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Nzimande warns on lack of open debate

By Nomavenda Mathiane, Business Day (Johannesburg),
31 January 2000

Johannesburg - The dearth of open debate within the tripartite alliance could result in the creation of patronage and the perpetuation of careerism, says SA Communist Party (SACP) secretary-general Blade Nzimande.

He accused some of his comrades of supporting privatisation because they had vested interests in the schemes.

Nzimande referred to them as comrades "who think with their stomachs rather than their heads".

He was speaking at the weekend memorial service for SACP leader Joe Slovo, who died in January 1995.

Nzimande said he had to raise these issues because the country was faced with the erosion of values and morality.

There were fewer voices talking about the eradication of poverty, which was a threat to democracy. The voices of the poor were not being heard.

"I simply wanted to remind people that Joe Slovo was bold to raise critical issues, that he believed in fostering internal debate within the organisation," said Nzimande.

He said the SACP would support Cosatu's forthcoming mass action because the call was against job losses. "The party theme for 2001 is to build peoples' power for eradication of poverty. We will mobilise our people towards this goal."