The Mercury

‘Focus on your own problems’

- Bongani Hans

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has called on the SACP and Cosatu to focus on dealing with their own problems instead of discussing ANC leadership succession.

Zuma said the SACP had failed to advocate for socialism, which was much needed in South Africa, while Cosatu had paid little attention to challenges facing the workers.

He was addressing hundreds of church leaders, their followers and ANC supporters in Durban yesterday at a prayer service to protect him from his political enemies.

Zuma lashed out at certain ANC leaders for holding meetings in “dark corners” to discuss party matters, instead of doing so within legitimate party structures.

Zuma said, of late, ANC alliance partners had held meetings “the whole weekend” to discuss ANC issues, instead of their own internal problems.

The prayer gathering was in response to several calls from opposition parties for Zuma to step down as President of the country. Opposition parties had held marches calling for him to leave after he reshuffled the cabinet, which led to the sacking of former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas.

The SACP, Cosatu and Sanco have already endorsed deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa as the next party leader against Zuma’s preferred candidate, former African Union Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

In reference to the SACP, Zuma said “some people should talk about socialism instead of the ANC”.

“They have time to waste discussing ANC on Saturday and Sunday. They don’t talk about themselves while they have serious problems.

“We were told that we are going to adopt socialism. When are we going to start fighting for it? From the morning, the person is not talking about socialism, but he is just talking about the ANC,” he said.

Turning his attention to Cosatu, Zuma said the union should focus on workers’ issues, as the world was approachin­g the fourth industrial revolution, where “computers are taking jobs from workers”.

“We don’t hear them discussing the future of the workers, but they are busy discussing the ANC.

“Ever since the ANC was formed, you have never heard it, even a single day, discussing one of the alliance partners.”

He added that at ANC meetings, the party would either discuss its own way forward or its challenges.

Zuma also raised concerns that he was being targeted within the ANC, although he would not contest to retain his position, either in the December party national conference or in the 2019 general elections.

“This president is not contesting against anyone, and he is only preparing to retire and enjoy his pension. Why is (he) ... being attacked?” he asked.

He challenged his opponents within the ruling party to tell him what wrong had he committed against them. “We must ask those of us who have grouped themselves, why are they fighting against a person who is walking out ...

“We must ask why the leadership battle is so intense ... We must ask what makes people fight so much against their own movement. What is (more) important than the movement,” he asked.

Organiser of the meeting, Bishop Laurence Mahlakwane, said the church leaders in eThekwini would defend Zuma because the position had been bestowed upon him by God.

 ?? PICTURE BONGANI MBATHA ?? President Jacob Zuma at Durban’s People’s Park after he was invited by the diffrent churches to pray for him outside Moses Mabhida Stedium.
PICTURE BONGANI MBATHA President Jacob Zuma at Durban’s People’s Park after he was invited by the diffrent churches to pray for him outside Moses Mabhida Stedium.

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