Women put it out there for Zuma

The ANC Women’s League was to embark on a march to the Union Buildings on Friday October 30 to voice its support for President Jacob Zuma. Though the women’s league listed several things they wanted to march for or against, the action was widely seen as a reaction to the student march on the Union Buildings a week earlier. League secretary general Meokgo Matuba talked about the march.

Why is there a need to defend President Jacob Zuma and what are you defending him from?
The face of the ANC is its president. The march is not about the president, but there are issues that are being raised as being about the president which are in effect attacking the organisation. We will defend any leader of the ANC.

Then what is the objective of embarking on this march if not to defend Zuma?
As part of celebrating the longest serving president, OR Tambo, we felt there is a need to also defend our revolution as women. We know the ANC is under attack and there is a need to defend the gains of the national democratic revolution. We noted there are still challenges that we want to highlight to the leadership of the ANC in government, such as gender inequality, unemployment, gender-based violence and the need to fast- track the ANC’s policy of free education. The ANC government must address the issue of registration fees for our poor students because it is an impediment to their education. Until we realise the implementation of free education for all, we must for now make it possible for our poor children to get quality education.

Why aren’t you taking your grievances to Luthuli House if the main aim of your march is to defend the organisation and its president?
We are part of ANC resolutions due to our participation in the ANC national executive committee, conferences and the national general council. Our issue is that these resolutions must be implemented by our organisation’s deployees in the ANC-led government. Our [task] is to conscientise and remind them of the need to implement these resolutions.

At your national congress it was evident that the women’s league is not in good financial health. How are you going to fund this march?
We are all volunteers and we believe in volunteering our services to the ANC. Those who are able to assist us in the organisation will do that. We also contribute as individual members to make sure the organisation is financially stable, though there are some who are in a position to contribute better than others.

Is the women’s league perhaps reacting to the #FeesMustFall student protests that seem to have questioned President Zuma’s leadership?
We are not reacting to the students’ protests. We are mothers and parents, we pay the fees so we supported the #FeesMustFall protests because we know what it aims to achieve and [we] agree with that. This march is part of our national programme that we decided on at our national executive committee meeting in September. We said while we celebrate the life of OR Tambo [whose birthday month is October] we will have this march. It’s a long-planned thing, hence we have mobilised in all the nine provinces.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Mmanaledi Mataboge
Guest Author

Inside Facebook’s big bet on Africa

New undersea cables will massively increase bandwidth to the continent

No back to school for teachers just yet

Last week the basic education minister was adamant that teachers will return to school on May 25, but some provinces say not all Covid-19 measures are in place to prevent its spread

Engineering slips out of gear at varsity

Walter Sisulu University wants to reprioritise R178-million that it stands to give back to treasury after failing to spend it

Lockdown relief scheme payouts to employees tops R14-billion

Now employers and employees can apply to the Unemployment Insurance Fund for relief scheme payments

Press Releases

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

Call for applications for the position of GCRO executive director

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory is seeking to appoint a high-calibre researcher and manager to be the executive director and to lead it

DriveRisk stays safe with high-tech thermal camera solution

Itec Evolve installed the screening device within a few days to help the driver behaviour company become compliant with health and safety regulations

Senwes launches Agri Value Chain Food Umbrella

South African farmers can now help to feed the needy by donating part of their bumper maize crop to delivery number 418668

Ethics and internal financial controls add value to the public sector

National treasury is rolling out accounting technician training programmes to upskill those who work in its finance units in public sector accounting principles

Lessons from South Korea for Africa’s development

'Leaders can push people through, through their vision and inspiration, based on their exemplary actions'

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday