ANC infighting grows as Zuma warns against “dangerous politics”

ANC MP Makhosi Khoza has lashed out at the ruling party in a Facebook post, calling into question the party’s current leadership and the effect it would have on the ANC’s relevance and lifespan.

“Our land redress, radical economic transformation and united non-racial & non-sexist are just & fair battles,” said Khoza in the post.

“However, we are standing on an immoral platform from which we launch our attacks on oppressive systems. As a result we are depleted & ultimately we’ll be defeated as our goals wait for a new morally inspired tackle.”

“Politics of patronage has finally claimed the sanity of my ANC leadership. A triumphant story has turned tragic in my life time.”

Khoza’s post follows an earlier report that the ANC’s attempt to put up a show of unity in the party was a complete illusion.

Party insiders speaking to the City Press said that secret meetings have been taking place across the country, as both Zuma’s opponents and supporters strategise to gain the upper hand.

The ‘anti-Zuma’ camp

It is no secret that there are many within the ANC’s structures opposed to president Zuma, including former president Kgalema Motlanthe, former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, late ANC stalwart Ahmed Kathrada and his widow Barbara Hogan, and South African Communist Party leaders Solly Mapaila and Jeremy Cronin.

Top ANC executives, deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, secretary general Gwede Mantashe, and ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize, have also stated open opposition to the president – but have since retreated under party orders.

Others who are said to be against the president include human settlements minister Lindiwe Sisulu, who has reportedly escaped at least two assassination attempts, as well as the leaders of worker union, Cosatu.

With Makhosi Khoza’s latest comments added to the growing pile of dissenting voices, it appears that whatever call for ‘unity’ being put forward by the ANC, is falling of deaf ears.

Pro-Zuma cadres

This lack of cohesion and unity was witnessed again this past weekend, when ANC Youth League members defied a court order and disrupted the KZN memorial for late ANC veteran, Ahmed Kathrada.

The ANCYL showed up in force, heckling former finance minister Pravin Gordhan during his address, while refusing to be quietened by ANC treasurer general, Zweli Mkhize. The memorial service was cut short as the league continued to harass attendees.

The youth league’s actions have since been condemned by the ANC – through an official statement by Mkhize, calling the incident embarrassing to the party – but the league’s local leadership in KZN maintains that Gordhan was at fault.

Other members who have shown themselves to be sided squarely with Zuma are the ANC Women’s League – who have praised the president’s actions over the past two weeks, despite it directly leading to two ratings downgrades and a mini collapse in the rand.

Other Zuma allies include water and sanitation minister, Nomvula Mokonyane, who joined the ANC Youth League at a pro-Zuma rally, and small business minister Lindiwe Zulu, who said the party will always defend the president.

Social development minister, and head of the ANC Women’s League, Bathabile Dlamini, is openly against her fellow MP, Gordhan, whom she labeled a bully who believes he is above the law.

What Zuma has to say

While the president has not addressed the nation-wide protests against him, speaking at a tombstone unveiling of the former minister Collins Chabane in Limpopo this weekend, he criticised his opponents using memorial services and funerals to speak out against him as “terrible and dangerous politics”.

“There is a new culture that we must persuade one another not to do… to use a funeral and a memorial to fight our political battles. It is wrong. It will never be right‚ no matter how you feel. You can’t use a comrade when he can no longer talk for himself,” Zuma was quoted saying.

The official line from the ANC is that the party should engage through the appropriate structures, and unify in the tough economic climate that South Africa has found itself in.

While Zuma’s critics lay the blame squarely at the feet of the president – his supporters laugh and mock them, welcoming the storm that likely lies ahead.

Read: ANC’s show of unity is a complete lie: report

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ANC infighting grows as Zuma warns against “dangerous politics”