Fam­ily has noth­ing to say – Ed­ward

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - SAMKELO MT­SHALI and KAILENE PIL­LAY

WITH ex­pec­ta­tions mount­ing that Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma will step down as head of state, his son Ed­ward Zuma said the fam­ily had noth­ing to do with ANC and gov­ern­ment pro­cesses and that demo­crat­i­cally elected lead­er­ship is not akin to a monar­chy.

When asked about the fam­ily’s thoughts on the pres­i­dent’s seem­ingly loom­ing exit, Ed­ward dis­tanced the fam­ily from the is­sue, re­peat­edly ask­ing what the Zu­mas had to do with ANC and gov­ern­ment af­fairs.

“The fam­ily does not med­dle in the af­fairs of the gov­ern­ment and the ANC. If you want to talk about mat­ters con­cern­ing the gov­ern­ment and the ANC there are peo­ple who speak on be­half of them, we don’t have any­thing to do with their mat­ters.

“We don’t have the right (to speak on be­half of the ANC and gov­ern­ment), be­cause as a fam­ily we are also mem­bers of the ANC and we sub­scribe to the rules of the ANC and we can’t just talk,” Ed­ward said.

On Fri­day, Ed­ward is­sued a state­ment on be­half of the fam­ily, promis­ing to in­ves­ti­gate In­sta­gram com­ments at­trib­uted to Zuma’s wife Thobeka Madiba Zuma.

Yes­ter­day, ANC pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa’s con­fi­dante and long­time friend James Mot­latsi crit­i­cised the Zuma fam­ily af­ter Madiba Zuma’s at­tack on Ramaphosa.

Madiba Zuma jumped to the de­fence of her em­bat­tled hus­band say­ing that “things were about to get ugly”, giv­ing an in­di­ca­tion that Zuma is not go­ing any­where with­out a fight in an In­sta­gram post on Fri­day.

Ac­com­pa­nied with a pic­ture of the two, the cap­tion read “Ku­zoshuba un­galwi no­muntu on­galwi nawe”, which loosely trans­lated means: “It’s go­ing to get tough/ugly, don’t fight with some­one who is not fight­ing you.”

Speak­ing to In­de­pen­dent Me­dia yes­ter­day, Mot­latsi said Ja­cob Zuma and his fam­ily al­ways be­lieved they were above the coun­try and above the ANC and saw no fault in their ac­tions.

“It doesn’t sur­prise me that she made such com­ments be­cause JZ (Zuma) once said that the ANC was above the coun­try. Since he be­lieves he is above the ANC, he doesn’t see any­thing wrong with the al­le­ga­tions against him and nei­ther does his fam­ily.

“They think we must pay some al­le­giance to him but we are say­ing no,” Mot­latsi said.

Mot­latsi de­scribed the in­ci­dent as “un­for­tu­nate” but said he had not had time to dis­cuss it with Ramaphosa.

He said Zuma clas­si­fied Ramaphosa as a spy for West­ern cap­i­tal­ists and dur­ing the course of last year, Mot­latsi said, he en­cour­aged Zuma to pro­vide ev­i­dence.

“Now his wife is join­ing the cho­rus. In South Africa we are hun­gry and thirsty for unity. When there is unity we will be able to map up our eco­nomic growth but JZ and his fam­ily are try­ing to de­stroy it,” Mot­latsi said.

With more than 93 000 fol­low­ers and some 1 200 posts on her In­sta­gram ac­count (first­la­dytzuma), Madiba Zuma can most cer­tainly be called a so­cial (me­dia) but­ter­fly.

She may have used her most re­cent post to throw shade on Ramaphosa, but Madiba Zuma’s ac­count dis­plays, in the most part, her love for her fam­ily and hus­band.

Thobeka Madiba Zuma

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