03/05/2017 14:40 SAST | Updated 03/05/2017 14:43 SAST

The ANC Is Really Upset About ANN7's Coverage Of Zuma Being Booed At Rally

Reports that ANC top brass encouraged the president to speak at May Day rally in order to sabotage him are "devoid of truth."

President Jacob Zuma addresses the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) May Day rally on May 1, 2016 in Pretoria.
President Jacob Zuma addresses the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) May Day rally on May 1, 2016 in Pretoria.

The deployment of the ANC's top brass to Worker's Day rallies was a collective decision, and not meant to sabotage President Jacob Zuma, party spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said on Wednesday.

The African National Congress was responding to an ANN7 report that accused deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, secretary general Gwede Mantashe and treasurer general Zweli Mkhize of allegedly pushing Zuma to attend the Cosatu May Day rally in Bloemfontein.

"Such reportage is habitual and typical of ANN7, devoid of truth, divisive and designed to create an illusion of some 'ANC insider' status for the channel," Kodwa said.

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Zuma, ANC national chairperson Baleka Mbete and deputy general secretary Jessie Duarte faced a torrid time in front of the labour federation's members.

Kodwa said the decision to have Zuma attend Cosatu's rally was a decision taken by the national officials, who were fully aware of the potential for heckling and other disruptions.

Zuma faced the worst embarrassment since ascending to ANC presidency in 2007 when unrelenting Cosatu members heckled and chanted anti-Zuma songs in his presence.

This forced Cosatu to prematurely end its main Worker's Day celebrations in Bloemfontein. In an unprecedented move, all speeches were cancelled, and the event abandoned.

"Members of the media have a responsibility to report the news accurately, factually and objectively. ANN7, however, seems determined to manufacture false consensus, sharpening contradictions and deepening fissures in the ANC. The station effectively acts as a mouthpiece of the factional divisions that plague the ANC, consistently showing itself as being intent on driving wedges within the organisation and pitting comrade against comrade," said Kodwa.

Kodwa said unity the of the ANC remained paramount.

"We will not be distracted in this quest by narrow, self-serving interests whose motivations can only serve to further weaken the ANC."

Nazeem Howa, CEO of Oakbay Investments, owners of ANN7, could not be reached for comment.