Durban - With the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal this week saying that it did not give the green light for ANC eThekwini Municipality councillors to visit former president Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead, the councillors said they had no problem explaining their visit to the provincial leadership.
ON Thursday an entourage of 42 ANC councillors from eThekwini Municipality set off for Zuma’s KwaDakwudunuse homestead in the rural village of KwaNxamalala in Nkandla where they presented the former head of state with a bull.
The entire entourage of about 100 councillors was also made up of councillors who had travelled from provinces such as Mpumalanga, Free State, Eastern Cape, North West and Gauteng.
ANC eThekwini councillor Ntandoyenkosi Khuzwayo, who was also the organiser of the visit, said that councillors had contributed small amounts from their first salaries as municipal councillors to contribute to purchase the live gift for Zuma.
On the significance of the gift that they were set to hand over to Zuma upon their arrival in Nkandla, ANC eThekwini councillor Ntandoyenkosi Khuzwayo said: “It’s customary for us as Africans that when you visit a person in their own home, you bring a gift, particularly when you are visiting the male head of a household. You bring a gift in the form of a cow or cattle.”
However, the more pressing issue around the visit was that it had not been sanctioned at either ANC regional or provincial level, with fears that the visit could be seen to sow deeper divisions within the already fractured party.
Khuzwayo insisted that they had not done anything outside the norm or in contradiction to the party, and said that those who felt the visit would cause divisions within the ANC were entitled to their opinions and that there was nothing untoward about their visit.
“I can’t dictate how people should view certain things, but what I know is that we explained the purpose of the visit and that is exactly what we did. We did nothing contrary to that,” Khuzwayo said.
He added that they would have no issue if the provincial leadership summoned them to explain further the purpose of their visit to Zuma’s homestead.
“We don’t have a problem; the province can call us at any time because we are ANC members,” Khuzwayo said.
He further went on to say that the visit could not even be categorised as a meeting, claiming that: “It was just us handing over the gift to uBaba (Zuma) and just seeing how he is doing, since we all know he had been in prison. We told him that we were grateful that he had returned home safely and we wished him a merry Christmas. It was not a meeting as such.”
Prior to the meeting, Khuzwayo had indicated that they would be seeking to get words of wisdom and guidance from Zuma as a veteran of the party and a seasoned politician. This, as they as councillors embark on their five-year term of governance in eThekwini.
“He imparted on us the importance of ensuring that the ANC remains in power, because the ANC is the only tool in the hands of the black people that can help liberate them from all of the challenges that they are facing,” Khuzwayo said.