Juju followers openly mock Zuma

2012-07-10 19:01

President Jacob Zuma delivered the ANC’s Nelson Mandela Centenary lecture to about 4 000 supporters, some of them coughing throughout as a result of the teargas police used during an earlier confrontation in the venue.

Outside Christ Worship House church in Thohoyandou, Limpopo, a scuffle that began before Zuma’s arrival this afternoon continued between police and supporters of expelled former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.

Malema’s supporters, consisting mainly of young people, were earlier kicked out of the venue with police using teargas to break the confrontation that took place inside the church.

About eight Malema supporters were arrested.

The lecture, in which Zuma presented Mandela as a man of peace and reconciliation, continued peacefully.

Zuma said the manner in which Madiba carried himself during the struggle period and beyond taught many that “the most effective revolutionary ideas are magnetic, not coercive”.

Mandela “attracted people like a magnet, through persuasion,” Zuma said.

“Madiba was an exceptional president for both the ANC and government. He carried the values and policies of the ANC to his tasks in government, promoting national reconciliation, forgiveness and national unity.”

Zuma urged South Africans to continue the reconciliation project that Mandela “so passionately led on behalf of the ANC”. That reconciliation should, however, be a two-way process. “Our differences should not set us apart from one another, but should be the compelling reason for us to draw closer to forge a common future, all of us, black and white.”

Zuma listed Madiba’s achievements as both the ANC and state president, saying it was during the first ten years of democracy, five of which were under Mandela’s leadership, that:

» 789 laws or amendments aimed at reconfiguring South African society and removing apartheid laws were approved by Parliament.
» The Reconstruction and Development Programme and other transformative programmes laid the basis for a new caring society.
» The policy to have children under the age of six and pregnant women receiving free medical care in every state hospital and clinic was introduced.
» Access to housing, electricity and other basic services were also started by the ANC during Madiba’s presidency.

Mandela’s family was represented by his granddaughter Ndileka Mandela while Zuma was supported by several national executive committee members, including secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, head of monitoring and evaluation Jessie Duarte, KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Zweli Mkhize, Eastern Cape chairperson Phumulo Masualle and national spokesperson Jackson Mthembu.

Mandela will be celebrated throughout July, the month of his birthday, as part of the ANC’s 100-year celebrations.

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