Tshwane ANC members who organised the “unfortunate” #ZumaMustGo march have made an about-turn, apologising for organising yesterday’s failed demonstration, saying it was “ill-conceived”.
Through a video sent to the media on behalf of the organisers of the march, Ward 80 deputy chairperson, Saintjay Manyasha, expressed “sincere” apologies and regret to South Africans and the ANC yesterday for their “utterances” against President Jacob Zuma during a press briefing on Sunday.
“We particularly apologise for having organised a Zuma Must Go march which was to be held yesterday… We further want to state that our actions were highly regrettable, ill-conceived and we accept that this was an error of judgment on our side…” he said.
“We believe our NEC collective is capable of dealing with all ANC internal matters and broader issues faced by our people across the land. We humble ourselves to the ANC and the people of South Africa and hereby ask for your pardon.”
The group and some who said they were members of the SACP had vowed to shut down Pretoria and parts of the country and march to the Union Buildings to call on Zuma to go.
While the ANC had distanced itself from the march, SACP said the man said to represent the party was not part of their structure.
The organisers were left with egg on their face when the march attracted no crowd or support.
Planned to commence at 8am at Burgers Park in Pretoria yesterday, the national shutdown was a blunder that left media waiting on the lawns for action for over four hours.
By noon, journalists were called to a briefing by national convenor of the march, Hangwi Maumela, who claimed the march was not a failure, but that they received threats from “Zuma’s operation”.
Shortly before commencement of the march, he said two vehicles with armed people, were parked near the gathering.
“We took the number plates and will investigate who those people are. Some of our members were threatened, hence we pushed people to stay in private places… We were threatened to be killed if we continue saying Zuma must fall. The plan of the enemy is to defeat us in the call we are making,” he said.
Maumela added that he met with members of the ANC national executive committee, who pleaded with him to postpone the march as talks to remove the president would be finalised.
“We are not shaken… We will continue with the call that Zuma must go.”