JOHANNESBURG, July 15 – The South African Communist Party’s 14th congress resolution to contest elections has come with a caution to members not to accept any form of donations from the controversial, politically connected Gupta family.
Addressing the congress on its last day on Saturday, SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande said members should take responsibility for their resolutions and become fundraisers for the party.
”Let us not come here, sing about state power, take a resolutions, and then go sit back and not fundraise for the SACP. Every party cadre is a fundraiser… we have been poor for too long, there is no reason why we should continue to be poor,” Nzimande said told delegates in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni.
”But please cadres, do not take money from the Guptas, we do not want it. It will bring us back luck. Do not take dirty money, go and fundraise legitimately from our country’s workers, especially, and many other people who are sympathetic to us.”
Nzimande said a ”roadmap” would be developed and consultations done widely, including within the tripartite alliance, on how to proceed on the elections decision. The party had been mulling contesting elections on the socialism ticket, but its congress could not come up with solid timelines on how to go about planning for elections.
When asked whether the SACP had the capacity to contest elections, Nzimande said his party was not planning to ”break up the alliance”. ”We are not going to be seeking permissions, but at the same time we are saying that given this new conditions [current affairs], how then should we continue working together, because we still believe that the alliance is still relevant. I do not believe that there is any organisation that is ready-made to contest elections, we will cross that bridge when we get to it.” The resolution on elections was a process, he said.
The SACP, a member of the ANC-led alliance along with Cosatu and Sanco, has been vocal in criticising the governing party and President Jacob Zuma’s leadership, further labelling the alliance as non-existent. The party argued that in order for the alliance to effectively function again, it has to be reconfigured and become the ”strategic centre of power”.
The congress has tasked the central executive committee to come up with a plan, after extensive consultations, which would then be presented to a special congress. The special congress, planned for next year, would after receiving the report, decide on the way forward. The party leaders would not say whether the SACP would be ready to contest the 2019 general elections.