President Cyril Ramaphosa’s backers are blaming Jacob Zuma supporters of sabotaging his KZN election campaign.
When Ramaphosa addressed loyal supporters in the south coast KZN town of Umbumbulu on Saturday, disgruntled ANC members hurled insults at the president.
Speaking to Scrolla.Africa, Head of ANC elections, Fikile Mbalula, said: “We know that some people wanted to humiliate President Cyril Ramaphosa. We cannot allow people who claim to be ANC members to disrespect President Ramaphosa.”
Mbalula believes the rowdy crowd was offered free alcohol.
Addressing the crowd, he said: “Comrades, what you are doing is wrong. But we don’t blame you because we know that you are bought with alcohol.”
Ramaphosa is in the middle of an intense campaigning schedule ahead of the local government elections on 1 November.
One ANC leader in KZN aligned to Ramaphosa claimed that they are aware of a plan to make KZN a no-go area for ANC leaders who are enemies of Zuma.
“We can’t allow the ANC to be in a self-destruction mode. People must understand that the ANC belongs to all its members. We can’t be ruled by factional battles,” said the leader, who did not want to be named.
A close ally of Zuma’s, Nkosentsha Shezi, dismissed these claims.
“Right now, we are working on the ground to ensure that the ANC wins the elections. The claims that some people are campaigning against the party or Ramaphosa are false,” said Shezi.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said Ramaphosa’s campaign would not be derailed by what he called evil forces.
“No one will deter us and President Cyril Ramaphosa from campaigning anywhere in the country,” he said.
Zuma’s backers believe that Ramaphosa had a hand in his 7 July arrest after he defied two court orders telling him to appear before the state capture commission of inquiry.