ANC leaders scrambling to recover from Mbalula’s comments

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula. | Timothy Bernard Independent Newspapers

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula. | Timothy Bernard Independent Newspapers

Published Jan 11, 2024


Key figures within the ANC leadership alongside President Cyril Ramaphosa are allegedly scrambling to recover from the “own goal” scored by secretary-general Fikile Mbalula’s recent utterances regarding former president Jacob Zuma and the Nkandla upgrades’ scandal.

Mbalula has faced staunch backlash and come under fire from numerous members of the ruling party in recent days, this after he admitted that the party had “lied” about the infamous firepool at the former presidents homestead in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.

Mbalula told members in Barberton that the party had lied to protect the party’s then president (Zuma).

Former ANC spokesperson in the Free State Qondile Khedama, said the comments made by Mbalula had come at a precarious time as the party was facing “stiff competition” ahead of the upcoming elections.

Khedama said the comments had not gone well with the ANC officials and the membership of the ANC, and would require a collective effort to surmount negative backlash.

“The timing from the political campaign point of view was wrong. As to how they will go over the bridge is something that will take efforts of the collective of the ANC leadership.”

Khedama explained that while Ramaphosa had been busy with a number of activities in the build-up to the party’s National Executive Committee meeting currently taking place in Mbombela and the party’s January 8th Statement this Saturday, he (Ramaphosa) was also indirectly trying to deal with Mbalula’s utterances without saying it.

“He was trying his level best to regain the lost ground as a result of those utterances relating to lies by the ANC leadership in Parliament because that on its own is big and it is detrimental to the ANC and its image.”

Unfortunately, Khedama said the impact of Mbalula’s utterances would only be realised towards the upcoming elections.

Despite this challenge he remained in high spirits regarding the party’s support base in Mpumalanga, as he said amid the activity ahead of the statement, ordinary party members seemed to be happy with the political leadership.

He further commended the party leadership for attending church services without resorting to campaigning.