Comrades in conflict over no-confidence vote


ANC MPs who come from the ranks of the SACP are considering abstaining in next month's vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.
Three senior ANC MPs from the SACP told the Sunday Times this week that the dominant view in the party was that communists should abstain. A decision will be made closer to the debate on August 8.
An ANC MP from the SACP said that with the communist party having decided that Zuma must go, some of his comrades felt conflicted about the vote.
SACP leaders are said to be opposed to removing Zuma through the parliamentary process. They fear ANC MPs may not agree on his immediate replacement, which could collapse parliament.
There is a growing rift between the SACP and the ANC.
Zuma this week accused the SACP of behaving like an opposition party after it decided at its national congress to contest the 2019 elections on its own ticket.
Ben Martins, an SACP politburo member and deputy minister of public enterprises, said he would vote as instructed by the ANC.
Another SACP MP, Godfrey Oliphant, who is the deputy minister of mineral resources, would not say how he would vote.
"We'll attend in full force," he said of the debate.
Fikile Majola, a former trade union leader who is the chairman of the energy portfolio committee in the National Assembly, did not know of moves by SACP members to abstain.
"I'm not going to do something on my own, in secret. I will have a discussion. I'll go to a meeting, put forward my position. I'll be defeated if I'm defeated. I'll toe the line. It doesn't matter whether in ANC, or SACP, or any organisation I belong to," said Majola.
Majola's former union, the National Health and Allied Workers' Union, is backing Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa for the ANC presidency.
Majola said there was no conflict between his roles in the ANC and SACP.
"For the better part of my adult life I've been in the SACP, Cosatu and the ANC. I've never been conflicted," he said...

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