- Jacob Zuma has warned critics who speak out against him in public that he will no longer sit back and allow himself to be provoked
- The former president warned that he was no longer bound by the constraints of the Presidency and could and would now speak up for himself
- Zuma was speaking at a student event held in Durban on Wednesday night
Former president Jacob Zuma has issued a stern warning to critics who continue to publicly speak out against him. Zuma warned that now that he was no longer president, he would not sit back and allow others to provoke him.
Zuma said that while he was president, he had to be careful about how he dealt with certain matters, but now he was no longer bound by that particular responsibility.
Zuma was speaking at a meeting held by the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) in Durban on Wednesday night. The former president delivered the keynote address at the meeting about free tertiary education.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Zuma warned organisations and their leaders to refrain from discussing him in public and to rather focus on their own organisations.
eNCA.com reported that Zuma said: “There are people who like to talk about me, who are provoking me, and I kept quiet when I was president of the country,” said Zuma. “I no longer have that responsibility… and I want to warn them, they must keep quiet … I have things to say about their organisations, they must not provoke me.”
While not mentioned, it is believed that Zuma was referring to recent comments made by the South African Communist Party (SACP). The ANC’s alliance partner held a three-day meeting and accused Zuma of being at the heart of a backlash against President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The SACP’s Blade Nzimande was also critical of Zuma’s tepid remarks regarding the possible formation of a new political party. Nzimande said: “Comrade JZ must distance himself far from that. It’s not enough for him to say what I was taught by the ANC, I’ll never leave the ANC.”
News24.com reported that the ANC Youth League KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Kwazi Mshengu said the league was worried about the continual attacks on Zuma by the SACP. Mshengu said the SACP was never satisfied with what the former president did.
He said: "If he campaigns for the ANC, they say he must stop and if he sits at home, they associate him with the formation of a new party. We are saying Zuma must continue campaigning for the ANC."
Zuma is due to make his second court appearance in Durban on Friday, he faces 16 charges which include fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering in connection with the 1999 arms deal.
On Tuesday, NPA boss Shaun Abrahams rejected a request by Zuma to delay the trial. Zuma requested the delay in the criminal matter until he could clarify matters around the payment of his legal fees.
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