The recent announcement by former South African President Jacob Zuma, stating his intention to vote for the newly registered party, Umkhonto weSizwe (MK), in the upcoming 2024 elections, has raised questions about his relationship with the African National Congress (ANC).
In response to Zuma’s decision, the ANC Secretary-General, Fikile Mbalula, emphasized that the party did not expel Zuma but rather, he had expelled himself by openly endorsing another political party.
Addressing party members and supporters at the Mjindi Town Hall in Barberton, Mpumalanga, Mbalula stated that there was no need for the ANC to take disciplinary measures against Zuma.
He highlighted that Zuma had chosen to leave the ANC by forming and supporting MK, which undermined the credibility of the party. Mbalula firmly stated, “We can’t take someone who decided to leave for DC. He left and opened a political party, undermining the party’s credibility.”
While Mbalula made it clear that the ANC did not expel Zuma, he also acknowledged that Zuma had the freedom to make his own choices.
He stated, “He is in control of his life, he does what he likes, we are not going to take him to the DC, he has already expelled himself. The ANC did not expel Zuma.”
The announcement by Zuma to vote for MK in the upcoming elections has sparked public interest and speculation. Mbalula expressed his belief that Zuma should have approached the ANC leadership to address any issues he may have had with the party. However, Mbalula’s comments also raised questions about the ANC’s loyalty to its members.
One point of contention was Mbalula’s reference to the ANC’s defense of Zuma during the Nkandla saga, where the Constitutional Court ruled that he was not fit for office.
Mbalula highlighted that the ANC stood by Zuma during that time, even defending his controversial use of public funds to build a swimming pool, which was referred to as a “fire pool.” This contrasted with Zuma’s lack of support for President Cyril Ramaphosa during his campaign.
Mbalula criticized Zuma for failing to stand by President Ramaphosa and questioned his loyalty to the party.
He stated, “In defense of our president, we went to Parliament and said a swimming pool is a fire pool. Mogoeng Mogoeng released a judgment against Zuma, but the ANC stood by him. Today he says he can’t stand President Cyril Ramaphosa.”
These remarks from Mbalula suggest that the ANC is willing to support its members, regardless of their actions. While this loyalty may be seen as a positive attribute, it also raises concerns about the party’s commitment to accountability and ethical conduct.
The ANC’s 112th anniversary is approaching, with the January 8 rally set to take place at the Mbombela Stadium. This event serves as an opportunity for the party to reflect on its history and reaffirm its values.
The departure of a prominent figure like Zuma brings into focus the importance of party loyalty and the need for open dialogue within the ANC.
As the ANC moves forward, it is crucial for the party to address internal conflicts and ensure that its members feel heard and supported. Open discussions and a commitment to accountability will be vital in maintaining the party’s credibility and unity.
While Zuma’s departure may have created divisions within the ANC, it also presents an opportunity for the party to reevaluate its values and strengthen its commitment to the people of South Africa.
The ANC’s ability to navigate these challenges will determine its future as a leading political force in the country.
In conclusion, the ANC Secretary-General’s remarks regarding former President Jacob Zuma’s departure from the party shed light on the complex dynamics of party loyalty and accountability.
The ANC’s response to Zuma’s endorsement of another political party highlights the importance of open dialogue and the need for the party to address internal conflicts.
As the ANC prepares for its 112th anniversary, it must reflect on its history, reaffirm its values, and work towards maintaining its credibility and unity.