During a gathering with ANC structures in the eThekwini Region, Bheki Cele, a member of the ANC National Working Committee and Minister of Police, issued a warning to former President Jacob Zuma. Cele vowed to reveal undisclosed information about Zuma if he continues to criticize certain members of the party.
The strained relationship between Cele and Zuma dates back to 2012 when Zuma reshuffled Cele from his position as Minister of Police while he served as the president. Recently, Zuma surprised many by announcing that he would not campaign for the ANC, led by current leader Cyril Ramaphosa. Instead, Zuma unveiled the newly formed Umkhonto WeSizwe Party (MK) to contest in the upcoming national elections.
During the ANC engagement, Bheki Mtolo, the ANC KZN secretary-general, also criticized Zuma for his actions, accusing him of attempting to deceive party members. Mtolo stressed that those who campaign for other organizations cannot claim to be ANC members and affirmed that the ANC would not succumb to such tactics.
In response, Cele cautioned Zuma against intimidating ANC leaders and expressed frustration with the former president's ongoing threats. Cele revealed that during their time in exile, Zuma served as his commander and briefed them on various matters. He expressed concern over Zuma turning his back on the ANC after benefiting from its support throughout his political career.
Cele emphasized that the ANC is not the possession of any individual but belongs to millions of its members. He dismissed the notion that Zuma held a special status within the party and indicated that if the opportunity arises, he would question Zuma about his departure from ANC principles. Cele urged his comrades to concentrate on the upcoming elections, expressing confidence in the ANC's ability to secure victory. He concluded by asserting that the ANC is integral to South Africa's future.
The disagreements between Cele and Zuma highlight the divisions within the ANC and the challenges the party faces as it prepares for the upcoming elections.