Zuma rejects debate offer

African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma has rejected Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille’s offer to engage him in a public debate.

Addressing students at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town on Friday, Zuma said Zille should rather debate her DA policy issues with the electorate.

“I debate issues with the electorate—they [the DA] must not try to debate their own issues through me,” he said.

Zille had challenged Zuma to a public debate after the ANC president said during an address to Soweto residents on Sunday that the ruling party was ready to debate issues with the opposition.

However, on Friday Zuma suggested that Zille had misunderstood him.

The ANC president said he had merely urged Zille and the rest of the opposition parties to debate issues with the public so that South Africans knew what they stood for.

There was no point in Zille engaging him in a public debate because it would be difficult for the DA leader to convince him that their policies were the best.

Zuma—who is on a four-day election campaign in Cape Town—told the students to register to vote in their numbers.

“Voting for the ANC is voting for the future,” he said.—Sapa

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