Zuma uses Madiba magic on dissenters

2012-12-16 15:11

President Jacob Zuma has used a song and Nelson Mandela’s name to disarm voices of dissent that threatened to disrupt the start of the ANC’s national congress that started in Bloemfontein this morning.

As he stepped onto the stage in the humid massive marquee that was erected on the University of the Free State’s main campus to make his speech, some members from Limpopo made the change sign.

Zuma then indicated he wanted to sing a song, quoting Mandela as having said “the road is long”.

He then erupted into song, repeating the phrase: “The road is long that we are travelling but we will meet on freedom day”, with the 4 500 delegates soon joining in.

They cheered loudly and uncontrollably as he moved.

Then he went ahead to lay down the law about the fights in the ANC’s branches about members, court cases against the party and violence and the disruption of ANC meetings as he opened the party’s Mangaung congress today.

He added: “Other alien tendencies to be eliminated from the movement as part of renewal is the negative lobbying for positions which includes smear campaigns in the media as well as gossip and rumour-mongering about one another.

“Also common are the disrespectful public spats as well as hurling insults at other comrades or members of the public, thereby bringing the ANC into disrepute.”

He also said the “shocking occurrences where armed comrades disrupt ANC meetings” raised the question “what exactly could be so much at stake that people would go so far to get their own way in the organisation”.

He condemned the violence in the party in recent weeks which has seen the killing of a regional secretary in the North West this week.

He also said, to big applause, that “we must frown upon other alien practices such as the use of money to buy the support of ANC members”.

As disgruntled members in the Free State were prepared to head for court to prevent delegates from the province from having voting rights in the conference, Zuma said the party should “revisit” members taking the party to court when they are unhappy with a particular decision.

Earlier party leaders said this would mean immediate expulsion.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.