Johannesburg - As the number of voices grow within the ANC in defence of former president Jacob Zuma in light of his latest legal battles, Luthuli House has slammed groups who ferment factionalism.
This comes after the Radical Economic Transformation (RET) Zuma supporters group, which included Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) spokesperson Carl Niehaus, slammed the country's judiciary system after the Pietermaritzburg High Court issued a warrant of arrest for Zuma over his failure to appear in court last week.
His lawyers had told the court that he was out of the country due to poor health.
While the warrant has been put on hold until Zuma’s next appearance on May 6, some members within the ANC Youth League and the ANC Women’s League have criticised the order handed down by Judge Dhaya Pillay, accusing the judiciary of playing politics and of being against Zuma.
In a statement, ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe slammed those who used Zuma’s name to divide the party.
“The ANC also calls on its members to desist from using the name of former President Jacob Zuma, and most recently his health concerns, to stir divisions. We continue to wish comrade Zuma a speedy recovery and our support,” Mabe said.
Addressing a group of Zuma’s backers in Johannesburg, Niehaus said the warrant against Zuma had “exposed the routine treatment of black accused people by the SA judiciary system."
“What we are now witnessing is the real state and judiciary capture by anti-black, especially anti-African, powerful white monopoly capital forces. (They) will stop at absolutely nothing in order to continue to secure the centuries-long control over our wealth and our land and the commanding heights of our economy," Niehaus said.
He added: “Sadly they have found allies in the comprador capitalists who front for them, and some compromised sellout politicians, some even hurting our own beloved ANC to do their dirty bidding."
Mabe meanwhile maintained that while open debate and engagement on the country’s economic challenges and how to resolve them, Niehaus’s remarks were factional.
“At the same time, it is regrettable that these real challenges faced by our people are being used in ways that undermine the unity and image of the ANC and it's capacity to unite the broadest range of South Africans to tackle the triple challenges. The ANC, therefore, notes with concern the continued attempts to seek to factionalise radical economic transformation into groupings, and particularly recent remarks attributed to Cde Carl Niehaus," he said.