SACP defends Jackson Mthembu, likens him to Chris Hani

Jackson Mthembu. PICTURE BY SABC News

The South African Communist Party in Mpumalanga has come out guns blazing in defence of ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu, likening him to slain leader Chris Hani and calling on others to follow him for the statement he made two weeks ago with the City Press newspaper which has landed him in trouble with some quarters of the ANC.

Firebrand provincial communist leader Bonakele Majuba was introducing central committee member Zingiswa Losi during the party’s Red October rally at the eMalahleni community hall on Sunday, where Losi was a main speaker, when he said the party in the province was “very proud” of what Mthembu did.

Majuba said all those who were calling for Mthembu to be disciplined didn’t differ from those “culprits” in 1969 who wanted Chris Hani to be killed for ill-discipline after he wrote a memorandum criticising the leadership under Oliver Tambo of corruption and maladministration, a memorandum which resulted to the watershed Morogoro consultative conference on 25 April to 1 May 1969, in which the issues raised by Hani and other unhappy members of the ANC-MK in exile were then solved.

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Majuba said: “And all of us here comrades we are aware of the problems that were taking place in the camps [in exile] but no one was courageous enough to stand up and say ‘things are not going well’ and Chris Hani had the courage, together with other comrades and they wrote that memorandum and culprits, those people who were responsible for those things that were happening there, became so angry and said Chris Hani was out of order and was someone who didn’t want to listen and wanted him to be killed for talking the truth,” Majuba told party members.

“And Chris Hani was saved by Oliver Tambo who said ‘instead of us wanting to deal with Chris Hani, let us listen to the issues which he’s raising’ and which were in the memorandum,” Majuba said.

“Other people now are saying they are not happy of certain people who are talking things and they say these people are coming from the province of Mpumalanga. They say they are disappointed of Jackson Mthembu for having raised certain issues.

“We as SACP we are saying Jackson Mthembu is coming from the province of Mpumalanga and we are very proud of him,” he said to thunderous applause.

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He said they were very proud of people who were ready to put everything aside in order to speak the truth.

“So we are very proud of what comrade Jackson has said and we wish that other comrades of our movement can also have that courage and be like Chris Hani and raise issues so that those issues can be resolved and we can have a better national democratic revolution that can take South Africa forward, ” said Majuba to a prolonged ovation from party members.

Labelling ANC youth league leader Collen Maine an “Oros”, Majuba said Maine has been everywhere in the country saying “a lot of things and nobody has been disciplining Oros for saying those things”.

“He even said the MKVA must bring up arms to come and fight and ensure that there is war in this country, who said anything against Oros? Nobody,” he said.

He said the mass democratic movement was at an “autopilot” and that “the centre is not holding”.

On those who charged that Mthembu was not mandated to speak to the media because he was not a spokesperson, Majuba slammed them, saying Mthembu was better than all others because Mthembu was once a spokesperson and had an experience of being a spokesperson.

(edited by MLM)

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