- An event anticipated for weeks by COSAS and BLF members has turned out to be a failure after honorary guest speaker, Jacob Zuma, was a no-show
- The event was aimed at thanking the former president for fee-free higher education
- BLF leader Andile Mngxitama has blamed president Cyril Ramaphosa for the failure, saying his supporters wanted to undermine the ex-president
An event hosted by the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) to honour former president Jacob Zuma has left the organisation with egg on their face after Zuma failed to show.
After spending weeks promoting the event, COSA, as well as Black First Land First (BLF), couldn't help but be disappointed. The leader of BLF Andile Mngxitama blamed president Ramaphosa, accusing him of sabotaging the event.
“We were advised quite late by Cosas leaders that the event has been cancelled. CR17 supporters have put pressure on Cosas national leaders to sabotage the event of today.”
“They [Ramaphosa supporters] are terrified of the unity of RET forces.
"There is no way RET forces are going to give Ramaphosa votes to finish off president Zuma. We know that president Zuma loves the ANC but the ANC does not love him,” Mngxitama said.
The event took place at the Multipurpose Civic Centre in Orange Farm in Joburg. Some of the other main speakers who were due to attend the event included Andile Mngxitama ( BLF), Hlaudi Motsoeneng ( former SABC chief operating officer) and COSAS chairperson Penuel Maduna.
Organised under the banner “Thank the people’s president for free education” by COSAS the event was a massive failure. Due to the late notice, people had already gathered to celebrate the occasion.
Members of the ANC’s Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association were clad in their military uniforms and BLF supporters wore T-shirts with the slogan “ land or death”.
At around 2 pm ( two hours after the scheduled starting time) disappointed members realised that the event would not go on as planned and began to leave.
Jacob Zuma’s spokesperson Vukile Mathabela confirmed that the ex-president would not be attending the event.
City Press reported that they had seen a letter written by COSAS secretary-general Nkhabo Khomongoe addressed to Zuma.
“From today onwards, all invitations and directed to the former president will be sent directly from the office of the secretary-general. Please don’t consider any invitation or letter which has not been sent by [the secretary-general’s office],” Khomongoe wrote.
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