Worry about yourselves, Zuma tells ANC allies

By Bongani Hans | IOL |

 President Jacob Zuma has called on the SACP, Cosatu and the SA National Civic Organisation to stop discussing ANC leadership succession instead of focusing on dealing with their own problems.

South African President Jacob Zuma
South African President Jacob Zuma

Zuma said the SACP had failed to promote socialism, which was much needed in South Africa, while Cosatu had paid little attention to challenges facing workers.

He was addressing hundreds of church leaders, their followers and ANC supporters in Durban yesterday during a prayer service dedicated to asking for protection from his adversaries.

Zuma lashed out at certain ANC leaders for holding meetings in “dark corners” to discuss party matters, instead of doing so within legitimate party structures.

He also said he was being harassed despite his previous announcements that he would not again vie for the presidency of the ANC and the country.

The prayer gathering, which was held at People’s Park in Durban, was a reaction to several calls for Zuma to step down before the end of his term in 2019. Among those calling for his head are senior ANC leaders and veterans.

Opposition parties also held marches calling for him to leave the position following reshuffling of the cabinet, which led to former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas being recalled.

The SACP, Cosatu and Sanco had already endorsed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as the next party leader against Zuma’s preferred candidate, former AU Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

In reference to the SACP, Zuma said “some people should talk about socialism instead of the ANC”.

“They have time to waste discussing the ANC on Saturday and Sunday. They don’t talk about themselves, while they have serious problems of their own.

“We were told that we are going to adopt socialism. When are we going to start fighting for it?” he said.

Cosatu should focus on workers’ issues because since the world was approaching a fourth industrial revolution, “the computers are taking over jobs from workers”.

“We don’t hear them discussing the future of the workers, but they are busy discussing the ANC.

“Ever since the ANC was started, you never heard it even a single day discussing one of the alliance partners,” he noted.

“This president is not contesting against anyone, and is only pre- paring to retire and enjoy his pension. Why is the person preparing to retire being fought against?” he asked.

He challenged his opponents in the ruling party to tell him what wrong he had committed against them. He said opposition parties were clear as their mission was to destroy the ANC and take over the country.

“We must ask those of us who have grouped themselves why are they fighting against a person who is walking out as if he is coming in.

“We must ask why the leadership battle is so much that it is like there is no tomorrow. We must ask what makes people fight so much against their own movement,” he said.

The organiser of the prayer service, Bishop Laurence Mahlakwane, said the church leaders in eThekwini would defend Zuma because God had put him in the position.

“His power come from above as he was not elected by thousands of voters, but by millions. He was the president yesterday, he is the president today and he will be the president tomorrow,” he said.

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