WATCH: Zuma’s electioneering visit to Winterveldt gets mixed reactions

2016-05-14 07:15
President Jacob Zuma (File, AP)

President Jacob Zuma (File, AP)

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Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma’s visit to Winterveldt, north of Pretoria, on Friday was met with mixed reactions.

Some residents expressed anger with the way they were treated and being pushed around by security. They questioned why they could not engage with him if he had come to see them.

Zuma told locals that he could not stay for long as he had to get back to Pretoria for another function at the Union Buildings. He missed his morning door-to-door visit to Soshanguve. Mokonyane told residents that the president's plane had given problems yesterday and that he had only arrived in the country in the early hours of this morning from Uganda.

Pretty Dlulisa said she was happy that Zuma had visited, but that was as far as the excitement went.

"It’s good that he came to see us, but just didn’t like how we were treated. We were pushed around like dogs, but they claim he was here to see us. He said our votes were important, but the treatment we received did not highlight that importance," said a heavily pregnant Dlulisa.

Nhlanhla Auwa, a first time voter, was however excited after seeing Zuma. She said his speech, in which he encouraged South Africans to vote and reminded them of the power that goes with voting, had moved her.

"His speech was very good. It’s my first time voting and I think I will vote for the ANC. I think my vote can make a difference to the country and to my community," she said.

Vusi Lukhele, however, disagreed with Auwa. He said he had heard the speech, but was left very unhappy. He said Zuma did not spend enough time in the area to get an understanding of the challenges they faced on a daily basis.

"He was supposed to leave... in the evening to see how dark it gets and see how we are living. We are not going to vote. Those wearing his shirts can vote, but I will not. We have been voting for many years, but nothing has been happening. We don’t know if it’s our councillors eating money or what," he said.

Zuma was scheduled to spend his day interacting with residents, but the plan was derailed when he allegedly came back from Uganda in the early hours of Friday morning. He missed the door-to-door visit in Soshanguve, where ANC head of elections Nomvula Mokonyane told residents that his plane had given him problems and he could not leave Uganda on Thursday night.

Mokonyane told reporters that his failure to arrive for the community engagement was an indication that a new jet was needed. 

Zuma only arrived for the second leg of the programme and then left for the Union Buildings, where he was set to bestow credences on ambassadors arriving in the country.

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  pretoria  |  local elections 2016

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