ANC ructions play out as Zuma gets cold shoulder

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ANC ructions play out as Zuma gets cold shoulder

KARL GERNETZKY | 2017-03-29 10:11:04.0

President Jacob Zuma reacts during the chaos at the State of the Nation Address.

Image by: ESA ALEXANDER/THE TIMES

President Jacob Zuma pointedly not being asked to give a speech at the funeral of struggle icon Ahmed Kathrada has underlined the political ructions playing out within the ANC.

Kathrada’s funeral is the second at which Zuma has been snubbed. The late Makhenkesi Stofile, a former sports minister and South African ambassador to Germany, instructed his family on his deathbed not to invite Zuma to his funeral.

Former foreign affairs director-general Sipho Pityana delivered a moving eulogy at Stofile’s funeral and also used the occasion to tear into Zuma.

Kathrada had run-ins with the president and, in a letter published in April 2016, bluntly called on him to step down.

On Tuesday, the Kathrada family moved to quash rumours that Zuma had been asked not to attend or speak at the funeral. However, they did confirm that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa would be the main speaker at the service.

Kathrada’s death in the early hours of Tuesday garnered a wave of tributes for the struggle icon. It also threw into relief the fractious nature of SA’s political climate and Kathrada’s own disquiet over the state of affairs under Zuma.

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