Cape Town – Former president Jacob Zuma has reportedly called for a rebellion against the African National Congress (ANC) leadership, following the party’s poor performance in the just ended local government elections.
According to Sunday Times, Zuma, who on Friday addressed a funeral service of his ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s brother in Bulwer, KwaZulu-Natal, called on ANC structures to “rise and save the ANC”.
He said he could have “rallied more support during the elections and held leaders accountable” if he was not on parole.
Zuma was granted parole by the department of correctional services in early September – just weeks after he was incarcerated for 15 months for ignoring a court order to testify before a judicial panel probing corruption during his nine-year tenure which lasted until 2018.
A report by The Citizen said that the former president also blamed the bad performance on President Cyril Ramaphosa and other leaders for not implementing the step-aside resolutions.
“Other resolutions which are critical in changing the lives of the people and transforming the county are being neglected, and I will not keep quiet when things go wrong in the ANC,” the report, which cited Sunday Times, quoted Zuma as saying.
Responding to Zuma’s remarks, outspoken ANC member and long time Zuma supporter, Carl Niehaus said in a tweet:
“You are absolutely correct, and we will follow your clarion call that we as @MYANC members should “rise and save the #ANC.”
— Carl Niehaus (@niehaus_carl) November 7, 2021
In another tweet, Niehaus blamed the dismal performance of the ANC on Ramaphosa being made the face of the party during campaigns.
“Some @MyANC leaders proclaimed Pres. @CyrilRamaphosa as ANC ‘saviour’. He was made the face of our campaign. It became a refrendum on Ramaphosa. What a disaster! With 46% we fell for the 1st time below 50%. A resounding vote of no confidence. To save our ANC Ramaphosa must go!,” he wrote.
Some @MyANC leaders proclaimed Pres. @CyrilRamaphosa as ANC ‘saviour’. He was made the face of our campaign. It became a refrendum on Ramaphosa. What a disaster! With 46% we fell for the 1st time below 50%. A resounding vote of no confidence. To save our ANC Ramaphosa must go! pic.twitter.com/hpogo34R8I
— Carl Niehaus (@niehaus_carl) November 5, 2021
Reports indicated last week that South Africa entered new political territory, as voters turned against the ruling ANC for the first time in the democratic era.
The ANC won 46% of the ballots, down from 54% in the last municipal elections five years ago.
It was the first time that it received less than half of the ballots cast in any election in the continent’s most industrialised nation.
But Ramaphosa and his party officials put on a brave face.
He attended the official results declaration ceremony in Pretoria reminding elected officials that “if we are to make this a new and better era, we, as leaders, must put aside our differences and work together in a spirit of partnership and common purpose”.
Picture: Getty Images
Compiled by Betha Madhomu
Additional reporting by AFP