POLITICS
06/06/2018 07:15 SAST | Updated 06/06/2018 07:15 SAST

Meetings About New Political Movement Linked To Zuma 'Going Very Well'

Although the former president denied that he was leaving the ANC, plans are afoot to test the waters for a new political movement touted to be led by Jacob Zuma.

Mike Hutchings / Reuters

Although the former president denied that he was leaving the ANC, plans are afoot to test the waters for a new political movement touted to be led by Jacob Zuma.

Consultation meetings about the formation of this movement "are going very well", according to a KZN group at the forefront of the new development.

Mazibuyele Emasisweni spokesperson Reggie Ngcobo told News24 on Tuesday that they have not yet decided whether it will be a political party or not.

A decision will only be made once all relevant stakeholders have given their input.

"The majority of the stakeholders are encouraging us to do so (form a political party), judging from the recent meetings we've had," said Ngcobo.

They have invited input from different stakeholders and political veterans, including Zuma himself, he said.

Rogan Ward / Reuters

"They are the ones who will determine the future of our existence."

When asked who would fund them if they decided to go ahead, Ngcobo said that was still a challenge.

"We can't fund ourselves from our own empty pockets. So, part of our clarion call is [for] all black businesses and all those people who have extra cash to sponsor us so that this project can get off the ground," he said.

Ngcobo said, since last Thursday's welcome home prayer for Zuma in Nkandla, they've met with religious leaders from Gauteng and traditional leaders from around country and the Southern African Development Community region.

"Next Monday we will be meeting with taxi operators on a national level," he said.

If the party is formed, it is expected to contest next year's national elections.

Ngcobo told the media last Thursday, on the sidelines of Zuma's welcome home prayer, that the former president supported the idea of making the clarion call to get the input from the ground.

Ngcobo said they met with Zuma three times since last month. He refused to divulge where they had met Zuma, and cited security reasons.

Rogan Ward / Reuters

"We've spoken with him regarding the need for a clarion call because we believe that there are ... burning issues in this country that he was addressing or in the process of addressing yet now they are being neglected.

"We had to go to him as a veteran of the revolution and former president of the state to get his input and his angle on all those issues," he said.

He added they would take the input from the ground, submit it back to Zuma and ask for his take on them.

"His input will serve as a strong direction going forward," he said.

Ngcobo had suggested last Thursday that should they win the elections in 2019, "there's no one other than Zuma to lead the country".

Doing justice to the black native African child

"We strongly believe in his presidency and leadership. He is the only one capable of doing justice to the black native African child," he had said.

Ngcobo said they've given themselves a month to decide whether they would become a political party or not.

"By the end of this month, which is June, we shall have a national imbizo where all these stakeholders I've mentioned before will be present, and you'll hear them stating their position about the direction that needs to be taken. So that's where we may become a political party or another form of a civil organisation after a thorough consultation with the stakeholders," he said.

He said they believed that there was a political agenda about Zuma's removal from the presidential office and the revival of corruption charges against him.

Zuma is facing 16 charges which relate to 783 payments he allegedly received in connection with the controversial multibillion-rand arms deal.

He will appear in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court on Friday, June 8.

A vigil is expected to be held the night before.

"Yes, we will be there to support him. We will be there as Mazibuyele Emasisweni the group, not a political party. We will be there at the night vigil and there when he appears in court," said Ngcobo.

Speaking at the prayer session, Zuma denied that he was leaving the ANC.

"Those who think I will leave the ANC to form another party don't know me," he said.

News24