ANC Secretary-General Criticizes Zuma’s Departure and Backing of MK Party

ANC Secretary-General Criticizes Zuma's Departure and Backing of MK Party

In a recent address at an African National Congress (ANC) rally in Msinga, KwaZulu-Natal, ahead of the party’s forthcoming manifesto unveiling at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula expressed disapproval towards former President Jacob Zuma’s decision to leave the ANC and support the formation of the new uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party.

Dispute with MK Party Heading to Court

Mbalula highlighted the ongoing court battle over a trademark dispute with the MK party, signaling an imminent resolution. “We are fighting in court and you will hear that it is the end of it soon,” Mbalula informed the attendees. This case is set for a hearing by the Electoral Court on March 19, underlining the tension between the ANC and the newly formed party.

ANC’s Open Door Policy

In his speech, Mbalula stressed the ANC’s resilience and openness, stating,

“Those who want to go, we are not going to force them to stay. They can leave, but you will come back my child. The ANC will always be here in South Africa, it is not going anywhere,

thereby reinforcing the notion that the ANC remains a constant in South African politics, regardless of individual departures.

Critique on Electoral Ambitions and Zuma’s Departure

Mbalula also addressed the MK party’s ambition to secure a two-thirds majority in the upcoming national and provincial elections, a target he views skeptically in light of Zuma’s recent suspension from the ANC. He reminisced about the last time the ANC held such a majority under Thabo Mbeki, implying that unity and broad support are essential for such a goal. Mbalula lamented the unexpected departure of Zuma from the party, describing it as unprecedented and contrary to the spirit of a dedicated veteran of the struggle.

Call for Non-Violence and Unity

Emphasizing unity and peaceful conduct, Mbalula urged ANC members to steer clear of conflict and violence, asserting the party’s commitment to reviving its principles without resorting to jealousy or hatred.

Responding to Zuma’s External Efforts to “Fix” the ANC

Mbalula dismissed Zuma’s assertions of intending to fix the ANC from the outside as counterproductive, likening it to self-sabotage and a betrayal that plays into the hands of the opposition. He drew parallels between leaving the ANC and abandoning a spouse, suggesting that such moves often lead to regret.

On Leadership and Loyalty to the ANC

Highlighting the transient nature of leadership within the ANC, Mbalula reflected on Zuma’s tenure and the inevitable transition to new leadership, while emphasizing the perpetual presence of the ANC in South African politics. He criticized those joining the MK party for personal gain, particularly targeting parliamentary and legislative positions.

In his discourse, Mbalula navigated through a series of critical issues facing the ANC, from internal disputes to the broader challenge of maintaining unity and direction in the face of splintering forces. Through his comments, the Secretary-General painted a picture of an ANC in transition yet steadfast in its foundational principles and open to reconciling with those who have strayed.

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