SoNA chaos: KZN cries tribalism against Zuma, Zulusfrom SAVIOUS KWINIKA in Durban, South Africa
DURBAN, (CAJ News) – THE aftermath of the chaotic State of the Nations Address (SoNA) has taken a new twist with villagers in President Jacob Zuma’s KwaZulu-Natal homeland accusing his detractors of tribalism.
Villagers expressed dismay at the disruption of the President’s address, mostly by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), arguing it was aimed at “undermining Zulus.”
The Zulu are the largest ethnic group in South Africa and are known for upholding traditional values centred on the respect of elders and leaders.
Xolani Mkhize of Msinga said such behaviour towards Zuma “must be stopped.”
“We in KwaZulu Natal view the continuous disruptions of Zuma’s Parliamentary business as purely persecution and tribalism by people who do not wish to see a Zulu man leading the country,” said Mkhize.
He referred earlier incidents in Parliament when EFF, a breakaway formation from the African National Congress Youth League, booed Zuma.
“I strongly believe the EFF lacks respect towards elders of this country, particularly Zulus,” said Mkhize of the firebrand opposition lead by controversial Julius Malema.
The party was involved in skirmishes with police as they defied orders to leave the House after disrupting the SoNA.
Bongani Qwabe of Nkandla, the town Zuma hails from, said while the disruptions could have been managed had Zuma answered the questions, he however was of the opinion that tribalism at national political level was “rife”, especially against Zulu speaking people.
“Of past and present presidents of this great nation, we have never seen a sitting head of state being heckled just like that in Parliament.
Previous elected Heads of State, Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, are from the Xhosa tribe.
“I have a deep feeling that these unfolding events are anti-Zulus, hence persistent embarrassment of Zuma each time he appears in Parliament,” said Qwabe.
However, Njabulo Nkabinde of Mnambithi blamed the ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe, of exposing Zuma to ridicule.
“He (Mantashe) has too much hatred for EFF. He has thus contributed to this circus in Parliament. He could have advised the President to answer the EFF’s questions before SoNA.
“His arrogance invited trouble for Zuma. ANC needs professionals to manage their public image, otherwise too much arrogance by the ruling party is worsening both political and economic issues of the country,” Nkabinde charged.
Osward Mbatha of Newcastle hailed the manner in which Zuma handled the situation on Thursday.
“While I’m deeply disappointed by the disruptions of Zuma’s speech, I also laud him for remaining as cool as cucumber. He showed some maturity,” said Mbatha.
The upgrade of Zuma’s Nkadla, KwaZulu-Natal homestead, which the Public Protector concluded was irregular, is the source of the tensions between Zuma and the EFF.
The Public Protector last year ordered Zuma to pay back some of the money spent on the upgrades, which reportedly cost more R240 million.
– CAJ News
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