The South African Communist Party (SACP) has threatened to embark on a “mass action” against what it views as the parasitic corporate capture of the country’s strategic institutions after the ANC decided to abandon its investigations into the matter.
The SACP plans to have a bilateral meeting with union federation Cosatu to discuss the possibility of the affiliated unions participating in the protest action.
Briefing the media on the outcome of the party’s central committee held over the weekend, general secretary Blade Nzimande said it was misguided to believe that discussing the issue of corporate capture would harm the ANC’s performance in the local government elections on August 3.
“We are not interested in palace consultations anymore, we must act now,” said Nzimande.
He added that it was only by addressing the challenges of parasitic corporate capture head-on, without fear and favour, that “we will reaffirm the values of our liberation struggle and begin to regain the respect of millions of ANC supporters”. The communist party said it would use all processes available to it, political and legal, and still hope to discuss the matter with the ANC. Nzimande said the party was also hoping to involve Cosatu in a “joint march” against corporate capture and the transformation of financial institutions.
The SACP criticised the ANC for wanting to “easily” dismiss corporate capture as a minor issue, yet at last year’s alliance summit, the governing party acknowledged that within its formations there was the “use of money to advance individual ambitions and factions based on patronage and nepotism”.
The ANC decided to abandon investigating the issue because not “enough” witnesses had come forward with written submissions. President Jacob Zuma said at the party’s Gauteng provincial general council last month that those who were talking about state capture were misleading people and were turning a small issue into a big issue.
The communist party said that even though it endorses the ruling party’s elections campaign, and it would go all out to campaign for an ANC victory, it will not support candidates who fraudulently made it on to the candidate list.
“We can’t endorse the corrupting of ANC processes,” said Nzimande.
He congratulated the ruling party’s election manifesto launch at FNB stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday, saying it was important that the ANC retained key metros such as the City of Johannesburg rather than handing it to people with neoliberalist agendas.
He said the fight against corporate capture should not destabilise the alliance by becoming factionalist. “We always insisted that the Gupta family is not alone in their parasitic behaviour,” said Nzimande.
According to the communist party, those responsible for parasitic corporate capture could be divided into two camps; monopoly capital working with first BEE entrepreneurs and a “corrupt” bourgeoisie seeking to influence the appointment of Cabinet ministers and capture key government institutions.
Nzimande said the “recalling” of Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister and the appointment of Des van Rooyen into the position, laid bare the opportunistic tendencies of these parasitic bourgeoisie.
“Some were prepared to loot our economy into a Zimbabwean-styled failed state scenario, while there are suggestions that some have deliberately ‘shorted’ the rand driving down its value.”
Nzimande congratulated Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan for his “stellar work” and welcomed the decision by international rating agencies not to downgrade the country to “junk status”. He added that even though the communist party dislikes rating agencies, downgrading the country would have had a negative effect mostly on the workers. “Rating agencies are like the credit bureau, we might not like them but they are there.”
Nzimande said the party did not discuss the investigation of Gordhan by the Hawks or the SA Revenue Service’s so-called rogue unit. It would prefer to discuss the Gordhan matter, and corporate capture, directly with the ANC, rather than holding “a beauty contest in the media”.
The party did not say when the planned “mass action” would take place.