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Jacob Zuma tells ANC eThekwini councillors importance of party remaining in power

A convoy of vehicles carrying 42 ANC councillors from the only metropolitan municipality in KwaZulu-Natal descended upon rural northern KZN to visit former president Jacob Zuma at his vast R246 million home. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

A convoy of vehicles carrying 42 ANC councillors from the only metropolitan municipality in KwaZulu-Natal descended upon rural northern KZN to visit former president Jacob Zuma at his vast R246 million home. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Dec 10, 2021

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Johannesburg - Former president Jacob Zuma has told ANC eThekwini councillors of the importance of the ANC remaining in power as it is the one tool in the hands of the black majority that can be used to liberate them from the challenges they face.

A convoy of vehicles carrying 42 ANC councillors from the only metropolitan municipality in KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday descended upon rural northern KZN to visit Zuma at his vast R246 million home. They brought a bull as a gift.

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The visit, according to ANC eThekwini councillor and organiser of the visit, Ntandoyenkosi Khuzwayo, lasted about an hour after the councillors had arrived at Zuma’s homestead at about 3.30pm on Thursday afternoon bearing the gift in a sign of respect for the former president.

In many circles the visit has been viewed as a thank you gesture from the eThekwini councillors after Zuma’s well-documented intervention in ensuring that eThekwini remained in the hands of the ANC following the local government elections.

A widely held narrative is that Zuma played a key role in salvaging the eThekwini Municipality for the ANC, with the ANC risking losing to a coalition of the DA and other smaller parties.

Picture supplied by Ntandoyenkosi Khuzwayo.

Zuma’s intervention allegedly saw the metro stay with the ANC after he was instrumental in brokering a deal with Abantu Batho Congress’ Philani Godfrey Mavundla to join forces with the ANC in eThekwini, paving the way for Mxolisi Kaunda to be elected mayor and Mavundla to be his deputy.

However, Khuzwayo said that the visit was not even a meeting, claiming that: “It was just us handing over the gift to uBaba (Zuma) and just seeing how he is doing since we all know he has been in prison. We told him that we were grateful that he had returned home safely and we wished him a Merry Christmas. It was not a meeting as such.”

Prior to the meeting Khuzwayo had indicated that they would seek to get words of wisdom and guidance from Zuma as he was a veteran of the party and a seasoned politician.

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“He imparted to us the importance of ensuring that the ANC remains in power because the ANC is the only tool in the hands of black people that can help liberate them from all of the challenges that they face,” Khuzwayo said.

On Wednesday, ANC KZN spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela distanced the ANC in the province from the visit, claiming not to be privy to who the organisers of the visit were and under which banner they were undertaking it.

Ntombela said that the visit had not been organised by the region or the province, and that the party did not have any comment for something it was not privy to.

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Earlier in the week prominent political analyst Professor Bheki Mngomezulu, from the University of the Western Cape, warned that the visit would cause more problems for the ANC.

He said that the provincial leadership currently leading KZN, representing the ANC, were basically the face of the organisation in the province and that even if the councillors visited Nkandla as individual councillors, they should have at least have touched base with the provincial leadership.

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