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‘A slap in the face to KZN’s people’: DA criticises Zikalala for attending Zuma’s prayer meeting

KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala and health MEC Nomagugu Simelane allegedly skipped a legislature sitting to attend a prayer meeting for former president Jacob Zuma. File photo.
KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala and health MEC Nomagugu Simelane allegedly skipped a legislature sitting to attend a prayer meeting for former president Jacob Zuma. File photo.
Image: File/ Sandile Ndlovu

The DA in KwaZulu-Natal has criticised the province’s premier Sihle Zikalala and his health MEC Nomagugu Simelane for allegedly skipping a legislature sitting to attend a prayer meeting for former president Jacob Zuma in Nkandla.

Zuma’s supporters met at the weekend in Nkandla to show him support amid his challenge to the high court order which overturned his release on medical parole by former correctional services commissioner Arthur Fraser.

The former president was released on medical parole after spending weeks in prison for defying a Constitutional Court order to appear before the state capture inquiry.

“That the premier and his health MEC, as cabinet members, chose to attend an event in support of keeping the disgraced former president out of jail is damning proof ANC party politics come before their duties to the people of KwaZulu-Natal,” said the DA.

According to the DA, the sitting included a debate on KwaZulu-Natal’s health committee report on the state of psychiatric institutions in the province, an update on forensic audit outcomes regarding an e-procurement tool introduced by Treasury and feedback on the water crisis in the Ugu District.

“It also included oral questions to the premier — a critical oversight mechanism for opposition parties — which is seldom part of the programme,” said the party.

“That the premier could not be bothered to attend, and instead answered the questions online, is a slap in the face to KwaZulu-Natal’s people.

“Ongoing ANC internal factionalism has already caused great suffering for our province’s citizens. KwaZulu-Natal is yet to bounce back economically from the devastating looting and riots of July 2021. This while many continue to experience trauma as a result of the horrific events.”

The DA also blamed the ANC for the ongoing political killings in the province, saying it places the lives of citizens at risk.

“By attending the solidarity event, the premier has shown, yet again, that he does not care about the future of our province or its people. The only place for Zikalala and his ANC is out of government. The people of KwaZulu-Natal need to show them the door when they go to the ballot box in 2024,” it said.

Request for comment from Zikalala’s office was unsuccessful at the time of publishing this article. Any update will be included once received.


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