| May 3, 2017

JOHANNESBURG, The leader of the South African Communist Party (SACP), Blade Nzimande, who is also the Minister for Higher Education and Training, has described the collapse of a Workers' Day rally in Bloemfontein in Free State Province on Monday as the final wake-up call for the Tripartite Alliance, made up of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), the SACP and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

President Jacob Zuma was set to have addressed the rally but was embarrassingly booed off the stage at the main Cosatu May Day rally. Zuma was whisked from the stage as the crowd became rowdy, calling on the President to go.

Nzimande said Tuesday that if the Alliance did not address the crisis now, it would be judged as the generation of leaders who allowed the grouping to collapse. The alliance was forged during the pre-independence struggle to end apartheid.

The rally was abruptly cancelled after Zuma was heckled and booed.

Meawnhile, ANC Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa has blamed Alliance leaders' early pronouncements on leadership preferences as the main reason for President Zuma being unable to address the Bloemfontein May Day rally.

Kodwa defended the ANC's decision to deploy Zuma to the event despite calls by Cosatu affiliates that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa should replace him.

Kodwa said it was regrettable that leadership preferences over-shadowed the event. It is regrettable and unfortunate that such a historic and important day can be reduced to this, instead of celebrating the day which really is about workers," he added.

"We have always advised alliance partners and others that they must desist from making premature political preferences. The incident you saw is a direct consequence of not heeding that call of the ANC that this issue undermines our efforts to foster unity within the alliance. I think the incident is a direct consequence of not heeding the call and advice from the ANC leadership to leave ANC leadership preferences to ANC structures at an appropriate time."


Category: General

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