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THE South African Communist Party has described the sacking of its leader Blade Nzimande from cabinet as a direct attack on the organisation.
Spokesperson Alex Mashilo added that the move places the Alliance on the brink of disintegration.
“Our view is that this is not a reshuffle but the targeted removal of Cde Blade as a direct attack on the SACP. Ordinarily the aim of any cabinet reshuffle must be to strengthen the capacity of the state. But in this case that is not the intention, especially with the retention of so many deadwoods and compromised individuals in Cabinet,” he said.
Nzimande was booted out and replaced with Hlengiwe Mkhize. President Jacob Zuma announced the reshuffle on Tuesday morning.
The SACP and Nzimande have been very vocal over disatisfaction with Zuma and Mashilo believes that is what led to Nzimande’s removal. He also revealed that Zuma had not consulted the alliance on his decision to once again tinker with his cabinet.
“The continued authoritarianism by Zuma, disregarding Alliance protocols and relations, has plunged the Alliance into unchartered waters. In fact this action, more than anything else, also compromises and further tarnishes the image of the ANC itself. Zuma’s removal of Dr Nzimande from the Cabinet without consultation with the Alliance is nothing but a response to the popular call, led by the SACP and COSATU, for the President to resign,” he said.
Mashilo further claimed that the reshuffle was to ensure that Zuma’s preferred candidate emerges victoriously from the December elective conference. The front runners to replace him are deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and former African Union chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. She is Zuma’s preferred successor.
“Our call for Zuma to step down is based on the many problems of corruption, governance decay and state capture under his watch. In addition, the removal of Dr Nzimande from the Cabinet is part of Zuma’s manoeuvres to secure successful election of his ordained successor at the forthcoming ANC December national conference,” he said.
The SACP has been very critical since former public protector Thuli Madonsela released her state of capture report which painted Zuma’s relationship with the Gupta family in a bad light. The organisation has been calling for his removal.
“It is a well-known fact that the malady of corruption, governance decay and state capture has worsened exponentially under the incumbency of President Zuma and his friends, the Gupta family. If the President thinks that by removing Dr Nzimande from the Cabinet he will silence the SACP from the leading role it has played to expose and confront state capture, he is glaringly mistaken! Instead, the SACP is even more committed to continuing with its leading role in waging the struggle against state capture and corruption,” said Mashilo.