The broadcast of conversations between former President Jacob Zuma and his son, Duduzane, forms part of a political strategy aimed at, amongst others, eliciting public sympathy and targeting perceived opponents, according to political analyst Somadoda Fikeni.
He was commenting on the dialogue between the two men on a new YouTube channel, titled “Zooming with the Zumas”.
The conversations between father and son earlier this month cover a range of topics, including the passing of Duduzane’s mother, Kate and another family member, Nhlakanipho.
They also discussed the poisoning of Zuma and former Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza, now Deputy President.
Fikeni says there are a number of outcomes that the conversations seek to achieve.
He says, “It’s a sense of bitterness as a catharsis to say I think I have relieved myself of things that I think I know; the second one to win public sympathy ahead of trials; to profile the son Duduzane Zuma for what seems to be positioning for a future political career; and the last one might just be to try to target the people that are seen as political opponents.”
Umkhonto we Sizwe National Spokesperson, Carl Niehaus, has defended the conversations between Zuma and his son, saying they are not aimed at gaining public sympathy ahead of Zuma’s arms deal trial.
The Zumas have been criticised about their intentions and the timing of the dialogues as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic.
Niehaus says, “I think it was just a decision to try and deal with these issues and try and highlight them. As you know there have been many questions asked about President Zuma’s health and also that was very directly linked to what happened to the very unfortunate warrant of arrest issued by the judge in the High Court of Pietermaritzburg. So, under those circumstances – those matters were going to come to the fore and were going to be dealt with in the public domain so that it happens now is at all not a surprise to me.”
Niehaus has also rejected Ekhuruleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina’s criticism on social media that the Zuma’s conversations can potentially detract from the important work of fighting the coronavirus.