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By Eric Naki

Political Editor


Why ANC’s KZN campaign still ‘needs crowd-puller Zuma’

The party in the province disagreed that it is not fully behind ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa, insisting that Zuma is 'just doing his duty'.


Former ANC president Jacob Zuma has been roped in to help the party campaign in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal, as rank and file members still look up to him there.

Political analyst Xolani Dube said the provincial executive committee (PEC) was weak and little known, so there was no choice but to bring in Zuma, who was still popular.

Yesterday, Zuma joined ANC volunteers in a Thuma Mina campaign in the urban eThekwini and Moses Mabhida regions.

Dube said President Cyril Ramaphosa had to accept that Zuma must be part of the outreach programme in those regions. He said the ANC leadership in the province was flip-flopping their support between Ramaphosa and Zuma.

“The ANC in this province is very divided. They are not fully behind Ramaphosa. To be relevant for government benefits they must be with Cyril and to be current and relevant with KZN branches they must be with JZ.”

But the KZN ANC disagreed, saying there was nothing untoward in what Zuma was doing.

Party provincial spokesperson Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said Zuma was doing his duty like any ANC member. She dismissed any suggestion that he participated in the Thuma Mina ANC campaign to sabotage it or to spy.

“He has a responsibility to campaign for the ANC and to do all the duties assigned to him or to volunteer to undertake any responsibility on behalf of the ANC,” Simelane-Zulu said.

Dube said the PEC was using Zuma to fill the stadium for the ANC’s annual January 8 statement because he was a crowd-puller.

“But in the process, they are undermining themselves,” Dube said.

That the party had to rely on Zuma to campaign in KZN confirmed he was still in charge there, he said, warning that Zuma was a strategist who could use that opportunity to win his personal battles.

Simelane-Zulu cited other former ministers from the province who were involved in the campaign there. “What Zuma is doing is not extraordinary. He is doing what he is supposed to as an ANC member.”

ericn@citizen.co.za

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