Nkutšoeu Motsau, Chairperson of Azanla MVA, writes:
The South African Communist Party is not funny “ha ha ha”; it is certainly funny “peculiar”. This is one of the oldest parties in the world, born in 1921, yet it is afraid of the sun. It exists under the skin of the ruling party as a complete parasite. This is the party which is supposed to be the vanguard of the working class. In 2009 it had about 80 members of Parliament, yet it has never contested an election. Now lately, it is beginning to stir and even to make threats that it will contest the elections on its own. On hearing this, Cyril Ramaphosa says he told them that that would be suicidal!
The South African Communist Party is a member of the Tripartite Alliance. The acknowledged leader of the Tripartite Alliance is the ruling party. That is to say, the South African Communist Party and Cosatu are junior partners in the allians. Both Cosatu and the South African Communist Party no longer like this arrangement. They want to be equal partners. In actual fact, that means, they want to influence the policies of the ruling party in a significant way. How can they do that? They all take organisational decisions separately, in their own congresses. It is the congresses of these entities that adopt the policies of these organisations. The junior partners want to influence the policies of the ruling party. The problem is that there is no mechanism for doing this. What is in place is that the ruling party is the leader of the Tripartite Alliance.
The tripartite alliance is now a shadow of its former self. It is now no longer that formidable steam hammer it used to be. It has been fatally wounded. The backbone of Cosatu has been broken. Even its relevance is now questionable. Cosatu is in tatters! So is the ruling party, riddled by factionalism. Now the South African Communist Party is alarmed! It is fearful of the future without the ruling party and of existing outside of the ruling party. The South African Communist Party is communist only by name and not by its deeds.
If the figures of 2009 are anything to go by, then the salaries of the members of the South African Communist Party who are Members of Parliament amount to 80 million rands per annum. If each member contributes 10% of their salary to the South African Communist Party, at the end of the day, the party has 8 million rands per annum. Other funds come to the party from constituency offices allocations. The party is awash with funds by virtue of its members being Members of Parliament. Is it not obvious why they couldn’t vote against Zuma during the motion of no-confidence? What would happen to the party if its Members of Parliament were removed and replaced by members of the ruling party? What would happen to those members without the big salaries, upward of 1 million rands per annum? Who wishes to kill the goose that lays golden eggs? The South African Communist Party is trapped, it is wholly beholden to the ruling party! Now you will understand what Cyril Ramaphosa meant by suicide.
* The writer of this column, Nkutšoeu Motsau, was born in Top Location in the Vaal Triangle in 1953. He grew up in Sharpeville. He is a tetraplegic as a result of a car accident in July 2005 in Sharpeville and now resides in Cape Town, but still feels a deep rooted connection with the Vaal. Nkutšoeu is Chairperson of Azanla MVA).