Zuma camp in a tail-spin — analysts

2017-05-03 13:45
President Jacob Zuma was booed off stage in the Free State, ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete was heckled in Durban and deputy general secretary Jessie Duarte was booed in Limpopo.

President Jacob Zuma was booed off stage in the Free State, ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete was heckled in Durban and deputy general secretary Jessie Duarte was booed in Limpopo. (File)

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Watch: Zuma cheered; Mapaila booed at Chris Hani memorial

2017-04-11 09:05

During his address at the Chris Hani memorial, President Jacob Zuma used the platform to speak out against purported racism at last week's countrywide anti-Zuma marches. Zuma's address was very well received while the SACP's Solly Mapaila was met with loud boos and heavy rainfall as he tried to address the crowd.WATCH

It has taken 10 years, but President Jacob Zuma’s allies are getting a taste of the same medicine they dished out to Thabo Mbeki, a political analyst has said.

UKZN based academic Zakhele Ndlovu was speaking after President Jacob Zuma and two of his allies were booed in three separate Cosatu May Day celebrations held on Monday.

Zuma was booed off stage in the Free State, ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete was heckled in Durban and deputy general secretary Jessie Duarte was booed in Limpopo.

ANC KZN chairperson Sihle Zikalala was also not spared from the heckling.

“This is what they used to do to Thabo Mbeki. What is making matters worse, is that Zuma is involved in the succession debate as he is seen as one of the people campaigning for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma,” Ndlovu said.

“This is exactly what got Mbeki into trouble back then and it is clear that Zuma did not learn from this.”

Ndlovu said the incident that led to the main May Day event being cancelled, was a clear indication that Cosatu members no longer wanted Zuma.

“Clearly Cosatu meant what they said when they said Zuma must resign as president of the country and that they want Cyril Ramaphosa to be elected as the ANC president in the ANC December conference. Factionalism has also become clear as Ramaphosa, [ANC secretary-general Gwede] Mantashe and [ANC treasurer-general Zweli] Mkhize were not booed at the events that they addressed,” he said.

Ndlovu said the developments would certainly send the Zuma camp into a tail-spin.

Ironically, the three provinces in which the pro-Zuma leaders were booed, are significant to Zuma’s rise in the ANC. KZN is Zuma’s stronghold and supporters from this region had pushed for his election at the Polokwane conference. Limpopo and Free State are where Zuma was elected as ANC president for the first and second terms respectively.

“If you look at the balance of forces with Ramaphosa having the support of Cosatu, SACP and some provinces and Dlamini-Zuma having the support of the ANCYL, ANCWL and some province’s, this conference will be more divisive than Polokwane,” he said.

Bheki Mngomezulu of the Mzala Nxumalo Centre said the booing did not come as a surprise.

“Zuma knew that he was not going to get a good reception because Cosatu had already said he must resign. This was bound to happen.”

He said the ANC leadership battle was a “dicey”.

“There is no clear-cut candidate.”


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