I know who are the witches at work – Jacob Zuma

President says former friends make dangerous enemies as they knew where your ancestors were buried

SA became disliked after it joined Brics - Zuma

Pietermaritzburg – President Jacob Zuma on Friday said South Africa was not liked globally because it was independent and chose to join the Brics group.

“[When we were in the struggle] We did not even go to that bank called the IMF and the World Bank to ask for money," he told a cadres’ forum at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall.

"Most people do not like this because we cannot be told what to do.

“That is not all. When the Brics group was formed, it was Bric in the beginning: Brazil, Russia, India and China. We joined later and it became Brics, it is a small group but very powerful."

He said the group had interfered with the global balance of forces, and western countries “did not like Brics.”

“China is going to be number one economy leader. In fact they are number one currently, they are scared to announce it.”

He said the five countries were a threat to western countries, and there was a balance of forces in the new global formation.

Russia and China are members of the UN Security Council, and the group was in the process of creating its own bank.

Zuma said these were the reasons why South Africa was not wanted.

“They want to dismantle this Brics," he continued.

“We have had seven votes of no confidence in South Africa. In Brazil, the president was removed. They like to talk bad about the Chinese economy. What is important is that the relationship between these countries is growing.

“The reason why they are in relations with us is to forge good relations, not because they previously colonised us.”

Nene firing

Zuma also alluded to the firing of former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in December 2015.

“Maybe you have forgotten, many people like to talk about what happened last December," he said.

“Can you remember? You do everything according to the Constitution and then people that control the economy tell you to drop everything, they want to burn the country and you can see that if you don’t change your decision, they will really burn the country.

“Most of you did not even know what happened. Let me leave it there.”

Nene was replaced by little-known ANC MP Des van Rooyen. After the rand dived, Zuma replaced Van Rooyen with former finance minister Pravin Gordhan.

Zuma also said that political power without the control of the economy did not mean anything.

It was important that South Africa controlled the economy, he added.


One day I will tell you the truth

When President Zuma retires, he will write a tell-all book about his tenure as the president of the country, he said on Friday.

Speaking at the cadres forum in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal on Friday he suggested that it was former friends, and not his enemies, that are threatening his presidency.

“One day when I am retired I will write my book and you will realise why I said what I said," he told more than 3000 ANC supporters at city hall.

"This is because I know where things went wrong.

"I know who are the witches at work. It is fine when the enemy is at a distance, but when it is your friend, it is not easy because they know your weaknesses.”

Zuma said enemies were dangerous because “they knew where your ancestors were buried.”

“At least I know who [my enemies] are and what they are doing. I am not worried. If I was crazy, I would make the whole of South Africa crazy as well.

“As you can see, I am not bothered. People can say whatever they want. I know what it means, where it comes from and where it is going.”

'No regrets'

Zuma said he joined the ANC at a very young age and he had no regrets.

"I told you one day that when I retire, when I am on pension and no longer earning a salary, I will become an ANC volunteer and I will work like a madman.

“No one will say we are fighting for positions because I won’t want anyone’s position. I have never wanted a position in the first place.”

Zuma said he had already identified two departments he was going to volunteer in. He did not reveal them however.

“I will tell you when you are doing something wrong. When there is a [ANC] congress and things are not going right and I am among the delegates, I will raise my hand and say things are not going right.”

Zuma said the ANC was faced with a huge challenge but this was not the first time for the party.

“The question is how are we going to get out of it? Are we going to be like other liberation movements or are we going to be different? I trust the ANC because it knows how to get itself out of a tight corner.”

He said the party knew how to adapt to changes.

“Don’t leave everything to the leadership. Sometimes leaders appear as though they know what they are doing but they don’t. You must help them and fix the ANC, build the ANC."

'Stop hating your comrades'

He encouraged the supporters to study politics.

“Unity was the secret of the life and success of the ANC. Stop hating other comrades. Where will you find another, if you hate this one? It is not easy to find comrades, do not get rid of them so easily. Keep them close, especially for the tough days.

“When we are divided, the enemy can destroy us.”

Zuma said also South Africa was not completely free.

He said the party should use political power to control the economy.

“Let us stop complaining over nothing.”

He said he would always be there, “In good and bad times."


They record you without you even knowing - Zuma hits back

In a jibe believed to be aimed at former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, President Jacob Zuma on Friday said it was important to know your enemy.

"They even tape [record] you and play the tapes and tell others what you said about them because you don't have money to buy recorders. They have everything," Zuma said at the cadres forum at the Pietermaritzburg city hall.

Although Zuma did not talk about the incident directly, it was believed that Zuma was referring to Madonsela's recently released private recording of an interview with Zuma and his lawyer Michael Hulley. The recording was made while she was investigating allegations of state capture.

The president complained to the public protector’s office after the recording was released to the media.

Madonsela's report was released earlier this month after a high court order and the recordings were apparently leaked to eNCA.

"The Presidency has sought clarity from the office of the public protector on the policy of the institution regarding the release of audio recordings of interviews conducted during the course of investigations," spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga told the media previously.

Speaking on Friday, Zuma said, "They call you to come and have dinner with them meanwhile they are recording you and they ask critical questions. You don't even know that you are selling yourself out".

"Then they turn and play it back and say, you can hear whose voice it is. Then you realise how dangerous the comrade is. They have recorded everything you said to them."

Opposition 'disrupting' Parliament

Zuma also hit back at opposition parties in Parliament, saying there were people these days who liked to delay proceedings.

"They stand up all the time and say nothing. They learnt an English word called 'order', 'point of order'. This is what delayed us."

Zuma was referring to an incident that occurred in the National Council of Provinces meeting on Friday morning where EFF members reportedly tried to disrupt Zuma’s speech in East London, Eastern Cape.

The SABC reported that EEF members said the President has broken his oath of office and therefore has no right to address the sitting. They walked out.


I am no thief, I am no dog

President Zuma also told more than the 3 000 ANC supporters at the cadres forum in Pietermaritzburg that he was no thief.

"You can spread lies as big as Durban. I don't care," Zuma told the supporters at city hall.

He said he always laughed at people who called him a dog.

"I am not a dog. I am a human being. It is like people who are stealing today, they say I am stealing but they are the biggest culprits.

"Abantshontshi go," said Zuma in IsiZulu.

"They have been investigating me over and over but they cannot find anything because I am not doing anything. If they had found anything, a lot would have gone wrong.

"The same people that are accusing me, are the ones that are stealing and I know exactly what they are stealing. I know exactly who they are."

He told members not to be alarmed when people make accusations against the ANC.

Zuma was welcomed by thousands of supporters at Pietermaritzburg city hall on Friday to deliver his speech, in which he addressed many topics.

He said that when retires, he will write a tell-all book about his tenure as the president of the country.

He also took jibes at former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and the EFF, without naming anyone directly, and said it was important to "know your enemy".

Zuma said though his biggest enemies now were those he once considered friends.

He also said South Africa was not liked globally because it was independent and chose to join the Brics group, which has unsettled the "Western" balances of forces in global politics.


When you are asked to step down, smile and do so quietly

President Zuma said if leaders are asked to step down from their positions, they should do so without putting up a fight.

"When the leadership says step aside, smile and do so. Support the comrade that has been elected and show them the ropes.

"Don't go to a witch doctor and ask for muti to remove them because if you remove them, they might be replaced by another cadre. You will finish [Inkosi Albert] Luthuli's people," said Zuma.

"If you are like me and you know that positions are not important, you are a good member.

"It is not the position that makes you a person. It is being a member of the ANC that makes you a person. Positions are a 'by the way' thing when comrades can see that you are a hard worker.

"Don't, when you are elected, tell yourself that you have arrived. No one is entitled to any position here. You are not given a position forever and when you are told to step down you put up a fight."

Facing challenges

Zuma admitted that the ANC was facing challenges with the movement infiltrated by hatred, the buying of votes, jostling for positions and the looting of state funds.

"You should ask yourselves why there are comrades that hated one another. They hate each other in the most unimaginable way."

Zuma said the party did not notice the challenges back in 2007 when Mosiuoa Lekota broke away from the party to form the Congress of the People.

"We thought it was just a mistake when a breakaway party called Cope was formed. The time had come. Opinions had changed so much but these were the same people that were prepared to die with you. These are the same people that loved the ANC and said they would die members of the party. They left us, they launched the organisation.

"Comrades left and never came back. Problems in organisations do not start in the masses, they start in the leadership. That is where problems begin," he said.

Zuma took a jibe at those who were controlling the economy, saying they believed that they could buy people.

"They buy people like they are blazers. They make you an offer you cannot refuse, they give you millions and say that your children should never suffer."

He said this is how politicians handed over their political power because they could be dictated to by those who have money.

"Some of us that don't have money are promised prominent positions and then ask you for political favours in return for positions. Then you find yourself in a trap."

'Save SA from what?'

Zuma also took had strong words for the veterans and civil rights groups who had called for his resignation.

In a veiled statement aimed at Save South Africa leader and businessman Sipho Pityana, and other party stalwarts, the president said, "There are comrades that have changed. We last saw them in 1994, but all of a sudden they are up in arms".

"[The] majority of them are not in structures in their branches, they have even forgotten how we deal with challenges in the ANC.

"They are encouraging the same thing that they condemned. You need to deal with ANC matters inside the ANC and there are procedures that need to be followed.

"These people called the veterans, they have forgotten what our Constitution says. They are saying whatever they want, they are encouraging people to  do what is not done, something that they should go to jail for. Some call press conferences in order to relay a message directed at you. You hear in the media that so and so has said this about you.

"Others say SaveSA, Save South Africa from what?"

Zuma also criticised opposition parties, saying that they made it difficult to govern.

"The opposition parties in parliament, they don’t want to talk. They know that if we talk, we will beat them. They are busy making noise in parliament and preventing debate. All they say is 'point of order'. They want political matters to be resolved in courts."

He said opposition parties were quick to go to court.

"They go to court in the blink of an eye. What should be a political argument turns into a legal matter. This is the problem that our democracy faces."

He said the ANC did not have money to challenge cases in court

"You have political power, but they bring the sharpest lawyers money can buy and you bring the dumbest lawyers to represent you."

Take over the economy

He said while the ANC had political power it needed to take over the economy

"We have a problem because in the alliance and the Cosatu we knew, we lost trusted comrades, they left. These are the same comrades you thought you would die with."

Zuma said South Africa was not free yet. "We need to be strong, know where we are and how we are going to get past it."

He told members to stop fighting among one another and unite.

"Let us not be divided by the enemy. Let us not be fooled by money. Till this day, I say that it is the ANC that will liberate the South Africa.

"All those that are making noise are like fires made out of paper, it does not last. Where have you seen in parliament people with six percent [of the vote], but they make more noise than those with two-thirds?"