‘Zuma can go anywhere’ says ANC KZN

Former president Jacob Zuma speaks on a podium.

Former president Jacob Zuma visited ward 111 in uMlazi on Sunday to deliver the OR Tambo memorial lecture. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo African News Agency (ANA)

Published Nov 8, 2022


Durban – The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has downplayed the absence of its leadership when former president Jacob Zuma delivered the Oliver Tambo memorial lecture this past Sunday.

The absence of both the ANC eThekwini leadership and the provincial leaders during the lecture in uMlazi raised suspicions of a possible rift between the former president and the regional and provincial leadership structures.

Over the past few years when Zuma delivered an address there would be a large turnout and ruling party leaders present, but on Sunday the former president was only accompanied by former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo.

Asked about Sunday’s event, ANC provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo indicated that Zuma had not sneaked off to uMlazi on Sunday as he was not under house arrest.

“Yes we knew that the former president was there in uMlazi on Sunday,” Mtolo told the media on Tuesday.

The provincial secretary would not give reasons for the absence of provincial or regional party leaders at the gathering.

He insisted that Zuma was free to go to any part of the province without reporting to anyone.

“Zuma is not under house arrest and does not have no-go areas where he is not allowed to set foot in South Africa because he fought so hard against apartheid and spent 10 years in jail for that and went into exile to liberate all of us to walk freely. So it cannot be news that he is moving around,” Mtolo said.

An ANC eThekwini region member indicated that they had heard of Sunday’s event late and had been unable to attend.

The ANC is set to hold its national elective conference next month and Zuma’s name has been suggested for the position of national chairperson in some quarters, and it will soon emerge whether he has met the threshold required to contest for the position.