Zuma, Hlaudi a no show at Cosas event

The poster that was widely circulated.
The poster that was widely circulated.

Congress of South African Students (Cosas) used former president Jacob Zuma’s name to lure their members to attend their failed event in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg.

Other prominent people who were supposed to attend the event are former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng and controversial Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama.

Aaccording to Cosas, Zuma was supposed to deliver a free education lecture and canvass elections for ANC for the next year general elections.

Zuma's spokesperson Vukile Mathabela told SowetanLIVE on Wednesday that the former statesman was not scheduled to be in Orange Farm for the event.

"The event was never confirmed by our office. I saw a similar poster that said the former president would also be at Free State on November 27 but I can tell you now that he will not be going there. There is this trend of seeing posters bearing the name of president Zuma," he said.

The last Cosas event that Zuma attended was in Durban in June, where he delivered a speech on free education.

Contacted for comment, Motsoeneng said he had initially intended to attend the event but had to snub it due to other commitments.

"I have been locked in meetings all day and had other commitments, so as a result I was unable to attend. Initially I had put them (Cosas) in my diary, but the developments of the project I'm working on, required me to be elsewhere," said Motsoeneng.

Mngxitama could not be reached for comment.

At the venue where the event was scheduled to take place, there was a  community meeting taking place.

In the parking lot of the same venue, a few members clad in ANC regalia, Cosas members as well as BLF members roamed around saying they could not wait to see "the peoples president" [Zuma].

ANC regalia hawkers were also both in and outside the venue, encouraging those expecting Zuma to address them to buy t-shirts bearing his face.

On Wednesday morning, a media advisory sent by event organiser and former Cosas Gauteng chairperson Panuel Maduna confirmed that that Zuma and Motsoeneng  were coming.

"The discussions will include the reasons for the delay on announcing free tertiary education which has been a long standing resolution of the ANC," said Maduna.

"[We will further discuss] ANC's position on arrested Fees Must Fall leaders and the plea for presidential pardon 2 [as well as] what the ANC-led government was supposed to do had it been serious about Land Redistribution," added Maduna.

Other issues that were expected to be on the agenda includes: The role of education on the 4th Industrial Revolution; decolonization of education; the role of young people in advancing the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Contacted for comment, Maduna's phone was off at the time of going to print.