Protests are opposition to radical transformation - Dlamini-Zuma
Sasolburg - It is clear that there is going to be opposition to radical economic transformation, says former African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
This is the view she shared on the much-debated topic and the recent protests calling for President Jacob Zuma to step down.
Zuma, in defending his recent Cabinet reshuffle, said the remaining years of his term would focus on radical economic transformation.
There has been widespread outrage over the decision to fire former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas. The move has since prompted two massive public demonstrations.
"This is the first time I hear of banks allowing people to go out to the streets and close banks, the first time I hear companies [closing down to support the protests] so it's clear radical economic transformation is going to be opposed," Dlamini-Zuma on Thursday.
She was speaking at a cadres' assembly in the Free State.
No president should be 'elected through the streets'
The provincial chairperson Ace Magashule and several ANC national executive committee members addressed branches from the province following an extended national working committee meeting of the party.
Zuma's decision not to consult the ANC's top six and alliance partners has been a source of conflict in the party.
She urged members of the ANC to be steadfast when confronted by the opposition, telling them not to run away but instead defend the ANC.
"We are not going to have presidents who are elected through the streets when we have a Constitution that says how we should elect, how democracy says it should be done," said Dlamini-Zuma.
She also said in the past people used to take to the streets because there was no legitimate government in the country.
Something 'strange' about a secret ballot
The ANC presidential hopeful said she was happy her political party didn't want its members of Parliament to vote in a secret ballot when a motion of no confidence against Zuma takes place in the National Assembly.
MPs were meant to debate the issue on April 18 but it has since been postponed to allow processes around an application for a secret ballot, which is before the Constitutional Court.
"As a public official, you are there to represent the electorate and there to represent the ANC. Why would you want to hide what you are doing in Parliament? There must be something wrong there and I'm glad the ANC would not agree to that," she said.
The ANC has told its MPs it expects them to toe the party line and not vote with the opposition in the motion of no confidence against the president.
"Because even if you want to vote, whichever way, you must do it with integrity and be able to defend your position. Why do you want to do things and hide? It's strange," she added. News24
Kids taught at schools that ANC is corrupt
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma also raised concerns over what she termed a negative narrative against the governing party, saying the narrative was perpetuated at schools and universities.
"They [kids] are actually taught against the ANC," Dlamini-Zuma said.
"It’s not surprising that kids will think the ANC is corrupt‚ [or that the] ANC is useless, because this is what they are fed at school."
She alleged that some universities, such as the University of the Witwatersrand, refused to allow their students to call South Africa a democracy.
She claimed most schools would only say there is democracy and freedom in South Africa once another party took over.
Dlamini-Zuma said ANC members needed to constantly be aware of the balance of power.
"We must be honest when we analyse what's going on. We can't not admit that the organisation is weak at this point in time," she said.
Once we are weak and once we are divided, we cannot mobilise and unite society, she added.
Dlamini-Zuma also warned the ANC of the danger the party faced should it not play its role in society properly.
"The laws of nature, let alone politics, will not allow a vacuum. Where the ANC leaves a vacuum, you can see others will come in," said Dlamini-Zuma.
Meanwhile, Magashule, who praised the former AU commission chair, said she should not say no when the branches called upon her to lead.
Magashule said he was not throwing a name into the race for succession, but did say he felt Dlamini-Zuma had all that was required to lead.
"She's very much capable, if she can lead the AU, she can lead the ANC and South Africa," said Magashule.
He said the province would only make its views heard once the ANC officially opened the nomination process. The party's current leadership will step down in December when the ANC holds its 54th national elective conference.
"We have many capable leaders, just that we have to choose one to lead us," he said.