JZ scoffs at mooted new party

Mhlaba Memela, Mary Papaya and Sapa

ANC president Jacob Zuma has once again dismissed the possible threat a breakaway party formed by dissidents could pose in next year's general election.

On Tuesday, Zuma told a group of ANC-supporting business people that such a party would not survive because it could not offer any alternative to the ANC.

"I do not think it will have a long lifespan.

"That is why I have not paid any attention to it," Zuma told his audience.

Speaking on Ukhozi FM yesterday, Zuma said the ANC would increase its votes in the 2009 election despite the new party.

"We are not worried about the new party. It will not be a threat to the ANC.

"People must know that the ANC is a very old organisation and will always increase its votes during elections, with or without the speculated breakaway party" he said.

On Wednesday, former ANC chairman Mosiuoa Lekota said hundreds of ANC members were unhappy with the situation within the party.

He announced that he was "serving divorce papers " on the ANC.

South African Communist Party general-secretary Blade Nzimande yesterday called Lekota a "terrorist" and challenged him to a face-to-face meeting to clear up his accusations against the ANC.

"I want the whole world to know that Lekota talks about the ANC that had deviated from the Freedom Charter.

"But in the true sense of it, it was him [and others] during his tenure that tried to take the ANC away from the people," Nzimande said.