Zuma a crooked leader – Kasrils

2016-04-21 17:14
Ronnie Kasrils at Stellenbosch University (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Ronnie Kasrils at Stellenbosch University (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town – Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils on Thursday blasted President Jacob Zuma, saying he had not seen certain traits – such as greed – when Zuma was a youngster.

"My biggest critique of him is that he is a crooked leader and has misruled," he told journalists after an address at Stellenbosch University.

"The country has suffered as a result of his greed. From that point of view, he is the wrong leader. I didn’t see this in him when I knew him as a youngster, maybe this was not there. But certainly it may have been there."

He said Zuma had abused his power to get rich at the expense of the people.

During his earlier address he said: "I would rather live in a country where the champions of the Washington Consensus, of the IMF, Pravin Gordhan, Trevor Manuel, Cyril Ramaphosa rule, than Jacob Zuma, [Des] Van Rooyen and company.”

He said Gordhan and former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene would not allow Zuma to have the keys to the Treasury.

Kasrils was among prominent members of civil society and anti-apartheid activists who stood on the steps of the Constitutional Court last month and demanded Zuma resign from office.

'No working class hero'

Kasrils told journalists that in 2005 he had had a huge debate with communist party leaders, who were clearly backing Zuma.

He had argued with them, giving reasons why Zuma was not fit to be president. At that time, he said Zuma was no "working class hero", and would be a "right wing nationalist".

Other reasons he gave were Zuma’s "immorality, corruption and misogyny".

He said SACP leader Blade Nzimande had told him: "Well you see, a Zuma presidency gives the best opening for the working class for a left-wing shift."

"And I said, 'you know Blade, that shows you are just an opportunist and you will rue the day of your decision'.

"And now they are coming out against him because he no longer favours them, he prefers the Guptas."

If Zuma did not go, Kasrils said the country would continue to suffer as a result of his misrule: the "looting of the state" and the "placing of absolute puppets to protect himself, people who should not be ministers and are simply there to carry out his bidding".

He believed voters were fed up and the ANC’s support in the local government elections in August would drop below 60%.

Read more on:    ronnie kasrils  |  jacob zuma  |  cape town  |  politics

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