RANJENI MUNUSAMY: Don't underestimate Jacob Zuma's ability to create chaos
'There appear to be two groupings around Zuma that are working on establishing a new party'
The messianic church leaders were all present at the High Court in Durban in April when Zuma made his first appearance on corruption charges.
The churches recently held two mass meetings in Durban, one for women and the other for traditional leaders, to continue consultations for the new party. Zuma attended both.
In the past few days, another group of KwaZulu-Natal activists announced to the media that they were lobbying support for a new party under the banner "Mazibuyele Emasisweni". They claim to have support from taxi operators and business people, as well as church groups. Some of the leaders of the messianic churches were taken aback by the announcement as they wanted to stay under the radar, mobilising support in their congregations.
Those laughing off reports of a new political party — or perhaps two — assembling around Jacob Zuma should think carefully before underestimating the propensity of the former president to cause chaos. Such people are questioning who would still vote for Zuma. They also ask what his supporters think he can do for them now that he could not do in his 10 years as ANC leader and nine years as president. While these might be logical questions, they are not under consideration by those mobilising support for Zuma's political revival.In November 2008, people loyal to former president Thabo Mbeki announced the formation of a breakaway from the ANC. The ANC had recalled Mbeki two months earlier and his supporters, some of whom quit the cabinet in solidarity, were angry. Mosiuoa Lekota, who later became president of COPE, said they were serving "divorce papers" on the ANC and accused it of steering the organisation "away from the established policy priorities and customary democratic norms of...