Former South African president Jacob Zuma recently made headlines when he had a slip of the tongue during a speech, encouraging the crowd to vote for the governing African National Congress (ANC) party.
Zuma was addressing an Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) Party branch launch in his hometown of Nkandla when he made the blunder.
Zuma’s mistake elicited laughter from the crowd as he quickly corrected himself, saying, “Just go and vote for ANC, no, not ANC … sorry.”
— Meshack Mathe Bevhula (@MeshackBevhula) January 16, 2024
This slip-up comes after Zuma publicly announced in December that he would not vote or campaign for the ANC in the upcoming 2024 national elections, but instead support the newly formed MK Party.
The announcement caused tensions within the ANC, with the party’s leadership asserting that Zuma’s public statement marked his departure from the party.
However, Zuma maintains that he is still a member of the ANC, stating during a recent address in Pietermaritzburg, “I will vote for MK, but I will not leave the ANC, I will die there.”
While Zuma’s slip of the tongue may have sparked debate and amusement, it also highlighted the ongoing division within the ANC and the loyalty that some members still hold for the former president.
Social media platforms were abuzz with reactions to Zuma’s blunder, with many people expressing forgiveness and stating that “his heart is still with the ANC.”
Some individuals argue that Zuma’s slip-up should be overlooked, as it is clear that his allegiance to the ANC remains strong. They believe that his mistake was simply a momentary lapse and should not overshadow his long-standing commitment to the party.
On the other hand, critics argue that Zuma’s public endorsement of the MK Party and his refusal to campaign for the ANC demonstrate a clear departure from the party’s values and direction under President Cyril Ramaphosa.
They view his slip of the tongue as a reflection of his true intentions and a sign that he is no longer aligned with the ANC.
The debate surrounding Zuma’s slip-up also brings to light the broader issues facing the ANC. The party has been grappling with internal divisions and allegations of corruption, which have eroded public trust and support.
Zuma, as a former president and influential figure within the ANC, continues to hold sway over a significant portion of the party’s base.
While some ANC members expressed their discontent with Zuma by parading a makeshift coffin labelled “RIP Zuma” during the party’s January 8 speech celebrations, others argue that he should be forgiven for his mistakes.
They believe that Zuma’s contributions to the party and his historical role in the fight against apartheid should not be forgotten.
Ultimately, the debate surrounding Zuma’s slip of the tongue reflects the complex and often divisive nature of South African politics.
It highlights the challenges faced by the ANC as it navigates internal tensions and seeks to regain public trust. Whether Zuma’s allegiance lies with the ANC or the MK Party, his slip-up serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for unity within the party.
That’s not even a secret, he has never even hidden it. The MK Party was not created to destroy the ANC but in his own words “rescue it” from the Bourgeoisie Capitalist class led by Ramaphosa which has captured it. That has always been the main purpose behind MK as Zuma put it
— Mzilankatha_Omnyama! (@MakhombothiMzi1) January 16, 2024
He is still an ANC member so what?
— Siphelele Ndaba (@siphelele_ndaba) January 16, 2024
It’s an honest mistake indeed.
— _TheSuit_ (@_LivadaLoca_) January 16, 2024