Zuma on a charm offensive

2014-04-10 00:00

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma was on a charm offensive in Durban yesterday when he urged people to vote for the ANC in the upcoming elections.

“We now have 20 years in the second leg of our journey to rebuild SA to be free and democratic without poor people,” he said during a rally held at Kwa­Ndengezi, on the outskirts of Durban. “There is no organisation that can take us to a prosperous land except the ANC.”

Zuma, however, said that the ANC putting the interests of the people first was something journalists and political analysts did not distinguish between the ruling party and other parties.

“Every time we approach the elections they write and say that the ANC votes will decline, but they get shocked when the ANC votes increase.”

Zuma also said predictions were often made that people would not vote for the ANC because it does not deliver. “They say this when there is delivery for them: freedom of speech as a journalist.”

He told thousands that there were people who make commentary on television and also wrote things about the ruling party yet they did not say who they were and what they did. “Even if they try to confuse the people, we must know the people will not be confused.”

Zuma also said the ANC was different from other organisations.

“Others are called political parties. The ANC is an organisation of the people. Others are organisations of certain individuals,” he said.

Zuma also said the ANC was a people’s organisation not because it was being promoted but history attested to that since it was not formed by people who were ill-disciplined and expelled.

“The ANC was formed by people of South Africa because there were challenges facing the nation, especially the blacks,” he said.

He also told of how leaders had braved death, imprisonment and being hanged for the freedom of oppressed people under the banner of the ANC.

“We must remember that Madiba was imprisoned for 27 years but he never gave up. He knew that he was fighting for freedom and rights of black people and all people of South Africa.”

He took a swipe at opposition parties, which he said came up with manifestos similar to that of the ruling party, saying they criticised the ANC and came up with empty promises.

“Regardless of what they promise, they know they are making empty promises because they are not in government and there is nothing they can do,” he said.

In an indirect attack on the IFP, he said some parties did not hold elections to elect leaders yet called themselves democratic.

“They have had the same president since they were formed. Even today some are ageing in their positions. I tell you something you did not ask. There is no democracy inside the party,” Zuma said, adding that the ANC has had 12 leaders since it was formed.

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