Cosatu's Dlamini urges federation not to give up on ANC

The alliance partners are expected to meet with the ANC at an alliance political council next week to iron out their differences.

FILE: Cosatu's President Sdumo Dlamini. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – As African National Congress (ANC) alliance partners decry the state of the governing party, Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) President Sdumo Dlamini has told delegates at the federation’s central committee meeting not to give up on the ANC.

At the same time, the South African Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande has told the same delegates that the ANC might need to be replaced if it fails to self-correct.

Nzimande and Dlamini delivered addresses at the gathering in Pretoria on Monday.

“The question is, is the ANC still capable of rescuing itself?” Nzimande asked.

He says that if the ANC can’t rescue itself, the SACP may have to look for its substitute.

“What should be its substitute because as the Communist Party we can’t, strictly speaking. But there might be in future a need to mobilise a whole range of forces to play this role if the ANC is unable to play it.”

But Dlamini says the ANC needs the alliance.

“The ANC can’t survive on her own, without us, the workers, in this country.”

The alliance partners are expected to meet with the ANC at an alliance political council next week to iron out their differences.

THREATENED TO KEEP SILENT

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.

President Zuma survived a second motion of no confidence at the party's executive meeting held over the weekend.

Nzimande delivered the SACP’s message of support at Congress of South African Trade Unions’ central committee meeting in Pretoria on Monday.

“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

Nzimande said the president is making the same mistakes that former President Thabo Mbeki made.

“The fact that the last Cabinet reshuffle happened outside the alliance and ANC is a problem and an abuse of the prerogative. The prerogative does not belong you an individual, it belongs to us as the movement.”

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.