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There is a fightback campaign by looters, and that is why Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s constitutional rights are being violated, says the SACP.

The party’s first deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila spoke on Friday after a tumultuous State of the Nation address on Thursday when Gordhan was one of the EFF’s targets.

Several EFF MPs, including leader Julius Malema, raised several points of order – first insisting that former deputy president and the last apartheid-era president FW de Klerk leave the public gallery, and then insisting that President Cyril Ramaphosa fires Gordhan.

Addressing an event of the Cape Town Press Club, Mapaila described a complicated position on De Klerk. He said De Klerk unbanned the SACP, but didn’t do it out of “goodwill or a change of heart”, but due to the effects of “decades of struggle” by the liberation movement leaving him with no other choice.

He said the United Nations was correct to declare apartheid a crime against humanity.

Mapaila said despite the SACP’s unbanning, many of their erstwhile comrades are still “unaccounted for”, and therefore De Klerk’s recent comment that the violence during the apartheid era was black on black violence is grating.

He added, however, that the struggle was one for a country with due process, laws and regulations.

“The disruption [of Sona] is a blatant abuse of parliament and we condemn it strongly.

“In the disruption, there was racialised targeting of Comrade Gordhan, which was completely unacceptable.

“Yes indeed, we support Comrade Pravin,” he said. “We support him particularly to uproot state capture in state-owned enterprises.”

Mapaila said Ramaphosa’s Sona contained several issues of interest to the SACP.

They welcomed the mooted sovereign wealth fund and called for more public investment.

He said public enterprises have a crucial developmental role to play and must be properly maintained and publicly owned under democratic control.

He said there should be a summit for the transformation of the financial sector and he welcomed the creation of a state bank.

“This, we think, is extremely important.”

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