ANC paralysed by Gupta saga - Cronin

11 July 2017 - 12:09
By Neo Goba
Jeremy Cronin. File photo.
Image: Times Media Jeremy Cronin. File photo.

SA Communist Party veteran Jeremy Cronin says the ANC is grappling with how to deal with the controversial Gupta family‚ who have a parasitic influence on the party and government.

Cronin‚ the SACP's outgoing first deputy general secretary‚ said the issue went to the very heart of the ruling party.

"The ANC is clearly hamstrung and paralysed in confronting the issue of the Guptas because it goes deep into the ANC itself‚" Cronin told TimesLIVE.

He spoke on the sidelines of the party's six-day 14th national congress‚ which is currently under way at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg‚ east of Johannesburg.

"We have got a very important responsibility as the SACP to help to provide a voice to many in the alliance but who find for one reason or the other that the structures themselves are not working‚ they are disabled by the factional problems that they have got. We need to make the link between the problems of state capture and the persisting problems of unemployment‚ poverty and equality‚" said Cronin.

Cronin said state capture had "bled dry" key state entities.

"What the Gupta faction has done is that they have preyed upon the more effective delivery structures in the state‚ whether it's the social grant payment system‚ which has worked amazingly‚ whether it's Eskom and Transnet‚ which have their own challenges‚ which in previous years were critical arms of delivery in terms of infrastructure and logistics. What has happened with state capture is that those critical points of delivery and professional capacity have been bled dry and parasitic looting‚" he added.

The SACP was the first member of the ANC-led tripartite alliance to call for a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture.

Cronin added that divisions within the top leadership of the ANC were the root cause of the party's failure to deal with the Guptas‚ who continue to milk the country dry‚ he said.

"Our congress is occurring at a very complicated time in South African history where we see the dangers of populism in our politics‚ whether it comes from the Gupta faction who are trying to distract us from the big issues and their criminal activities. The challenge we have as the Communist Party and at this congress is to defend our constitution and democracy‚ but to also identify the issues that are blocking an effective address of the social crisis‚" said Cronin.

The ANC's stalwarts boycotted last week's 5th national policy conference.

However‚ the SACP was able to make provision for the stalwarts for Thursday during a session where state capture will be discussed.

The SACP will use its six-day conference to discuss the divided state of the ANC-led tripartite alliance and how it can be reconfigured.