Calls to discipline President Jacob Zuma's son, Edward, mounts after the public attack on former finance minister Pravin Gordhan on Friday. Picture: Marilyn Bernard
Durban - President Jacob Zuma’s son, Edward, is skating on thin ice with ANC leaders in KwaZulu-Natal, who are showing increasing frustration with his behaviour and calling for him to be disciplined.

KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairperson of the disciplinary committee and Human Settlements MEC, Ravi Pillay, and provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala said Zuma’s conduct must be condemned.

This came after yet another public attack on former finance minister Pravin Gordhan in Pietermaritzburg on Friday where Gordhan was addressing a memorial lecture on Mahatma Gandhi.

Gordhan and former tourism minister Derek Hanekom have been critical of President Zuma’s rule.

Cellphone video footage of what transpired at the event shows Edward Zuma gesturing towards Gordhan, who was on the podium speaking.

Zuma can be heard accusing Gordhan of lying. Gordhan, however, continues speaking and Zuma is drowned out by those supporting Gordhan.

A few individuals had also held up placards as Gordhan spoke. Zuma, however, denied any association with them.

“The disruptive conduct at the Gandhi memorial is extremely disturbing and must be condemned."

“Disruption, slander, disinformation and even fake news is a dangerous and slippery slope,” said Pillay.

“The reaction of the audience in standing up to what can only be called bullying tactics is encouraging. I am sure that the provincial leadership of the ANC will give attention to this matter."

“We need to restore rational and disciplined debate that inspires public confidence and not the conduct of insults and labels that is taken as precedence to be repeated at other levels,” he continued.

Pillay said he was one of the people at the venue who showed support to Gordhan when he came under attack.

Zikalala said the ANC condemned the incident.

This is a second time in a matter of weeks that the party has had to call Zuma to order after he called Gordhan and Hanekom sell-outs.

“The ANC condemns the incidents and the organisation will meet soon where the matter will be discussed at length,” said Zikalala.

Despite the criticisms, Zuma remained defiant on Sunday, saying Gordhan could take him to court if he wished. 

“I did not disturb Gordhan, I was telling him and the people there that he was lying. He was busy denigrating the name of the ANC. He is a leader of the ANC and if there are issues, why is he denigrating it from the outside, why can’t he raise those concerns from the inside?

“This was a memorial lecture on Mahatma Gandhi, yet he was saying nothing about Gandhi but was attacking the ANC. He is saying ‘the government of the day is failing us’ but he is also part of that government so he is also failing us,” Zuma said.

Zuma said he was not worried about the ANC disciplining him.

“Why would the ANC want to discipline me, that was a private event? When I apologised before, I apologised to the ANC and not to Gordhan. I will never apologise to him or Hanekom."

“He is a sell-out. He is the reason our country is facing difficult conditions today because he is busy protecting white wealth. I hate Gordhan and the things I (previously said about him) stand."

“I did not gate-crash that event, I bought a table like a normal business person. I did not know that he was going to be there,” he said.

Attempts to speak to Gordhan on Sunday were unsuccessful.

Earlier this month, it was reported that the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) threatened to take steps to charge Zuma for what it called “disturbing and offensive statements” he made in an open letter that it believes constituted hate speech.

Zuma had described the human rights body as a “vile dog unleashed to maul the black majority to manage them to sanitise their history and to keep them in check when expressing their history and articulating their black pain”.

The Mercury