Leave us in peace — Zuma

2008-10-30 00:00

ANC president Jacob Zuma says his party remains unfazed by the recent developments that have seen mass resignations from his party as dissidents led by former party leaders Mosioua Lekota and Mbhazima Shilowa prepare to form a breakaway party.

“We wish adventurists luck, and are pleased that many are coming out and are resigning from the ANC. We expect the convention to unmask many others who will hopefully also leave us in peace.

We remain unfazed by the occurrences of the past few weeks. The ANC is not for the faint-hearted. If it were, it would not have leaders of the calibre of Comrade Billy Nair and Comrade Nelson Mandela,” he said.

Zuma was speaking at the Durban Exhibition Centre yesterday during the funeral of Nair, an ANC and SA Communist Party stalwart who died last week.

He told ANC supporters attending the funeral that the party remains strong and is not threatened by the prospect of a new party.

“The ANC lives, it leads, it is strong and it will lead this country for decades to come depending on the will of the people as expressed in the Freedom Charter.”

He said the ANC continues to be guided by principles enshrined in the Freedom Charter, adding that people like Nair demonstrated that an ANC membership is for life. “Otherwise why would anyone join the ANC if they will run at the first sight of difficulty?” he asked.

Zuma also urged his supporters not to be swayed to “negative action by the anger” arising from the formation of the new party.

ANC members earlier chanted slogans and sang songs directed against the breakaway’s leaders, Lekota and Shilowa.

“Usehlanya ngempela, uyimenemene uLekota [Lekota has really gone mad, he is a sellout],” some ANC members sang before and after the funeral.

Other leaders of the tripartite alliance who spoke at the function also lambasted Lekota and his followers.

SACP secretary-general Blade Nzimande said it is “disappointing” that some ANC members have decided to form a splinter party. Paraphrasing a Chinese proverb, Nzimande told the ANC dissidents: “Never lift a rock if it is going to fall hard on your feet. It might not even fall on your feet — it can even fall on your head.” He urged members of the ANC and its alliance partners to work hard to ensure that the ANC and the alliance as a whole remain united.

Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini also criticised those behind the formation of the new party, calling them “rogue elements who are enemies of internal democracy”.

Dlamini said history has proved that the ANC can never be defeated. “We must be vigilant against those people masquerading as the real ANC …”

He said Cosatu will work hard to ensure that the ANC emerges victorious in next year’s general elections.


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