Lekota: ‘I am not intimidated’

2008-10-14 00:00

Cape Town — Mosiua Lekota has hit back at ANC president Jacob Zuma for labelling him and his breakaway supporters “charlatans and dissidents”, saying he is not intimidated.

Lekota said yesterday his critics, including Zuma, are misguided, adding that attacks on his person will not resolve the questions he has raised. “I am not intimidated. The people of South Africa can decide,” Lekota said.

He and former deputy defence minister Mluleki George are expected to announce a programme of action on a planned national convention and breakaway party in Johannesburg today.

Responding to Zuma’s tongue-lashing, Lekota said: “He must not talk about the person who is Terror Lekota. He should talk about the principles. He can have a field day talking about me. I have raised issues of principle. All these attacks on my person won’t resolve the questions I have raised.”

Lekota criticised Zuma for failing to rebuke supporters who wear T-shirts that promote tribalism and those who stated publicly that they would kill for Zuma.

“These are questions of peace and security. He must deal with those issues, not talk about the person who is Terror Lekota. Millions of people are saying that the leadership he is providing is unacceptable,” Zuma said.

“Why does he not bring the rest of the leaderhip in line with the policies of the ANC.”

Lekota said the national convention will decide how to “defend the democratic gains” which have been made.

“The decision on how to proceed will be taken by people who think like us when we meet. I am convinced we will find a formation to enable us to challenge the leadership of the ANC which has taken the road away from the established principles of our organisation,” Lekota said.

He rejected suggestions that the new formation - with its strong support in the Eastern Cape - would have a Xhosa power base.

“There are supporters in KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State, Mpumalanga, North West, Northern Cape - across the length and breadth of the country. This is not a tribal issue,” he said.

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