Blade Nzimande. Picture: PUXLEY MAKGATHO
Blade Nzimande. Picture: PUXLEY MAKGATHO

The widely reported plot to oust President Cyril Ramaphosa by a faction within the ANC was also targeted at South Africans trying to rescue the state from capture by corrupt elements, SA Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande said on Tuesday.

He told delegates at Cosatu’s national congress on Tuesday his party was not shocked by reports of a political plot to oust Ramaphosa as it had already issued warnings about this.

The Sunday Times recently reported on an alleged conspiracy to unseat Ramaphosa led by former president Jacob Zuma, who told students at Walter Sisulu University last week that state capture was a "politically decorated expression".

Nzimande said the fight-back plotters were attempting to undermine the nation’s attempts to deal with the corruption that had edged the country towards a "mafia state".

"This fight-back campaign has been accompanied by some of the most regressive and reactionary tendencies that should not be allowed to find space in our movement, like tribalism, black chauvinism and racist slurs," he said.

"One of the most dangerous [aspects of] this is actually to wage a fight-back campaign against protecting our state in the name of radical economic transformation. We must reject that."

Nzimande described the alleged campaign as regressive and problematic.

Cosatu affiliate the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union raised the issue during a discussion of the federation’s political report on Tuesday, calling on the alliance to deal with the cabal allegations urgently.

Cosatu is in an alliance with the ANC and the SACP.

"We are … told that there are plots taking place in the country to deal with the president, we want to implore on the alliance that this matter is treated as a matter of urgency. We cannot go to the general elections with this matter hanging over our heads. If it is a reality, those behind it must be identified and isolated," said a delegate.

In the political report, Cosatu bemoaned that challenges of rampant incidents of patronage, mismanagement and corruption were normalised and the alliance failed to address this.

Delegates also debated the reconfiguration of the alliance given recorded failures of its current form. The federation complained it was only useful to the ANC during electioneering.

National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union general secretary Zola Saphetha warned delegates against an "impression" that the alliance was permanent.

"At a certain point in time we might not have an alliance because the ANC is not intending to take us to socialism, so there will be a point where the ANC will need to take its own side as we turn left towards socialism. There is a wrong assumption that the ANC has a monopoly of leadership over the alliance," Saphetha said.