President pays no mind to ruling
Msholozi’s focus is on regaining metro
Just hours after suffering a historic legal setback, President Jacob Zuma found comfort in the presence of Nelson Mandela Bay church leaders yesterday, vowing that the ANC would take back the metro from the DA-led coalition.
But while Zuma put on his signature unperturbed and beaming front in the city, his lawyers had – earlier in the day – admitted on his behalf that the 2009 decision to have corruption charges against him dropped was irrational.
Zuma, who was in Port Elizabeth to meet church leaders who form part of the Interdenominational African Minister’s Association of South Africa’s (Idamasa) Eastern Cape chapter, promised supporters that the ANC in the metro would rise and take it back.
“When we are united we are united and when we are fighting we are weak, that is why we lost Nelson Mandela Bay. This is a lesson to us,” an upbeat Zuma told a packed Nangoza Jebe Hall in New Brighton. Zuma urged the crowd to prepare itself for the ANC elective conference in December and “show the rest what PE is made of”.
With three months to the elective conference, Zuma’s statement could be seen as a call to ANC branches to support Nksosazana Dlamini-Zuma whom he backs as his successor.
It is, however, unclear how far the campaign will go as ANC branches in the metro appear divided on who to support in December.
Zuma, who said he knew he would leave PE revived, also lambasted opposition politicians for resorting to the courts in attempts to defeat him.
“They [opposition] choose to be rude because they want to hide that they don’t have alternative policies. They choose to turn to the courts,” Zuma told more than 500 supporters, some of whom wore ANC Tshirts emblazoned with “#NDZ”.
Basking in the support of the church leaders, Zuma sat quietly with eyes closed as the clergymen stretched their hands over his head and prayed for him.
“The ANC has been through a lot of problems but it has never been defeated. The ANC rises even when it has fallen,” Zuma said.
“Even when you leave you realise how cold and lonely it is outside of the ANC. The ANC is a movement of the people.
“That is why no other political party challenges the ANC’s policies...”