What leadership crisis? – Blade

2012-09-17 19:04
Sabelo Ndlangisa
SA Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande says the claim that the country is facing a leadership crisis is “an ideological fad” aimed at discrediting President Jacob Zuma’s government.

The government has come under fire for its handling of the crisis in Marikana, and for the way its actions have given space for firebrand former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema to destabilise the mining sector.

Businessman Reuel Khoza is one of the prominent personalities who have publicly lamented what they view as the failure of leadership in the current administration.

Addressing the Cosatu congress in Midrand today, Nzimande blamed the criticism of the government on those who had failed to make money in the past when they had opportunities to do so.

Nzimande also called on Cosatu and the alliance to go back to mobilising support in areas such as Marikana to elbow out the union that is jostling with the
National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) for support in mines in the area.

“The task in Marikana is to mobilise (support) in informal settlements so that we can help NUM,” he said.

He also blamed what he called the “anti-union offensive” for the pressures unions such as NUM are facing.

“... The anti-union offensive has intensified and grown more desperate in recent months. It is an offensive supported by sections of imperialism.

“We have seen the DA attempting to out-Malema Malema by leading a march on Cosatu head-quarters with a rag-tag army of suburbanites and desperate and misguided township youth,” Nzimande said.

He called upon Cosatu to “close ranks” and to face the “offensive” as a united Cosatu.

He said his organisation would testify against international mining bosses before the judicial commission of inquiry that Zuma has appointed to investigate the Marikana deaths.

He said the idea that that there was inter-union rivalry in Marikana should be rejected as NUM and Amcu (the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union) were not the same thing.

The media was to blame, he said in reference to Malema, for giving space to demagogues to sell newspapers.

He said the media had been silent on other deaths in Marikana, and said no one had the right to kill the police on duty.

He defended the performance of Zuma’s term in office, saying it had increased life expectancy by increasing access to life-saving anti-retroviral drugs to people with HIV/Aids.

The government had also expanded access to further education and training for poor youths, he said.

» Follow @Bhintsintsi and @City_Press for updates from the congress.