South African Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande. Picture: PUXLEY MAKGATHO
South African Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande. Picture: PUXLEY MAKGATHO

South African Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande says there does not appear to be any appetite within the ANC to rescue itself.

Delivering his party’s political report on the second day of the SACP congress in Boksburg‚ east of Johannesburg‚ Nzimande strongly suggested that some ANC leaders had no firm grasp of the challenges facing the ANC and SA as a whole.

"You know‚ when you hear some of our leaders say they will pick up the rand when it falls‚ you just despair‚" he said to laughter and applause.

Nzimande said these leaders clearly had no concept of the difficulties faced by countries when their credit ratings are downgraded to junk status.

Nzimande also had strong words for the controversial Gupta family and those sympathetic to them.

He railed against accusations that the SACP was silent around allegations of undue corporate capture but had shown enthusiasm on the issue of speaking out against so-called state capture.

He said the party had long waged a campaign against abuses by the financial sector.

Nzimande also rejected the tendency of bringing up white monopoly capital as a counter argument to accusations levelled against the Guptas.

He said: "Don’t come and tell us‚ the SACP‚ that we have done nothing about corporate capture. We waged that struggle [against the financial sector] so that the banking sector could benefit millions more people.

"The Guptas are not an answer to monopoly capital; they are two sides of the same coin."

Responding to an accusation that the SACP was obsessed with the Guptas‚ Nzimande said: "If you weaken [state-owned companies], we have no weapon with which to roll back the effects of monopoly capital."

During its congress‚ which ends on Saturday‚ the SACP will also assess whether the deployment of its leaders into the government has weakened or strengthened the organisation.

The matter was a contentious one in the lead-up to the party’s 2012 congress‚ with its alliance partners in Cosatu at the time calling on SACP leaders not to serve in the government or the ANC national executive committee (NEC) in order to safeguard its independence.

However‚ the party amended its constitution to create the post of second deputy general secretary‚ which is now occupied by Solly Mapaila.

Mapaila is permanently based at the SACP headquarters while Nzimande‚ first deputy general secretary Jeremy Cronin‚ chairman Senzeni Zokwana and his deputy Thulas Nxesi serve in government.

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