Comrades nowdrifting apart

ANC leader Jacob Zuma. Pic. Veli Nhlapo. 08/10/2008. © Sowetan
ANC leader Jacob Zuma. Pic. Veli Nhlapo. 08/10/2008. © Sowetan

Don Makatile

Don Makatile

There's a six-year age gap between Jacob Zuma and Terror Lekota.

This is not the only difference between the two men, stalwarts of the ANC.

If they see eye to eye on one thing it would be as devoid of the truth as saying there's no split in the ruling party.

Those who do not prefer their heads in the sand noted that the press conference Lekota was addressing in Sandton yesterday was "a challenge to Zuma's ANC".

A year after Zuma was released from Robben Island in 1973, the younger Lekota arrived.

Years later Zuma would fight the system from outside, while Lekota would become a thorn in the side of the racist regime from inside the country, tasting jail again in 1985 when he was sentenced during the Delmas Trial.

The new political order ushered in by the 1994 election saw the two comrades fighting side by side. This is about where the similarities end.

Under Zuma, Lekota seems to say, things have gone bad for those unseated in Polokwane.

"The ANC started veering away from the course that attracted us to the ranks of its members."

Lekota's gripe, even before Polokwane, has been the singing and the show of support for Zuma.

Yesterday he could not hide his contempt for the the new leadership, especially the man at the helm."T-shirts are printed with tribalist slogans decorated with the face of some very senior members of the ANC. No condemnation.

"Songs that advocate violence [are sung] . when we are supposed to promote peace and development."