Jacob Zuma to campaign for ANC in local government elections

Former President Jacob Zuma will provide his services to the African National Congress (ANC) in the upcoming local government elections by campaigning for the ruling party between August and November this year. 

This was confirmed by ANC Treasurer-General Paul Mashatile on the back of a controversial meeting between Zuma and members of the ANC’s “top six”, in which President Cyril Ramaphosa and his friend turned foe appeared to pass olive branches between themselves while Zuma continues to defy a constitutional court ruling ordering him to appear before the State Capture Commission. 

Zuma and the ANC ‘to continue working together’  

Zuma has had turbulent relations with an increasingly fractured ANC for a number of years now since his presidency was prematurely terminated in 2017, but it appears that the corruption-accused party stalwart remains dedicated to the task of growing the ruling party’s constituency. 

His intention to assist the ANC in the local government elections was signalled during the top six’s contentious meeting last weekend, with Mashatile saying that it is prudent for the party and Zuma to continue working together. 

“We engaged frankly and I think that it was good that we spoke to each other in a frank manner,” he said. “At the end of that meeting, we concluded that we will continue to work together and address some of the concerns that both sides have raised. It was not a bad meeting.”

“Yes, the issues discussed were serious but that is what the leadership does when there are challenges, you meet, you engage, at the end of the day you find a way forward and that is what we did.”

Local government ballot subject of debate  

The 2021 local government elections are themselves the subject of debate between political parties, with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) having called for them to be postponed until the national ballot takes place in 2024 so as to continue to stem the spread of COVID-19 by avoiding large crowds and gatherings at voting stations.

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba said in a statement issued earlier this week that many of the major political parties in South Africa are “running scared” and trying to augment an anticipated decline in votes during the by-elections. 

“ActionSA calls on all South Africans to be suspicious of any political party that seeks to delay their right to vote and recognise that any such consideration arises from self-interest and not in the public interest and the country. We cannot understand why the EFF either would falsely communicate our views on the matter,” he said. 

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