Zuma joins unity call

2018-11-20 15:36
Former president Jacob Zuma on the campaign trail at eMatsheni taxi rank on Monday evening.

Former president Jacob Zuma on the campaign trail at eMatsheni taxi rank on Monday evening. (Ian Carbutt)

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Former president Jacob Zuma, who has been at loggerheads with the ANC’s top brass over its decision to axe him as the country’s number one citizen, on Monday extended an olive branch to his enemies within the party. 

Addressing ANC supporters in the Pietermaritzburg CBD as part of the ruling party’s elections campaign, Zuma said unity within the organisation has become the top a priority.

“If there is someone within the ANC who you differ with, you have to put aside your differences and focus on helping the ANC win the elections.

“Once the ANC wins the elections you can then sit down with the person you differ with and try to resolve the problem,” he said.

Zuma — who handed out ANC election pamphlets to commuters at the Ematsheni taxi rank at the corner of Berg and Retief streets before proceeding to the Market taxi rank in Church Street — told his supporters not to revere him more than the ANC.

“I’m a pensioner and one day I can decide to just stay at home and look after cattle, what would you do. That is why you must never support an individual but always support the ANC.

“If you say I’m not voting for the ANC because certain individuals within the ANC are doing this and that to Zuma, then you don’t understand politics. Zuma is just an individual and you should distinguish between individuals and the ANC,” he said.

The KwaZulu-Natal ANC is the biggest province within the party, and, until last year’s elective conference, had been playing the role of kingmaker in the party’s national elective conferences.

Zuma told ANC supporters in KZN to work towards returning the province to its glory days.

“What is making the province weak is that we were no longer united. We should unite so that we can once again be able to influence decisions within the ANC nationally,” he said.

The ANC national executive committee (NEC), Zuma said, has issued a directive to the party’s KZN provincial leadership to work towards increasing the organisation’s support in the upcoming general elections.

“The NEC is very much aware of the fact that the entire ANC will be affected negatively should KZN fail to get the required votes in next year’s elections. It is for this reason that we have to aim at increasing the number of ANC votes in the province to ensure that the ANC remains in power in this country.”

Zuma, who is currently facing criminal charges for his role in the government’s arms deal in the 90s, said it was critical for ANC members to ensure that the party remained in power in the country.

“Opposition parties are doing all sorts of things to ensure that the ANC gets less votes so that it could be forced to enter into a coalition after next year’s elections. They want to weaken the ANC so that they can take the country in the wrong direction. We need to ensure that the ANC wins the elections so that we will be able to defend our freedom and policies.”

ANC supporters, sporting their gold, black and green colours, waved and cheered as Zuma — who repeated his controversial statement that the ANC will rule until Jesus comes back — dismissed opposition parties as “smaller” parties.

He then broke into his trademark song, Mshini wami (bring my machine gun), after wrapping up his speech.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  jacob zuma
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