Malema joins anti-Zuma song
ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema fervently joined in the singing of anti-President Jacob Zuma songs at the hotly contested provincial ANC conference held at the University of Limpopo yesterday.
Battle lines were clearly drawn as delegates - including Malema - loyal to premier Cassel Mathale sang derogatory songs about Zuma ahead of the first day of the heated provincial conference.
As the conference got underway, delegates were divided into one faction loyal to Mathale and the other to Joe Phaahla, the deputy arts and culture minister. The two are vying for the position of ANC Limpopo chairman. An anti-Zuma sentiment prevailed among Mathale's supporters, who sang "Shawara wa re sokodisa" (the shower is giving us a hard time).
Malema, pictured , also joined in the singing, holding his open hand over his head to symbolise a showerhead.
This is likely to further put Malema in trouble with the ANC leadership ahead of his appeal against his suspension from the party.
For brief moment unity prevailed during the singing of the national anthem, as for the first time both factions literally sang from the same hymn sheet.
But as soon as the anthem singing was done, the insults continued to fly.
The Phaahla grouping did not sit back and broke into Zuma's trademark "Mshini wam'" song.
Meanwhile Limpopo finance MEC David Masondo has torn into Zuma's cabinet, accusing the national government of "factionalism" and staging a "political coup" aimed at influencing the outcome of the conference.
In a document widely circulated on social networks, Masondo - who is the provincial ANC spokesman - slammed the cabinet's decision to take over the running of five Limpopo departments, saying it was driven by nefarious political motives and was aimed at embarrassing Mathale's government in order to isolate him from the party's members.
A storm was sparked by the national Cabinet decision to place five Limpopo departments under administration.
This was after the province asked the national Treasury to increase its overdraft from R700m to R1.7bn as it was struggling to pay wages and suppliers. But what the province got was an intervention in terms of Section 100 (b) of the Constitution, which allows for national government to take over struggling provincial departments.
Two other provinces, Gauteng and Free State, are also to be helped run some of their struggling departments.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who is spearheading the intervention, has denied accusations that the decision was taken to embarrass Mathale, who is close to Malema.
The Malema faction wants to oust President Jacob Zuma at the ANC elective conference in Mangaung next year and replace him with his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe.
Writing in his personal capacity, Masondo tore into the reasons for placing the provincial departments under administration.
Masondo said the campaign to isolate ANC leaders aligned to Mathale had been intensified ahead of the provincial conference.
"Part of the tactic has been to run a campaign through the media accompanied by sporadic and well-timed anti-corruption marches by forces with serious political and economic interests in order to justify the coup against the current leadership in government. This has failed."
He said while other provinces had similar or even worse problems, Limpopo was the only province that had been placed under Section 100 (b).