South African Communist Party (SACP) Secretary General Dr Blade Nzimande says he respects the decision made by the African National Congress (ANC) to exclude him from its National Executive Committee (NEC).

The ANC announced its new 80 NEC members last week Thursday at the party’s 54th National Elective Conference, in Johannesburg.

Nzimande was speaking at an annual Christmas function for elderly citizens at Dambuza, near Pietermaritzburg. Speaking on the sidelines of the function Nzimade said, “No I am not concerned about that. We respect the decision of the conference of the ANC.”

The South African Communist Party in KwaZulu-Natal expressed disappointment over the exclusion of its top ranking members from the African National Congress National Executive Committee. In the past senior party members were virtually guaranteed seats on the ANC NEC, but this time they were snubbed, including Secretary General Blade Nzimande.

KZN SACP Chairperson Themba Mthembu says: “Many resolutions taken were revolutionary and progressive, however, we are disappointed that many leaders of the communist party were excluded from the NEC of the ANC.”

Nzimande and the members of the SACP were vocal about their support for Cyril Ramaphosa as the ANC’s president. It even called on President Jacob Zuma to step down as president of the country.

In October, President Zuma removed Nzimande as Minister of Higher Education. A move that left communist seething with anger. The president’s action served as a clear indication of the strained relations between the ANC and their long-time ally.

SACP’s first deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila said the president’s decision was meant to humiliate their leader.

Full List of ANC NEC: