Former Cope leader Mbhazima Shilowa has applauded those who opposed President Jacob Zuma over the years, from investigative journalists to those who walked away from the ANC because of his election.
Shilowa and others led a breakaway faction of the ANC to form opposition party Cope, after Zuma's election as ANC president in 2007. The former premier of Gauteng later left Cope after a bitter feud with its current president, Terror Lekota.
On Wednesday morning, Shilowa tweeted that while many will claim "victory" once Zuma leaves office, certain categories of people, including those who supported Zuma's rape accuser Khwezi, deserve recognition.
This is not about a me too, but here goes: It took long for the day of reckoning to arrive but arrive it will and when it does many a people will claim victory, after all success has many parents. in my view though the following categories of people deserve a shout out— Mbhazima Shilowa (@Enghumbhini) February 7, 2018
He said those who supported Khwezi deserved credit, and those who were not afraid to call Zuma a fraud. Zuma was accused of raping Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, known only as "Khwezi" at the time, a close family friend, in 2006. He was acquitted, and Kuzwayo was vilified by her supporters until her death in 2017.
Those women who supported Khwezi outside court and later with others called for him not to be elected President of the ANC and country. That they did not succeed then had less to do with their efforts, but with those who stood by refusing to accept that he was a fraud and a con— Mbhazima Shilowa (@Enghumbhini) February 7, 2018
Shilowa said those who had opposed Zuma's election in 2008 and those who had joined Cope deserved credit, too, along with high-profile speakers such as Barney Pityana who have spoken out against Zuma.
Many who opposed his election as President of the ANC in 2008 deserve a shout out. I know of many who supported TM not because they believed he deserved another shot at the Presidency of the ANC, but didn't want JZ to ascend to the throne. They had supported his sacking as DP— Mbhazima Shilowa (@Enghumbhini) February 7, 2018
Those who were at the Sandton convention and later part of Cope deserve a mention. So do a number of speakers at the event who pulled no punches in calling him out notably Barney Pityana. I know of others who said nothing but nodded in agreement while others withdrew from the ANC— Mbhazima Shilowa (@Enghumbhini) February 7, 2018
He said that those who opposed him at Mangaung in 2012 also deserved praise, and even those who "propped him up" at first but later changed their minds.
Those who became part of Cope, as members or later voted for it take a bow too. Same with those who supported other parties or stayed away from the polls because they had lost hope in a Zuma led ANC and government. The same goes for those who in 2012 in Mangaung deserted him— Mbhazima Shilowa (@Enghumbhini) February 7, 2018
That they had propped him up in 2007 and later as President of the country is only important in not giving them a free pass. But surely what is important is not when one had a Damascus moment, simply that they did. Same with the veterans and stalwarts for their move albeit late— Mbhazima Shilowa (@Enghumbhini) February 7, 2018
Shilowa said investigative journalists and people who joined marches against Zuma should also be applauded. He also gave a "shout-out" to those in the ANC's national executive committee who opposed Zuma.
Journalists who wrote truthfully to expose malfeasance notably the late Mandy Rossouw and other investigative journalists, not because they were after JZ but simply to keep the nation informed of what he was up to. That helped move many off the fence— Mbhazima Shilowa (@Enghumbhini) February 7, 2018
I know I shouldn't, but who am I to judge. So a shoutout to those who deserted him in the NEC even before the Nasrec conference or voted/abstained for his removal— Mbhazima Shilowa (@Enghumbhini) February 7, 2018
But Shilowa said the ANC could not be given credit, as it kept Zuma in power even after he breached the Constitution.
The ANC though do not deserve a shout out, at least not from me. I could list the many times they stood by him but that would be petty. Even after the CC found he had breached his oath of office, they supported him. As late as last year when charges were reinstated they remained— Mbhazima Shilowa (@Enghumbhini) February 7, 2018
I am also in no mood to be charitable to those who never lifted a finger but like majority whites under apartheid said we did not know. Same to some journalists who were lickers. I accept that people change and can see with reporting that indeed they have changed, but confess 1st— Mbhazima Shilowa (@Enghumbhini) February 7, 2018