Zuma told to sit down and listen
PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma must sit down and listen to other people and not stand in the way of new ideas.
This is the latest message from Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale who seems to be on a campaign trail to replace Zuma at the ANC's electoral conference in Mangaung later this year.
Apparently constrained by the ANC's gag on campaigning and lobbying until October, Sexwale yesterday said he was not "running for anything [ANC's presidency]" and at the same time he was not "running away [from the presidential contest]".
Addressing thousands of ANC members in Alexandra township, north of Johannesburg, where he was delivering a memorial lecture on former ANC leader AB Xuma, Sexwale also cautioned Zuma to know when to "listen and when to sit down".
Sexwale vaguely criticised Zuma who has been delivering a series of lectures in honour of the ANC's past presidents since January as part of the party's centenary celebrations.
"It is not about how many lectures we deliver. JZ [Zuma] must also sit down and listen to other people when they speak," Sexwale said.
"For each lecturer there are listeners and each lecturer must know that there is a time to be lectured. Jacob Gedleyihlekisa [Zuma] must sit down and listen to other people talking.
"There is a time to lead and there is a time to go. Do not stand in front of ideas otherwise ideas will change you."
Sexwale reportedly attacked Zuma at a recent national executive committee meeting, accusing him of suppressing debate in the ANC.
Pointing to the ANC centenary flame, Sexwale said it should be used to bring light and not heat within the party.
He said it was the responsibility of every leader in the ANC to bring prosperity to the people.
"We must use this light to see opportunities and dangers that lie ahead. There is a lot of heat in the organisation, we get burnt. We need light not heat.
"The ANC was built on the rock of unity, if the ANC loses unity it is over," he said.
Sexwale sang the praises of former ANC leaders, including Nelson Mandela, and requested the current generation to copy their selfless sacrifices.
"I served under him [Mandela] and I know him. Next month we must just go crazy [when we celebrate Mandela Day]," he said.
He also posed questions to the leadership of the ANC: "Are we relating to the values of these [past] leaders, are we equal to their principles? Do we understand their ethics, their morality or are we just paying lip service?"