The ANC’s head of elections and its chief strategist, Fikile Mbalula, has taken another swipe at former president Jacob Zuma, saying that there was a need to ensure that party members don’t trample on each other’s toes.
This weekend, Mbalula attacked Zuma on Twitter for attending the annual Kgosi Mampuru II commemoration day at the Try Again Sports Ground in Limpopo. Zuma’s appearance at the event, which was an official government gathering, was seen as a breach of protocol.
“You see there are official events to inaugurate the king. You cannot go to the state of the nation address and Matamela [President Cyril Ramaphosa] is not there and you have Mbeki [former president Thabo Mbeki] addressing [the nation]. I know it is an exaggerated example. It is not an attack on the integrity of anybody,” Mbalula said.
But cde President is this the right thing to do unless u are delegated Msholozi? U were a President bfo is this the right protocol ? To go around addressing events that should b addressed by a seating President?— Fikile (Mr Fearfokkol) (@MbalulaFikile) January 26, 2019
Mbalula said there was a need to ensure that “we don’t trample on each other’s toes and be perceived that we don’t want to let go”.
“You need to define that I was invited to an event and at the same time it did not undermine any protocol,” Mbalula told journalists at a media briefing on the outcomes of the voter registration at Luthuli House today.
However, Mbalula said the issue had been laid to rest.
“I accept as a disciplined member of the ANC I shouldn’t have raised that matter on Twitter. The ANC is [a] big political party. I will engage with president Zuma in a way that does not involve Twitter again. All members of the organisation must take [an] example from us and not to do things out of turn.” He added that the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture was important for the country.
“We must give the state capture commission a chance. It is saying horrible things. The ANC has brought you the Zondo commission. Where would we be if we did not have this commission? You the people did not vote for us overwhelmingly in the last elections. You said this and that.”
He added that the ANC would never defend wrongdoing. “We will never take collective responsibility for wrongdoing,” Mbalula said.
Mbalula admitted that former Bosasa chief executive Angelo Agrizzi – who continued his explosive testimony on Tuesday – was giving the ANC sleepless nights.
Yesterday, Agrizzi told the commission of inquiry into state capture, which is chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, that Bosasa chief executive Gavin Watson “personally gave Zuma R300 000”.
Mbalula said the ANC was encouraged that 81% of the 703 794 South Africans who registered to vote over the weekend were below the age of 30.
“We call upon those first-time voters who are not yet registered to visit their local IEC (Independent Electoral Commission) to register. We welcome the announcement by the IEC that it will be undertaking registration drives at higher learning campuses in early February to boost registrations,” he said.
Mbalula accused the DA of having elected to run a negative campaign “devoid of policy content”.
“Their campaign is driven by disinformation and innuendo. We have no doubt this is a sideshow to distract voters from the implosion currently unfolding within the DA. The resignation of their head of policy confirms the criticism that black people are merely political faces with no power inside the DA.”
Mbalula said Western Cape premier and former DA leader Helen Zille not only violated her oath of office by calling for a tax boycott if the ANC returned into power but had demonstrated the levels of desperation the DA was prepared to stoop to.
“Helen Zille is instigating South Africans to break the law and violate the Constitution ... This subversion of democracy exposes the hypocrisy of the DA in their pronouncements of respect of the Constitution.”
He said DA leader Mmusi Maimane advanced the same narrative by suggesting that elected president of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro should be deposed via unconstitutional means.
“The ANC’s foreign policy is grounded on human rights, the rule of law and democracy. President Maduro is a duly elected president of Venezuela and the ANC will never support regime change through unconstitutional means. We remain concerned that the conduct of the DA undermines the electoral laws and are meant to polarise society and instill unfounded fears,” Mbalula said.