The cold war going on between President Jacob Zuma and his deputy took a deeper turn for the worse on Sunday, as Ramaphosa called on Zuma not to pay deaf ears to the recent protests against the government.
The presidential hopeful told reporters after attending an Easter service at the St Engenas Zion Church in Moira, Limpopo, that it’s glaring that demonstrations against Zuma’s leadership were driven by real concern for the country’s future. Hence, the need to address them.
He stressed that democracy is shared by the people and leaders and not leaders only, adding that those who took to the street to speak out against Zuma must not be intimidated but listened to because “they are right to be concerned”.
“They’re raising their concerns, and I think what we should be doing as leaders are to listen to some of the concerns that are being raised by our people and reflect on the issues that they are raising. They want this country to win. So we should welcome the concerns that the people are raising,” Ramaphosa added.
While the service lasted, Zuma was also not spared by Bishop Engenas Joseph Lekganyane, who told the mammoth congregants – in the parable – that the division and infighting rocking the ANC and its leadership will definitely spell doom for everyone if not stopped or checked.
“When two elephants fight, I also get hurt. So we have to stop that. We all get hurt. White, Indian, Black. We all get hurt. Try to stop that. I thank you,” Bishop Engenas said.
Last week, President Jacob Zuma attacked opposition parties and organizers of the Anti-Zuma campaigns – which took place on April 7, 8 and 12 for leading a racist march against him.
April 12’s national action against Zuma was so significant as the protest saw multiple opposition parties holding their hands in unity against the embattled President – for the first time since the dawn of democracy.
— EFF Official Account (@EFFSouthAfrica) April 12, 2017
Likewise, today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has since hit the street of Polokwane in yet another planned march against President Jacob Zuma.
The DA had announced plans to march to the provincial treasury over the weekend as part of an ongoing action against Zuma.
The deputy president’s Easter criticism marks the second recently. Earlier this month, he launched a scathing attack on Zuma for reshuffling his cabinet without informing him or the leadership of the ruling party.
But the renowned businessman, as understood, was forced to eat his vomit during a subsequent ANC meeting with other top six members, where he, Gwede Mantashe and Zweli Mkhize were compelled to apologize to Zuma for attacking him in public.
Meanwhile, Ramaphosa is yet to comment on the upcoming motion of no confidence in Zuma’s leadership.