Jacob Zuma on '9 wasted years': That is 'propaganda, dishonesty'

File photo: Jacob Zuma at OR Tambo International Airport after a trip to Cuba where he reportedly received treatment for an undisclosed medical condition. (Elizabeth Sejake)
File photo: Jacob Zuma at OR Tambo International Airport after a trip to Cuba where he reportedly received treatment for an undisclosed medical condition. (Elizabeth Sejake)

Former president Jacob Zuma has defended his tenure as the head of state, claiming the narrative that his nine years of presidency was a waste was "dishonesty" and "propaganda".

Zuma was in conversation with his son Duduzane during part 3 of a three-part series, dubbed, "Zooming with the Zumas".

"If you were an honest person, you said these nine years were wasted. That’s the biggest dishonesty. Particularly, if you were part of the things that were happening. I'm merely mentioning a few," Zuma said in the video.

Zuma said he could go on about his views on his years of presidency, arguing that whoever said the years were wasted "was just propaganda".

In part three of the videos, Duduzane asks his father to zoom in on his thoughts on the narrative that his years as president were a waste. 

In his reply, Zuma said he believed there was a lot of progress made in the country during his time in office.

Among the achievements the former president congratulated himself on was the initiation of the National Development Plan.

"It's still a matter whether we are implementing it as I foresaw it - that's a different matter - but at least we have a plan for the country. You can't say that's a waste of time," the former president said in the video which runs more than 46 minutes.

He also said that he had implemented multiple departments, which had made a change in the country, like rural development and basic education, to name a few.

It is not the first time the former leader of the ANC has hit back at critics with regard to his tenure as the head of state. 

News24 previously reported that he had done so after President Cyril Ramaphosa was reported to have spoken of "nine wasted years" at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in February 2019.

The former president dismissed those who said there was policy uncertainty during his term of office, saying some of those same people were part of those nine years.


Zuma told his son that rural development had not been a department before and, after its creation, people from many areas were able to receive assistance. He added that, instead of theorising about rural development, he had decided to put it into practical form by having such a department initiated. 

Zuma said splitting the education sector - into basic and higher education - was another achievement.

At the time, before he separated the two, Zuma claimed the national senior certificate matric results were fluctuating and there was no certainty to it. He said he believed the foundation of scholars was important, which was why he decided to set up a separate department for basic education.

"That has helped to create a foundation in South Africa that, today, the issue of a matric pass is no longer a guess, it's a certainty. This is what I did," he said.

Zuma added that, once the basic education department was implemented and functioning, many of those who had not agreed with him during consultation on it, started to realise that he was right.

He added that the fight to curb HIV and Aids in the country was another success.

During the first part of the conversation, Duduzane goes into detail about the events surrounding the suicide of his mother, Kate Mantsho Zuma. Part two drew controversy when former ANC NEC member Frank Chikane was called a liar by the young Zuma.

Reacting to the broadcast, Chikane cautioned the former president and accused the younger Zuma of creating "falsehoods".

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