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Sihle Zikalala was booed and heckled out of office

  • Outgoing KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala says he is not concerned about being booed at public events.
  • He was recently booed at the Premier’s Cup that was held in Pietermaritzburg at the Harry Gwala Stadium last weekend.
  • Zikalala was also booed during the elective conference at the end of July and a few months ago in Nkandla at a prayer session for former president Jacob Zuma.

Outgoing KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala says he is not bothered with the recent booing he experienced at public events he attended.

“I don’t want to comment on such things, those are sideshows which do not occupy my focus,” he told News24 on Friday after he announced his resignation and left the public works offices in Durban.

Zikalala made a swift exit after his press briefing, not allowing any questions from the media. 

His exit from office came after he offered the provincial executive committee (PEC) his resignation on Thursday. It accepted it the next day.

Nomusa Dube-Ncube, Amanda Bani and Mbali Fraizer were set to be interviewed for the premier’s position on Saturday, the ANC said.

Zikalala has had a bad run at public events in recent months.

His most humiliating was last weekend when he was heckled and booed at his own event, the Premier’s Cup.

As he was due to sing the national anthem on 31 July, the crowd began chanting: “Phuma Sihle, phuma.” This loosely translates to “go, Sihle, go”.

They crowd began stirring again when he was meant to present the winning trophy, but a fireworks display silenced the hecklers.

Zikalala also faced heckling from his own ANC members two weeks ago during the provincial elective conference where delegates and supporters again sang: “Phuma Sihle, phuma.”

He was further mocked when attending a prayer session held by former president Jacob Zuma’s supporters in Nkandla.

He was booed and ended up leaving the venue.

In a video that went viral, Zikalala was seen leaving a tent with other delegates he arrived with as Zuma’s supporters sang and pointed at him, saying akabuyi (he is not coming back).

The disdain for Zikalala began when Zuma was sent to prison last year. His supporters accused him of being silent when the former president was jailed.

In his outgoing speech, Zikalala aligned himself to Zuma, saying at a political level, there were accusations he betrayed the former president.

“I wish to make it clear that I have supported President Zuma from 14 June 2005 until today. I supported him as a leader and someone who sacrificed his life for South Africa to be liberated,” he said.

Zikalala said there was a “deceptive narrative” that accused him of aligning to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“It is the tradition of the ANC that dictates that members must always accept and work with the elected leadership whether they have supported the elections of that leadership or not.”

–City Press

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