Cronin to fight corruption from inside rather than step down
Cape Town - The SA Communist Party's Jeremy Cronin will stay put as deputy minister of public works to continue fighting corruption from within, even though he wants President Jacob Zuma to step down.
"I am not going to resign, unless I am instructed to do those things which are not just against the SACP, but ANC policy. There are fights to be fought,'' the SACP's first deputy secretary Jeremy Cronin said on Saturday.
Speaking during a break at the SACP Western Cape's conference in Cape Town, he said he was proud of his role in fighting corruption at the department and believed that professionalism was saving the day between colleagues who disagreed over the Zuma situation.
There had been a significant turnaround at the department of public works, which was part of the African National Congress's mandate of fighting corruption, and Cronin said he was proud of his role in that.
He is also directly involved in driving the expropriation bill process, to make sure that there is appropriate legislation in place to make it constitutionally compliant.
''But if the situation becomes untenable, then one must resign... and I am not in that situation.''
If it had not been for colleagues in Cabinet, people in committees, and work by civil society society, the country may already have had a ''ruinous'' nuclear deal, he said.
Earlier, Cronin told delegates it was awkward to ask President Jacob Zuma to step down because they have a personal history together.
''But comrade, in your own interests, step down. We are saying that because there is an imminent threat of impeachment.''
The SACP also wants the ANC to hold another urgent National Executive Committee meeting to discuss the current political crisis.
The party had been discussing the Zuma conundrum in bilateral meetings with the ANC leadership, including on the night before Pravin Gordhan was removed as finance minister.
They have stressed that Zuma needs to cut ties to the Gupta family, and that the explanation that it is his son Duduzane that is in business with them, and not him, is not satisfactory.
The party is also worried about the speed with which crises are accumulating and the way they are dividing ANC officials.
The return to Eskom by Brian Molefe left them gobsmacked, with delegates at the conference chuckling in disbelief, as Cronin went over Molefe's controversial return to the power utility as its CEO.
This was after the Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown said it was better for the fiscus to take Molefe back, rather than pay him a proposed R30m pension.
''It's outrageous,'' said Cronin of the Molefe move.