Deputy Finance Minister Sifiso Buthelezi on Friday said President Jacob Zuma was being demonised in the same way that Chris Hani was ahead of his assassination, and those behind this move want to make sure that his removal becomes the "logical thing to do".
He said this while delivering the keynote address at a Cadres' Forum gathering in Pietermaritzburg on Friday evening.
The gathering was organised by the ANC's Moses Mabhida Region.
Buthelezi called on the ranks in the ruling party to close ranks against an attack, which he said, was mounted by an enemy that was against economic transformation.
"In the past an environment had been created that it was correct to kill comrade Chris Hani. Today there is a situation that is being created in South Africa that it is correct to kill Zuma, that is the environment that is being created at the moment," said Buthelezi.
He said the attack on Zuma was an indication that he had touched the nerve of a powerful bloc that wanted to retain its economic power base and was threatened by calls for radical economic transformation.
Buthelezi said it was important for the ANC to use its political power, acquired through winning the elections, to push for the transformation of the country's economic landscape.
He pointed out that this was possible if government was to use its buying power to introduce more participants in the economy citing the R500 billion to be used for infrastructure development as a chance to introduce new players in the economy.
Such an effort, he said, would go a long way in ensuring that black people entered the mainstream economy as opposed to operating on the periphery.
"If you talk about poverty and living in shacks we know that it is a daily experience for black people, living in top end suburbs is for white people. It is a situation that cannot be allowed and that is why we need radical economic transformation," said Buthelezi.
He also appealed to party members to respect the power given to the president in making Cabinet appointments.
"Should it happen that the president exercises his power of removing me from Cabinet please do not protest in my name."
The gathering was attended by local leaders including chairperson Mthandeni Dlungwane, regional secretary Mzi Zuma, councillors and ANC activists.
The Moses Mabhida Region is made up of Pietermaritzburg, Howick, Richmond and other towns and is considered one of Zuma's main support base in KZN. -- News24Suggest a correction