Joburg - The JGZ Foundation has remained silent in the midst of the SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco), dismissing claims that former president Jacob Zuma was elected as the new provincial chairperson in KwaZulu-Natal.
Over the weekend, the news broke on the internet as a post from social media platform Facebook showed a jubilant Zuma with a big smile on his face and a hand gesture showing appreciation.
According to the post by Matomela Somashi, Sandile Samuel as well as seven others said: “Newly elected provincial chairperson is Sanco KwaZulu-Natal cde Jacob Zuma.”
This left some of the leaders of the civic movement flabbergasted.
A media statement released by the general secretary of Sanco, Mike Soko, responding to Zuma, said the civic movement, its leadership, and particularly its membership were more sad than disturbed by the recent developments in the province.
“Sanco has become accustomed to the bogus elections and structures that claim to represent it at all levels of the organisation, but that Zuma would take advantage of these opportunistic individuals, honestly, makes us sad,” said Soko.
He said there were many across the membership and the leadership of Sanco who hold the deepest respect for Zuma, as a former president of the country and the ANC, as well as a stalwart of the Struggle against apartheid.
“Therefore, to think that he would openly exploit Sanco and its challenges to help him in his well-known political battles is disheartening. We must believe that Zuma would not be that crass in his public undertakings, but this must be either a sign of exhaustion due to old age or that he has reached a cul-de-sac in his political career, and therefore a sign of desperation.
“Either way, he has disappointed many within the civic movement by agreeing to not just join bogus individuals, but to claim to now be a chair of Sanco KZN.
“We hope those close to him will advise him not to take advantage of community organisations like Sanco because he feels as if he is in the political wilderness, but to sort out his challenges as an elder and a leader, not a street fighter.
“These individuals he has chosen to associate with are basically political thugs who are using him to gain some traction. They will soon drop him when these five minutes of fame have elapsed, Soko said.
He said as sad as they were that Zuma had chosen to put himself in this position, it did not deter the civic movement from its historic mission of being a custodian of communities and focusing on what must be done to rescue South Africa from the many socio-economic problems it is currently enduring.
“This time shall pass, but Sanco’s historic mission shall remain, and therefore we shall not lose our way because of bogus individuals or the desperate actions of Zuma,” he said.
Spokesperson for the JGZ foundation, Mzwanele Manyi, was not drawn to comment.
The foundation through its Twitter account on Sunday tweeted a message congratulating Zuma.
The foundation wrote: “The foundation joins the KZN Sanco in congratulating HE President Zuma for his election into the position of provincial chairperson of KZN Sanco.”
The foundation is confident that Sanco at provincial and national will benefit immensely from the seasoned and experienced Zuma.
Manyi did not comment on this matter when The Star approached him for comment.