BY PENWELL DLAMINI
General secretary of the SA Communist Party Blade Nzimande has used the Cosatu march against state capture to lash out against the government’s failure to act against the Guptas and all those linked with them.
Nzimande addressed thousands of workers at Bank City in the Johannesburg city centre on Wednesday where the workers were handing a memorandum of demands to the banks during the Cosatu march.
“Let us make a vow as workers that our money which has been stolen and is in Dubai must be traced and let us get it back. Every cent of it. That money belongs to the people of this country. We are saying to the Hawks‚ why are you sitting back and not acting against this broad looting of the state. Why is the NPA not acting‚” Nzimanda asked.
Nzimande used the platform to urge public sector unions to keep a close eye on the Public Investment Corporation which is believed to be the next target of the Guptas.
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Tuesday dismissed reports that he was planning to ask for billions of rand from the PIC in order to save a struggling South African Airways.
Nzimande said the PIC was the blood and sweat of the workers‚ therefore it must be protected from the looters.
“We want to say‚ corruption and looting takes away money from social grants of pensioners. The looting of SAA has plunged it into a crisis. The looting of Eskom has pushed up the price of electricity. Workers‚ you were in our minds during the war against the apartheid government. Blood was shed. Some of our brothers and sisters are no more. They died fighting to bring freedom in this country.
“How can we allow a situation that now we have freedom‚ then a foreign Indian family called the Guptas comes and takes the country. Workers can’t keep quiet.
“This movement must not stop here with this march. We say to the NUM‚ go to Eskom and say this coal which you are buying from some of these companies‚ why are you doing that at the expense of the workers. Take this battle to your sectors‚” said Nzimande.
He added: “Those in the public sector should march and question us as ministers as to why are we sitting while the country is being taken away.”
He then dismissed reports that the protest against state capture and corruption was a strike of workers against the African National Congress.
“This is a strike against what is wrong in our movement but not against our movement. This is not a strike against a democratic movement but a strike against what is wrong in our government…We are not going to keep quiet when the ANC is being stolen broad daylight. The ANC does not belong to its leaders‚ it belongs to the people of this country. It’s a people’s movement and we will defend it‚”Nzimande said.