WATCH: Zikalala weighs in on #OurLand debate, defends Zindzi Mandela
Durban - Although he does not agree with those who say the ANC should haul Zindzi Mandela over the coals for her divisive views aired on Twitter over the weekend on the land issue and white South Africans in general, ANC KZN chairperson Sihle Zikalala says the issue of land must be raised without compromising reconciliation efforts and the economy.
Zikalala was exclusively speaking to Independent Media on Monday on the sidelines of the ongoing KZN cabinet lekgotla taking place in Durban.
"The transformation of land and ensuring that land is redistribute(d) to the people is important. But in doing that we should not undermine the progress we have made in the area of reconciliation, but also in the area of ensuring economic growth. As we transfer land to the people, we should do that in a manner that is responsible in building the country and the economy," said Zikalala in reaction to Mandela's series of tweets.
He shot down calls for Mandela, 59, who is the country's ambassador to Denmark, to be punished as her behaviour was not befitting the role of an ambassador who should always be diplomatic in raising issues.
Radical Afrikaner affirmation group, AfriForum even want her to be fired as a diplomat while the Nelson Mandela Foundation which, among other things, is meant to preserve the legacy of her father, Dr Nelson Mandela, wants an audience with her. The Black First Land First (BLF) has called for a "collective defense" of her.
"I do not agree with that, people have a right to express their views and they cannot be confined by their positions. They have got their individual (capacity), they have got a right to express themselve(s)," Zikalala said in response to the calls.
Zikalala added that the land issue must be tackled by those in power as per the resolution of the ANC.
"But once issues are raised, those of us who are in positions of processing those issues, we should take those issues and process those issues in a responsible manner," he said.