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Solly Mapaila Elected Unopposed As SACP General Secretary; Nzimande Becomes Chairperson

New SACP general secretary Solly Mapaila and new chairperson Blade Nzimande. Raymond Willemse

The South African Communist Party’s (SACP) Blade Nzimande was voted in as chairperson at the SACP’s 15th elective congress on Saturday.

On Friday, Nzimande stepped down as general secretary, after serving in the position for 24 years.

Nzimande defeated Gwebinkundla Qonde by over 100 votes.

Qonde served as Nzimande’s director-general at the Department of Higher Education and Training until the pair had a public fallout leading, to the former being suspended in 2021.

Solly Mapaila, who was second deputy general secretary from 2012 to 2017 and a member of ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto weSizwe, was elected unopposed as new general secretary of the party.

Mapaila has been very vocal in his opposition to corruption and was among the leaders who called for former president Jacob Zuma to resign before the end of his term.

Joyce Moloi-Moropa retained her position as SACP National Treasurer.

In 2016, Moloi-Moropa resigned from her position as the chairperson of the communications portfolio committee, after reports emerged that she found herself caught in the crossfire between ANC MPs loyal to then Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and party policy during the height of state capture.

Madala Masuku was elected first deputy general secretary, while David Masondo was elected second deputy secretary.

Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi retained his position as deputy chairperson of the party.

After weeks of talks among provincial leaders in an attempt to avoid open contestation for positions and to have all the top six members be elected unopposed, the party failed in this as five of the six positions were contested.

The nomination process was marred by a lot of disputes, with sources saying there were discrepancies after in one instance, a fraudulent form was allegedly submitted by a delegate from Limpopo.

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