President Jacob Zuma has questioned the “sudden emergence” of African National Congress veterans and social movements calling for his removal from office.
Addressing thousands of ANC supporters during a “cadres forum” in Pietermaritzburg on Friday, Zuma said the group appeared not to know the process of raising concerns in the ANC.
“Some of these people I have not seen since 1994 and all of a sudden they appear out of nowhere calling press conferences to express their concerns about our party. They are very vocal indeed. Most of them do not even belong to party structures and are encouraging actions which they have always been against in the past, namely speaking about the organisation outside its structures. They are using the name of veterans in justifying what they are doing,” Zuma said.
He accused the group – which includes ANC stalwarts Dennis Goldberg, Mavuso Msimang, Gertrude Shope, and Sheila Sisulu – of not adhering to the ANC constitution.
“They are mobilising people all over the country for their own cause, passing their message through the media, something that is an offence [to the ANC constitution and traditions]. Is that really how comrades should conduct themselves, by airing their concerns in the media?”
The forum was attended by members of the ANC provincial executive committee, including chairman Sihle Zikalala and members mainly from the midlands region.
Turning to the Save South Africa coalition of civil society organisations, Zuma said he was surprised at the emergence of social movements calling for his head. Prominent figures in the Save South Africa coalition include chairman of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) Sipho Pityana, former finance minister Trevor Manuel, and former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan.
“We see some of them calling for the saving of South Africa. Where is it headed?” Zuma said.
He urged ANC supporters to “remain united against forces that sought to divide party members”.
African News Agency