‘Stop comparing Zuma and Mandela’

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Independent Newspapers

President Jacob Zuma. File photo: Sizwe Ndingane

Pietermaritzburg -

ANC national executive committee member Bheki Cele has cautioned against comparing President Jacob Zuma with former president Nelson Mandela, saying the two men are from different eras.

He was delivering the keynote address at Mandela’s memorial service in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday evening.

“Mandela is a man of his time, just like other leaders who have made their mark in different times of history. This obsession with comparisons must stop,” said Cele.

He also lashed at the people who jeered Zuma at the memorial service at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

“No amount of anger allows people to embarrass the president. Anyone who does that is a fool, because if there are problems they should be solved through discussions,” added Cele.

The former police commissioner blamed the unruly behaviour on newcomers in the ruling party’s ranks.

While Mandela was a great leader, life would continue after his death.

He added that the best way of paying homage to Mandela was to ensure that the principles of the Freedom Charter were fulfilled.

“If we ensure that the doors of learning are opened to everyone and that there is work and houses for all, he will rest in peace,” said Cele.

Alliance leaders also addressed the memorial service, calling for unity among members so that the ruling party could reach a two-thirds' majority at next year’s elections. - Sapa

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