Lobby groups the Right2Know and Ubunye bamaHostela have distanced themselves from a campaign calling for the release of former president Jacob Zuma.
DURBAN – ADVOCACY groups the Right2Know campaign in KwaZulu-Natal and Ubunye bamaHostela have distanced themselves from a campaign calling for the release of former president Jacob Zuma, suggesting that reports on social media about their support for Zuma were part of a campaign by “a third force element” aimed at destabilising them.
The two organisations also dismissed rumours that they were part of any group planning a media conference on Monday, purportedly to discuss the release of Zuma from prison and a response or mobilisation against the killings that took place in Phoenix.
“As the campaign, we strongly condemn the killing of people that occurred during the riots, especially in Phoenix, and we call on law enforcement and the justice system to ensure that everyone involved in those vicious attacks is prosecuted,” said Right2Know KZN provincial organiser Sthembiso Khuluse.
He added that they did not support any grouping that was for anything other than upholding the rule of law and social cohesion, and that none of their members had been mandated to be part of such discussions.
“We will endeavour to hold the people who are using our name for illegal purposes and mobilisation accountable, as this puts our organisation’s reputation into disrepute.
“We denounce any attempt to destabilise the organisation and to project it as being part of ulterior motives or political opportunism. We remain a non-partisan social movement that would never mobilise on political grounds,” Khuluse said.
He said revelations at the Zondo Commission of how some advocacy groups were targeted and infiltrated by state agents posing as activists had made them more alert to how the organisation’s name could be used for dubious purposes.
Ubunye bamaHostela secretary Muzi Ntuli said they were aware that certain forums were falsely using the organisation’s name, and those of other civil society organisations, to foment racial and ethnic divisions linked to calls for the release of the former president.
“Ubunye bamaHostela unequivocally distances itself from any forum, organisation, action, meeting, march or mobilisation falsely using our name, and rejects out of hand these dangerous attempts to stir up further violence when our country most needs peace, calm, and rational approaches to our many problems,” said Ntuli.
He added that as an organisation representing all eThekwini hostel dwellers, they were painfully aware how communities had been used in the past by self-interested politicians to wage war among themselves and with other communities.