'Don't be misled': Zuma guns for those who voted against him

Rapturous applause welcomes President Jacob Zuma to KwaZulu-Natal

13 August 2017 - 18:45 By Nathi Olifant and Penwell Dlamini
President Jacob Zuma addresses an ANC cadres' forum in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday.
President Jacob Zuma addresses an ANC cadres' forum in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday.
Image: THULI DLAMINI

President Jacob Zuma has declared war on African National Congress MPs who voted against him last week in the parliamentary vote of no confidence against him.

On Sunday, Zuma attended the ANC Youth League-organised cadres' forum in uPhongolo in northern KwaZulu-Natal, where he was welcomed with rapturous applause.

He told the forum, held in his stronghold territory, that the ANC constitution should be applied against those who voted with the opposition in the National Assembly.

He said it was shocking that even the chairperson of the ANC disciplinary committee was implicated – a reference to former Cabinet minister Derek Hanekom, who chairs the party's disciplinary committee and who is among those suspected to have voted with opposition parties to oust Zuma.

Roughly 30 ANC MPs are calculated to have voted against the party’s instructions during parliamentary proceedings last Tuesday.

"The issue of what happened in Parliament is something I will discuss with the officials‚ but that's my business," Zuma said. "We talk about everything as officials. I'm sure even officials will be asking what members are saying‚ but that's not my business.

"My business is that‚ as the president‚ I will express my dissatisfaction about the conduct of some members and why."

He warned: "Do not be misled by some people."

Zuma read excerpts from the clauses of rule 25 of the ANC constitution, which prohibits party members from collaborating with "counter-revolutionary forces" or other parties against the ANC. Such individuals should face the party's disciplinary committee, he said.

"If you commit any of these acts, it means the ANC has to take you to the disciplinary committee because it means you have broken the law‚" he said.

"However‚ more shocking is that the chair of the very same committee [voted with the opposition] ... that's another matter we should discuss, because he is also implicated in this. We do not know some of these people and their seniority, though‚" he said.

Zuma said personal interests could not trump ANC interests.

Can't I have friends? I'm told there are also emails ... but I haven't seen a Zuma email

"We should not have comrades who take the ANC for granted and who do not care about it. You hear a person saying, 'I’m following my conscience.' Please do not have your conscience; have an ANC conscience. The unity of the ANC is key and paramount to solving problems. Let's not do otherwise. Many people died for this freedom and we are just toying with it‚" the president said.

Zuma also used the platform to call for unity in KwaZulu-Natal ahead of the ANC's national conference elective conference in December, which will decide his successor as party leader.

He said a divided KwaZulu-Natal would weaken the ANC.

"I also urge alliance partners to stop squabbling. I'm glad that in KwaZulu-Natal you are not like that. I urge you to stick together and not be divided. Speak with one voice, and any decision you make should be respected and followed‚" he said.

Zuma said those who said he and his son Duduzane – who was named in the leaked Gupta emails – were corrupt had to say what he had done to warrant such a label.

"Can't I have friends?" he asked.

"I'm told there are also emails but I'm also waiting to see if any talk about me. I haven't seen a Zuma email‚" he added with a chuckle.

Meanwhile, as Zuma threw down the gauntlet on Sunday, another son‚ Edward‚ issued another of the fiery open letters that have landed him in hot water in the past.

In Sunday’s missive he blamed South Africa’s woes on white people, saying it was disgusting that the economy was still controlled by whites.

"This conquering of our land and economy, which is still visible and evident in the post-apartheid and current democratic dispensation, is clear for all sane people to see – that we‚ the majority‚ live with the materially intended consequences that white colonialists and apartheid architects wanted to see achieved. 

“That, in the main … is a result of the suppression of black economic [empowerment] and land dispossession of our people‚” he wrote.

In his previous letters‚ Edward Zuma insulted former finance minister Pravin Gordhan‚ calling him a "stooge of white monopoly capital". He also described Hanekom as an "Afrikaner askari".

The ANC described his earlier comments as disgusting and embarrassing.

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