- Gwede Mantashe has defended the Zuma presidency
- He said the claim that the years under Zuma were "wasted" was a myth
- This is despite Cyril Ramaphosa himself describing the Zuma presidency this way
Gwede Mantashe, the ANC Chairperson, has said that the allegation that the Zuma presidency amounted to "nine wasted years" is false.
Both Cyril Ramaphosa and Tito Mboweni have described the Zuma years this way.
Mantashe, however, says this claim is a myth and even defended some aspects of the Zuma presidency.
Mantashe claimed that the Zuma administration focused more on education, agriculture and on combating HIV/Aids. He said that it was only the last four years that were "difficult".
He did not address the extensive corruption and state capture that took place while Zuma was in office, or the Rand's downgrading to junk status.
According to The Citizen, Mantashe also seemed to criticise ANC leaders like Ramaphosa who publicly condemned the Zuma years.
Like Mantashe, Zuma has also defended his presidency in recent weeks. The former president said his administration did a lot of work to tackle the Aids crisis, and said that life expectancy in South Africa increased while he was in office from 58 to 64 years.
However, like Mantashe, Zuma has not directly addressed the allegations of state looting that occurred during those years, which drained billions of Rands from the fiscus and directly contributed to many of the country's problems, like the Eskom energy crisis.
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