Johannesburg – The ANC will always defend President Jacob Zuma for as long as he remains president of the party and the country, says Small Business Development Minister and member of the ANC’s economic transformation subcommittee, Lindiwe Zulu.
She made the comments on Sunday during an ANC session with journalists over its policy discussion documents. The party is set to review some of its policies ahead of its June conference.
Zulu felt the need to take a stand amid questions over whether or not the ANC president was still the right person for the position and to navigate what is fast becoming a volatile economic climate for the country.
South Africa has been downgraded to junk status by two credit ratings agencies over the past two weeks. There have also been nationwide anti-Zuma protests across the country, with thousands calling for the president to step down.
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"The President is the President of the country and the ANC,” Zulu said.
“Safe to say some of the attacks that are out there, some of them are very painful, to see a newspaper headline with the President being portrayed… like [Adolf] Hitler and being drawn on that,” said Zulu.
She added that it was unbelievable to her that 23 years down the line in South Africa’s democracy, which has non-racialism and tolerance as a foundation, they wake up to such images.
“We will continue to defend the President as members of the ANC, as long as he is member of the ANC, as long as he remains a President of the country,” she emphasised.
Zulu also said she believed Zuma, like other ANC presidents, had the ability to lead the country through the many challenges it was currently facing.
"And with all the emotional things that are happening on the outside, we pool our resources both human and otherwise to make sure we build a better South Africa," she said.