Zuma cracks the whip

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma averted a potentially volatile situation during the funeral of Limpopo politician Norman Mashabane at the weekend.

Zuma was forced to stand up and call unruly elements to order to allow the proceedings to run smoothly.

This was after a group of youths, mainly from the ANC Youth League, had become unruly and continued singing when Limpopo Premier Sello Moloto was supposed to speak.

Earlier this month, the ANCYL in the province had called on Moloto to resign from his positions as premier and provincial chairman of the ANC respectively, accusing him of being unsuitable to hold public office.

Moloto had allegedly insulted members of the ANCYL during a presentation by the Mopani region earlier. Zuma, who was visibly disturbed by the behaviour of the youths, took it upon himself to speak to the "unruly elements" about the dangers of their actions.

"The ANC does not have room for anyone acting against its policies," Zuma said.

He said there were proper forums where problems could be raised by the youths and a funeral was not one of them.

"We are here today to honour a respected leader who fought for the liberation of the country. We cannot allow a situation where the youth become disrespectful of their elders, even the departed," he said.

When it came time for ANCYL president Fikile Mbalula to speak, a small group of people, allegedly members of the South African Students' Congress (Sasco), became unruly, apparently in retaliation against the actions of their ANC counterparts.