Mon Sep 15 11:26:04 SAST 2014

Rampant Zuma dares detractors

Jan 22, 2012 | SIBUSISO NGALWA |

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma issued his sternest warning to his detractors that they don't have a future in the ANC if they are ill-disciplined.

 The ANC is a big party, if you don't understand it you may find yourself on the wrong side of things 

He also took a swipe at those "who defend" wrong-doing within the party.

Zuma, addressing provincial ANC centenary celebrations in East London yesterday, was harsh in his criticism of ill-discipline within the country.

In what could be interpreted as a veiled attack on errant ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema and his allies, Zuma said: "We must reach a point where discipline is exercised irrespective of the position you hold. this thing must end where if one comrade is doing wrong things, there are comrades who defend him. That must come to an end".

Zuma was speaking a week after ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa broke ranks from top six officials and appeared to be backing the embattled youth leader when he addressed a centenary rally in Limpopo.

"Let's not destroy this organisation of (ANC founding president John) Dube, (Oliver) Tambo and (Nelson) Mandela, you can't be bigger than them," said Zuma, to loud applause from the adoring crowd.

Zuma addressed a capacity crowd at the 16000-seater Absa Stadium, East London.

He did not mince his words as he clamped on ill-discipline. The speech, comparable to the one he delivered at the ANC national general council (NGC) in Durban in September 2010, he put discipline at the centre of the ruling party's growth.

"The ANC is a big party, if you don't understand it you may find yourself on the wrong side of things. you say stupid things thinking you are speaking on behalf of the ANC but soon you find out you are merely blabbing. It's a complex organisation. very difficult to understand," he said.

Zuma's reception was significant in the context of the upcoming ANC Mangaung conference in December, as he remains very popular in the Eastern Cape.

It is said the Eastern Cape provincial leadership has informed Zuma that it will support his re-election as ANCpresident.

According to ANC members who attended Thursday ANC centenary celebrations at the royal house of King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, provincial leader Mlibo Qoboshiyane said he recently led a delegation to Nkandla - Zuma's homestead - where the provincial leadership confirmed its support for his re-election.

This, despite the ANC national executive committee decision last year that issues relating to leadership change should not be discussed until the ANC leadership has officially opened the debate on the matter.

• Additional reporting by Moipone Malefane

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