Zuma to join ANC 'on the ground' during 2019 election campaigns

2018-02-19 21:19
President Jacob Zuma. (Elizabeth Sejake, City Press)

President Jacob Zuma. (Elizabeth Sejake, City Press)

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Empangeni – Former president Jacob Zuma will join the ANC "on the ground" during 2019 election campaigns, the ANC KwaZulu-Natal's Musa Dladla region said on Monday.

The region's chairperson Nonhle Mkhulisi was speaking at a press briefing in Empangeni, northern KZN, following the region's consultative meeting on Sunday.

Musa Dladla is the party's second-largest region in the province, after the eThekwini region. It is also Zuma's home region.

"We know president Zuma as a cadre of the movement. He will join us on the ground when we mobilise ordinary South Africans to vote for the ANC. Zuma still has a contribution to make as an ex-officio member of the ANC NEC (national executive committee)," she said, adding that they still needed Zuma's strength and experience.

Zuma resigned last Wednesday, February 14, following his recall by the ANC NEC a day before.

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Mkhulisi said they welcomed the NEC's decision to recall him.

"We also welcome his voluntary resignation in the highest office of the country. His resignation epitomises high discipline on his part and adherence to the decisions of the NEC," she said.

Mkhulisi dismissed media reports that KZN would not support Zuma's successor, President Cyril Ramaphosa, when he campaigns for the 2019 elections in the province.

"We are aware that, once the campaign starts to pick up, he will come to this province. The national leadership will decide in terms of his programme as to which regions he will campaign at. We are ready for him. The leader is President Ramaphosa and it ends there. We will campaign for a decisive victory of the ANC for the 2019 general elections," she said.

The region's deputy chairperson Mdu Mhlongo also rubbished claims that the ANC in KZN was tribalist.

"We have joined the ANC, which is fundamentally anti-tribalist in its orientation, and we will not deviate from that fact," he said.

Mkhulisi said they didn't have plans to hold a welcoming party for Zuma following his resignation.

"As an organisation, at this point in time, we don't really have anything planned in terms of the welcoming party," she said.

However, Mkhulisi said she didn't want to dismiss the possibility of the welcoming party as "Zuma worked with a number of organisations".

She suggested that maybe one of those organisations might organise it.

Mkhulisi said they didn't even know when Zuma would arrive in his home province.

She said, during their meeting on Sunday, some of their 105 branches raised some strong concerns "about the manner in which the transition in the organisation was handled".

"As well as the divisive articulation by some few members, which are contrary to the unity we are advocating to achieve as the ANC in all levels," she said.

Mkhulisi did not reveal the concerns to the media, but said they've forwarded them to the party's NEC.

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