Second transition not my idea, says Zuma

2012-06-26 20:00
President Jacob Zuma has denied that he is behind the idea of a "second transition" that will be discussed at the ruling party's policy conference. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

President Jacob Zuma has denied that he is behind the idea of a "second transition" that will be discussed at the ruling party's policy conference. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has denied that he is behind the idea of a "second transition" that will be discussed at the ruling party’s policy conference.

The idea of a second transition is about a radical shift in economic policies to address poverty, inequality and unemployment. But it has also been linked with Zuma’s attempt to secure a second term at the helm of the ANC by mobilising popular support through a radical rhetoric.

Addressing the media in Midrand, Zuma said he had not authored the document that discusses the "second transition". It had been the work of a committee.

He said he had merely raised the debate in meetings of the ANC, "not because it emerged from me; I was merely taking an issue that is in the documents".

He said he had flagged the issue because of the poor quality of life many people still experience.

"I raised within ANC meetings to prepare comrades as they discussed to appreciate what it is that is in the documents that they need to discuss and be ready when they get to the conference,” he said.

He said the media had missed the point by linking the document to him.

"There is nothing wrong that one has done. As the president of the ANC I sharpened the debate on the matter to discuss the matter to come up with what we can do about it.

"Otherwise you could be faced with the anger of the people who think you do nothing about them. I've paid visits to a number of areas in this country where you can’t believe that it’s still in South Africa," he said.

Zuma said he couldn't sleep peacefully as a leader when there people who still live in squalid conditions.

He said if the party failed to take a decision about its own idea, saying this would not be bad reflection on one individual.

"There has been a hype in the media to make it a Zuma issue and I’m sure the media will be very keen to say Zuma has been defeated. Not at all," he said.

ANC deputy secretary general Thandi Modise said there were no winners and losers in debates.

The leadership could not pre-empt discussion on the second transition, she added.

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  thandi modise  |  johannesburg  |  politics

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