[DEBATE] : Zuma 10, Moleketi 0
grinker at mweb.co.za
Fri Dec 7 19:45:59 GMT 2007
Zuma 10, Moleketi 0
06 December 2007 11:59
They sang "I agenda ya makapital asiyifune and Sodibana eLimpopo [We don't
want the capitalist agenda and we'll meet in Limpopo]" outside Rabasotho
Hall in Tembisa.
About 50 ANC members had gathered after hearing senior ANC leaders, Defence
Minister Mosioua Lekota and Public Service and Administration Minister
Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, were to address "delegates to Polokwane" as part
of a nationwide campaign to drum up support for President Thabo Mbeki
through exposing "lies and disinformation" by ANC deputy president Jacob
Zuma. It backfired miserably.
Just after 6.30pm on Tuesday, Fraser-Moleketi arrived in a Mercedes and
found the small crowd chanting and in high spirits. Someone tried to block
the meeting by pointing out that the hall had not been booked.
When there was agreement to go ahead, the question was asked: "Who called
the meeting when the ANC in the province, Ekurhuleni region and the Tembisa
zone, are unaware of the meeting?" No one knew. "This meeting is
unconstitutional," said one. "Why are they deploying all these state
resources to deal with one man?" asked another. The questions revealed how
ANC seniors are rapidly losing power ahead of Polokwane.
Fraser-Moleketi said she decided to attend only after receiving a call at
5.50pm, telling her a meeting had been convened and that her name was being
used to draw people to the venue. She did not know what was on the agenda.
After her remarks, the chairperson tried to close the meeting, but several
hands went up from the crowd wanting to ask her questions, which revealed a
grassroots keen to take on party power.
First question: "If the minister pleaded ignorance about the meeting, could
the minister please tell the comrades who called her at 5.50pm and why did
she decide to come when so much was unclear?"
Second question: "Why was the minister willing to abandon state obligations
to rush to Tembisa at such short notice?"
The third question was even tougher: "Minister, when you are here you are
not a minister but a comrade in the ANC. You are a senior leader of the
movement who also sits on the national executive committee. Why did you come
here and align yourself to a meeting that is not allowed in ANC procedures?
Why did you not verify with relevant ANC structures?"
A visibly upset Fraser-Moleketi reminded those asking questions that she was
a former uMkhonto we Sizwe soldier. She said it was precisely her training
in the ANC that prompted her to attend the meeting as soon as she heard that
her name could be used for mischief "in this poisoned season".
"Why ask who called me? Why are you here? Why are you not asking each other
who called you here? Comrades, we must be very, very careful," she warned,
her voice quivering with emotion.
As she finished talking, Mamkhize, a well-known Zuma supporter who is famous
for her public endorsement of the ANC deputy president at the Johannesburg
High Court during his rape trial, stood up with a friend, burst out laughing
and walked out of the room. Her presence and the tone of the meeting explain
Zuma's victory in Gauteng.
The meeting ended with a warning that a list of delegates going to Polokwane
had been distributed and it was possible that they would be approached
individually by pro-Mbeki forces.
As a bodyguard came to fetch Fraser-Moleketi to escort her to her Mercedes,
some of the audience congratulated one another on defeating her 10-0.
But they expressed regret that Lekota (their intended target) had failed to
pitch for the meeting, as they wanted to "frogmarch" him out of the meeting.
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