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

Members of the tripartite alliance should be consulted on who is appointed in government as they have an interest in how state power is exercised.

This is the view of the general secretary of the South African Communist Party (SACP) Blade Nzimande‚ who spoke during an event commemorating the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Chris Hani at the Thomas Nkobi Memorial Park in Ekurhuleni.

Nzimande said one of the best ways to remember Hani would be to strengthen the alliance and re-look its configuration.

"This alliance is too precious. Also, as the SACP‚ and we agree with South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) and union federation Cosatu‚ we have to go and convince the ANC we need to reconfigure the manner in which the alliance is functioning.

"Our alliance is working as if we are still pre-1994. We are no longer pre-1994. Things have changed quite substantially now. I know when we say this‚ people say we want to be deployed. We, as communists, fought before there was deployment. But this is our government. We have an interest in how power is exercised. We can’t go and campaign as a whole during elections and then a small team sits down or just one person saying this one I take and this one must go. Where did that person get that mandate?

The AK-47 is known for one thing — that its sound and melody is a unifying sound‚ not a divisive one.

"We do have an interest in deployment because we are not an NGO, as the SACP. We have an interest in state power and how it is exercised. We want meaningful consultation. We are not going to do many of the tasks that we are supposed to do with an alliance that is limping. The way the alliance is working is primitive. The three partners [Cosatu‚ Sanco and the SACP] must go and convince the [ANC] that it is in our interest to change the way we do things‚" Nzimande said.

He also lamented the divisions among the military veterans of the ANC as these were the people who worked with Hani while he was with uMkhonto weSizwe (MK).

"We want to appeal to all MK veterans that your division into MKMVA and MK council is not right and it must be fixed. The best way to remember Chris 25 years after his cowardly assassination is to unite the soldiers of uMkhonto. We don’t want factionalism among the soldiers that were members of uMkhonto. Don’t position yourself factionally in the movement. The AK-47 is known for one thing — that its sound and melody is a unifying sound‚ not a divisive one.

"Please help us and unite and become one. Also, it should be genuine members who were soldiers of uMkhonto not just 20-year-olds who are called soldiers‚" Nzimande said.

Hani was killed on April 10 1993. At the time he was the general secretary of the SACP and a member of the national executive committee (NEC) of the ANC. Hani had led the joint SACP and ANC military wing‚ uMkhonto weSizwe‚ as its chief of staff and in various other capacities going back to the 1960s in the course of the struggle against apartheid.

Earlier, his daughter Lindiwe‚ said she cannot get over apartheid because those who were behind it have never apologised for the wrong that they did. She said there were many calls for today’s youth to simply forget about apartheid and move on.

"We are told every day how we need to get over [apartheid]. As I stand a few feet from my father’s grave I am very clear that I will never get over it. To those people saying that we should get over it‚ I think they need to exercise a whole lot of empathy‚ sensitivity and … acknowledge what we went through.

"Moreover‚ they should never get over it. It was the darkest time of this country and the healing and working through it should be a collective effort and not just one for the privileged … It is our collective painful history. We must own it‚ embrace it and work through it. I think forgiveness and reconciliation was put on us before we were ready. I am yet to recollect the apartheid government as a whole apologising for those atrocities. I find it difficult to forgive something that even the perpetrators have not even acknowledged."