The president of Mazibuye African Congress, a new political party formed in KwaZulu-Natal, says former president Jacob Zuma is not a member of their party but “a total embodiment of a struggle of a black child in South Africa”.
Reggie Ngcobo told News24 on Wednesday that they had engaged with Zuma this year while they were still in the process of forming the party.
“We consulted Msholozi (Zuma’s clan name) as a stalwart, a former freedom fighter and the ex-president of the land – not as a member of the ANC. His advice was solely along those lines to groom us as children.
“We owe him nothing and he owes us nothing, but we believe that he is a total embodiment of a struggle of a black child in South Africa. He is one of the icons we are looking up to, but he is not a member of the Mazibuye African Congress,” Ngcobo said, adding that the party would launch soon.
In June, Ngcobo told News24 that they had met Zuma three times since May.
Need for new party
Ngcobo, who claimed he had participated in the structures of the South African Communist Party, the African National Congress and the Economic Freedom Fighters at provincial level, said the party was formed after they made a clarion call to South Africans to decide whether there was a need for another political party to represent and fight for the needs of black people.
“We’ve consolidated those views and the people in the house have unanimously agreed that we should form a new political party,” he said.
He reiterated that the party would definitely contest the 2019 national elections.
Ngcobo said they were different to other political parties because they represented the interests of black people.
“We will bring back the dignity of blacks by decolonising their minds so that they believe and love themselves instead of following western protocols and systems,” he said.
Ngcobo took a jibe at the ANC-led government regarding the issue of land redistribution.
“We are seeing some who have existed for 106 years, but have failed to sort out the land issue, now coming back to the community to ask if we want the land while they were formed to bring back the land. We see traditional leaders as central figures to our struggles because most of the political organisations were formed by them to address the issue of land,” he said.
He also accused the government of overlooking traditional leaders.
“We want to position Amakhosi in such a way that they can govern the country. [The] land was taken from the people while traditional leaders were the custodians of land. We are saying land must be given back to the hands of traditional leaders,” he added.
‘A bit fearful’
Ngcobo said they would also fight for the government to subsidise the taxi industry.
“We are also interested in seeing the taxi business, which is more than 80% black-owned, being one of the top industries in the country,” he said.
He said they were “a bit fearful” when it came to political conflicts in KZN.
“But the difference with us is that we are a grassroots mobilised revolution. We are here to work with the people and they’ll protect us because we are one of them. We are not like other parties who have allies who fight for tenders and positions that will get them closer to controlling tenders and forget about our people’s struggles. We are totally against that,” he said.
Ngcobo added that he could not yet estimate how many members they had because they had “just” issued membership forms to people.
“Judging from all the consultations we had across the country, we anticipate having about 25 000 members by the end of next month,” he said.
Ngcobo said the party was well represented in all South African provinces, except the Northern Cape.