The Star Early Edition

Zuma lashes out at nuclear de­trac­tors

Crit­ics warned, SACP sin­gled out for com­ment

- GE­ORGE MATLALA

PRES­I­DENT Ja­cob Zuma was on the warpath yesterday, blast­ing crit­ics of his nuclear plans, fir­ing a salvo at the SACP and warn­ing those work­ing with “for­eign agents” within the ANC.

Zuma, fresh from an­other tough par­lia­men­tary ques­tions ses­sion last week, launched into his nuclear de­trac­tors as Fi­nance Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba was at pains to ex­plain that the coun­try could not af­ford a nuclear pro­gramme in the near fu­ture.

Zuma also told a crowd in Kag­iso, west of Joburg, that the in­fight­ing in the ANC in the run-up to its elec­tive con­fer­ence next month had been in­flu­enced from the out­side.

Speak­ing mostly in isiZulu, Zuma gave a long speech about where the nuclear is­sue started.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the apartheid gov­ern­ment had been in­structed by its han­dlers in West­ern gov­ern­ments to get rid of its nuclear plans so that the ANC gov­ern­ment, which was viewed as com­mu­nist due to its sup­port from the Soviet Union, would not get the ca­pa­bil­ity.

“When we came back (from ex­ile) to start ne­go­ti­a­tions, the West­ern coun­tries in­volved said South Africa has nuclear.

“Get rid of it be­cause it will not be right that these com­mu­nists have this power when they are in gov­ern­ment.

“The is­sue of nuclear comes from there,” he said.

“I hear peo­ple talk­ing and oth­ers sup­port­ing not know­ing the mean­ing of this thing (nuclear).

“We don’t want nuclear. In other words, in the bal­ance of forces, you sup­port the wrong force,” Zuma added, to ap­plause from the crowd gath­ered at the Mo­gale City com­mu­nity hall.

Zuma was flanked by former state se­cu­rity min­is­ter David Mahlobo, who is now the en­ergy min­is­ter, and Wa­ter and San­i­ta­tion Min­is­ter Nomvula Mokonyane.

Mahlobo has main­tained that nuclear is part of the coun­try’s en­ergy mix pol­icy.

Zuma also warned against those he said were sleep­ing with for­eign agents in or­der to tar­get him.

He said for­eign agents were med­dling in the af­fairs of the ANC be­cause they wanted to take con­trol of Africa.

Zuma said some lead­ers who were in the run­ning to re­place him were work­ing with peo­ple from out­side the coun­try and the ANC.

“They have been sent first, with­out us know­ing, to say that this pres­i­dent is bad. Even those who we used to trust. When you ask what did he do, you don’t know what he re­ally did,” he said.

Zuma did not spare the SACP any punches, say­ing the alliance be­tween the ANC and the SACP was big­ger than in­di­vid­u­als.

This could be in­ter­preted as a swipe at the SACP and its leader Blade Nz­i­mande, who Zuma re­cently fired from the cab­i­net.

“It must not be that our wishes and our happiness or ir­ri­ta­tion make us see that we are above the alliance as in­di­vid­u­als or group­ings.

“The alliance means a lot, and all of us need each other,” he said.

Mokonyane em­pha­sised that Zuma would lead the coun­try un­til 2019, when his term

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