'Factional pornography' and 'a soft coup' – Zuma allies slam Kathrada funeral speakers

2017-03-30 11:11
Andile Lungisa (File, Netwerk24)

Andile Lungisa (File, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg – The ANCYL, Andile Lungisa and Marius Fransman have levelled harsh criticism against some of the speakers at Ahmed Kathrada’s funeral.

"It is heart-breaking to see the funeral of this revolutionary colossal and servant of our people being turned into factional pornography and grandstanding by otherwise honourable leaders," wrote Lungisa, who is former Nelson Mandela Bay ANC chairperson.

The media had been "gleeful and wasted no time in being an echo chamber for our [the ANC's] painful division".

Suspended Western Cape ANC chairperson Marius Fransman criticised the trend of addressing ANC issues at funerals, and accused the speakers of failing to respect the outcome of democratic processes.

"Uncle Kathy", as the liberation hero was fondly known, died in the early hours of Tuesday morning following a short illness. He was 87.

Former deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, Gauteng Premier David Makhura, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande, and Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali were some of the speakers at the funeral on Wednesday.

President Jacob Zuma did not attend, in accordance with the Kathrada family’s wishes.

Several speakers criticised the current crop of ANC leaders. Motlanthe read excerpts from an open letter Kathrada had written to Zuma in 2016, asking him to step down.

Fransman said this was "a strategy to deliver a soft coup d'état".

"It was to be one of the proudest events because when you send off a leader of such calibre you send him or her off on the best ethos and values of the movement of the people however it turned out to be a ‘SAVE SAVE’ day," he said in a statement.

"If one wants to break down a family, go for its head, if one wants to cause maximum damage to a church then attack its reverend, pastor or father," said Fransman.

'Washed-up pensioned politicians'

Fransman accused those who criticised Zuma of not caring about the harm they caused, as long as they implemented their own plans.

"All those clapping hands and [who] jumped to their feet and most that were speaking at the podium were comrades that were part of the circle to start a campaign to get rid of Thabo Mbeki," he said.

He accused former Zuma loyalists, who were now his biggest critics, of "inflicting pain and vengeance in their total onslaught for survival".

The ANC Youth League expressed anger that Zuma was "practically barred" from the funeral.

It said Ahmed Kathrada Foundation director Neeshan Balton had "shamelessly" used his position to bar Zuma from attending the funeral of his own comrade. 

"Even washed-up pensioned politicians who are still to recover from the Mangaung hangover have found themselves unable to contain their hatred for the president," said the league.

They vowed to protect Zuma and urged him to go through with the rumoured Cabinet reshuffle which, according to speculation, could see him fire Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. 

Read more on:    anc  |  ancyl  |  andile lungisa  |  marius fransman  |  jacob zuma  |  ahmed kathrada

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