The Star Early Edition
Zuma lashes out at nuclear detractors
Critics warned, SACP singled out for comment
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