BLF believes it has ticket for elections – radical transformation
TALKS of the Black First Land First movement (BLF) running for the 2019 elections were at the forefront of discussions among supporters that gathered outside the Durban High Court on Friday when former president Jacob Zuma appeared for the first time since the reinstatement of charges against him.
The former president is facing charges of money laundering, corruption and racketeering.
Thabi Myeni, secretary of the gender and sexuality movement in the BLF, said they believed the ANC had done Zuma wrong and that the radical economic transformation movement within the ANC was the only faction that had “found the right path”.
“I believe they (the ANC) will get votes next year but the BLF movement is also pushing to run for elections and we’re going to run using these policies. We are going to push these policies that the ANC has left behind,” Myeni said.
The BLF movement had a strong presence outside the high court, with many saying they had not slept as they were part of an all-night vigil for Zuma that started the day before at Albert Park.
Nokuthula Msomi, from KwaMashu, who attended the march, said Zuma had been vilified and cast as an unwanted figure although she felt he was important to the ANC, particularly the voters from KwaZulu-Natal, ahead of next year’s elections.
She said Zuma had an ability to resonate with many of the province’s citizens and the way the ANC national executive committee had treated him by forcing him out of office might come back to hurt it next year if Zuma’s backers decided not to vote for the party.
However, she said she would remain loyal to the ANC despite her objections to his ousting.
“As we came out in his support as party members and supporters in KZN, it was a show of solidarity with him… but I won’t desert the ANC,” Msomi said.
One woman, who ignored the ban on wearing ANC regalia, said she was still an ANC supporter and would vote for the party she had supported her entire life in the 2019 elections.
“We are members of the ANC so we will still vote ANC, but that doesn’t mean we cannot support our president,” she said.
IFP member Melwa Mzimela, who bravely wore his party’s regalia, said he was there in support of all the people who were suffering in South Africa because of Zuma.
He said all those who were present to support Zuma were there to support corruption.
“These are not ANC supporters. We know the ANC and it is not a corrupt party that supports corruption, but these people are here only to support corruption that has been done by one person, Zuma,” Mzimela said.
He said the IFP was ready for 2019 and that they were confident of gaining the votes that were lost to the ANC in the past.
Another Zuma supporter, Kwenza Nzimande, said the former president was being singled out and being made to bear the brunt of the law despite the ANC being riddled with corrupt individuals.
“Zuma’s dignity is being attacked because if he indeed was involved in corrupt activities, then surely he was not alone. The ANC is biased in the way it handled Zuma because corruption didn’t start with Zuma.
“There are many individuals who have been involved in corruption in the ANC who should also have been prosecuted, but now it’s all on Zuma. He has not been treated fairly by his own party,” Nzimande said.
He said in KZN alone there were thousands of voters who voted for the ANC because Zuma was their hope and that the party was at a huge risk of alienating that support base.
“When I vote next year I will only do so for the ANC because it’s the ruling party right now, but I already doubt its power and ability to lead.”