Fri Oct 21 15:05:02 CAT 2016

SA will not become another Zimbabwe

By unknown | May 29, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Trust the ANC to do the right thing, says its president, Jacob Zuma, and that includes who it chooses to run the country.

Trust the ANC to do the right thing, says its president, Jacob Zuma, and that includes who it chooses to run the country.

"I'll do what it tells me to do - the right thing, don't worry."

He denied the party was in disarray, that there were two ANCs, or two centres of power.

He blamed the media for trying to split the ANC into two camps, one led by him and the other by Thabo Mbeki.

"The ANC is functioning well," he said. "ANC members came up with two preferences for leadership in Limpopo. They exercised their democratic right to elect a leader of their choice.

"They had the right to choose between Thabo Mbeki and me. That doesn't mean there are two ANCs. The ANC is very coherent. There is no party that the people of South Africa can put their hopes in other than the ANC."

Zuma denied that one centre of power was in Luthuli House and another in Pretoria under Mbeki.

"Mbeki is president of the republic; Zuma is president of the ANC," he said. "There are no two centres of power. Mbeki has to undertake specific tasks as state president, but he gets his mandate from the ANC.

"There is one centre and that is [in the party]."

Calls by tripartite alliance leaders such as SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande and ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa that Mbeki should step down before his term ends next year did not reflect the general thinking within the ANC.

"Those are individual views not an ANC view. That is not an ANC issue."

On accusations from opposition political parties that he was delaying his corruption trial by coming up with ever more challenges to the legality of the charges against him, Zuma said the state was to blame.

The state had been investigating him for five years and kept on threatening to charge him. He had even asked suspended NPA chief Vusi Pikoli to ensure the trial was speeded up when he got charged.

"Even the judge in Pietermaritzburg asked the state, that as they had been investigating for five years, why were they not ready. It was not me who delayed the process.

"It was brutally unfair for the state to keep on threatening to charge me for five years. Did the opposition not see that the state was delaying?" he asked.

When the National Prosecuting Authority finally charged him last December, it set a trial date for August.

"I was ready to go to court as early as January," he said.

Asked about the possibility that the trial might last into next year when the ANC will be busy with campaigning, Zuma said the state had deliberately designed the process that way to interfere with the party's politics.

On the SABC he said the party felt it should be objective and nonpartisan in its reporting.

"We want an SABC that is objective, that cannot be manipulated by anyone.

"The manner in which the media in South Africa reports undermines media freedom. Journalists take media freedom too far. The media tries to make itself the opposition because the political opposition is weak," he said.

He accused the media of being hellbent on destroying certain individuals without regard to consequences to their families.

"Why can't they be objective? The media must be objective and responsible in its reporting.

"There is something wrong in the manner we do things ... here. The media should not be provocative; it should not be messing [around] with people," said Zuma.


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