No Zuma picture on ANC poll posters
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Durban - The absence of President Zuma’s face on the ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal voter registration posters has raised eyebrows in some quarters of the ruling party.
In the latest batch of ANC posters for the April voter registration, there are faces of celebrities like Maskandi musician Phuzekhemisi, gospel star Hlengiwe Mhlaba, DJ Merlon and others holding identity documents.
In the March voter registration drive there were posters with the face of provincial chairman, Sihle Zikalala, and celebrities. But none of President Zuma.
Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube has also produced her own posters bearing her face and branded in the ruling party’s colours - as she did in the last round of voter registration.
The unusual ditching of Zuma in favour of Zikalala in particular, contradicts the 2012 Mangaung conference resolution that an ANC president is the face of the organisation.
It comes as Zuma faces yet tougher times in his political career in the wake of claims about “state capture” by the Gupta family, which is closely linked to him.
The non-Zuma posters have triggered discussion in KZN, with one leader describing the saga as not only pathetic, but a free-for-all.
“The mushrooming of these posters is something that shocked the structures of the movement,” said an ANC leader, who asked not to be named. “It is an indication the centre does not hold. Individual opportunism triumphs above the collective of the organisation.”
Taking the matter on social media, Liberated Metalworkers Union general secretary, Cedric Gina, noted that the issue of posters with different faces meant a free-for-all in KZN.
“Whoever has money and their departments issues posters with their faces reminding people of the voter registration. I hear that this is happening in all the regions,” Gina wrote on Monday on his Facebook page, with his friends condemning it.
S’dumo Mhlungwane said it had never happened that past presidents were disrespected.
“The president may have his own mistakes, like everyone, but that doesn’t remove the mandate given by members in Mangaung.
“He will be ‘til pronounced that he has been replaced,” Mahlungwane said.
Zamo Zungu, another friend, said if the ANC no longer had confidence in Zuma, they should not embarrass him. “This is bad and an embarrassment, and I dare say without shame that JZ played a big role in us winning this province,” Zungu said.
Siboniso Nkomonde described the use of faces of other people rather than Zuma as “self-centredness” that has completely replaced “selflessness”.
Bongani Bhekubuhle Che Ntombela said: “It’s a new tendency. Surely it needs to be rebuked very strongly.”
But Nonto Mzimela said the new tendency was not found only in this province.
“In other provinces premiers’ faces were on the boards,” Mzimela said.
ANC provincial spokesman, Mdumiseni Ntuli, said there has been different set of posters for the three phases of the ANC’s election campaign.
He said one generic poster did not have a face of anybody, and there were posters with Zikalala and celebrities for the March voter registration.
While confirming the Mangaung resolution on the president as the face of the organisation, Ntuli said provinces were allowed to use chairmen’s faces for events such as the provincial anniversary celebrations.
He said Luthuli House was consulted on using Zikalala’s face after the service provider printed more posters for the provincial anniversary celebrations, which were then also used for the previous voter registration.
Ntuli also said posters with Zuma’s face and celebrities formed part of the April election phase, that will be followed by posters of ward councillors soon. Batches of Zuma posters had been sent to regions for distribution.