An agenda to discredit the ANC and its president Jacob Zuma is behind recent critical media reports, the political party said on Sunday.
“The intention is to discredit the ANC. No-one accepts it [the party]; Nobody likes it,” African National Congress spokesman Zizi Kodwa said.
He said Zuma was not being attacked on a personal basis but because he occupied the top position in the party.
“It is the fact that he is the president of the ANC — anyone who occupies this position will face scrutiny…
“No-one could have cared if he [Zuma] was somewhere in Kwazulu-Natal in Nkandla. He will remain under attack.”
Kodwa said that the “progressive” policies of the party were at the root of the dislike for the party, driving critical speculation.
“People left the ANC because it embraces non-racialism.”
He said there were people unhappy because “we have reconciled with the oppressors”.
Other “small right winger [groups] continue to hail insults because they think a communist organ is running South Africa.”
The ANC is in a tripartite alliance with the SA Communist Party and the Congress of SA Trade Unions.
Furthermore, Kodwa said, other critics were steeped in an ideology around the “superiority of race: We have got a black majority [that critics see as] inefficient and corrupt”.
Kodwa said that there was “no consensus about everything” in the political landscape of South Africa.
“It’s not like it’s hunky dory.”
On Sunday, Kodwa dismissed a Sunday Times newspaper article that detailed allegations that Zuma accepted a R500,000-a-year bribe from French arms company Thales in 2000 as “rumour-mongering.
“…This is a side show, a decoy”.
The SA subsidiary of Thales, Thint, is one of the companies linked to the country’s arms-deal controversy. In 1997, Thint was awarded a multi-billion rand contract to equip four new navy frigates with combat suites.
Kodwa also said that critical reports this week of a R1-trillion nuclear deal negotiated by Zuma with Russia missed the point.
“People are playing the man and not the ball. President Jacob Zuma is implementing what he announced in the state of the nation manifesto,” said Kodwa.
On Friday, the Mail&Guardian reported that Zuma took control of the deal, negotiating directly with Russian president Vladimir Putin, and instructing Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson to sign it.
“People are not interested in building a future in the country; people are looking at what that can they criticise,” said Kodwa in response. SAPA