Mandla Mandela responds to Jacob Zuma: 5 key things he said
Durban - Following claims by former President Jacob Zuma that Inkosi Mandla Mandela, the grandson of Nelson Mandela, has joined a malicious campaign by Zuma’s enemies who want him go to his corruption trial without financial resources, the ANC MP has responded.
In the 23-page leaked speaking notes made by Zuma when he met with the ANC top six on March 8 this year, he claimed that Inkosi Mandela went to Qatar to plead with Sheikh Tamim Ibn Al Hamad Al Thani, Emir (ruler) of the oil-rich gulf kingdom to end their friendly ties with Zuma.
But Mandela said the claims are “fictitious, spurious and mischievous” and should not be entertained by anyone who is worth his salt.
In 5 points, here is how Mandela responded to Zuma:
1. Zuma notes distraction
Mandela said the Zuma notes are fiction that should not distract the country and its leadership from what is expected of them.
“It is our considered view that whilst this issue may be important to some, we must as an organisation not be distracted from our core mandate of serving the people of South Africa,” he said.
2. Qatar trip was official, no plots discussed
Again, Mandela said the September 2018 trip to the gulf kingdom was planned way in advance and it was a mere coincidence that he bumped into Zuma.
“This was a long-standing invitation and it was purely coincidental that former president JG Zuma arrived in Qatar at the same time. Our courtesy visit to the emir was exactly that, a courtesy visit, and conducted in the presence of officials, and there were no nefarious intentions or hidden agendas at play… Any stories about private jets are fictitious, spurious and mischievous,” Mandela stated.
3. ANC cannot afford Zuma notes sideshow ahead of elections
Mandela said the ANC and Zuma must deal with the claims, as they cannot afford to ignore them when they are heading for local government elections.
“We have full confidence that president Zuma and the ANC leadership can deal with the substance of the ’Zuma notes’ and any implications arising from it. We have no part in it and with impending elections it is a sideshow we can ill afford. Now more than ever, we must first and foremost dedicate ourselves to serving the people of South Africa and fulfilling the mandate which they have entrusted us with,” he added.
4. Mandela legacy and developing rural communities
To give an insight into what was discussed, Mandela said he discussed issues of developing Mvezo and the wider OR Tambo district in the Eastern Cape and he made his wish known to the royals of Qatar.
“In a separate meeting with the emir's sister, HH Sheikha Hind bint El Hamad, chief executive of the Qatar Foundation, we had very constructive discussions about the work of the Royal House of Mandela and the projects we engage in, especially in the arena of education ... We remain committed to serving and upholding the legacy of uTatomkhulu Nkosi Dalibhunga (Nelson Mandela).
As part of his official visit to Qatar, Mandela said among the many places he visited, he was taken to the local Palestinian embassy. It was from there where his speaking out about the plight of the Palestinians who are fighting for their freedom against the Jewish State of Israel, was recognised.
“We were also blessed to be a recognised voice on Palestine, and whilst in Qatar we met with delegations from Fatah led by HE Ambassador Mounir Abdullah Al Ghannam as well as the leadership of Hamas in Qatar in bringing about unity for Palestinians themselves.”