Let's vote out the ANC - Xhosa king
AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Zwelibanzi Dalindyebo has launched a scathing attack on President Jacob Zuma and the ANC, saying they are "corrupt hooligans" who ate out of the Guptas' dustbins.
Dalindyebo hijacked a prayer service for the ailing Nelson Mandela, in Qunu, Eastern Cape, and told well-wishers that the ANC had distorted the former president's legacy.
The king warned: "If the ANC does not change its direction and keeps on behaving arrogant[ly], rather vote for the DA, it has never oppressed anybody."
Addressing several AbaThembu chiefs, clergy and villagers at the Bumbane Great Place, just outside Qunu, Mandela's home village, on Saturday, Dalindyebo said he could no longer sit idly by and watch the organisation his forefathers gave birth to being destroyed from within.
"It seems like we don't have human beings in the ANC listening to [party] members. We have members rushing for the Guptas' dustbins."
Zuma has come under fierce criticism for his links with the Gupta family, which in May landed a chartered aircraft carrying more than 200 wedding guests at Waterkloof Air Force Base, Pretoria, breaching security protocols.
A number of Zuma 's relatives are involved in business deals with the Gupta family.
"If you eat out of the dustbins of the Guptas you are a non-starter. If you fear to speak out about what is wrong ...we are not.
"We are not rushing for the Guptas' dustbins. You [the ANC] have been corrupted by rich people," said Dalindyebo to loud applause.
The ANC yesterday accused the king of abusing his position by insulting Zuma . ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said Dalindyebo had no right to insult Zuma.
"It's unfortunate that such comments come from the king.
''He can't insult a head of state and then demand to be respected in return."
The king hailed Mandela, a member of his AbaThembu clan, as a leader who had tirelessly fought for South Africans and was always available to the people. He lashed out at Zuma for not upholding Mandela's principles.
"Zuma's leadership is distorting Madiba's leadership; it's distorting the ANC's leadership," he said.
Criticism of Zuma has intensified in recent days, with businessman and socialite Kenny Kunene attacking him and his leadership in an open letter at the weekend.
This, surprisingly, prompted the ANC to issue a statement on Friday defending Zuma and the organisation from "opposition forces".
The ruling party said it was "convinced that the mainstay strategy of the opposition forces in all formations and structures is that of agitation for discontent".
As the country prepares to hold general elections in about 10 months' time, attacks on Zuma are expected to increase.
But Dalindyebo's message was particularly clear and brutal.
"If the ANC continues to [govern] the country for the next 10 years then you should know that your freedom will be compromised," he said.
"The ANC should be out of power within the next six years, if not at the next elections. Let's take them out democratically."
The party's failures, he said, had forced him to look to the DA.
"The DA has never oppressed anyone as an organisation. To segregate the DA is to segregate your own future. Ïf you give hooligans an inch of respect, then you will see the butchering of standards," he said.
He added that he would soon invite DA provincial leader Athol Trollip and Helen Zille to address the AbaThembu.
"One of the reasons I don't want to be under this government is because of [the] credentials of the head of state. The president . I can't enjoy his leadership. I will stop smoking dagga the day Zuma stops being corrupt. One of the reasons I don't want to be associated with the government is because I don't have respect for them."
But Mthembu said the king must not decide for his subjects.
"The king speaks for himself and his subjects will decide for themselves who to vote for come the elections," Mthembu said.