The Haymakers – Zuma’s crusader

2012-10-13 18:38

Eastern Cape Local Government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane has been a strong backer of President Jacob Zuma even prior to Polokwane.

He is one of the ANC leaders in the province who kept the flag flying for Zuma even when the then-provincial leadership opted to throw in their lot with former president Thabo Mbeki.

Eventually the province split 60:40 in Mbeki’s favour, going into the 2007 conference.

Many of Zuma’s old backers in the province are disillusioned with his leadership, but Qhoboshiyane is among those who have steadfastly supported him in the run-up to Mangaung.

The former provincial ANC Youth League leader always celebrates Zuma’s achievements on his Facebook page.

The Eastern Cape has been a target for those who back Kgalema Motlanthe and Tokyo Sexwale.

It was even the launch pad for the Julius Malema-backing Friends of the Youth League, which is avowedly anti-Zuma.

Some credit Qoboshiyane for ensuring that Zuma retained support even in potentially hostile areas like the OR Tambo region, once the ANC’s largest region in the country.

“He has been interacting with structures, selling the idea that we should retain Msholozi (Zuma) in the ANC,” a source says.

“The results are seen in the pronouncement (in Zuma’s favour) by regions such as Buffalo City, Alfred Nzo and Chris Hani.

“This is not an individual crusade – he works with the provincial collective,” said the source.

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