President Jacob Zuma’s son Edward has refused to retract comments he made against senior ANC leaders whom he accused of being “sell-outs”. File picture: Marilyn Bernard

Durban - President Jacob Zuma’s son Edward has defied the ANC and refused to retract comments he made against senior party leaders whom he accused of being “sell-outs” and “defenders of white monopoly capital”.

“My entire statement stands. I respect the ANC but in this case I will not be retracting anything. I stand by what I said, I believe in what I said and I will never change anything,” he said.

In an open letter addressed to former ministers, Derek Hanekom and Pravin Gordhan, Edward berated the pair for “brazenly and unabashedly speaking out against President Zuma”.

He also called Hanekom a white Afrikaner askari.

“I feel justified in addressing Derek Hanekom in the language I used, he is an askari and I am not going to apologise,” he said.

He also called Gordhan one of the most corrupt cadres of the ANC “who thought natives are no better than just being sugar cane cutters who must forever be subservient to a master like him”.

Edward dared both former ministers to meet him in court if they wanted to sue him.

He said the open letter was not in retaliation to President Zuma’s critics.

“Zuma doesn’t need me to defend him. I am speaking on issues of leadership of the ANC, as a member of the ANC."

“You can’t reduce my thinking into a Zuma defence, that is insulting me. I am a member of the ANC,” he explained.

In another scathing open letter, Edward launched a blistering attack on The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), which has promised to take action against him regarding comments directed at Hanekom and Gordhan.

He called the action a senseless censure and a witch-hunt against him aimed to “suppress the articulation of black pain”.

“I am surprised that they still exist, because when Zuma is being insulted they keep quiet, today they are talking, that’s convenient."

“They are biased, that’s why I said they are a post- apartheid champion of the exclusive protection of the minority settler rights, a vile dog unleashed to maul the black majority,” he added.

Zuma said he was prepared to be arrested and to go to jail for “telling the truth than to succumb in shame.”

ANC provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli said Zuma had until Wednesday to retract some comments in his open letter.

“In whatever discomfort he has against them, deal with Gordhan and Hanekom as you would any other member of the ANC, don’t include the colour of their skin."

“The comments are divisive to the ANC, calling some of the comrades racists and then ending up becoming racist in the process,” Ntuli said.

Ntuli said Edward Zuma had not indicated to the ANC that he was not going to issue a retraction.

“When we spoke to him he seemed to understand why he needed to retract some comments. We will act when the five days we have given him lapses,” Ntuli said.

The Mercury


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