I'll go when they tell me to, says SACP KZN secretary Themba Mthembu

Mthembu is seen as an ally of former President Jacob Zuma, a relationship which is understood to have caused tensions with the national leadership of the SACP.

KwaZulu Natal (KZN) Agriculture MEC Themba Mthembu. Picture: kznlegislature.gov.za

DURBAN - Newly re-elected South African Communist Party (SACP) KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary Themba Mthembu says he will only vacate the position he’s held for 16 years once the party tells him to do so.

The Communist Party held its provincial congress over the last few days where a new leadership was elected.

Mthembu is seen as an ally of former President Jacob Zuma, a relationship which is understood to have caused tensions with the national leadership of the SACP.

He has also poured cold water on claims that there is tension between himself and general secretary Blade Nzimande because of an invite Mthembu extended to Zuma.

Some within the Communist party are calling for Mthembu to go, calling him a gatekeeper and citing the need for younger leadership.

But Mthembu says that age has got nothing to do with who heads the organisation.

“If you’re asking when I’ll stop, it’s when the party asks me to stop. That's when I’ll stop, when they say they’ve had enough.”

Mthembu also faces pressure externally, with talk that he will be among the first to be axed as Agriculture MEC if a provincial governmental reshuffle takes place.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)