Special to USAfrica (Houston) and USAfricaonline.com
South Africa President Jacob Zuma on Friday said he never thought there would come a time when ANC cadres hated one another. “Some movements break up when there are challenges. People who were in trenches together begin to hate each other like never before. I never thought this would happen in the ANC because the ANC is an old movement,” he told a cadres’ forum at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall.
The event was intended to rebuild the party’s “political consciousness”.
“Sometimes the enemy is clear and at other times the enemy is among us. This makes things very difficult,” he said.
There were those in the movement who were honest enough to admit they had not done well.
He said the time had come for members of the ANC to ask themselves how they should move past the current turbulence.
“When these challenges creep up, it makes you ask yourself what you are made of. Are you made of mud or made of steel?”
Twenty-two years after democracy, problems had crept into the movement. Some wanted change, while others wanted to maintain the status quo, he said.
Earlier, thousands of ANC members sang that they would “defend Zuma” while waiting for him to arrive.
The words “uZuma sisomdefender ngoba amandla asemesebeni” reverberated through the venue.
Loosely translated, it means: “We will defend Zuma because the power rests in the ANC’s branches”.
Their call follows the release of former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s “State of Capture” report into the Gupta family’s alleged interference in the affairs of the executive.
The mood in the city hall was electric. A long queue of people waited to go through a security check and get in.
In May this year, the party axed KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu and four of his MECs. This was despite the party vowing that it would not reshuffle the cabinet. Former transport MEC, Willies Mchunu, was elected premier.
This week, the party rubbished rumours that another cabinet reshuffle was looming after speculation that Mchunu would not compete his term due to ill-health.
Mchunu told reporters that his health had suffered, but that he would compete his term. By Amanda Khoza, News24