The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) has expressed total disappointment and fury about Sipho Pityana’s “disgusted” and “unruly” character at the funeral of Makhenkesi Stofile at Fort Hare University.
On Thursday, during the funeral of the former South African Sports minister, Pityana – a one-time Director-General of the Department of Labour during Nelson Mandela’s regime, labelled president Jacob Zuma a ‘full-time thief’ and ‘looter’.
The funeral, which dramatically turned into a political event saw Sipho Pityana told the capacity crowd at the 5,000-seater university sports complex that Stofile was disappointed by Zuma’s leadership before his demise.
Pityana dished out his well-prepared anti-Zuma speech in the presence of Vice President, Cyril Ramaphosa, who stood in for the president.
He slammed Zuma further by saying:
“If the president was here, I would have asked him as my leader, I would have begged him, I would have prayed, saying: My big brother, Msholozi, hand over the reins!. The next battle cannot be led by a leader who has humiliated our organisation and undermined everything that we represent.”
While his 30-minutes speech lasted, the ANC veteran also urged President Zuma to save the drowning ANC by stepping aside as South African President since he defiantly decided to defy his constitutional duty.
He said: “when the constitutional court makes a finding that you broke your oath of office, what it means is that you are honorable no longer. What it means is that you are untrustworthy.”
The defiant senior ANC member further lashed Zuma for acting in a manner contrary to the late minister; by building his controversial Nkandla “palace in a sea of poverty”.
Perturbed by Sipho Pityana’s speech, the ANCYL on Friday said in a statement:
“…these comrades, who chose a funeral service to vent their anger and frustration, should have known better that African value systems and customs do not allow this no matter how one seeks to please his fellow counter-revolutionaries.
To have been with us and served in our ranks does not entitle anyone to behave in a counter-revolutionary manner, worse on an occasion to honour and bid farewell to one of our greatest icons.”
Responding to the blistering attack also, ANC Secretary-General, Gwede Mantashe, who also graced the funeral insisted that the ruling party cannot be pushed to change its policies because of speeches delivered at funerals.
He, however, promised that the ANC will not take legal actions against the wide-mouthed member, who decided to vent his grudges against President Zuma in the public.