‘We will remove Ramaphosa and liberate the people of South Africa’

Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: File

Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: File

Published Mar 30, 2024


It is perhaps the 11th interview between the Saturday Star’s editor Sifiso Mahlangu and former president, Jacob Zuma. This time the atmosphere is different. The doyen of South Africa’s revolution and one of its most popular and controversial politicians has left the continent’s oldest revolutionary movement, the ANC. It is a moment in history. He has endorsed uMkhonto weSizwe, a party named after the then ANC’s secret military wing.

We arrive at his busy Forest Town home and it almost feels like he’s still in office, although time has swiftly marched from 14 February 2018, when Zuma stepped down, to March 2024.

Polls reveal that the ANC will be knocked to below 50% of the vote, forcing it into a coalition with other parties. It is believed that President Cyril Ramaphosa was eyeing the DA over the EFF as a possible partner. Zuma is clear that he will only work with “progressive left parties” and will only give the ANC an audience when it dumps Ramaphosa as president.

“We will remove the ANC of Ramaphosa and liberate the people of South Africa. We recognise our mistakes. He (Ramaphosa) takes instruction from white capital and not from the branches of the ANC and the citizens of South Africa. If we let this man continue we will have nothing to hand over to our children. South Africa will be gone”, he says.

The animosity between him and President Cyril Ramaphosa intensified when Ramaphosa’s faction in early 2018 unceremoniously pushed Zuma out of power. The swords have been crossed since then. According to Zuma Ramaphosa was instrumental in getting him arrested in 2021.

“I was clear I wouldn’t appear at the judicial commission into State Capture of Zondo was still the chair. I told the nation that I know this man and he won’t be a fair judge to me. I have never refused to appear before the commission. In fact my powers as president were trampled on when they said I couldn’t appoint the chair of the commission, when the constitution is clear that the president should appoint the chair of the commission.

I was later convicted by the constitutional court to a jail sentence. That is something that has never happened in history”

“We all know what he (Ramaphosa) has done. The matter of the foreign currency was illegal. There was a section 189 inquiry which found against him but the NPA, the Reserve Bank did not move. His bank accounts are still open when the accounts of ordinary citizens are closed everyday by the banks. We need the two thirds majority and we will turn things around” he said.

Speaking on the court challenges with the ruling party, Zuma said “the ANC was so used to winning that they thought the recent cases against MK would be a walk in the park. I’m happy that the ANC derailed from its principle, as it gave rise to the MK party, which prompted them to behave in unfamiliar way. When they heard that we were rallying behind the MK, they took us to court and claimed the MK was theirs. We went to the Electoral court in Bloemfontein, and quite frankly there was nothing they were saying, and they lost the case”

Taking a religious tone, Zuma said MK’s campaign to take over the government of the country on behalf of the poor had the blessings of African ancestors and the heavens. “The heavenly angels and our ancestors who are long gone can see that it is now time for the complete liberation of the black people”

“So if they are against us now, they will be so confused you won’t even understand yourself; people you are against our ancestors, you are against the angels, you are against the Son of God, and you are against God himself,” he said.

The former President also said there was a plot to steal the elections, alleging that the plot would start during the special votes by adding ghost voters.

“You see, one of the many things that we will change is this thing of making one’s vote a secret in parliament. Why should your vote be a secret? It’s also important to guard the elections because ultimately we want to achieve two thirds majority in order to change the constitution” he said.

As we leave several members of the clergy arrive. They address him as “baba” as they proceed to another room. The house is buzzing. Zuma is on the charm offensive. Outside it looks like security was beefed up quite rapidly. As the cars arrive in the leafy street we see two ANC NEC members looking to be unnoticed.

Saturday Star

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