Cape Town - Alliance partners in Mpumalanga are planning to crack down on a group – said to be members of the SACP – who aim to boo President Jacob Zuma when he takes to the stage at the ANC’s January 8 celebrations on Saturday.
The SACP said it had noticed certain “political barbarians” in the party within the province were planning to boo President Zuma.
On Wednesday, ANC officials went around with loud hailers reminding people to be disciplined as they waited for Zuma in Kwanyamazane, Mpumalanga where he went on a walkabout to meet residents.
Saturday’s address at the Mbombela Stadium in Mpumalanga will be Zuma’s first address at a stadium following last month’s booing incident that made international headlines at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service.
Parts of the crowd at the FNB Stadium in Soweto booed whenever Zuma’s face appeared on the big screens scattered around the stadium. ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa had to plead with the crowd to be disciplined.
While the ANC said it had not been made aware of the plan, the party promised to deal with anyone who undermined its event.
The SACP said it had noted with “utter disgust” statements that the SACP in the province were planning to boo Zuma at the Mbombela Stadium. “These accusations are spread by those who don’t understand the alliance and how it operates, as well as those who are possibly engaged in such plans themselves, which as the SACP we condemn with the contempt it deserves,” the party said.
The party said it knew there are attempts by the “lumpen-tenderprenuers constipated by resources” to rent a crowd with red T-shirts pretending to be SACP members, to boo the president and “undermine” the ANC.
“The SACP calls on all our formations to close rank and give these enemy agents no quarter. We call on our movement to put systems in place to expose the disruptors and deal a blow to their agenda,” said the party.
SACP provincial secretary Bonakele Majuba told the Cape Times on Wednesday that “it is true that there are such rumours”.
“So we’ve distanced ourselves, but there are some leaders who are telling people to boo the president,” said Majuba.
ANC spokesman Keith Khoza said the party had not been briefed about the concerns.
“It has not been communicated to us. But no one is allowed to undermine our event. But as we normally do, we do a lot of planning for the event. But we will respond to it (booing) if there is such an attempt,” said Khoza.
SACP provincial spokesman Lesetja Dikgale said plans to boo the president were being “manipulated” by disgruntled members.
“As a party we support the ANC. Booing we believe is barbaric and we just wanted to raise consciousness on the matter.
“This means our democracy has not matured with this political barbarism,” said Dikgale.