Africa-Press – South-Africa. Durban – Former eThekwini mayor and ANC member of the KZN legislature Zandile Gumede has come down hard on ANC members who find it easy to break bread with people like last apartheid president FW De Klerk while shunning their own comrades.
Gumede said that by doing so, the comrades were underlining the deep mistrust and hatred comrades had for one another while sitting under one roof.
She made the remarks during the burial of Bheki Thabethe, an eThekwini Municipality councillor and Umkhonto we Sizwe veteran, at Umgababa, south of Durban, on Sunday.
Gumede paid tribute to Thabethe, saying he joined the Struggle when it meant death and torture by the apartheid police.
She lamented that his death came at a time when the ruling party was facing difficult times with councillors being assassinated, members not seeing eye to eye and allegedly using state apparatus to persecute one another.
“Our organisation is going through difficult times. You must know that the organisation is in trouble when you need to carry your own bottles of water because you cannot trust your own comrades.
“When you need bodyguards to protect you from assassins who are hired by your own comrades. When councillors and branch leaders are afraid to go home after meetings because killers have adopted a cruel practice of killing our comrades in front of their families.
“When it is easier and fashionable to protect FW De Klerk, who said apartheid was not a crime against humanity, but you cannot listen and protect your own comrades. He left us at a time when state agencies are used to fight political battles.
“He left us when we needed fearless soldiers to fight against gender-based violence, in all its forms,” Gumede told the mourners.
Gumede, who is facing fraud, money laundering and corruption charges and a ticking clock to step aside in a few weeks, said it was embarrassing that not all Nasrec conference resolutions were being implemented.
“Comrade Bheki left us when our people are looking for the implementation of progressive ANC policies adopted at Nasrec, but we seem to be only focussing on ourselves and our internal fights. (Comrade) Bheki left us when it is fashionable to go to bed with the enemy, against your own comrades. And you face no consequences.
“Well, maybe I am wrong. Maybe I am one of those people who did not get the memo. Maybe the people we thought are part of the enemy are no longer the enemy. Maybe they signed the right business deal or found the right business partners and all their sins were forgiven. But we were not told.”