SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande has labelled the politically connected Gupta family as “parasites”, and has called for their influence to be defeated.
“Parasites like the Guptas are not alternative to monopoly capital. Instead their parasitic acts can only serve to weaken the capacity of our state and struggle to defeat monopoly capital,” Nzimande said at a Red October rally in Sebokeng on Sunday.
He said there should be no opposition to former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s recommendation for a judicial inquiry into the family’s alleged improper relationship with President Jacob Zuma and state-owned enterprises.
Madonsela recommended the inquiry in her report, entitled State of Capture.
The report was released on Wednesday after Zuma withdrew his application to interdict it.
Nzimande said the ANC’s contribution to the inquiry can help the party rebuild trust with people, as it is facing “declining political morality and organisational weaknesses” after losing key metros in the local government elections.
“We commend the ANC for its acceptance of the need to establish the commission. As a movement we must not be seen to be afraid of such, instead our co-operation with such initiatives may help us to rebuild the trust of the movement amongst the people,” Nzimande said.
Settling political scores
The SACP has also called for an end to the abuse of state organs to settle political scores.
This follows Sunday’s news reports that the Hawks are again investigating Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, this time over the establishment of the so-called SARS “rogue unit”.
Another report indicated that deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe and treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize were being investigated for not reporting the Gupta family’s alleged offer of finance minister post to Jonas.
Nzimande said “enough is enough”.
“We are today drawing a red line and we call upon the people of South Africa, especially the workers and the poor, to stop this rot and abuse of state organs for purposes of serving narrow accumulation agendas.”
Nzimande warned that the SACP will fight the “scourge” with same vigor used when they defended Zuma, who was facing corruption charges ahead of the 2007 ANC Polokwane elective conference.
“If we do not do so, all of us will be in the queue of being harassed for narrow political reasons,” Nzimande said.
He has also challenged Cosatu to support their fight against state capture, saying it is a principled fight that must show that “the state is not for sale”.
“Organised workers cannot afford to be seen hesitating, or [being] indecisive, or uncertain, on these crucial matters.”