Pro-Zuma league cracks

2019-02-25 20:30
Bishop Timothy Ngcobo, who has been mobilising support for former President Jacob Zuma during his court appearances in connection with corruption charges, has withdrawn from the Zuma lobby group.

Bishop Timothy Ngcobo, who has been mobilising support for former President Jacob Zuma during his court appearances in connection with corruption charges, has withdrawn from the Zuma lobby group. (Ian Carbutt)

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Cracks are beginning to show in former president Jacob Zuma’s KwaZulu-Natal support network, with one of his key backers saying that he will no longer mobilise support for him.

Bishop Timothy Ngcobo, who has been encouraging support for Zuma at his court appearances in connection with corruption charges, told The Witness he would no longer be part of the team lobbying for Zuma in the province.

“I can confirm that I have withdrawn from all the structures and programmes to do with organising support for the former president,” he said.

Ngcobo, who recently launched a new political party, the African Freedom Revolution (AFR), said he has realised that some members of his organisation are opposed to Zuma’s leadership.

“Some of them went to the extent of participating in protests against Zuma during the former president’s term of office. We are a multi-racial political party and as a leader, I have to be sensitive to the views of our members.”

Ngcobo is known for laying his hand on the former president in prayer before the start of court proceedings.

Once regarded as Zuma’s confidant, Ngcobo was non-committal when asked whether he would still attend Zuma’s court appearances.

“If time permits, I will continue to go to court. However, I will be going there as any other ordinary member of the public and not as an organiser of anything,” he said.

When Ngcobo launched AFR late last year there were speculations that the party, which started off as a lobby group protesting against fuel price increases, was part of the campaign to consolidate support for Zuma in the province.

There was also speculation that the AFR would work closely with other newly-formed political parties such as Mazibuye African Congress (MAC), former cabinet spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi’s African Transformation Movement (ATM), and former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s African Content Movement — all of which support Zuma.

However, Ngcobo ruled out an alliance with the pro-Zuma parties.

“You see, the one big issue about those political parties is that they are exclusively focusing on matters affecting the black population of this country. It will be difficult to work with them given that AFR is a political party serving the interests of South Africans across the colour line,” he said.

Ngcobo and another Zuma loyalist, ANC MPL Bishop Vusi Dube, are among religious leaders affiliated to the National Interfaith Council of South Africa (Nicsa) who have used their significant following in the province to defend Zuma.

Dube confirmed that the Zuma support club has cut ties with Ngcobo.

“He is no longer part of us,” he said.

Ngcobo, who hails from Ndwedwe, north of Durban, is also the provincial secretary of the National Interfaith Council of South Africa.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  jacob zuma

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