While others are throwing insults in Pretoria, we’re celebrating – Zuma

2017-04-27 15:02
President Jacob Zuma (File, AP)

President Jacob Zuma (File, AP)

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2017-04-27 14:52

Scores of supporters flocked on the Caledonian stadium in Pretoria on Freedom Day, in a mass rally against President Jacob Zuma.WATCH

Durban – President Jacob Zuma took a jibe at those protesting against him on Freedom Day, saying they spend "lots of money just to insult a certain party and individual instead of celebrating". 

The Freedom Movement, which including several opposition parties, held a mass rally against Zuma in Pretoria on Thursday. Late former president Nelson Mandela's granddaugther Ndileka Mandela and assitant Zelda La Grange spoke at that event. 

Zuma was addressing the nation on the achievements of the country in the 23 years of its democracy in Manguzi, northern KwaZulu-Natal, when he said he heard through the media that “there are those who are not celebrating” Freedom Day.

“I’ve heard through the news that they’ve spent money on insulting a certain party and an individual the whole day. We’re happy here, we are celebrating while they are throwing insults - oh my God,” said Zuma, before bursting into laughter. 

Acting like 'a mentally disturbed person'

Before his formal address, Zuma speaking in isiZulu, said that while they celebrated Freedom Day at a “national event” in Manguzi, there were others who were celebrating it in a different way in Pretoria.

“There are those in Pretoria, it’s said that they are celebrating but just in Pretoria,” said Zuma adding that he wasn’t just addressing the people of Umkhanyakude municipality in KZN, but the whole nation.

The presence of the SANDF general and other leaders of the force was a sign that the celebration in Manguzi was a “dignified” national event, he said. 

He said politics is about debating instead of criticising and that the nation is not built on anger but through peace.

“When someone has done wrong, be clear so that they could learn instead of shouting. Because when you shout the person ends up not knowing whether you intend to help them or not.”

He advised those who wish to one day govern the country to stop criticising but tell people their views and win them over by the way they conduct themselves instead of acting like “a mentally disturbed person”.

It doesn’t mean that when someone has different political views than yours, they are the enemy, he said.

Zuma previously said mass gathering against him were marked by racism. On Thursday, he urged South Africans to unite against racism.

“In 1994 we undertook to build a non-racial society in which racism would be a thing of the past sadly the ideology of racism remains firmly entrenched among some in our population,” he said.

“We have also recently published the prevention and combating of hate crimes and hate speech bill. Once it becomes law it will criminalise several forms of discrimination including, on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and nationality. We must build the society that Oliver Tambo spoke about, a united South Africa which is free of racism,” said Zuma.

Zuma reflected on the country’s achievements since the first democratic elections in 1994.

Mandela became the first democratically elected president of the country on this day, 23 years ago.

Zuma was joined on Thursday event by his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa publicly criticized Zuma for his recent Cabinet reshuffle, which saw Pravin Gordhan axed as finance minister, among others. 

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  durban

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