Zuma, Motlanthe supporters clash – in song

2012-06-28 13:44

More than 200 delegates singing songs in favour of President Jacob Zuma disrupted a walkabout by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe during the ANC’s policy conference as divisions among delegates spilled out into the open.

The group, mostly delegates from KwaZulu-Natal, stunned bystanders when they marched out of the lunch venue, holding up two fingers indicating both a second term and transition and singing: “uZuma yo, second transition. Sivumelana (we all agree)”.

They also sang “those who burn Zuma’s T-shirt will get a bullet” and other songs in praise of Zuma.

It started when, during Motlanthe’s walkabout, the group, which had dwindled to 70 stormed through the exhibition hall while singing pro-Zuma songs.

As they moved through the hall, minders ushered him into the VIP lounge adjacent to the hall.

The group continued through the exhibition hall at the other side and was joined outside by more Zuma supporters.

After 5 minutes a group of about an equal size of Motlanthe supporters retaliated with songs about the deputy president.

The Motlanthe supporters rolled their hands in a soccer substitution sign, indicating change.

Up to now there has been very little open singing at the conference, except for the opening session on Tuesday. Even then the singing in this plenary was fairly subdued.

But this open show of divisions indicate that the debate in this afternoon’s plenary could get heated.

The second transition proposal has received a lukewarm reception in the commissions where it was discussed yesterday.

One delegate, who is opposed to the second transition, complained that there was too much personalisation of the second transition issue and not enough emphasis on the theory.

He said delegations from KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and some from the Free State were especially vocal about a second transition.

SACP general-secretary Blade Nzimande, who was standing near where the marchers passed with a group of SACP leaders, said there had been “robust” debates. He also said it didn’t matter what the second transition was called, there was broad consensus on it.

SACP central committee member Sheila Barsel, who was standing with Nzimande, said “that is people’s creativity because 20 seconds after things happened, they will make a song”.

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