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POPCRU KZN says there are lessons to be learnt on some issues that dented ANC electoral support

SACP KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary, Themba Mthembu, addressing POPCRU. The union says the ANC’s mistakes caused voters to shun it. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics

SACP KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary, Themba Mthembu, addressing POPCRU. The union says the ANC’s mistakes caused voters to shun it. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics

Published Feb 17, 2022

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Drakensberg – In part of its political overview report, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) in KwaZulu-Natal says some of the challenges that led to the loss of electoral support for the ANC in the province was how they handled three issues.

These three issues are the long standing Shembe leadership battle and the partial withdrawal of support for the Zulu monarch and the arrest of former President Jacob Zuma, which they believe irked his supporters.

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Addressing the union’s members while gathering in Drakensberg to elect new provincial leaders, outgoing provincial chairperson, Mabona Nyawo, said the Shembe church has massive support which was ignored by the ANC and it paid a heavy electoral price.

He said one senior member of the church identified as Makhanya even warned the ANC that we will meet at the polls and the warning was ignored.

“There is one fellow by the surname of Makhanya, he warned us that we will meet us at the voting polls and we ignored that or the ANC ignored it. That religion has got a lot of huge support, particularly in our province, we thought we will make without them, which was a big mistake,” Nyawo told the gathering.

Nyawo also said the decision by the KwaZulu-Natal government to partially suspend funding for the Zulu royal house to host events like the historic Shaka’s day and the reed dance ceremony came back to bite the governing party at the polls.

He said that decision angered a lot of people who are sympathetic to the monarch and the institution itself.

“The second pillar is the Zulu monarch… the funding to the Zulu monarch and people comrades are talking about these things, they are talking about it and they are not happy about it, they say we cannot afford not to have celebration of King Shaka’s day, we cannot afford not to have the reed dance, a lot of these things were not funded, a lot of them. So, people were angry comrades and we could not afford to ignore such constituencies, such support,” Nyawo told the delegates.

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Nyawo said another issue that was ignored and later came back to bite the ruling party was the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma for contempt of the Constitutional Court.

That led to the July unrest where over 300 people died and billions were lost when businesses were looted and burnt.

“The last one comrades, there are so many, but we don’t want to talk about, that we see the alliance avoids to talk about, we don’t know why because it is there, it is written on the wall, the incarceration of comrade JZ (Jacob Zuma). No one wants to talk about it, comrades,” Nyawo said.

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He even revealed that for police officers, the operation attached to the arrest was called “incarceration of former president operation.”

“When we work in that operation as police, the name of that operation was clear, it was called incarceration of former president operation. There is a lot of support in KZN for comrade JZ, whether you like him or you don’t like him, he has got a lot of support that we cannot avoid and afford to ignore it.”

Nyawo said he was hopeful that the ANC will eventually deal with the matters.

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