(Thulani Gqirana, News24)
Port Elizabeth – President Jacob Zuma has laid into the Democratic Alliance for their ambitions to take over Nelson Mandela Metro in the upcoming local government elections.
Addressing a packed Siyanqoba rally in the highly contested metro, the president warned the thousands of supporters against voting for the DA.
Calling the party the offspring of the apartheid era National Party and Progressive party that was a "snake", Zuma said he was constantly surprised when he saw people wearing "those t-shirts".
He said the ANC had fought for democracy, while other parties were merely jumping on the bandwagon.
With supporters screaming his name, Zuma said he was going to attack the DA because there was no speaker to call order.
He said the ANC knew how to lead, as they were already in government.
"Do not be deceived. I want to make this clear because we have a short memory. They are the spawn of the National Party."
He said the DA always talked about the ANC, whenever they opened their mouths, and this was the same thing that the NP had done.
"They have the same hatred. They don't believe black people can lead," he said.
He likened DA leader Mmusi Maimane to an artificial leader, and said the white DA members did not even attend his meetings.
He said the DA was the same as the NP.
"When a snake, a poisonous one, gives birth, it gives birth to another snake. How can you vote for people who don't know you and who you don't know?” he asked.
Zuma said it was crystal clear that the ANC would win the metro, contrary to media reports.
The media was intent on painting a negative picture of the party, and every morning there were reports that the country was in trouble.
Reports and analysts were insistent that the economy was in trouble, he said, but this was not the truth.
He rubbished reports that they were going to lose the metro, saying the media was only intent on reporting the negative, like Nkandla and corruption.
He laid into DA mayoral candidate Athol Trollip who said he wanted to lead the Metro, but could not treat workers well on his farm.
The issue of Trollip's alleged mistreatment of workers was raised earlier at the rally, with ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa thanking traditional healers for their cleansing ceremony and saying he hoped Trollip would inhale the 'impepho' and be swept away.
Zuma also took the opportunity to slam independent candidates, cautioning voters against "wasting their votes" on them.
He called on the residents to defriend anyone who was running as an independent, as they were only looking for positions.
"They say they love the ANC when they have positions, but as soon as they lose them, they run as independents. Running as independents, that's a big disease," he said.
He said no one else had a plan like ANC mayoral candidate Danny Jordaan.
"The independents are chance takers of note."
A festival-style atmosphere prevailed, with supporters clearly lapping up Zuma's every word.
He even praised the young women wearing doeks in the audience and said he loved seeing them all dressed up.
He closed with his signature rendition of the "Umshini Wami" struggle song before a performance by hip-hop artist AKA.
The event was also attended by Minnie Dlamini and other celebrities, as well as ministers, deputies and families of struggle veterans.
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