Inside the SACP Mpumalanga elective congress

Mpumalanga SACP leader Bonakele Majuba emerged over the weekend as the secretary of the party in the province for the fourth time.

Majuba will be in charge until 2019, at least, when the SACP convenes another congress.

He was elected unopposed on Saturday night and delegates cheered when the party’s electoral body announced Majuba as the provincial secretary of the SACP in the Mpumalanga province.

The party holds its provincial congress every three years and Majuba, a teacher by profession, has been a secretary of the party in the province since 2006.

In the last three congresses, Majuba emerged unopposed.

Majuba will now be deputised by Mandla Tibane after Lucky Mbuyane, who was Majuba’s deputy, was elected the party’s new chairman in the province.

Andries Mnisi returned to his seat as the party’s deputy chairman while Nhlakanipho Zuma, the soft-spoken and polite leader of the party in the Gert Sibande region, emerged as Majuba’s 2nd deputy secretary.

Zuma is also the newly appointed speaker of the Govan Mbeki municipality in Secunda.

The SACP elects two deputy secretaries, one called a 1st deputy secretary and the other called a 2nd deputy secretary.

Fisani Shabangu returned to her post as the party’s provincial treasurer and various other influential leaders were elected into the party’s executive committee, like former Cosatu provincial leader Fidel Mlombo and the party spokesman in the province, Lesetja Dikgale.

Provincial alliance leaders gave messages of support at the start of the congress on Friday afternoon and ANC provincial secretary Mandla Ndlovu told delegates he believed it was now the right time to mend sour relations between the SACP and the ANC, by implementing the resolutions taken by the Alliance Summit held five months ago by the alliance partners of the ANC, that is Cosatu, SACP and Sanco.

READ ALSO: Ndlovu tells SACP congress: ‘We must implement alliance summit resolutions now’

The Alliance Summit – on 2 and 3 April this year – was a meeting by the alliance partners to mend sour relations between the personable leader of the ANC in the province, David Mabuza and the quite influential Majuba.

“We are committed to the well-being of the alliance and we are willing to make sacrifices, so that the alliance continues to live long after we are gone,” Ndlovu told SACP delegates at the eHlanzeni Tvet College on Friday night.

“We must continue to build on the resolutions of the summit and make sure that we implement those resolutions,” Ndlovu said.

But on Saturday, Majuba presented a political report as political head of the party and described relations mended by the summit as ‘suspicious’ before labelling ANCLY president Collen Maine “an oros” and slammed the ‘thieves’ in ANC T-shirts who attacked communists in the province, saying the attacks have now spread through the whole country, “with our members being attacked by thieves in KZN”.

Bonakele Majuba

Bonakele Majuba

“Hopefully we have learnt a lot from that bad experience, collectively all of us as an alliance in the province;” he told delegates and the media.

“Ourselves as the SACP, we remain committed in implementing SACP campaigns, including the one against corruption, believing that our alliance components will not take it personal”, Majuba said.

He said discussions that took place during the summit were honest and “led to better but suspicious relations and enabled us at least even to jointly face elections as a formidable force and which publicly portrayed us all of a sudden as a better province than all other provinces in terms of alliance stability”.

“We need to report that in Mpumalanga we never reconfigured any alliance. The accommodation of alliance partners was as per the mood of leader of the ANC, conjecturally,” Majuba hit out.

The party’s national deputy chairman and public works minister, Thulas Nxesi, who arrived at the congress while Majuba was stage, was also given the same platform to also speak on Saturday and repeated the SACP’s call for the ANC to hold a non-elective congress similar to the one held in 1969, the Morogoro conference.

Such conference is called a ‘consultative conference’ and it fixes internal issues.

The move by delegates to move the quite strict Mbuyane from being Majuba’s deputy to being the chairman comes after the sacking of Eric Kholwane by Majuba last year.

Nxesi said: “History calls on us to break the stronghold of factions, spiralling ill-discipline, despicable arrogance, inexplicable, denialism, a factional majoritarianism born out of conferences by delegates hand-picked to advance the agendas of particular dominant

factions, business interest funding and buying votes and the manipulation of candidate list”.

About 400 delegates attended the congress of the SACP in the province.

SEE ALSO: Saying Zuma is cause of ANC decline is unfair – Mabuza

Nxesi said if the ANC does not take this call seriously “to self-correct” they stand to lose power in 2019, saying the no showing of ANC voters on 3 August 2016’s local government elections signified a party that was at “crossroads” before he charged that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was being attacked for political reasons, questioning “why did you ban the Scorpion if the Hawks were gonna be operating the same”.

“As the SACP we support comrade Pravin’s rights to be treated fairly, as opposed to what the Hawks have displayed. Secondly, we support the programme the minister is leading to combat corruption and ransacking in the Treasury,” he said to ovation.

But addressing delegates on Sunday afternoon as the new secretary of the party, Majuba returned to the issue of the alliance unity and called on both himself and Mabuza to unite the “worse province in terms of alliance relations”.

He said: “We had a 7 years of bad experience of alliance relations. We are  the worse province in the country.

“I want to join my counter-part and the leader of the ANC in the province, comrade DD Mabuza, that together with comrades from Cosatu and comrades from Sanco we must sustain what we started in the Alliance Summit.

“The unity of the alliance is something that even when we leave it must be our legacy. It should not be something that during our time of leadership we had broken alliance relations.

“I know that after the summit a lot of things changed for the better but now I think that we must work for the best,” Majuba said.

(reported by ZK/ edited by MLM)

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