People had told him that he could not rule the country because he was not educated, he said in isiZulu at the national congress in Kempton Park.
“I knew what I was doing then and I know what I am doing now,” he said.
“I am not here by mistake,” he added.
“The issue is how do we make South Africa succeed? How do we bring about prosperity in our country?”
He took a swipe at people with big mouths.
“That task is not for many of the people who talk too much, that task is now in our hands.
“I am not like people who come today and speak louder, who were not there when things were tough.”
Without mentioning them by name, Zuma said he did not judge them.
“And we have never judged them … I think we are kind because we have a deeper understanding of the destiny of our people, the destiny of this country.”
Zuma is campaigning to be re-elected as ANC president in December – and the NUM is a key constituent of the ANC. – Sapa