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Zuma lashes out at 'crazy' SACP and other critics

President Jacob Zuma lashed out at the SACP on Sunday, saying some of its leaders displayed “crazy behaviour” and showed a lack of political maturity and depth.
The ANC’s alliance partner was not his only target – those who have criticised the ANC in the media also received a scathing rebuke.
Zuma was speaking in Caluza, outside Pietermaritzburg, at the unveiling of the statue of the former communist party and ANC stalwart Harry Gwala.
In an unprepared speech lasting about an hour, Zuma spoke in detail about the kind of leader Gwala was and said those mentored by him remain committed and disciplined.
“We were educated by him and we will remain true to what he taught us and will never lose our way,” Zuma said.
“These days we hear communist leaders whenever they speak, especially when they see the cameras, they say all sorts of things, including that the alliance should be allowed to fail. What is that? When people say that, we see that they are politically immature.
“We could challenge those crazy things they say, but we choose not to because that could lead us to being associated with their craziness,” Zuma said.
The remarks appeared to be aimed at SACP General Secretary Blade Nzimande who has been critical of the president, in particular his association with the Gupta family. Nzimande has accused the president of looting the state by redirecting state contracts in favour of Gupta businesses, and has questioned Zuma family links to the Guptas.
At the SACP’s recent congress, the party said it was forging ahead with plans to contest state power and was prepared to stand alone in the 2019 elections. But it has not set any timelines for that plan.
The party has also been critical of the ANC’s new catch phrase, “white monopoly capital”, saying it only knew monopoly capital. Zuma took aim at this, saying the SACP was backtracking from its agenda to uplift society by failing to acknowledge that white monopoly capital existed. 
“Why are you suddenly questioning that term?” asked Zuma of SACP provincial secretary Themba Mthembu.
Zuma also criticised ANC party members who were speaking out against the alleged rot within the party.
Vocal leaders, including MP Makhosi Khoza, have been openly calling for Zuma’s removal from power.
On Tuesday, Zuma will face his seventh vote of no confidence. A few ANC leaders, including Khoza, have indicated that they will vote with the opposition on the matter, despite the ANC warning them not to do so.
“There are some comrades who take opportunities to attend funerals of dead stalwarts and use them to attack the party in public.
“Others, whenever they see the media, they do not criticise their leader in person, but say all sorts of things about them to the media. Why would you go and air your dirty linen in public?”
Mthembu said they took the positive from the president’s speech. “If you listened to him, he was saying that the SACP produced the best leaders and we still have a role to play in the alliance. That is the positive we are taking from the speech.”

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