I'm a worker before anything else - Zuma

2012-02-23 11:35

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma said he was a worker above anything else, in his address at the opening of the Numsa National Political Commission in Johannesburg on Thursday.

"No matter what you do with me, I remain a worker," said Zuma.

He said he owed everything that he was to unions.

"Until the end of time at the centre of me will be the working class feelings," he told delegates.

The relationship between the African National Congress, of which he is also president, and workers is significant, he said.


"The working class must influence the ANC from within. It is very crucial."

There were working class movements that called themselves unionism, but were not, Zuma said.

The relationship between the ANC and workers had been discussed for a long time.

"We as workers in South Africa succeeded to make the ANC a progressive organisation, a revolutionary organisation."

The ANC had also worked closely with unions in the struggle against apartheid.

Some of the movement's best leaders were leaders of both the ANC and the SA Communist Party.

Delegates listened closely, with an occasional smattering of applause as Zuma traced the history of the relationship between workers and the ANC.

  • Youefoh - 2012-02-23 11:39


      Penny-wise - 2012-02-23 11:57

      Yep, had the same thought. "I'm a worker first" ??? You mean before you're a burden on the state and taxpayers with all your wifes and children ???

      David - 2012-02-23 12:05

      Yebo. I thought he would say he is a polygamist first, who cannot get enough of women.. which leads to him working harder... with every new wife..and more kids..which causes us tax payers to work harder.. to fund his extensive family.

      Penny-wise - 2012-02-23 12:10

      Exactly, that's why he wants (needs) a second term in office, to that the state can keep sponsoring his philandering

      mariuskowie - 2012-02-23 12:15

      And Malema claimed he was unemployed. They taught each other well.

      Penny-wise - 2012-02-23 12:16

      Well, he is now. LOL !!!

      Herman - 2012-02-23 12:20

      mmmmmmm, more like a skelm, just skelm first

      Willie - 2012-02-23 12:38

      Securing votes in Bloem

      Moca - 2012-02-23 12:44

      before you talk the talk Mr JZ, i propose you roll up your sleeves, or shall i rephrase, pull up your pants and use your real brain and work for us us all.....

      Brett - 2012-02-23 13:07

      Only in Africa is corruption considered work. Or wek.

      Francois - 2012-02-23 13:37

      Janeekop, what work did you for that R 500k Schaik gave you? Granted him parole? Oh, ya it is a loan? Have you paid it back? What work did you do for the interest to be written off? What work do you do to earn your salary as president as you are only the president of a sectin of the ANC, you do not act to the advantage for all South Africans, not even all ANC members. Maybe you should get minimum wage.

      Glyn - 2012-02-23 13:47

      Didn't he do some work in Camp Quatro?

      Marc - 2012-02-23 15:04

      Showerhead speaking to his audience again and saying exactly what they want to hear! Yes, its laughable!!

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-02-23 15:25

      Who isn't a worker(apart from the unemployed)? Unless you are from 18th centuary aristocrisy who didn't work then everyone is a worker. Labourer or unionist would be the appropriate term as worker suggests everyone else don't work.

      Mike - 2012-02-23 15:55

      You oaks must be respectful here! Of course he is a "worker"! To be honest, he is a production engineer! Depending what you produce though ...... counting the toes and fingers!

  • Brett - 2012-02-23 11:40

    Really? Where did you work previous to becoming a cadre?

      Andrew - 2012-02-23 12:25

      To be truthful, the only part that works is his mouth making promises that he nor his government keep. Now that is hard work!!

      Putin the " - 2012-02-23 12:37

      He was assigned to assassinate the cancer we had before 94, which ofcourse he did with flying colours. Thanks to him and others

      satanslord - 2012-02-23 12:43

      Worked as a shower assistant.

      raegan.mcreed - 2012-02-23 12:57

      Worked as a gardener for some farmer op die plaas....

      John - 2012-02-23 13:02

      @ The Dog.. Only thing he's assassinating is the working class. With high tax and no service delivery.

      Brett - 2012-02-23 13:03

      @Putin actually he spent most of his life pre 1994 in exile...And if by cancer you are referring to Apartheid, well that was voted away by whites in 1992. You need to learn some history before making a fool of yourself.

      Marc - 2012-02-23 15:07

      Only thing that worked was his libido, and overtime at that!

      Balan - 2012-02-23 17:36

      eeeish ilungisa amashawaara

  • roodbol - 2012-02-23 11:43

    .... whatever you say, Mr President.

      Mr Kcopah - 2012-02-23 12:18

      couldnt agree more.

      Poloyatonki - 2012-02-23 12:38

      I guess you guys didnt even vote for JZ but you are expecting everything from him...

      Penny-wise - 2012-02-23 12:50

      Donkey we just expect that 'our' leader do his job properly. That's what leaders are elected to do.

      Penny-wise - 2012-02-23 12:51

      And you're right, unlike ANC supporters, the rest of us don't vote for criminals

      anthro45 - 2012-02-23 12:52

      No Poloyatonki, we didn't vote for him, but our hard earned money are still contributing to this lowlife's salary through taxes.

      John - 2012-02-23 13:05

      @ Polo.... We don't expect everything from him. We are workers and provide for ourselves. However, the least we can expect is what he keeps promising... like providing services, strong action against corruption and clean governance.

      Mike - 2012-02-23 16:02

      @anthro45 : If only tax-payers could vote, do you believe the anc would run the government? Or let me refrase: If only people who pay for their groceries at till point, may they leave to store without being asked for a till slip? Or does everyone grab-and-go?

  • Buzz - 2012-02-23 11:46

    Sure Mr President... stealing can be a lot of hard work.

      Glyn - 2012-02-23 13:49

      And a lot of fun!

  • Moca - 2012-02-23 11:47

    yeah right....we all know how hard you're at work before taking that shower..

  • John - 2012-02-23 11:48

    It depends who my audience is, If it's at an agricultural meeting - "I'm for farming, before anything else", If it's at an educational meeting - "I'm for teaching before anything else.", If it's at a health meeting - "I'm for good health and medicine before anything else" - If it's in court - "I'm for a good shower before anything else.."

      maseratifittipaldi - 2012-02-23 12:24

      ...addressing Correctional Services inmates..."I'm a criminal before anything else"

  • Clive - 2012-02-23 11:48

    There we have it: there is no way the ANC is going to stare down the unions in order to create an environment more condicive to job creation. Almost by definition, Cosatu is more concerned about maintaining a small core of overpaid, under-productive employees (I won't call them workers) than in allowing the unemployed to accept work at any rate in order to feed their families. Witness the enforced closure of textile factories in northern KZN which put many women out of work and left families destitute.

      Glyn - 2012-02-23 13:50

      Cosatu has the anc by the shorts!!

  • Larry - 2012-02-23 11:49

    As a worker, I would put him in the category of "Brickies Labourer".

      Dennis - 2012-02-23 12:04

      A brickies labourer is an important job !! Without him the brickie can do nothing so ........... rather make jz the brickie !!

      Larry - 2012-02-23 14:16

      OK, Pheasant Plucker then

  • sardick.davids - 2012-02-23 11:49

    till the bleddie cows come home...

  • butch.poulter - 2012-02-23 11:53

    And because of the unions and their labour laws I refuse to employ or expand any further.

  • Comrade - 2012-02-23 12:01


  • Garth - 2012-02-23 12:03

    The only thing that zuma and the useless, worthless anc are good at working on, is the next lie.

  • Cracker - 2012-02-23 12:07

    Being a worker is no big deal. Most people are workers. Where the unemployed fits in? Don't know. But those Cosatus sitting there are not helping the unemployed at all.

      Glyn - 2012-02-23 13:55

      A Trade Union is an elitist club for the employed.

  • Piet - 2012-02-23 12:08

    Thought he was a Sh@gger!

  • Murechen - 2012-02-23 12:10

    The start listening to your EMPLOYERS (the SA citizens)

      Garth - 2012-02-23 12:55

      Hear, hear! For the people, by the people, of the people. Useless, worthless anc.

  • MSGRule - 2012-02-23 12:11

    Comment kulling is vigourous nowadays. Add the comment and next refresh it is gone. Wonder what the staff compliment is at news24 for this job.

  • PaasHaas - 2012-02-23 12:12

    Next he'll tell us his fat nephew from Aurora is also a "worker before anything else"

  • Brett - 2012-02-23 12:12

    Come on give the man a break. He did work on the arms deal after all! Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Morama - 2012-02-23 12:21

    I just wish all the people he addresse can open up to see who really this guy and the party is representing motive's are!!! Anyway,the people he addresed are the same people who still believes in making a lot of noise,chanting slogans and loot every shop they come across to addres their concerns,we therefore not surprised that they listen to illiterate moron like this Zooooooooormer showerhead jacob!!!

  • malcolm - 2012-02-23 12:22

    I think he meant cattle herder first.

      Penny-wise - 2012-02-23 12:26

      I have to disagree with you. He cannot herd cattle. Have you seen what a mess it is around the ANC conference buffet tables?

      Glyn - 2012-02-23 13:57

      Cattle herders are real workers, do a tough job. Zuma would not know how to do it!

  • Lida - 2012-02-23 12:26

    He is a traveller, a womanizer, a party goer, but a worker??? unless he means that it takes a lot of work to be all that.

  • Shamiel - 2012-02-23 12:30

    Sure Mr work on my nerves!!!for how long will you and the ANC still mislead the poor and promise them a better life with the monies stolen by the ANC?

  • kardollie - 2012-02-23 12:35

    zuma you know very well you are talking a lot of carbage.go tell that to your illiterate supporters.inja

  • Nkulekweni - 2012-02-23 12:39

    Why do people like saying meaningless things? A president of a country is as much a worker as is the queen of England who also works hard shaking commoners hands with her gloved one. Since our miners are striking in order to be able to afford to send their children to universities ...and are demanding white collar salaries, this has become a very puzzling country indeed. Isnt the value of a skill (as with any other commodity) determined by demand and supply. The last time I checked this country and surrounding countries have infinitely more labourers than is needed by mining companies. Perhaps we need job re-evaluation and job redefinition. Those who have spent years in school and at tertiary education institutions acquring skills that sell for a higher price should get the minimum wage and labourers should get huge salaries. In such a world the president's comment would make sense. Especially since he has never seen the inside of a classroom... And no I do not have anything against uneducated people...I think that it grossly unfair that this country has so many people who have never had a chance to access good education...I do however think there is something wrong with pilots who have never learnt how to fly planes and something wrong too with the expectation that it should be individual dreams that determine what salaries are rather than the market.

      Garth - 2012-02-23 12:57

      Well said Nkulekweni - now say it with your vote!

      Glyn - 2012-02-23 13:59

      Now vote DA, or some other opposition party.

      SJ - 2012-02-23 15:48

      I strongly disagree with you. A president should be a servant above all else and therefor by default should not get rich out of being president. Zuma is surely not in that "servant of the people' catogary. he does however oversee a situation where a few people are ripped of to pay for millions of other, something which is nothing less than legalized theft. This latest budget shows it clearly yet again.

  • Isak - 2012-02-23 12:41

    We should always protect the ANC against capitalism and the ruling class.I am so glad the president came out boldly and emphasize the working class agenda.The president should continue to raise the issue of the workers within the broader alliance, because it is the workers who came in numbers to support the ANC!Long live Numsa long live! Long live Cosatu long live!long live President Zuma long Live! Amandla!

      Garth - 2012-02-23 12:58

      Spot the anc ignorant.

      Brett - 2012-02-23 13:06

      @Garth its difficult....there are millions of them...

      Nkulekweni - 2012-02-23 13:52

      How does the Numsa bible define worker? Is it somebody who officially earns a salary that is in the top 10 percentile of a country, somebody who has speeches written for him, somebody who commands and his wish is followed. If you follow the marxist definition of worker as somebody who sells his labour in the exploitation of means of production such as land, factories, ect. Then Zuma is not a worker. Yours is an acute form of wilful ignorance...if you follow your leader as avidly as you claim to ...then you would know that he is whatever the people he is addressing a meeting with squatters he is a squatter at heart, in a rhema church he is a born again christian, in an SACP meeting his heart is as red as Mao's red book, in a meeting with farmers he is a farmer, in a meeting with Sheik he is ... well.. a sheik..... He is all these things except what he is supposed to be....a president.

      Glyn - 2012-02-23 14:03

      Zuma is the ruling class and has plenty capital stashed away! Even if he has no class.

      Jonty Mfolo - 2012-02-23 14:20

      amandla! say it aloud trade unionists, mr zuma did'nt hear that.. now; go back to work!!

      Kent - 2012-02-23 15:16

      @Isak. Long live Solidarity long live!!!!!

  • Thebe - 2012-02-23 12:42

    why so much anger and hatred? you need time to think cause you are busy responding with negative emotions destructing you to think straight..ZUMA is right

      Garth - 2012-02-23 13:02

      You need to read the writings of those other than your anc masters. The truth is out there. Evolve . . .

      Koos - 2012-02-23 13:58

      ZUMA is right? Well then, give the man a...errr.... another wife!

  • Leon - 2012-02-23 12:42

    You are a terrorist and a perpetrator of terrorism. You have nothing to do with democracy or the ideals held in the ideology. You are a advocate of death and a perpetrator or racism.

  • Leroy - 2012-02-23 12:43

    I have nothing bad to say except that im also a worker, might not earn a much as he does but im sure i work just as hard! Dont most of us? What does his statement imply? that we are not hard workers or that he is trying to make us believe he works 24/7!

      maseratifittipaldi - 2012-02-23 13:41

      Leroy, you probably earn more than him.

  • Victor - 2012-02-23 13:34

    You could have fooled me !!!! He has probably never done a full days work in his life.

  • Victor - 2012-02-23 13:34

    Is that worker or wanker !!!!!

      Koos - 2012-02-23 13:52

      Judging by his wives and spawn..... the word you looking for starts with a "F".

  • PhilipV - 2012-02-23 13:36


  • Glyn - 2012-02-23 13:44

    No comment!

  • Glyn - 2012-02-23 13:47

    Didn't he do some work in Camp Quarto?

  • Yolanda - 2012-02-23 14:21

    Somehow, i found this article quite hilarious. LMAO!

  • Wyn - 2012-02-23 14:43

    Bloody Agent, corruption, lying and stealing is not working! Get your office in order or bugger off man!

  • Sariena - 2012-02-23 14:57

    Zuma,you are not a worker at all.Maybe you can dig in the garden but as president you are hopeless

  • Sariena - 2012-02-23 15:04

    He works hard in bed.Digging and all that goes with it

  • Richard - 2012-02-23 15:06

    Extremely well paid worker!!!

  • lisa.evansdominick - 2012-02-23 15:43

    Hahaha a worker with very expensive tastes.... and a never ending budget...

  • SJ - 2012-02-23 15:43

    I have not once heard that Zuma held down a normal paying job, that could make him a worker. If he did, I would sure like to know the details in order to apologize.

  • john.m.mcdowall - 2012-02-23 15:46

    What has this dude been smoking. In his dreams has he the slightest inkling of what the meaning of work is. I see there have so far been 95 denegrading comments re this stupid utterance so far but have not had time to read them all. Can't showerhead and his accomplices get it through their thick heads that all the talk is 'smoke and mirrors' which, unfortunately, the un-educated masses cannot see through. God help South Africa

  • Jadon - 2012-02-23 16:08

    Industrial action was used to bring pressure to bear on the Apartheid government at a time when the bulk of this country's citizens never had the right to vote. Those days are over, Mr Poly Gymast. Why still be so cosy with the Unions? They are ruining the economy of this country.

  • Luke - 2012-02-23 16:14


  • Brett Michielin - 2012-02-23 19:17

    How about being a president? Reminds me of that old savanna ad.

  • Brett Michielin - 2012-02-23 19:18

    How about being a president? Reminds me of that old savanna ad.

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