A post in an ANC members’ group on Facebook caught some attention after the poster noted that former president Jacob Zuma was drinking a different brand of bottled water to everyone else in a series of photos.
It led to the conclusion that Zuma had “trust issues” and had brought his own water to the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) event.
The post was accompanied by a comment that responded: “You highlighted that uBaba brings his own water cos kuna some trust issues within the movement…Some comrades are not aware how deep this purging goes…”
However, there were other photos of ANC members also drinking Valpre at the gathering (see below).
It was reported over the weekend in the Sunday Times that some in the ANC’s top decision-making structure between conferences, the NEC, consider the regular presence of Zuma in NEC meetings evidence that he is trying to “intimidate them”.
Several ANC members who spoke anonymously to the paper said there was “widespread unhappiness” about Zuma attending NEC meetings.
He was once again in attendance on Monday at an ANC Consultative Manifesto Workshop in Centurion, Gauteng.
His critics in the party have accused him of regularly showing up to ANC events in order to allegedly silence his enemies on raising issues critical of him. Zuma is the first former president of the ANC to attend NEC meetings so regularly in his capacity as an ex-officio NEC member.
Reportedly, Zuma sits quietly in the meetings observing proceedings from start to finish, without saying a word. “It becomes awkward,” one person told Sunday Times.
Zuma’s spokesperson said this was “hogwash”, however, and that Zuma was not trying to intimidate anyone. The ANC should be grateful that such an experienced and long-standing NEC member was gracing the group with his presence, he added. Another Zuma supporter also accused those opposed to him of being “cowards”.
Unlike the impression created about the “silent”, brooding Zuma at NEC meetings, numerous photos have been circulating on social media of the consultative event on Monday showing him interacting with ANC members and even using his chance to speak.
Take a look at some of the photos below:
As for the theory that Zuma was possibly scared of having his water poisoned (he has in the past said he’s been the victim of poisoning attempts), there were many other photos of ANC members also drinking Valpre.
Either they were also worried about being poisoned by their comrades, or there just happened to be a lot of Valpre around, and no one was trying to prevent themselves from being murdered.
Take a look and spot all the Valpre for yourself: