuma’s latest reshuffle an abuse of power.

Nzimande says the president is making the same mistakes as former President Thabo Mbeki.

“As the SACP, we don’t want to be a generation of leadership where future generations will spit on our graves and say 'why did you keep quiet when things were actually going wrong'?

“That’s why we’re calling upon workers to stand up, in fact, we’re concerned because we think Cosatu is not standing up as it should to actually address these problems.”

At the same time, Nzimande says the lack of leadership in the African National Congress (ANC) has resulted in an internal stalemate in the national executive committee (NEC) while revealing that some people have been threatened in NEC meetings.

“Some of them are threatening us in the meetings. We’re being threatened because we’re supposed to keep quiet. We’re not going to keep quiet.”

Nzimande says there is an open faction in the ANC which does what it likes without being dealt with.

“There’s an internal stalemate in the national executive committee. These comrades can’t provide leadership.”

Nzimande says he will continue speaking truth to power without fearing to lose his ministerial position.

“It’s not because we’re interested in positions, don’t insult us. It’s because if you’re an MEC or a minister, we’re wielding state power, we’re interested in state power.”

He says the ANC must not expect SACP leaders not to close ranks when the party is doing wrong.

WILL NOT STOP TALKING TRUTH TO POWER

He said just because he is a minister in the president's Cabinet, he will not stop talking truth to power, because he is not begging for a position.

“We are serving our government because we are serving our people, not because we’re serving individuals.”

Nzimande repeated calls for the president to leave office, saying he’s making the same mistakes that Mbeki made in his bid to create an imperial presidency.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)