President Jacob Zuma describes himself a political genius and urges members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to emulate his political tactics.
The president made the remarks during the ANC Youth League’s economic freedom lecture event held at the Durban City Hall on Sunday night. Speaking to the party’s youth wing (ANCYL), about issues of democracy in the country and his journey so far in the political liberation of the people, Zuma said his role in liberating the people and in founding the ANC political school in Robben Island, is a clear proof of his political wisdom.
The president also spoke about how he opposed the late prominent SA Communist Party leader, Harry Gwala, over ways to solve political differences between the ANC and IFP during the last dark days of apartheid rule in the country.
Gwala was opposed to peaceful negotiations to break the impasse, “He only wanted killings,” Zuma said, recalling how the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) wanted South Africa to become a federal state after the first democratic elections in 1994, while the ANC favoured a unitary state.
He also went on to brag about how he skillfully reduced the IFP support into a tiny margin, in a province once regarded as its stronghold. “I was taking away what the IFP had been using to control the province. Before, when you do traditional dance you would be seen as IFP person.
Where is the IFP today? It is so tiny,” I’m a political genius” Jacob Zuma said, giving further examples of his tact political ideas and moves. “It (ANC’s political education) was formed by five people: Riot Mkhwanazi, Alfred Duma, Sazi Ngcongo, Msizeni Shadrack Maphumulo and Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma. It is how it started for the Robben Island to be a political school. It is because we knew that it was important to know politics,” the president said.
For his peaceful efforts between the ANC and IFP, Jacob Zuma recalled how Gwala would mock him and call him names. “I only wanted to protect ANC people from killing each other. I would just say, “this one (Gwala) has time to play’, which I did not have. I am liberating this country,” he said.
He, therefore, called on party members to learn from him, follow his footsteps instead of guessing about SA politics. “We said ANC is people’s organisation so we do not discriminate. It is for all South Africans, and our duty is to win enemies to join the ANC. You cannot win them when you hate them,” he said.