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Blade Nzimande takes veiled swipe at ‘self-centred’ Jacob Zuma

SACP boss says SA has far more serious issues than wasting time on Nkandla visits meant to nurse the former president’s ego

An overview of former president Jacob Zuma's homestead at Nkandla. Publicised visits by individuals and leaders to Nkandla must not be the centre of attention in a country facing serious challenges, says Blade Nzimande. File photo.
An overview of former president Jacob Zuma's homestead at Nkandla. Publicised visits by individuals and leaders to Nkandla must not be the centre of attention in a country facing serious challenges, says Blade Nzimande. File photo.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

SA and the ANC-led alliance have too many problems to invest time nursing the egos of leaders who think they are the Alpha and Omega of political life in the country.

While the country battles rising unemployment and a stagnant economy, the alliance and society at large should distance itself from entertaining self-centred leaders who are only concerned about themselves.

Without mentioning him by name, SACP boss Blade Nzimande appeared to suggest one of the problematic leaders who must be ignored is former ANC and SA president Jacob Zuma, whom he accused of being obsessed with playing the victim card.

Much-publicised visits by individuals and leaders to Zuma’s Nkandla home in KwaZulu-Natal must not be the centre of attention for a country facing serious challenges , charged Nzimande.

“Comrade Gwede Mantashe [national chairperson of the ANC and mineral resources minister] put it very nicely yesterday about the egos and self-centredness that we are seeing generated, unfortunately by a society that is in such a crisis,” said Nzimande.

“Leaders who want to be praised, who want to be visited every weekend to be told how important they are and without them our country cannot go anywhere, and the whole world hates them but the people love them and therefore the people must show this by going there [to Nkandla].

“Here we are talking about abaholi abathanda ukothiwa nje ngomlilo [leaders who are obsessed with self].”

Nzimande said the SACP was not concerned about the egos of individuals but was preoccupied with finding solutions to improve the living conditions of the poor and working class. These should also preoccupy Cosatu and the ANC in their respective national congresses this year, he said.

Though the SACP is of the view the ANC is failing to bring about a development state for the benefit of all South Africans, the party was firm that its marriage with Luthuli House would continue, at least for the near future.

Nzimande said: “The alliance as it exists may not last forever in this form because history evolves, but in terms of the challenges we face now, we need this alliance of these particular components [ANC, Cosatu and SACP].”

Do we watch the ANC eating itself up like it is doing and celebrate, or sink with the ship?
Blade Nzimande

According to Nzimande, the SACP and Cosatu have distinct roles to play in the alliance and are handicapped from playing the leading role played by the ANC.

It was for this reason the SACP was concerned the ANC was falling off a dangerous cliff, dragging along its partners with it. The role of the SACP, he said, is to ensure the ANC is saved from committing suicide.

“You need these three to come together to drive the kind of society we need. The tripartite alliance is relevant even today because one cannot replace the other. If we go our different ways, the risks of losing all we have achieved, as far as the SACP is concerned, are much bigger.

“What is our responsibility as the SACP? Do we watch the ANC eating itself up like it is doing and celebrate, or sink with the ship? No, we will do all we can to make sure we make our own contribution to that not happening.”

Nzimande was engaging the media on the first discussion document towards the SACP congress scheduled for July. The document largely reflects on the impact of climate change across the world and SA in particular.

TimesLIVE

 


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