The African National Congress’ (ANC) spokesperson Zizi Kodwa has, on behalf of the ruling party, cut ties with Kebby Maphatsoe and his statements describing 101 ANC veterans as “empty tins” and “without good struggle credentials.”
According to Kebby Maphatsoe, ANC stalwarts and veterans are attacking Zuma when they shouldn’t.
“Some of those veterans don’t have good struggle credentials. Those who have good struggle credentials are sitting in the processes of the ANC‚” he said. Adding that “they are empty tins making noise there.”
On Friday, the ruling party stated that the derogatory comments by the President’s defender have come to its notice. However, it maintained that the comments were not made in the name of the party.
“It is alleged that Kebby questioned the struggle credentials of some of the veterans. This assertion is unfortunate‚ irresponsible and does not represent the views of the ANC. Our veterans remain the fountain of wisdom for the entire congress.”
Meanwhile, ANC veterans‚ including Rivonia trialists Ahmed Kathrada and Andrew Mlangeni and Frank Chikane; Frene Ginwala and Murphy Morobe‚ lamented on Thursday about the state of the nation. Apparently, they have been trying to get a meeting with Zuma since September to no avail.
It’s no longer a secret that the veterans want Zuma to step down for the sake of the party and that of the nation. They want him to resign while the ANC holds a special congress to elect new leadership. Thus, they called on ANC leadership across the nation to openly oppose the state of the party.
Kodwa identified with the concerns of the stalwarts saying;
“We have further noted the issues that stalwarts and veterans … have raised in the public domain. The ANC will continue engaging with respect and humility with all as we introspect and correct our movement in order to strengthen their own organisation – the ANC.”
In the meantime, the veterans have garnered the support of former president Thabo Mbeki. Accordingly, Mbeki wrote a letter to Zuma on Tuesday, requesting him to give the veterans an audience. His letter emphasised the need for those who occupy administrative positions to respect the party’s veterans, who are eminent leaders of our movement.