Blade Nzimande's removal a factional manoeuvre - SACP

Party condemns President's continued authoritarianism, says it won't be silenced

SACP statement on the removal of Cde Dr Blade Nzimande from the Cabinet

The South African Communist Party has learnt about the factional removal from Cabinet of the Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Blade Nzimande by President Jacob Zuma. We emphatically reject these manoeuvres that place 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.

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.

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.

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.

The SACP thanks Cde Blade for his dedication in serving our people and commitment to education transformation.  Cde Blade has set very important parameters and standards in the transformation of higher education and training. As the SACP we are committed to continue the struggle for the transformation of higher education, working together with all the progressive forces in this terrain.

Statement issued by the SACP, 17 October 2017