The embattled leader did not shy away from expressing his inner most views, while speaking out after a long while. However, His speech indirectly pointed at Pravin Gordhan. President Jacob Zuma lashed out at “comrades” who used memorials as a way to “perpetuate disunity” within the ANC.
Zuma was speaking at an unveiling ceremony of the tombstone of the late Minister of Public Services and Administration, Collins Chabane, in Limpopo on Saturday.
Chabane died in 2015 in a car accident along with two of his bodyguards while on their way from Polokwane in Limpopo to Tshwane.
In a thinly-veiled attack on former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who has recently been the keynote speaker at several memorial events for struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada where he has spoken out against Zuma, Zuma dismissed this as a “new culture” that should be rejected.
“I’m happy that not a single one did so. Whoever would have done so, I would have come and said, ‘No, sorry’.
“Be brave and confront a comrade if you have problems with a comrade. Don’t use the comrades who have died to perpetuate disunity… So I want to thank you, and the comrades. At least you are helping to give an example of how to treat comrades who have passed away. You can’t use them as an instrument to further deepen the divisions.”
Zuma went on to say that he was happy that no one had used Chabane’s name to fight their battles.
“To use the funeral or the memorial of a fellow comrade to fight our political battles will be wrong. It will never be right, no matter how you feel,” he said as some members of the crowd cheered.
Zuma refrained from addressing Friday’s nationwide protests, calling for him to step down.