ANC KZN secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli and provincial spokesperson Gugu Simelane said at a media briefing on Wednesday that former president Jacob Zuma’s seeming endorsement of Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama needed to be “understood in context”, the Mail & Guardian reports.
Addressing a crowd of supporters outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court after his appearance on charges of racketeering, corruption, money laundering and fraud last week, Zuma said: “Vote for this man [Mngxitama] because he wants issues to be resolved speedily.”
The former ANC president made the comments after declaring he would continue to campaign for the party ahead of the elections in 2019.
Soon after his apparent endorsement for Mngxitama, Zuma added unity among black South Africans was the key to solving their problems.
“Our disunity, fights among ourselves, is a disease that keeps us in perpetual poverty,” Zuma said.
The embattled politician further said the show of support during his legal battle should translate to votes for the ANC.
According to the M&G report, the ANC KZN leadership is of the view that the party should not take action against Zuma for endorsing Mngxitama.
The provincial leadership further wants the ANC national executive committee (NEC) to review its decision to not support Zuma during his court appearances.
Ntuli reportedly said at the briefing that the province would still raise its request with the party to review the NEC’s decision.
The provincial secretary said at the recent ANC KZN conference it had been decided that the province should adhere to the decision, adding the province, however, would have “to share its own experience of the implementation of that decision”.
Ntuli reportedly said he was not of the view that Zuma shared a close relationship with BLF, and added it would be unfair for the ANC to expect the former president to distance himself from support from different organisations during a trying time.
According to Ntuli, Zuma campaigning for another party is unimaginable.
The provincial secretary said he had not been aware of any ANC member approaching Zuma regarding the apparent Mngxitama endorsement.
Zuma had appeared in court on one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one of money laundering and 12 of fraud relating to his involvement in the controversial arms deal in the 1990s.
The case was postponed until November 30.