Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
OPPOSITION party leaders have praised President Jacob Zuma who yesterday held an unprecedented meeting with them at Tuynhuys in Cape Town.
Zuma later told a press conference that the meeting was "a recognition that whatever our differences we need to all take responsibility for building the future of our country".
He said it was important that opposition parties be "accorded the respect that we would want them to accord the people they represent".
The parties did not get to hold intensive discussions, which would be deferred to "future meetings", the president said.
The president afterwards surprised IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi with a huge chocolate cake in honour of his 81st birthday.
ID leader Patricia de Lille praised Zuma, saying that former president Thabo Mbeki "had never" invited opposition leaders to meet him.
PAC leader Letlapa Mphahlele said the meeting gave all the parties a chance to air their views in an atmosphere of "mutual respect" - unlike parliament which he said was "full of showmanship".
Cope parliamentary leader Mvume Dandala said by convening the meeting Zuma had showed he was "faithful to his promise to put South Africa first".