SUPPORTERS of President Jacob Zuma in KwaZulu-Natal are pre paring to stave off any opposition to the ANC leader in KwaZulu-Natal.
Leading the defence of Zuma is the KZN wing of the ANC Youth League, which said on Tuesday it had a three-pronged push- back strategy.
This includes mobilising support for Zuma by defending his cabinet reshuffle and portraying him as the champion of radical economic transformation; attending anti-Zuma public meetings to ensure these are not used as platforms to launch attacks on the ANC president; and staging marches to counter those against him.
Thanduxolo Sabelo, the provincial secretary of the league, said it had already started the mobilisation process.
This week, a series of meetings with branches have been scheduled. Labelled the “cadres forums”, the meetings will be addressed by league leaders including Sabelo who will address one at the Durban City Hall.
The league has been advancing the argument that Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle would advance radical economic transformation and that is a good thing as it will benefit young people.
“This (the cabinet reshuffle) was a positive decision. In fact President Zuma will go down in history as the leader who confronted white privilege.”
Sabelo said the league would also make sure that there were limited attacks on Zuma at some of the public gatherings. Thus, the league has resolved to attend meetings which are deemed as possible Zuma-bashing platforms.
This includes the memorial service of ANC stalwart Ahmed Kathrada due to be held at Durban’s Sastri College on Sunday. Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan is the guest speaker at the event.
“We will be going there to ensure that the name of Comrade Kathrada is not used to attack the ANC. If there are people who say incorrect things about the ANC and about president Zuma we will correct them.
“If Pravin distorts things about the ANC we will correct him there and then,” he said but denied that the aim was to disrupt the meeting.
Yashica Padia of the Active Citizens Movement said the memorial service is being organised to honour the memory of Kathrada and not to denigrate Zuma and the ANC.
“We have heard of murmurs on social media that there might be attempts to disrupt the meeting but we don’t see any reason why this should be so.”
She said the event was open to the public.
Sabelo said the league would also organise marches to counter anti- Zuma protests.
“We will meet them pound for pound on the streets. We will march peacefully but they should not provoke us”.
The leadership of the ANC Women’s League in the province said its plan would only be made public once it had been through the necessary processes.
“The plan is there but it needs to be adopted by the provincial executive committee (PEC) before we can even talk about what it entails,” said Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu.