Party leaders urged to respect struggle credentials of veterans
As President Jacob Zuma hit out at ANC veterans at the weekend, party national spokesman Zizi Kodwa warned that leaders with cozy relationships with business people had compromised the ANC and undermined public confidence in its leadership.
Speaking on the campaign trail in Walmer township in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, Kodwa also laid into Umkhonto weSizwe military veterans chairman and staunch Zuma ally Kebby Maphatsoe.
Kodwa said Maphatsoe was prone to harming the image of the ANC by speaking mindlessly whenever he had a microphone in his hand. Kodwa’s comments come in the context of an ANC at war with itself. Many of its leaders and veterans are increasingly pushing for Zuma to resign. On Saturday, Kodwa said: “What we must warn [against] are elected deployees of the ANC, whether ministers, councillors or MECs.
“They must be wary of a cozy relationship between business and an elected leadership because that relationship may compromise the ethos and values of the ANC.
“It may undermine the confidence that people have on the elected leadership.”
The Sunday Times reported yesterday that Zuma, cabinet ministers Malusi Gigaba, Nomvula Mokonyane and African Union Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma were among those who had visited the Gupta’s Saxonwold compound.
This is according to a former driver of the Gupta family. Speaking on ANC veterans, Kodwa said: “The ANC regards the stalwarts as a fountain of wisdom. Whether we agree with them, that’s something else. “We can’t call them by many names, we can’t question their credentials.
“Even if they criticise the ANC we must engage them respectfully.” Maphatsoe recently lashed out at ANC veterans for criticising Zuma. He called them “empty tins with no credibility”.
Kodwa said: “Statements made by Kebby [are] sheer disrespect, not political statements. “Being elected a leader of the ANC did not mean you were the brightest. “They are given opportunity by history.
You must not undermine those who came before you. “The ANC, including its leadership, has no right to question the struggle credentials of former president [Thabo] Mbeki, [Ahmed] Kathrada and Andrew Mlangeni. It can’t be.
“There are leaders of the ANC, whenever they have a microphone, say things that bring the ANC into disrepute. “When they open their mouths, they speak mindlessly. “They undermine the ANC. Kebby, for example, speaks mindlessly and that harms the ANC,” Kodwa said.
Meanwhile, speaking to thousands of supporters at an ANC victory rally in eDumbe‚ KwaZulu-Natal‚ on Saturday‚ Zuma said he was not threatened by political parties who approached courts to scare him.
The president also said veterans who criticised him in public did not belong to any structures and were out of line. Yesterday, SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande said the “monopolisation and the Guptarisation” of the country must be stopped. Speaking at a Red October campaign rally at Sebokeng in Gauteng‚ he called for an intensification in the struggle against the abuse of state organs “aimed at advancing parasitic accumulation”.
“We are today drawing a red line and we call upon the people of South Africa‚ especially the workers and the poor‚ to stop this rot and abuse of state organs for purposes of serving narrow accumulation agendas,” Nzimande said. “As the SACP‚ we are prepared to fight this scourge in the same manner as we fought in defence of comrade Jacob Zuma some 10 to 13 years ago when we believed state organs were being used to pursue narrow political agendas.
“As the SACP‚ we are also acutely aware that those who are pursuing these political agendas have no interest of our country at heart‚ but are prepared to‚ if need be‚ sink our country into a political and economic abyss in order to hide their parasitic interests.”
Nzimande said parasites “like the Guptas” were no alternative to monopoly capital. – Additional reporting by Amir Chetty and TMG Digital