Durban – ANC activist Carl Niehaus has criticised Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina for attacking former president Jacob Zuma and his son Duduzane following the release of a video where the two make accusations about the former president’s poisoning allegations and that of Deputy President David Mabuza.
Masina tweeted on Wednesday that the conversation between father and son was “in bad taste and insensitive”.
I’m deeply disturbed and disappointed with the content of the video of the former President @PresJGZuma and his son @Duduzane__Zuma. Whatever the intentions, it is all in bad taste and insensitive. Can we all focus on the pandemic and allow Gov to lead us during this time.
Zuma and his Gupta-connected business son had this week posted on social media a video clip of their conversation about various issues including the death of Duduzane’s mother Kate and two separate incidents of poisoning attempts on Zuma and Mabuza.
Masina, a known Zuma backer and RET activist, had said that he was “deeply disturbed and disappointed with the content of the video” and called on South Africans to focus on the coronavirus and also allow the government to lead the nation.
“Whatever the intentions, it is all in bad taste and insensitive.
“RET does not mean stupidity. It’s a principled organisational policy position,” he wrote.
However, Niehaus said he felt the conversation between Zuma and Duduzane was necessary and had no impact on the fight against Covid-19 pandemic. He said Masina’s comment was unfortunate, and that it was confusing why Masina seemed to have been irritated by Duduzane revealing that he had helped Mabuza.
“This seemed to have irritated him (Masina), but I don’t know why. If the deputy president was given assistance to recover by Duduzane, then Duduzane should be applauded for having done so, and this should not be a source of irritation,” said Niehaus.
He said what Masina wrote about Zuma did not mean that the RET force was disintegrating, and he still believed that Masina was still an RET activist.
“I have seen his (Masina) comment on issues around privatisation of the SOEs, and just shortly before the lockdown kicked in he gave a lecture against the privatisation of the SOEs, and I am not questioning his commitment to RET.
“But I am just saying it was unfortunate that he made these particular comments about Duduzane Zuma and president Zuma,” said Niehaus.
He said he understood why the story of Mabuza’s poisoning was part of the Zumas’ experience.
“I don’t know why Masina took offence to something which is as crystal clear as daylight as they were talking about it in a warm and fatherly manner. That flabbergasted me.
“I just hope that this is not some kind of grandstanding by comrade Masina, and if he is involved in grandstanding about this particular issue it is improper and unnecessary,” he said.
Niehaus said he was sure that RET champions would soon raise their concern with Masina.
* This story will be updated when Masina responds.
By Bongani Hans