Johannesburg - Disgruntled senior ANC officials and former cabinet members under Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki have blamed ANC president Jacob Zuma for the Marikana massacre.
Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils and former deputy minister of health Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge also claimed the ANC was characterised by corruption and patronage under Zuma’s leadership.
The two were speaking during the launch of their Sidikiwe (We are fed up) Vukani (Awake) no-vote campaign at Wits University on Tuesday.
The launch saw small groupings of ANC, Cope and AgangSA supporters demonstrating their loyalties and rivalries outside the building.
ANC supporters labelled Kasrils and Madlala-Routledge traitors, while Cope, Agang and the new Workers and Socialist Party (Wasp) welcomed the initiative.
Explaining their campaign, Madlala-Routledge said they were appealing to the electorate to go to the polls on May 7 in their numbers, but not to vote for the ANC.
Kasrils, Madlala-Routledge and former SACP member Vishwas Satgar suggested that voters must select any small party of their choice on the ballot paper.
Kasrils insisted voters should not choose the ANC, DA or a “God’s party” – an indirect reference to the African Christian Democratic Party of Rev Kenneth Meshoe.
He said voters should spoil their votes only if they were not satisfied with any of the smaller parties.
Kasrils said Zuma’s ANC was different to the ANC known by SACP stalwart Chris Hani.
“Under Zuma’s government we’ve seen abhorrent acts of police brutality in Marikana. The police force acted out of control and killed scores of people. This is a different ANC to that known by Chris Hani.
“The once-noble Hani said we are going to vote for the ANC if it deals with the delivery of services to the poor. If it does not deliver, we will march against it. Because it is a people’s movement, the ANC will not fire teargas and bullets at us,” Kasrils said.
Kasrils said Mandela had also called upon the electorate to vote against any party, including the ANC, if it did not serve their interests.
According to Sapa, Kasrils said the intelligence service had become a tool for Luthuli House and the president.
“I blew the whistle and I figured out that there were intelligence agents, that there were officers who were not working for the state but were doing… work for Luthuli House.”
This was happening more and more now, said Kasrils, who was responding to ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe’s comments that the Mbeki administration had not done its job.
In their statement, Sidikiwe! Vukani! campaigners said: “Legitimate criticism and protest are too often met by intolerance and repression, and we have blights on the national conscience: such as Nkandla, the killing of Andries Tatane and the Marikana massacre, all of which are eroding our hard-won democracy.
“The ruling elite are living increasingly opulent lifestyles. Only a few in our society are doing well and a small minority continue to own and control the economy and resources of our country.”
The ANC reiterated its criticism that Kasrils and Madlala-Routledge’s actions were “disruptive, reckless and counter-revolutionary”.
ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said his party was disappointed by “false statements made by former minister Kasrils”, and that he had not raised his disgruntlement with the ruling party within the structures of the movement, “as would have been expected from someone of his stature”.
“It is put on record that at no point were such matters raised within the ANC. This behaviour is typical of Ronnie Kasrils’s historical adventurism, ill-discipline and recklessness,” Mthembu said.
He added that the new initiative would have no effect on the ANC’s election campaign.