ANC rethinking Zuma

2019-01-22 15:25
Former president Jacob Zuma.

Former president Jacob Zuma. (File)

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Former President Jacob Zuma, who was billed to play a key role in the ANC elections campaign in KwaZulu-Natal, could be relegated to the sidelines following damning claims that he received bribes from the politically connected company, Bosasa.

Reliable sources within the ANC in the province told The Witness that there was currently a push for Zuma’s role in the elections to be reviewed.

“It should be remembered that even before these recent claims ... some of the comrades in the province have been opposed to this idea of having him play a prominent role in the elections,” a source within the ANC Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) said.

Former Bosasa chief operating officer, Angelo Agrizzi, who is testifying at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture, is reportedly set to give evidence this week that Zuma, through his charitable foundation, had been receiving a R300 000 monthly bribe from the facilities management company.

According to the PEC member, some ANC leaders both in the province and nationally are of the view that the Bosasa revelations would cause some damage to the ANC elections campaign if Zuma is allowed to play a key role in electioneering. “There is no doubt that opposition parties will use this Bosasa thing as a weapon to discredit the ANC ahead of the elections.

“As the provincial leadership we have a responsibility to protect the image of the ANC, particularly close to an elections. We will soon be meeting to look into the issue — it would be a blunder to adopt an approach that says it’s business as usual,” the source said.

Bosasa recently changed its name to African Global Group.

On Monday the DA was quick to use reports emanating from the commission to launch an attack on Zuma and the ANC, with eThekwini DA councillor, Nicole Graham, saying the reports were further proof that the eThekwini Municipality’s plans to help Zuma record songs were unjustified. “In light of the further damning revelations in the Bosasa inquiry, which allege that Zuma was receiving an additional R300 000 per month in bribes, it is clear for all to see that he is not a man to be celebrated.

“The use of public money to further glorify a corrupt and morally reprehensible person cannot be justified,” she said.

ANC provincial secretary, Mdumiseni Ntuli, said while allegations against Zuma remained allegations until proven otherwise, the provincial leadership would evaluate their impact on the party.

“We have noted reports from the commission and as leadership we will have to pause and take stock.

“We have an obligation to manage the consequences of allegations that continue to be made at the commission about some of our leaders.

“As we deal with whatever comes our way, one thing we will never allow to happen is for us to be distracted from the task at hand — the elections,” he said.

Zuma, who still remains popular in the province despite numerous corruption scandals, is currently attending the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) Lekgotla in Pretoria.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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