Sunday Observer - - NEWS - UR­BAN

D- Apart from be­ing heav­ily- im­pli­cated in state cap­ture, he ‘may have a hid­den agenda that would pre­vent him from pro­mot­ing Ramaphosa as pres­i­dent’.

It may be a tem­po­rary gain for the ANC to use its old crowd-puller, Ja­cob Zuma, as the leader of its cam­paign in KwaZulu-Natal, but the move may dent the party’s pub­lic im­age and cost it the votes it des­per­ately needs in 2019, po­lit­i­cal experts have ar­gued.

The an­a­lysts have also ques­tioned Zuma’s sin­cer­ity in cam­paign­ing for Cyril Ramaphosa, a man he re­gards as his ‘en­emy’ and who he has blamed for his cur­rent po­lit­i­cal and crim­i­nal woes.

Ramaphosa, as the ANC pres­i­dent, is the of­fi­cial face of the ANC cam­paign coun­try­wide – but KwaZulu-Natal has been an ex­cep­tion be­cause Zuma runs the show there. One of the an­a­lysts, Zakhele Ndlovu, said the ANC was caught be­tween a rock and a hard place as it had to en­gage Zuma to cam­paign in his home prov­ince.

“I think there is an un­der­stand­ing that for the ANC to do well in KZN, it must un­for­tu­nately use JZ be­cause he re­mains very pop­u­lar among the peo­ple in the prov­ince. “But Zuma is a li­a­bil­ity, who could cost the ANC sup­port in the cru­cial 2019 polls else­where in the coun­try.” Ndlovu said by us­ing Zuma in KwaZulu-Natal, the ANC opened it­self to se­vere crit­i­cism from op­po­si­tion par­ties be­cause the for­mer pres­i­dent was hi ghl y i mpli­cated in t he on­go­ing Com­mis­sion of In­quiry into State Cap­ture.

“He is clearly a li­a­bil­ity to the ANC. The op­po­si­tion can say the ANC is still us­ing some­one who is tainted, who sold the coun­try out to the Gup­tas and nor­malised cor­rup­tion,” Ndlovu said.

The fact that he was fac­ing cor­rup­tion charges and im­pli­cated heav­ily in ev­i­dence pre­sented dur­ing the in­quiry could be costly to the rul­ing party.

“There will be ques­tions from some peo­ple ask­ing why the ANC is us­ing a man who is tainted po­lit­i­cally,” said Ndlovu. Another KwaZulu-Natal-based an­a­lyst, Xolani Dube, high­lighted that, as an avowed op­po­nent of Ramaphosa, Zuma’s sin­cer­ity to cam­paign for the suc­cess of Ramaphosa’s Thuma Mina cam­paign was un­der ques­tion.

Dube said Zuma may have a hid­den agenda that would make him un­able to pro­mote Ramaphosa as pres­i­dent.


For­mer SA Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma.

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