SACP in KZN calls for immediate release of Moerane Commission report

The South African Communist Party (SACP) in KwaZulu-Natal has called for the immediate release of the report of the Moerane Commission into political killings in the province.

SACP secretary in the province Themba Mthembu told journalists at a press briefing in Durban on Wednesday that they took the resolution at their 8th provincial congress, which was held from August 26 to 28 in Pongola.

"The congress condemned the bloody political killings in the province in which many lives were lost. In this regard, we took time and remembered our martyrs both inside and outside of the party, who perished from the killings," said Mthembu.

He added that the party could not ignore that political killings were a rightward shift in provincial politics.

"We reiterate our strong call for thorough investigations, with arrests, successful prosecution and stiff sentences to be meted out to perpetrators. We also call for the immediate end to the killings in our province and upon the premier (Willies Mchunu) to immediately release the Moerane Commission report," he added.

The party said it would also intensify its fight against corruption.

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"There is wide recognition in our ranks that fraud and corruption remain cancerous in our society. We vow to intensify the onslaught against parasitic networks of corporate capture as part of the fight against corruption," said Mthembu.

The SACP also announced that all 21 members of the party's provincial executive committee (PEC) were elected unopposed.

Mthembu, who has held his position since 2002, kept the provincial secretary post and former eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo retained his chairperson position.

Mthembu said only a few "ill-disciplined members" were against him retaining his position.

The SACP said the national leadership had handled the nomination process.

"There were no nominations from the floor, but delegates were given a chance to nominate," Mthembu explained when he was asked how it came about that 21 PEC members were nominated unopposed.

Treasurer Nomarashiya Caluza reiterated that "99.99%" of their members still had confidence in Mthembu.

She said she believed the party was still relevant in KZN and it had grown since 2015.

The party also committed to working with the ANC "towards a landslide victory of the ANC in the forthcoming elections in 2019".

Nxumalo said they were not looking to be deployed to top positions in the government by campaigning for the ANC.

"We're not here for positions. We represent the interest of the working class and the poor," he said.

The Moerane Commission report was handed over to the KwaZulu-Natal office of the premier in June.

Provincial legislature spokesperson Wonder Hlongwa previously told News24 that the office of the speaker had received the report in July.

"The report is currently being processed by relevant committees. As soon as this process is complete, the next course of action will [be to] communicate to the relevant stakeholders and the general public."

According to the KwaZulu-Natal Commissions Act, the relevant portfolio committee of the legislature must decide on a way forward with the report and provide formal comment or input to the premier in writing.

The premier must then, within 21 working days of the date of receipt of the written comment or input of the relevant portfolio committee, release the report of the commission to the public.

The 424-page report contains very specific recommendations from evidence of more than 60 witnesses, according to chairperson Marumo Moerane.

Mchunu established the commission in October 2016 after a high number of political killings in the province. It investigated killings that have taken place in the province since 2011.