SACP not happy about Molefe appointment, factions


South African Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande speaks at a ceremony marking 23 years since the assassination of Chris Hani.

JOHANNESBURG – The SACP says the factional politics within its tripartite alliance partner, the ANC, have become so rife and dangerous that they have affected governance.

The party held a media briefing on Sunday in Johannesburg following a central committee meeting.

SACP general secretary and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande called out what he regarded as factional behaviour, saying the phenomenon now sought to "re-calibrate its public positioning".

Nzimande's comments come in the wake of the swearing in of former Eskom CEO, Brian Molefe was as a Member of Parliament on Thursday, amid speculation that the appointment was Molefe's ticket to the cabinet and the Treasury.

Molefe's appointment to the National Assembly was also met with confusion from ANC branches. Before he was sworn in, the party's North West ward 29 branch had to produce proof that Molefe was indeed a member after several provincial structures claimed he did not belong to them. 

"The ANC can't simply wake up and decide on its own, and expect us to close ranks and agree as if we were consulted," Nzimande said in response to Molefe's new post.

At the same time, SACP's deputy general secretary and Deputy Public Works Minister, Jeremy Cronin cautioned against the preoccupation of "palace politics".

"We should however not be so caught on speculation and palace politics that we lose focus on the core issues," he told journalists at the briefing.

"Factions in the ANC are now so rife and dangerous they impact on governance."

Nzimande also pointed out the tensions that have recently surfaced between SARS commissioner Tom Moyane and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

When asked about a possible cabinet reshuffle, Nzimande said he would only comment on it "if and when it happens".

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