The National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) in the KZN midlands has slammed President Jacob Zuma over remarks made while unveiling a statue of struggle stalwart Harry Gwala in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday.
According to the union, such attacks showed that Zuma has no capacity to unite the tripartite alliance or the country.
Zuma who delivered the main address in Caluza, Pietermaritzburg, said Gwala had been a disciplined leader in the alliance, and would have been disappointed by calls from some South African Communist Party (SACP) leaders who were calling for a breakaway from the alliance. He added that such calls and criticism were from individuals who lacked maturity in politics.
Responding on Monday evening to Zuma’s remarks, Zimasile Giyama of Nehawu’s Harry Gwala region, said it was unfortunate that the ANC president had opted to use the unveiling of Gwala’s statue to launch an attack on the SACP.
“In the recent past we have noted with dismay, the use of the dead in order to narrowly persecute the living and the President of the ANC did not hesitate in joining the bandwagon in this regard,” said Giyama.
He added they expected that as a senior, Zuma should have used the occasion to indicate how local people would be assisted to be freed from the scourge of poverty. “Surely the people of Caluza and Greater Edendale were not interested in listening to how well the President could ridicule and mock communists, but were hopeful that, just maybe, his inclination will be towards solving their immediate challenges of unemployment, poverty and destitution,” the secretary continued.
According to Giyama, by attacking SACP members, Zuma encouraged factions and divisions and displayed a lack of leadership. “Zuma rudely reminded us why it was a correct decision to advise him to do the honourable thing and step down as he has no capacity or willingness to unite our movement or our country going forward. He remains a tainted president,” concluded Giyama.