President Zuma’s campaign ship has once again steered clear of the site where mineworkers were gunned down by police in Marikana in North West in 2012.
Arrangements for his door-to-door campaign in Wonderkop, Marikana, remained unchanged until Zuma dramatically called off the visit on Wednesday evening.
In a statement issued by the ANC on Wednesday, the party said Zuma will no longer campaign in Marikana but that his campaign ship will head to Maboloka in Madibeng – which is part of the Bojanala region.
Notably, Moboloka is an ANC stronghold where the party got more than 80 percent of the votes during the national and provincial elections in 2014.
BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that Marikana residents had earlier threatened to rain stones on Zuma should he visit the area.
Others vowed to boo him if he arrives the area.
“I don’t want to see that. The peace here is fragile and it will take a small thing to trigger anger again.
He knows his sins and what he did here in 2012; we don’t want him,” a resident said.
This is the second time in less than six months that the president has seemingly avoided going to Marikana.
In January, Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu dramatically stood in place of Zuma during a handover ceremony.
The ceremony which saw new houses handed over to Marikana West residents was part of the ANC’s annual January 8 celebrations.
Marikana become politically significant after police gunned down striking miners in the area in what has become known as the Marikana massacre.
Following the massacre, many people’s perceptions are that the area became a Zuma and ANC no-go area after the president failed to talk to the aggrieved miners.
In contrast however, the area remains a home and strong foothold of the EFF and its leader Julius Malema; who often receive a warm welcome.
Reacting to the change in programme, ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said “It’s not us who change it. It is the provinces themselves that sometimes say they spoke to regions and think it would add value if the president campaigned in a different area.”
Be that as it may, many Marikana residents maintained that the first time Zuma had a chance to address the people after 2012 was not utilized; therefore his presence is not welcome.