07/02/2018 07:57 SAST | Updated 07/02/2018 07:57 SAST

Shilowa's Shout-Out To Everyone Who Opposed Jacob Zuma

The former Cope leader says Zuma's opponents in the NEC and investigative journalists deserve credit for Zuma's downfall.

Mbhazima Shilowa.
REUTERS/Paballo Thekiso
Mbhazima Shilowa.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

But Shilowa said the ANC could not be given credit, as it kept Zuma in power even after he breached the Constitution.