South African Communist Party (SACP) central committee member, Jeremy Cronin, says former president Jacob Zuma’s comments about National Executive Committee (NEC) member Derek Hanekom and others, being apartheid spies are irresponsible and reckless.

Speaking at the 98th anniversary of the party, held in Cape Town on Saturday. Cronin said these comments from Zuma are part of the so-called fight-back campaign.

Appearing before the Zondo Commission, Zuma also called his comrades and former ministers, Siphiwe Nyanda, and Ngoako Ramathlodi, apartheid spies.

Cronin has gone as far as describing Zuma’s utterances as “absolute rubbish”.

“Well, I think that some of the most outrageous things we have seen, are the utterances from Jacob Zuma, alleging that various comrades inside the ANC are apartheid-era spies. And the most recent allegation which is absolute rubbish is directed at Derek Hanekom, and this level of irresponsibility and recklessness on the part of Zuma. He is not alone. I think it’s an indication of one these forces have their backs to the wall, they are facing very serious consequences, and I think the country can see, and the majority of ANC supporting members can see, what’s going on.”

Cronin likened the current situation within the ANC, to civil war. Cronin says some members are unfairly targeted through factionalism.

He says a patriotic front is needed right now, to stand against state capture, but that such a grouping, which should include civil society, would have to be led by the ANC.

“Its very sad speaking as a long term ANC and also SACP member, to see the ANC in its current state, there is a significant faction in the ANC , which is well-monied, which is fighting a desperate fight-back campaign and which is prepared to destroy the ANC organisation.”

Meanwhile, the African National Congress (ANC) Veterans League has come out in full support of embattled ANC National Executive Committee member, Derek Hanekom.

This follows Hanekom’s admission that he had met with Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) Secretary-General and Member of Parliament, Godrich Gardee after EFF leader Julius Malema revealed that Hanekom tried to garner support from his party to oust former President Jacob Zuma from office.

In a letter addressed to the ANC’s top Six, the Veteran’s League expresses their unequivocal support for Hanekom and other members of the party who may have supported the vote of no confidence against Zuma in early 2018.

The league also rubbished claims made by the former president in the Zondo Commission that Hanekom was an enemy agent during apartheid.