ANC veterans object to Zuma address at Andrew Mlangeni memorial
ANC veterans have slammed the move by the party to have former president Jacob Zuma headline a programme to pay tribute to the last surviving Rivonia trialist and party veteran, Andrew Mlangeni.
In a letter that has been made public, ANC veteran Dr Fazel Randera appears to have tried a last-ditch attempt at persuading the party, through its general manager Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, to stop Zuma from headlining Friday's proceedings.
But the appeal seems to have fallen on deaf ears as Zuma continued to be part of Mlangeni's ANC-organised online memorial service.
Potgieter-Gqubule could not be reached on Friday evening as her phone rang unanswered.
“We have noted that Cde Jacob Zuma will headline this programme at 5pm today and make so bold as to warn of the unsuitability of choosing him to fulfil this important role,” wrote Randera, who said the letter was on behalf of ANC veterans and stalwarts.
He said they warned about Zuma’s unsuitability because of his “constitutionally improper conduct during his tenure as president of the ANC, as well as of the raft of very serious charges of corruption for which he is to stand trial”.
Randera also mentioned Zuma's alleged role in enabling state capture, under his presidency of the country.
“These matters stand in direct contradiction to the moral and revolutionary integrity embodied by Cde Mlangeni.
“Moreover, Cde Mlangeni was most forthright in his condemnation of Cde Zuma’s behaviour, going so far as to say that, despite having spent ten years with Cde Zuma on Robben Island, should he be found guilty of the offences levelled against him, Cde Zuma should be returned to that jail to serve his sentence,” said Randera.
He said that Mlangeni was a custodian of the values of the ANC and that as the veterans and stalwarts of the party they were perplexed by the very idea that Zuma was selected to conduct “this sombre and profound homage to the last of the Rivonia trialists.”
“The irony of giving this solemn honour to someone whose behaviour was so trenchantly criticised by Bab’ Mlangeni does not escape us, nor will it escape the members and supporters of the ANC, the country as a whole and the world at large.
“To sully the memory of Cde Mlangeni in such a cynical manner is distasteful and unbecoming of the ANC” said Randera.
He said if the request to have Zuma removed from the programme was ignored, they reserved the right to distance themselves from the programme in favour of one that properly honours Mlangeni’s great legacy.