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By Citizen Reporter


ANC confident to deal with SA’s challenges, respects Zuma is president – Zulu

Zulu's comments come after last week's report that ANC dissenters have allegedly been threatened.

In the face of reports that those who are seen to speak out against President Jacob Zuma have allegedly received death threats, other members of the ANC have come out saying the party would defend the president.

TimesLive on Sunday quoted Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu as saying, as members of the African National Congress, they would continue to defend the president as long as he was a party member and that they would respect that he was president of the country as long as he is president.

Zulu further said some of the attacks on Zuma were “very painful” but added the party was able to deal with the challenges it confronted and to unite citizens.

Zulu’s comments come after thousands of South Africans took to the streets in anti-Zuma protests on Friday in a bid to call for Zuma to step down as president.

Opposition parties are reportedly organising a National Day of Action in which they will march from Church Square in Pretoria at noon on Wednesday to the Union Buildings in a bid for President Jacob Zuma to be removed from office.

READ MORE: Anti-Zuma protests build momentum as opposition parties call for another march

South Africans living in London contributed to the protest action too, with an anti-Zuma protest taking place outside the South African High Commission in Trafalgar Square.

Some of the protest action on Friday saw the ANC and ANCYL take to the streets in defence of Zuma as president. About 2 500 ANC supporters and 700 MKUmkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association members gathered around the ANC headquarters on Friday to protect Luthuli House and support Zuma.

READ MORE: MK vets went to Luthuli House to protect Zuma and ANC, says Maphatsoe

But some members of the ANC have been seen to speak out against Zuma, particularly with regards to his Cabinet reshuffle. On Friday, the Mail & Guardian reported that three such ANC members – ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu and National Executive Committee (NEC) member and Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu – had been threatened.

The report said threatening messages had been sent to Mantashe and Mthembu, who were also reportedly been labelled CIA spies, with Mthembu further reportedly being accused of “conniving with opposition parties to plot a ‘coup’ against Zuma”.

Meanwhile, Sisulu is reported to have allegedly escaped two assassination attempts.

READ MORE: Sisulu, Mantashe, Mthembu ‘receive death threats’ for opposing Zuma

Zulu’s statements further come after Standard and Poor last Monday announced it had downgraded South Africa to sub-investment grade following recent changes to the Cabinet, which was followed on Friday by the announcement that Fitch Ratings downgraded South Africa’s Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to ‘BB+’ from ‘BBB-‘.

READ MORE: Fitch downgrades South Africa to junk status

Zulu at the weekend further reportedly stated that the ANC was studying the implications of the downgrades.

On Saturday, Zuma used his final moments on the podium at the unveiling of the tombstone ceremony for the late minister of public service and administration, Collins Chabane, on Saturday, saying it was ‘terrible’ and ‘dangerous’ politics to use memorial services and funerals to fight political battles and perpetuate disunity.

Zuma continued: “You can’t use a comrade when he can no longer talk for himself. To use him, however much he adhered or she adhered, to the principles and values of the ANC, unlike today where there is no leadership. You can’t do so. That’s terrible politics, in fact, dangerous politics.”

This was met with cheers from the audience.

READ MORE: Don’t use comrades’ funerals as platforms to perpetuate disunity – Zuma

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Lindiwe Zulu

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