The ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal leadership had pledged its allegiance to incoming president Cyril Ramaphosa, saying it will “protect” him and ensure that the resolutions of the party’s 54th national conference are implemented.
It will, however, hold a series of “welcome home” events for former president Jacob Zuma, who it says was the victim of a counter-revolutionary agenda because of the pro-poor policies the ANC had adopted under his leadership.
The province had backed Ramaphosa’s rival for the ANC presidency in December, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and had opposed the drive by the party national executive committee NEC to remove Zuma from office before the end of his term.
Sihle Zikalala, former chairperson and currently coordinator of the provincial task team responsible for re-running the party’s provincial conference, said Ramaphosa would lead the ANC and the country “very well’’.
“We will continue to support the leadership under president Cyril Ramaphosa and ensure that we accelerate the implementation of our 54th conference resolutions without delay and compromise,” Zikalala said. “We will continue to protect comrade Ramaphosa and will be at the rear and flanks, turning the manufactured advance of counter revolutionaries into a rout.”
Zikalala said they would back Ramaphosa ‘to the hilt’ against the opposition and ensure the success of his presidency.
He said there was no proposal to try and limit Ramaphosa to a single term, but that any decision about that would depend on the material conditions at the time. Zikalala said the reasons for Zuma’s removal given by the NEC were ‘’our reasons’’ and that KwaZulu-Natal accepted them.
“Once a decision is taken, it becomes binding to all of us. We are the ones who are going to ensure that that decision is defended. We are the ones who are going to defend it,” he said.
Zikalala said Zuma had been the target of “Zumaphobia” campaign, which was also aimed, more broadly, at removing the ANC from power.
He said Zuma remained a ‘very important cadre’ of the ANC and that the organisation would continue to use him to ensure his supporters remained behind the ANC. “I’m sure he is going to campaign for the ANC as we go forward. Having engaged with him I believe he is not going to undermine unity of the ANC,” Zikalala said.
Zikalala said preparations for the KwaZulu-Natal conference were going well. There had been an impact from the indecision of the past 10 days, but work was continuing, he said.
He said he was confidence the ANC could grow in the province and nationally under Ramaphosa.