Jovial Zuma attends ANC elections workshop

2018-03-03 18:08
Former president Jacob Zuma attending one of the elections workshops with some NEC members. (Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

Former president Jacob Zuma attending one of the elections workshops with some NEC members. (Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

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Johannesburg – Former president Jacob Zuma made an appearance at an ANC elections workshop - a clear indication that he will campaign for the party leading up to 2019 national elections.

Speculations over Zuma’s fate has run rampant since he was recalled by the national executive committee in February. The former president is the first to attend an ANC event as an ex-officio member since late president Nelson Mandela.

Zuma seemed in good spirits at Birchwood Hotel on the East Rand on Saturday, laughing and making jokes with journalists during the commission meeting, which was attended by NEC members.

He was seated next to newly appointed minister of higher education, Naledi Pandor who President Cyril Ramaphosa indicated as his preferred running mate in the run up to the ANC’s elective conference in December.

The embattled former president made his first public appearance at his home province of KwaZulu-Natal earlier in the week.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe told journalists on Saturday that former presidents will start attending party events leading up to the 2019 elections. Former presidents Thabo Mbeki as well as Kgalema Motlanthe never attended NEC events after their terms ended.

“All the former presidents and deputy presidents, including Zuma -  they are beginning to heed the call, we will start seeing more of them.”

He added that the former presidents will be expected to work with the party around political education.

Elections head Fikile Mbalula promised to run a ‘positive’ campaign. He said the 2019 national elections promised to be a highly contested one, however the ANC was open to the task.

“We will not be negative against our opponents. We are not going to play the person. We want to run a positive campaign. That is what we going to do.”

The ANC’s campaign goal was to ensure a decisive win, he added. He then promised that while the party will celebrate its gains during the elections, ANC members will not be arrogant.

“[The] ANC talks about overwhelming victory, which is going to come from our hard work and engaging with our people. We don’t take our people for granted. It is not a given, that the ANC will get this majority. We have got to work hard.”

He said action against corruption and the attitude towards members implicated in corrupt dealings needed decisive action by the ANC and would be watched closely by voters.

Echoing Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address' mention of a Hugh Masekela song, Mbalula said: "It is a campaign that says (Thuma mina) it means send me… It ushers in a season of hope in the republic. Members of the ANC must not only embrace but must demonstrate in practice what that message means practically.”


Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma

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