Zuma's 'sins' highlighted

Analyst warns that ANC likely to lose further support in 2019

President Jacob Zuma’s unforgivable sins will lead to the ruling party losing major ground in parliament after the 2019 general elections, and not even an early elective conference will stop its downward spiral.

This was the view shared by political analyst and former ANC leader Zamikhaya Maseti when addressing ANC delegates at the party’s Nelson Mandela Bay consultative conference.

He spoke of Zuma’s eight cardinal sins which had led to the ANC losing key metropolitan municipalities in the country, including the Bay.

Yesterday was the first day of the two-day conference being held at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

“All these cardinal sins will stay with the ANC whether Zuma goes or stays,” he said.

Maseti listed a number of scandals linked to Zuma – the Gupta family landing at the Waterkloof air force base, the Nkandla upgrades, the firing of former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene and the Constitutional Court judgment which was scathing of the president.

Many of the hundreds of ANC delegates clapped in agreement with Maseti during his speech.

“You saw all these damages and no one bothered to stand up and say ‘not in the name of the brand’,” he said.

“I felt paralysed when the ANC used its majority in parliament to defend Zuma over the issue of Nkandla.

“You are in this problem because Zuma has committed a number of unforgivable sins.”

He said the fractured state of the ANC in the metro was not isolated, but a national problem, and the party needed to ask itself tough questions about its future.

Maseti said Zuma’s “sins” had crippled the economy.

“The reality is that South Africa could be downgraded to junk status.

“When Nene was fired, this country lost R99-billion.

“If we are downgraded to junk status, most of you middle-class people will not afford your houses.

“You will have to move back to the Red Location,” he said.

ANC national spokesman Zizi Kodwa, who gave a political overview of the organisation, said the ANC had been divided since the 2007 Polokwane conference.

“The past two conferences since 2007 have not unified the ANC. The calls for early conferences, be it national or regional, are based on factions,” he said.

“People are calling for early conferences while they know they have names [of their preferred successors] already.

“We need to unify and build the organisation before that,” Kodwa said.

He said one of the biggest mistakes had been the expulsion of former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi from the labour federation.

“As the ANC we could see that Cosatu was going to expel Vavi. We advised them quietly not to expel him, but they went ahead.”

But Cosatu representative Nkosana Dolopi disagreed, saying they stood by their decision.

Dolopi said the ANC and its alliance partners were in trouble because they lacked decisive leadership.

“In the next few months, we are going to be exposed in Jo’burg, Tshwane and this [Bay] metro because of corruption.

“We were wishy-washy when it came to dealing with corruption. The opposition was firm and resolute. They ran with their programme even if it meant going to court.”

Former president Kgalema Motlanthe and Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas are among the speakers expected to address the conference today.