Former president Jacob Zuma stifles a cough at the Zondo commission. File picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)
Former president Jacob Zuma stifles a cough at the Zondo commission. File picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)

Support for ill Jacob Zuma used to galvanise support ahead of ANC NGC

By SIHLE MAVUSO Time of article published Feb 6, 2020

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Durban - Following the growing number of senior ANC members and party structures that have been vocal in support of former president Jacob Zuma, after the Pietermaritzburg High Court issued a warrant of arrest against the former statesman, a political analyst believes the latest impasse could spill over into the party's national general council (NGC) later this year. 

The NGC is mooted for June this year. It is expected that the factions, the CR17 and the limping NDZ faction, will test each other's muscle, once more. 

Political analyst Thabani Khumalo said on Thursday that the NDZ faction, which was centred around Zuma until he lost control of party and country levers in 2017 and 2018 respectively. He said the NDZ faction was now using sympathy given to Zuma after a warrant of arrest was issued against him to garner support.

“These people are desperate and they will use anything against the other faction (CR17) and of course they are using the sympathy given to Zuma to garner support ahead of the NGC. Remember that they have been leaderless for some time and this is an opportunity for them to unite, to fight back,” Khumalo said.

Khumalo added that the fight by the NDZ faction is a last kick of dying horse as they have run out of ammunition to fight the CR17 faction. 

Among those who have shown support for Zuma after he was threatened with arrest is Ace Magashule, the secretary-general of the party, Bathabile Dlamini of the ANC Women’s League and national executive member Tony Yengeni. Also supporting Zuma is former North West Premier, Supra Mahumapelo and former minister, Des Van Rooyen. 

After the ANC youth league in Free State voiced its support, the task team of the national youth league joined the fray as well. On Thursday morning, the ANC youth league of KZN also joined the fray and said it will organise support for Zuma. 

The league’s outgoing provincial secretary, Thanduxolo Sabelo, said the warrant of arrest against Zuma is a clear indication he will not get a fair trial. 

“We have painfully observed for over a decade the persecution of the former president, on numerous occasions the rights of President Zuma have been trampled upon as the case of the recent warrant of arrest with its aim to only humiliate the former president,” Sabelo said.

He then announced that the league will now embark on mobilizing support for Zuma. 

“We will also mobilize society to stand up and defend President Zuma against the unwarranted attack on our hero. We need not remind anyone that former President Zuma is a hero of our liberation struggle who sacrificed his entire life for the hard earned freedom of our country, and therefore remains a hero of the people of South Africa. We will therefore not stand by and watch while his rights are being trampled upon.”

Political Bureau

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