/ 18 July 2017

Zuma: I can’t wait to respond to my critics without restrictions

HIV activist Mark Heywood tells Bhekisisa editor Mia Malan the president and health minister are direct opposites.
HIV activist Mark Heywood tells Bhekisisa editor Mia Malan the president and health minister are direct opposites.

President Jacob Zuma did not spare his critics during the Nelson Mandela Memorial Lecture in Empangeni on Tuesday night.

Zuma first took a jibe at former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe and former deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka for “sharing a platform with (FW) de Klerk”.

The national foundations of the three former presidents and Mlambo-Ngcuka were part of the recent national dialogues initiative in Braamfontein.

The foundations had joined other foundations to discuss the “deep and pervasive national general crisis” facing the country.

“If you understand politics, can you share a platform with De Klerk and make him a first speaker?” asked Zuma.

He asked how they could discuss the situation of the country and democracy “and not just democracy and generals but actually criticise the ANC”.

“You must know that those who do so, their politics are suspicious. I mean De Klerk now must teach us democracy!” said Zuma.

‘Hostile media’
He also took a swipe at “people” who use the “hostile media to communicate with comrades instead of talking to them first”.

ANC MP Makhosi Khoza has been very vocal in the media about the removal of Zuma from his position as president of the country and ANC.

“There are those who stand there and say things and because they are not being responded to, they think they know it all. They must know that those who are not responding don’t want to exacerbate this wrong thing because they are politically clear,” he said.

“If you’re politically clear, people will swear at you but you don’t worry. But if your politics are not enough, you will take a knobkerrie and beat that person,” Zuma said.

He said time will tell when those who publicly criticise the ANC daily “are on their own”.

Zuma said he couldn’t wait for the ANC’s December elective conference so he could respond to his critics without any restrictions.

“We are only left with five months to the elections. After it, I won’t be restricted when responding to people. For now, I must nurse everything,” he said.

Zuma swore that after the elections, “there are those I’ll tell in the morning where to get off”.

He also took a swipe at the recent SACP conference “for not discussing socialism”.

“You can’t have socialists meeting for days but nobody talks about socialism,” he said.

Zuma said in 1962, the SACP, then called Communist Party of South Africa, wrote a document called The Road To Freedom.

“And in 1979 or so, they changed The Road to The Path. You’ll be expecting a document of that sort after the conference, but dololo (a slang term used to describe lack of action),” said Zuma. – News24