SOUTH African Communist Party (SACP) leader Blade Nzimande says the politically connected Gupta family cannot be blamed alone for the troubles that have engulfed the ANC but their collaborators within the party must also bear the brunt.
Nzimande was speaking on the sidelines of the ANC’s 5th policy conference held at Nasrec in Johannesburg where the party is trying to plug gaping holes that have resulted in it losing support and gave birth to serious factionalism.
The Gupta family has been at the centre of the troubles the ANC has had recently with accusations of influencing government and meddling in the affairs of the state.
Nzimande said the organisation has to thoroughly deal with the toxic networks that have been created.
“We have to fight against the influence of what the SACP has called the parasitic patronage networks, both in our organisations and in government. “We are very glad that the issue of the Guptas has been discussed because we have been saying this family is very toxic. We can’t only blame the Guptas, we must also blame their collaborators inside our movement and government as well,” he said.
Nzimande added that leaving the Gupta matter unattended would have dire consequences for the liberation movement going forward.
He called on the party to take decisive action against those fingered to have been working with the family.
President Jacob Zuma and various ministers were fingered in former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s state of capture reporting looking into the influence of businesses in government affairs.
The family has been in the spotlight since a plane carrying guests for their wedding landed at Waterkloof Airbase in Pretoria.
“Unless we deal with that, we are on a slippery slope. The ANC must be decisive and take action. We can’t just rely on the generosity of those implicated. The organisation itself must take action, together with its allies,” he said.
The topic is also expected to be part of the SACP’s conference next week but Nzimande was adamant that it would not be the only thing on the agenda.
He added that their calls were not influenced by a hatred for anyone in the ANC but the need to see the organisation self-correct and returning to its traditional ways.
“I have no doubt that the SACP will want to be discussing this matter as something that poses a threat. From the SACP’s point, we have no hatred for anybody but what we have hatred for is the parasitic networks that are threatening to tear the movement apart. “What will we be discussing at the conference will be what are the
threats to the gains and achievement we have made in the last 23 years? I’m sure the Guptas will be a component
of that but it can’t be the only thing that the SACP will be discussing. The state of the alliance,” he said.
Another topical issue at the SACP conference will be the manner in which the alliance has been functioning and its role going forward. Nzimande said the party wants to re-evaluate the mechanical structures of their partnership with the ANC, Cosatu and SANCO.
“Central Committee has said alliance is necessary but its mode of operations might be outdated, it needs to be reconfigured. It’s not a new thing that we are saying but we have been saying it without completely indicating what must happen. “Even if we said it, we haven’t completely followed that through. This time around congress will have to be decisive. Our concern is that we don’t know if we are in an alliance with the ANC or Guptas or we are in
an alliance with a faction. All those things are matters that we will be able to discuss in order to be able to move forward and rebuilding our alliance,” he said.