Supporters of South Africa’s embattled President Jacob Zuma heckled and disrupted a speech by sacked Finance Minister Pravin Gordan in which he condemned corruption in the governing African National Congress (ANC) and warned that the party could lose the 2019 election.
The crowd burst into songs praising the scandal-hit Mr Zuma at yesterday’s memorial for veteran anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada in the president’s political heartland of KwaZulu-Natal, and supported his controversial decision to fire Mr Gordhan – a move that led to global rating agencies downgrading South Africa to “junk status”.
As he battled to be heard, Mr Gordhan said:
You see comrades, any two of us can make a deal today that somebody will pass on a nice bag of money. We share the money and we say we are not going to fight because we all have a bit of money. Unity cannot be based on money. Unity cannot be based on these brown bags of money that are moving around all over. ”
A woman holds a placard as South African ruling Party African National Congress Youth League members shout slogans in support of South African President Jacob Zuma as sacked finance minister Pravin Gordhan speaks at a memorial service held in Durban in honour of anti-apartheid icon Ahmed Kathrada on April 9, 2017 in Durban.
Mr Gordhan also warned that divisions in the ANC could cost the party dearly in the election.
If we continue squabbling among ourselves we will lose the confidence of people from all walks of life. We want to remain in government so that we can change South Africa.”
Mr Zuma is to face an opposition-sponsored no-confidence vote in parliament next week after it accused him of being “reckless” with the economy, and of being a corrupt leader who wanted to pack the Treasury with his allies.
His allies deny the allegation, insisting that Mr Zuma wants to promote “radical economic transformation” to benefit the black majority.
A court ruled last year that Mr Zuma breached his oath of office by failing to repay government money used to upgrade his private home, while he is appealing against the ruling of another court ruled he should be charged with corruption related to an arms deal.
Mr Zuma denies any wrongdoing.
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