Outgoing KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala says he never betrayed former president Jacob Zuma. Zikakala was addressing the media following his resignation as premier earlier on Friday.
This follows his defeat during the closely contested provincial elective conference last month. He lost the position of chairperson of the ANC in the province to Siboniso Duma.
Addressing the media, Zikalala claims there is a narrative that he sacked Zuma and became a staunch supporter of President Cyril Ramaphosa. But he says, his support for any leader in power, was part of the ANC’s principles.
“I have supported former president Zuma, right from the beginning, from the 14th of June 2005 until today. I supported him as a leader and someone who sacrificed his life for South Africa to be liberated. My support has never been personal but organisational and it should be noticed that it is the tradition of the ANC. It dictates that members must always work with the elected leadership, whether they have supported the election of that leadership (or not). This is a principle of the movement.”
Meanwhile, Zikalala has urged the new provincial leadership to maintain ethical standards. He says during his term he managed to receive clean audits and to eradicate wasteful expenditure in a number of departments.
“In a period of three years, we’ve managed to reduce this irregular expenditure from R12.4 billion to at least R6.8 billion and further plans are in place to totally stop irregular expenditure. When we started this term, only two departments had obtained clean audits today as we depart from the Office of the Premier, we’re grateful that the Office of the Premier has for the first time received a clean audit.”
Premier Sihle Zikalala’s briefing:
Divisions in the ANC
Meanwhile, Political Analyst Zakhele Ndlovu has warned that Zikalala’s resignation could exacerbate divisions in the ANC. Ndlovu has warned that the party’s failure to resolve their internal differences raises questions on whether it can work together to solve national problems.
“I think one has to ask the question why the ANC keeps removing and putting new leaders after their conferences because clearly it is not like the new leaders they are bringing are going to implement different policies or change anything. It also raises all sorts of questions about the ANC’s ability to solve the country’s problems. Because if they cannot solve their own internal problems then the question is can the ANC solve the country’s problems which are bigger. So, it further undermines the confidence of those who have been believing that the ANC can solve the country’s problem.”