We were the first to speak out about 'state capture' - SACP
The SA Communist Party has dismissed claims made by former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi that the party had to "take responsibility for the mess" the country was in, following allegations about the Gupta family's influence over government.
"The SACP was the first organisation to come out and say let us take responsibility for the revolution," spokesperson Alex Mashilo told News24 on Tuesday.
"It was the first organisation... to say our revolution committed the following mistakes."
In an interview with News24, Vavi said SACP and ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe needed to take responsibility for the "mess we are finding ourselves in".
"Just like I am taking the responsibility for my own role in the run-up to 2007," he said.
Vavi questioned why they were expressing shock now.
But Mashilo on Tuesday referred to a 2014 statement by the SACP's augmented central committee in which the party raised concerns about the increasing influence of business people in state appointments.
"When this chap [Vavi] says we are just coming out now... it's opportunism. Where was this gentlemen to come out in support of the party?" he said.
In the statement issued on November 20, 2014, the SACP said, "There are also widespread indications of money politics at play and even of business people having a direct hand into appointments into key positions within the state."
The augmented central committee was talking about a "regime-change agenda emanating from disparate quarters".
Mashilo said that again in May 2015, the SACP had spoken out against corporate capture in its political report.
"We were not raising it in 2016, we were not raising in 2015, we started raising it in 2014 as [proven] in that statement.
"Why didn't he [Vavi] come out then? He was still in the movement at that time. Why didn't he come out to support the SACP?"
The SACP has called for a judicial commission of inquiry following allegations that the Guptas, said to be close to President Jacob Zuma, were offering Cabinet positions.
Mashilo said the SACP was dealing with "matters of principle".
"When business people increasingly achieve influence in our appointments in the state or state-owned enterprises that is wrong. You cannot expect us to be silent about it," he said.
Vavi also said the ANC was on its way to making the same mistakes it did ahead of its watershed Polokwane conference in 2007 when Zuma unseated former president Thabo Mbeki. But Mashilo would not be drawn on whether there were similarities in the run-up to the ruling parties 2017 congress.
He claimed the SACP had also spoken out against what happened in 2007.
This was discussed in the SACP's 2015 discussion document titled 'Challenges facing the trade union movement'.
"After Polokwane the first organisation to go out and say there was a problem in Polokwane was the SACP.
"At that time the SACP said there was a new tendency that when we were fighting in Polokwane certain individuals were not fighting for principles. They were fighting for 'our time to eat', referring to themselves... that's why Polokwane was a problem," said Mashilo.
Source News 24