Former president Jacob Zuma has stated his steadfast loyalty to the ANC by declaring he will continue to campaign for the party ahead of the elections in 2019.
“No one will stop me because I am a member of the Congress, I have the right. I am one of those who wants the ANC to win the elections with an outright majority,” Zuma said.
The former president was speaking outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court after his appearance on one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one of money laundering and 12 of fraud relating to his involvement in the controversial arms deal in the 1990s.
The case was postponed until November 30.
Largely speaking in isiZulu, he reiterated his call for voters to come out in their numbers to vote for the ANC to ensure it gets a two-thirds majority, repeating that voters who protested elections because they disliked certain leaders were in the wrong.
At one point Zuma said: “I heard one man say they will vote for [BLF leader] Mngxitama. Mngxitama is okay, he has no problems; he is right, but not for the reasons you are stating. This is a clear political line, you can’t not vote and let people vote for the wrong party. Vote for this man [Mngxitama] because he wants issues to be resolved speedily,” Zuma said.
— Lindsay Maasdorp (@LindsayMaasdorp) July 27, 2018
Since Zuma made the comments about Mngxitama, social media has exploded with people thinking he was telling them to vote for the leader of the BLF, who again spoke passionately in Zuma’s defence outside court on Friday.
— Cliff the Reporter (@CliffShiko) July 27, 2018
#JacobZuma @Mngxitama Zuma has endorsed BLF when he said people should vote Mngxitama 'uyafuna izinto ziyenzeke ngokushesha' and by that he (Zuma) acknowledges ANC's delays in the Land issue…how interesting….
— Lazmore E. Chigudu (@ChiguduE) July 27, 2018
Zuma added that unity among black South Africans was the key to solving their problems.
“Our disunity, fights among ourselves, is a disease that keeps us in perpetual poverty,” Zuma said.
He, however, said the show of support during his trial should translate to votes for the ANC.
The embattled politician said a two-thirds majority election victory for the ANC would be important to achieve because it would grant the party the ability to amend certain parts of the constitution so it could implement its corrective policies.
“We had two-thirds of the vote [in 1999] and that has declined, and I do not know how it declined. We should regain the two-thirds majority because with a two-thirds majority we can change many things that we cannot change at the moment,” Zuma said to a crowd of supporters outside court.
He said he had heard of a campaign to reduce the ANC’s vote percentage to below 50% next year to force the party into a coalition government and prevent it from implementing its policies.
The former president said he was against voters staying away from elections because they were angered by certain issues, saying this would be to the detriment of the governing party.
“One of the things I think we should change is this thing called constitutional democracy, which means when a majority votes, that is it; we said we want a constitutional democracy and went against standard practice in other nations, which is called parliamentary democracy. We restrained ourselves. That is why even parliament can’t take the final decision. That decision has to be referred to the judges,” he said.
The former president said constitutional democracy was, however, flawed in practice because judges’ rulings were sometimes incorrect and had to be overturned by presiding officers in higher courts.
Zuma added that constitutional democracy gave judges greater authority regardless of what a majority view may be.