Zuma booers to be named and shamed

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REUTERS

President Jacob Zuma. File photo: Siphiwe Sibeko

 Durban - Those who booed President Jacob Zuma at Nelson Mandela's memorial service will be identified, named and shamed, SA Communist Party secretary Blade Nzimande said on Friday.

Speaking at an event to commemorate the life and times of Nelson Mandela in Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium, he said the party's Gauteng branch had been instructed to identify those who booed Zuma in front of the world's leaders.

“We strongly condemn the booing. They insulted the dignity of comrade Nelson Mandela,” said Nzimande, who is also the country's minister of higher education.

He said that those who had booed had insulted Zuma's dignity and embarrassed the country.

He said to loud cheers from the estimated 30 000 strong crowd that the best way to honour Mandela was to ensure that the ruling African National Congress was returned to power.

ANC chairwoman Baleka Mbete also expressed her disapproval of the incident. She said that those from Mandela's generation should be followed as an example when trying to effect change.

“They did not disrespect the leadership of the ANC,” she said, adding that Mandela and the members of the ANC Youth League had influenced the leadership to be more radical without disrespecting them.

Earlier, scores of packed buses arrived outside the stadium, and there were long queues of people waiting to enter.

By noon, the stadium was a sea of South African flags and Mandela posters being waved in the air to loud music.

Every time a dignitary arrived, there were roars of approval.

KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu provoked the loudest welcome.

Outside, numerous hawkers were selling T-shirts and hats with Mandela's image and name on them, while others sold South African flags and sunglasses.

Iris Mjixwa, who travelled to the event from from Illovo on KwaZulu-Natal's South Coast, said: “We are mourning, but we are also celebrating his life.”

When the singing started, she held up a faded photograph of a young Mandela.

Numerous dignitaries addressed the gathering, including the National Freedom Party's KwaZulu-Natal chairman Vikizitha Mlotshwa. - Sapa


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