Zuma slammed at Stofile funeral

Makhenkesi Stofile (File)
Makhenkesi Stofile (File)

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma has been heavily criticised at the funeral of the late Reverend Makhenkesi Stofile on Thursday.

High-ranking members of the African National Congress joined mourners who packed the Fort Hare University Sports Complex to honour the former sports minister.

Speaker Sipho Pityana did not hide his anger at the current leadership of the ANC.

Pityana referenced the recent local government elections results as a touchstone for the lack of accountable leadership that saw the ANC lose three metros to the opposition.

"In our movement, as in everywhere else, there are different cadres: There are peacetime revolutionaries and there are true cadres who took risks.

"That our movement is in crisis is trite and it is beyond question. If you doubted it, look at what happened in the local government elections," said Pityana.

Second Rubicon

He said that he had "painful conversations" regarding the organisation's response to the Constitutional Court judgment on Nkandla.

He expressed his disappointment at Zuma's reaction to the ruling that the president had violated the Constitution.

"It sounded like the second Rubicon by FW De Klerk: He failed to rise to the occasion," said Pityana, in reference to the Rubicon speech given by PW Botha in August 1985.

"I know we're a movement in denial, for when we talk about why it is we are where we are, we say it is because of the negative and hostile media. Maybe it is.

"We say it is because Western governments are driving an agenda for a regime change. Maybe it is.

"We say it because of clever blacks who are ill-disciplined and arrogant. We say it is NGOs who are agents of foreign interests, but comrade Stof would have none of it," he said to applause from the crowd.

'Moral high ground'

While Pityana argued that ANC members were required to be loyal and disciplined, he also said that internal problems were self-inflicted.

"We must also be cadres with questioning loyalty. We must be questioning because answers come from asking difficult questions.

"Our setbacks are self-inflicted. We have ceded our moral high ground to the opponents."

Pityana did not hold back his frustration with recent developments within the ANC involving Zuma.

"No less than a person who is president of our movement and our country takes every opportunity to show nothing but disdain and contempt for our Constitution," he said to applause, as Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula and former finance minister Trevor Manuel looked on.

"Which ANC is this without any conference resolution that makes statements that attacks judges as counter revolutionaries? Which ANC is this?" said Pityana.

"We attack and undermine and show complete disdain for Chapter 9 institutions; and I need to remind you that as OR Tambo suffered a stroke, one of the chapters that he wrote as a precursor to this country was the concept of the notion of a Chapter 9 institution.

"Who are these leaders of today who don’t have a sense of that history?" Pityana said.

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