The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Open Let­ter to Ed­ward Zuma

VULGARISED de­bate with an “ex­tra hot curry of lies” has never been part of dis­cus­sions within and out­side the ANC Tri­par­tite Al­liance. These were used by the colo­nial­ists and apartheid state, par­tic­u­larly Strat­com and those who turned against free­dom fight­ers, even be­fore the apartheid regime in 1949, to mis­lead the masses. It will be an ab­di­ca­tion of patriotic duty if black peo­ple, Africans in par­tic­u­lar, do not re­spond to your po­lit­i­cal frus­tra­tion and des­per­a­tion.

You are a for­mer stu­dent of the Univer­sity of Zu­l­u­land, where I spent one year as a stu­dent and, later, two years as a lec­turer. Unizulu was a ban­tus­tan univer­sity but pro­duced many in­tel­lec­tu­als and young lead­ers who served the na­tion and demo­cratic forces with loy­alty and dis­tinc­tion. Among them are Dr Nkosazana Zuma, No­ble­man Mzala Nx­u­malo, Penuel Maduna, Thami Nten­teni, Sbu­siso Nde­bele, Thami Mse­leku and Reg­gie Hadebe.

Judge Sandile Ng­cobo, Jeff Hadebe, Ernest Mchunu, Judge Dlodlo, Linda Zama, Big Boy Guma, Aaron Mse­shi Ndlovu, Senzo Mchunu, Judge Zondo (Deputy Chief Jus­tice) and Thami Mse­leku also stud­ied there. In 1985, I was given a “no re­turn” by this univer­sity after Se­cu­rity Po­lice sub­mit­ted a copy of the let­ter I wrote to Harry Gwala, and his re­sponse, to the univer­sity se­cu­rity, which was loyal to the apartheid state.

In 1983, there was the On­goye Mas­sacre, sim­i­lar to that of the stu­dent killings by the Ciskei junta regime of the Sebe brothers.

With all its lim­i­ta­tions, Unizulu contributed to our lib­er­a­tion, pro­duc­ing the “trans­for­ma­tive agents” that Paulo Freire talks about in his book, Ped­a­gogy of the Op­pressed.

Your racist at­ti­tudes are an “ar­ti­fi­cial”, base­less and de­fen­sive tac­tic to hide loot­ing by the “un­holy al­liance” of the Sax­on­wold She­been and Inkan­d­ley­ih­lek­isa Palace, built with R246m stolen from the pub­lic purse. Your fam­ily live op­u­lently in a sea of poverty. A re­cent sur­vey re­vealed that 70% of peo­ple in Inkandla are un­em­ployed and those em­ployed other than pub­lic ser­vants earn less than R3 500 a month.

Be­fore 2009, your fam­ily was poor, but today it is a wealthy fam­ily oli­garchy in the ANC.

This is what you are de­fend­ing by in­sult­ing dis­ci­ples of Chief Al­bert Luthuli, Oliver Tambo and Nel­son Man­dela, lead­ers who did not steal.

Your fa­ther contributed a lot to the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle. He was both an aca­demic and po­lit­i­cal stu­dent of Them­beyakhe Harry Gwala, who re­cruited him into the SACP and who was also his com­man­der from 1974-75.

After lib­er­a­tion, Gwala be­came un­com­fort­able with your fa­ther’s as­so­ci­a­tion with some cor­rupt forces. He ques­tioned him about the death of Thami Zulu, real name Boni­face Muzi­wakhe Ng­wenya, one of the best com­man­ders of the then “Peo­ple’s Army”, Umkhonto weSizwe. Gwala, even on his death bed, re­minded your fa­ther of this out­stand­ing mat­ter.

Ev­ery time your fa­ther is un­der pub­lic scru­tiny, peo­ple who ques­tion his mo­ral and eth­i­cal cre­den­tials must be la­belled, eg Gwala, Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Mot­lanthe, Peter Mok­aba, lately Cyril Ramaphosa. But your fa­ther has never been la­belled about his as­so­ci­a­tion with Jur­gen Prinsloo, Gideon Nieu­woudt, Richard Md­luli, or Muzi­wen­doda Kunene, or ques­tioned about the way he han­dled Dirk Coet­zee and Andy Tay­lor.

He was “soft” on Coet­zee but “played hard ball” at Zulu. The hi­er­ar­chy of MK, which in­cluded Joe Modise, Chris Hani, Steve Tsh­wete and Ron­nie Kas­rils did not doubt the loy­alty of this com­man­der. The ANC NEC re­solved that Zulu be re­leased to his par­ents but your fa­ther de­fied this de­ci­sion. Even Al­bertina Sisulu was dis­ap­pointed by the death of this com­man­der, wrongly la­belled an in­former.

Now, it’s you who in­sults and lies about Trevor Manuel, Pravin Gord­han and Derek Hanekom. Why did your fa­ther lie about the fam­ily palace and the bond, and de­ploy­ment of Nh­lanhla Nene? You are wor­ried that the “doors of Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices are slowly open­ing” for your dad.

You know very well that you are the first child of any ANC leader to at­tack lead­ers. Many chil­dren of our lib­er­a­tion he­roes never mis­be­haved like you.

Today, Thabo and Moeletsi Mbeki, Lindiwe, Max, Eleanor and Zwe­lakhe Sisulu, and Tse­lani and Dali Tambo are highly re­spected, as they refuse to be in the head­lines for fool­ish rea­sons.

Many whites served the­lib­er­a­tion strug­gle with dis­tinc­tion. Den­nis Goldberg and David Kit­ston served 20 years, Ray­mond Sut­tner, Bar­bara Ho­gan, Ren­frew Christie and Harold Stra­chan, 10, Mar­ius Schoon, 15, as did Mar­ion Sparg and John Matthews, Jeremy Cronin, 7, and Tony Hol­i­day and Stephen Lee, 8.

Non-South Africans were Alex Moum­baris, 12, and Sean Hosey, 5. Both were in­volved in the tri­als of Sandi Se­jake, Pet­ros Mthembu, Gizenga Mpanza and TT Cholo but were be­trayed by Ni­cholas Kombela and Gladstone Mose.

Your fa­ther knows about the bru­tal killing of Ruth First, Rick Turner, Jenny and Karyn Schoon, Neil Aggett, David Web­ster and An­ton Lubowski. The na­tion will not for­get the roles played by Rev Bey­ers Naude, Bishop Den­nis Hur­ley, Rev Michael Lapsley, Rev Peter Storey, in­tel­lec­tu­als like Ian Phillips, Mary Met­calfe, Mike Sut­cliffe, Jacks Si­mons and Mike Mor­ris, to name a few.

Trevor Manuel, Alex La Guma, Basil Fe­bru­ary, James Stu­art, Trevor Bon­homme,

Many chil­dren of our he­roes never mis­be­haved like you do

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