Zuma a 'no-show' at Marikana

2016-01-06 14:42
President Jacob Zuma. (Siphiwe Sibeko, Reuters)

President Jacob Zuma. (Siphiwe Sibeko, Reuters)

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Marikana - As scores of people gathered in Marikana in the North West on Wednesday morning for the expected handover of RDP houses, the guest of honour – President Jacob Zuma – was a no-show.

But, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa assured: "There’s no confusion."

According to an earlier ANC press statement, Zuma – wearing his hat as "ANC President CDE [comrade] Jacob Zuma" – was billed to attend the handover event at 10:00 on Wednesday.

However, shortly after 13:00, a statement from the Presidency was issued, explaining that Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu would do the honours "on behalf" of the president.

Kodwa – who issued the original ANC statement - said that he could not provide the reason for why Zuma did not attend, as the event was "a government programme".

However, the original statement, detailing Zuma’s attendance at the housing event issued on January 4, is headlined: "ANC 104th Anniversary Celebration… Build-Up Programme".

‘Be in the area’

On Wednesday, Kodwa said that originally Zuma was only going to attend the "government" event, because he would "be in the area".

He confirmed that while Zuma would not be at the housing celebration, he would be at the party’s NEC meeting, also in the North West, scheduled to begin at 14:00.

Meanwhile, Zuma’s no-show caused a stir on Twitter – even becoming a trending topic for the country. Economic Freedom Fighters deputy president Floyd Shivambu tweeted that "Mr Zuma says he is a president & yet can't face the people of Marikana".

Marikana has been a site of political and social tension, following the killing of 44 people during a wildcat strike by Lonmin Platinum miners in the area in August in 2012.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  marikana

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