President Jacob Zuma will come face to face with his biggest critics in the tripartite alliance when the ANC and South African Communist Party meet in a bilateral meeting on Monday.
The meeting comes amid deteriorating relations between the alliance partners.
It is the first time that the ANC and SACP will meet since Zuma’s late night Cabinet reshuffle in March that saw several ministers, including Pravin Gordhan and Derek Hanekom, fired.
It led to the SACP calling for Zuma to step down, and banning him from its activities.
At its July congress, the SACP told the ANC it wanted deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, and not Zuma, to address the congress.
The SACP accused Zuma of changing his executive without consulting alliance partners and of basing Gordhan’s axing as finance minister on a “fake” intelligence report that claimed Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas were conspiring with foreign forces against the president.
An ANC insider told News24 that the meeting was expected to be heated, following the SACP’s relentless attacks on the ANC, and Zuma specifically.
News24 understands that only national office bearers of the two parties will attend the meeting. The SACP had demanded a political council that includes other alliance partners, as Cosatu has also called for Zuma to step down.
The SACP has accused Zuma of delaying the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, despite it being endorsed by the ANC’s national executive committee.
Zuma has taken the report by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on judicial review.
He is challenging her recommendation that Zuma establish a commission of inquiry, headed by a judge selected by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.
The ANC and SACP have been involved in a public political storm in recent weeks, with the SACP accusing the ANC of “selective discipline”, after it announced it would discipline at least three ANC MPs, who it says have publicly admitted that they voted with the opposition in the motion of no confidence against Zuma.
More than 30 ANC MPs are believed to have voted for Zuma’s removal, with speculation rife that some SACP members – in Parliament on an ANC ticket – supported the motion.
Hanekom told to explain himself
The ANC also gave Hanekom until Monday to say why he should not be removed as chair of the national disciplinary committee.
Party secretary general Gwede Mantashe wrote to Hanekom 10 days ago, asking him to explain why he should not be removed as chair after the national working committee said he should be censured for his tweets.
Hanekom tweeted: “Secret ballot. No retribution because no-one will know how you voted. But this must be a vote against state capture.”
The other tweet on August 7 read: “Dispel the notion of ‘voting with the Opposition’. We must vote against state capture, massive looting and corruption. Vote for change…”
The SACP questioned why Zuma had never been held accountable for state capture allegations, and a Cabinet reshuffle that, it says, contributed to ratings agencies downgrading the country’s economy to junk status.
The ANC hit back, accusing SACP of trying to “dictate” to the ANC.
Also expected to be under discussion is the SACP decision to go it alone in the 2019 elections.
The issue will also be discussed by Cosatu’s central executive committee that is meeting on Monday. The two have traditionally campaigned for the ANC. – News24