ANC’S GAMBLE WITH CROWD-PULLER ZUMA COULD BE MASSIVE MISTAKE’
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.