Saturday, December 17, 2011
Juju ridicules 'shower man'
Juju ridicules 'shower man'
SIBUSISO NGALWA | 18 December, 2011 02:13
ANC Youth League president Julius Malema has again ridiculed President Jacob Zuma, this time leading supporters in a song about how "the shower man is giving us a hard time" - while gesturing with a make-believe shower head at the party's Limpopo conference.
Celebrations in Juju's home town Malema's supporters demanded that Zuma be removed, accusing him of masterminding a "coup" in Limpopo.
Last week, Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan placed under national administration several key Limpopo departments responsible for awarding tenders. Malema is a beneficiary of several tenders.
Malema made his fresh attack at the University of Limpopo, where his key ally, premier Cassel Mathale, was fighting to retain his position as chairman.
The shower song was a reference to Zuma, who, in his rape trial in 2006, told the High Court in Johannesburg that he took a shower after having unprotected sex with his HIV-positive accuser.
Two years later, Malema, at a Free State rally, said he would "kill for Zuma". But now his antics will annoy Zuma, who is upset with Sunday Times cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro, also known as Zapiro, for portraying him with a shower extending from the top of his head. Zuma is currently suing Shapiro for R5-million in damages. The case is set for trial in August 2012.
Strong anti-Zuma sentiment prevailed among Mathale's supporters, who sang "showara wa re sokodisa (the shower man is giving us a hard time)" as Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe walked in.
Motlanthe didn't visibly react to the song or the gesture.
Malema is currently facing a five-year suspension from the party . He is appealing against the verdict . But if this latest assault on Zuma is regarded as a further breach of discipline, he may be expelled.
Yesterday, he sat on stage and fervently joined in the singing, holding his hand over his head to symbolise a shower head.
Mention of Malema by speakers at the conference drew contrasting reactions from delegates. Those supporting Mathale cheered at every mention of his name. But those supporting Joe Phaahla, who is challenging Mathale for the chairman's post, booed and rolled their hands in the famous soccer gesture denoting a substitution.
Malema and Mathale are known to be part of a faction that wants to oust Zuma at the party's elective conference in Manguang next year and replace him with Motlanthe.
ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu yesterday refused to comment on Malema's antics.
He said Luthuli House would be expecting a "full report" from the leaders it deployed to oversee the conference.
"I cannot comment on that now. The ANC leadership that is there will report, and we will take it from there," he said.
Another Malema ally, Limpopo finance MEC David Masondo, also tore into Zuma, accusing his government of "factionalism" and staging a "political coup".
Two weeks ago, the cabinet decided to take over the running of five Limpopo departments that needed at least R1.7-billion to pay wages and suppliers.
In a document, Masondo said the decision was aimed at embarrassing Mathale's government in order to politically isolate him.
Masondo wrote: "The strategy of the planners of the on-going coup seems to be premised on the logic that the current [Limpopo] ANC leadership has political support in the ANC because it controls levers of the state machinery.
"Therefore, the current ANC leaders in government have to be removed from the state."
It is expected that Masondo's document will be used by Mathale to push for a resolution calling for the withdrawal of the cabinet intervention or to defy it altogether.
Delivering the opening address, Motlanthe slammed the culture of electing leaders through "slates".
"Leadership is elected, based on the tasks that lie ahead, and cannot be a predetermined outcome of slates ... the practice of slates may have gained ground in our organisation over the last few years, but it is not in the culture of our movement."
He said leaders ended up being beholden to those who put them in power, instead of serving the people.
"Stealing away the voice of members through slates, buying votes and treating the ordinary membership as voting fodder therefore serves no other purpose than to corrupt."
Bloody end to ANC meeting
LULAMILE FENI | 13 December, 2011 00:29
Key political risks to watch in South Africa
ANC fears Sibiya murder suspect will be killed At least seven people were injured, one seriously, when an ANC meeting in Mthatha turned bloody on Sunday.
The meeting was convened to elect members of the party's provincial general council
Fists flew, shots were fired and people were stoned, stabbed or struck with sticks when factions clashed over who should attend the general meeting of the Bafana Mgabashe branch of the ANC at KwaDosi village.
The branch is in the King Sabata Dalindyebo municipality's ward 11, where there have been continuous fights over the choice of ward councillor. It is one of nine ANC branches with parallel structures.
Most of the victims suffered serious head injuries and were rushed to Mthatha General and Nelson Mandela Academic hospitals. Some were treated and discharged the same day, others were released yesterday.
All hell broke loose on Sunday afternoon when two parallel structures were locked in a confrontation over who should attend the meeting. ANC marshals had their hands full trying to separate the two feuding sides.
The meeting was aborted at about 5pm after no agreement could be reached and then violence broke out.
"Comrades from the provincial and regional executives decided that the meeting be postponed because of the confrontation," said Nkululeko Gili, chairman of the group denied access.
Both sides confirmed that the cause of the fight was access to the meeting.
Members were only allowed to enter the premises after producing ANC membership cards at the gate. Others wanted to do so at the door.
ANC provincial spokesman Mlibo Qoboshiyane said the fight was a continuation of the local government election "mayhem".
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Polokwane - The ANC is struggling to develop "cadres" who put the interests of the people first, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Saturday.
To deal with this problem of "cadres feathering their own nests”, Motlanthe said he wanted party branches to prioritise discipline and political education.
“Most of the challenges facing the organisation stem from the rapid growth of the organisation; with no attendant effort to educate members and leaders about the minimum expectations that come with the responsibility of being a member or a leader of the ANC,” he told delegates at the start of the ANC's elective congress in Limpopo.
Motlanthe said it was only through discipline and political education that "we can safeguard the values, culture and traditions that have earned [us] the trust of South Africans who've constantly voted [the ANC] into power".
Motlanthe emphasised the importance of unity within the ANC, saying members should manage their differences and rise above them.
“We cannot hate each other as the ANC members and still hope to love the people of South Africa. Love for each other is a precondition for the love we have for society,” he said.
He lamented the need for modern iconic heroes, saying "the ANC cannot bask in the glory of its history forever".
Motlanthe earlier warned delegates against voting according to factions.
“The emergence of slates within our organisational culture and the processes represent the worst form of corruption of the spirit, character and vision of the organisation," he said.
"The time has come for all of us in the ANC to condemn the slate culture to the dustbin of history."
ANC Limpopo chair and premier, Cassel Mathale, is battling it out at the conference against Deputy Arts and Culture Minister Joe Phaahla to retain his position.
Early indications are that Mathale allegedly has the most number of supporters at the conference. Mathale backers apparently include the provincial ANC Youth League, the women's league and the Peter Mokaba and Vhembe regions.
The Sekhuhune and Mopani regions want Phaahla to take over from Mathale - whose chances in retaining his position might have been threatened by the recent placing of some provincial department under administration by President Jacob Zuma.
Unity and discipline
Motlanthe warned that the leaders chosen during this conference would immediately have to get to work at instilling a sense of unity and discipline in the party structures.
Motlanthe, who sternly instructed howling delegates not to interrupt him while he was speaking, challenged the conference to determine what roles the party could allocate those members who had selflessly served it, but now could no longer do so because they were on the wrong slate.
Zuma was initially expected to address the delegates. However, the ANC has since replaced him with Motlanthe.
This was reportedly to save him embarrassment after it was learnt that delegates loyal to Mathale, were unhappy with him and had planned to boo him, especially after his decision to put five of Limpopo's departments under administration.
This was evident on Saturday when delegates gave a roaring "viva" for Motlanthe and a subdued one for Zuma.
Mathale supporters were confident that he would come out victorious, saying proceedings on Saturday were just a formality. Phaahla supporters also felt that their leader would come out victorious.
Results of the vote are expected on Sunday morning.
Read more on: anc | ancyl | jacob zuma | cassel mathale | kgalema motlanthe | joe phaahla | polokwane | politics
'Zuma purging opponents'
AMUKELANI CHAUKE | 07 December, 2011 00:21
Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane welcomes the cabinet's decision to intervene in its 'embarrassing' financial difficulties Picture: ALON SKUY
The Zuma cabinet's decision to place Limpopo's provincial government under national administration has ignited a political war, with senior ANC leaders being accused of purging their political opponents.
Two provinces near economic collapse
Limpopo timing suspicious: ANCYL On Monday, the cabinet announced that it would take over the running of five departments in Limpopo following what it called a "cash crisis" the provincial government found itself in two weeks ago.
The cabinet will also intervene in the Free State and Gauteng in respect of financial management and supply chain irregularities.
The ANC Youth League in Limpopo lambasted senior ANC leaders for using the Treasury to "purge" its leaders in the provincial government.
The league said the timing of the move was aimed at "reducing the confidence of ANC members in the current leadership" ahead of the party's provincial conference next week.
But trade union federation Cosatu and the SA Communist Party welcomed the decision.
Cosatu said the central government's support in Limpopo should be linked to "arrests and the dismissal of the culprits behind the mess". The union federation said it had in the past preferred charges of tender fraud and maladministration implicating senior ANC and ANC Youth League leaders. It called for Premier Cassel Mathale to resign.
SACP Limpopo provincial secretary Gilbert Kganyago said the ANC Youth League's attack on the cabinet's decision was "disingenuous" and invalid because the president had taken similar decisions to deal with maladministration, including the recent cabinet reshuffle.
The ANC Youth League in the province said the cabinet's decision was a "knee-jerk reaction" by leaders who were afraid of the possibility of a change of leadership at the party's elective conference in Mangaung in December next year.
In Gauteng, Premier Nomvula Mokonyane welcomed the cabinet's intervention, which will lead to the Treasury and the Department of Health assisting in the financial management of Gauteng's health department.
She said she was relieved that the national government would help her administration deal with an "embarrassing" situation.
But Cosatu has called for heads to roll in Gauteng following what it called the total collapse of health services in the province.
Cosatu said those responsible for the collapse should be brought to book.
Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven said health MEC Ntombi Mekgwe had inherited the mess from the previous MEC, Brian Hlongwa.
The Free State government also welcomed the cabinet's decision to intervene in its affairs.
Opposition parties have blamed the ANC's cadre deployment for the economic crises in the provinces.