Pres­i­dent pays no mind to rul­ing

Msholozi’s fo­cus is on re­gain­ing metro

Sowetan - - News - By Siyam­tanda Capa

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...”

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