Zuma Is Our Hero, A Voice For SA Poor Masses
Despite growing moves to oust Zuma, Des Van Rooyen, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs continues to blow Zuma’s trumpet, referring him as South Africa’s greatest hero.
Speaking during the opening of the Traditional Leaders Indaba at Birchwood Hotel on the East Rand on Monday morning, Minister Van Rooyen sang Zuma’s praises saying history would remember him for good.
President Jacob Zuma “a hero of the masses,” he said as he pointed out that it was under Zum’s guidance that antiretrovirals were rolled out and that traditional leaders had seen greater respect, said Van Rooyen, who is known to be a staunch Zuma supporter.
“That the institution of traditional leaders is now well recognised in the democratic South Africa is in no small way… [because of] the leadership of our current leaders, [like] President Zuma,” he said.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I guarantee you, when real history is told – not the distorted history that is peddled today in the public discourse – this is the president who will be remembered for bringing hope to millions of our citizens,” Van Rooyen added.
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Van Rooyen’s comment comes just after Zuma survived a vote of no confidence at the African National Congress’s National Executive Committee meeting.
It also follows a recent revelation of a secret email linking the controversial Gupta family with the minister who allegedly received money from the family to travel to Dubai shortly after he became finance minister in 2015.
This allegation was previously refuted by Minister Van Rooyen who told the parliament that he paid for the trip, but has yet to respond fully to the allegations in the emails.
The emails detail a reservation booking for him – and sent from the exclusive Oberoi Hotel in Dubai to Sahara chief executive Ashu Chawla – made under the Gupta-owned company’s name. Van Rooyen was also chauffeur-driven in a Jaguar XJ L upon his arrival in Dubai.
In response to the allegations, Van Rooyen released a statement on Sunday saying that the matter was sub judice and he could not comment.
The minister who appeared undeterred by being caught for having allegedly lied reiterated that President Jacob Zuma’s sacrifices to South Africans will live long after he is gone.
Zuma should be celebrated as the leader whose hallmark has been the struggle for the voiceless, his real legacy lies in helping the poor, he said, adding that Zuma’s sacrifices had guided his own actions to ensure that services delivery had improved for the poorest of the poor in the country.
“He is the hero of the masses. Those voiceless citizens who do not have access to Twitter and Facebook.
“We know very well that he is not a friend to monopoly capital; we know very well that he is shaking a lot of things. His leadership has changed the lives of the poorest of the poor,” Van Rooyen said.
President Zuma on his own part said at the opening of the Traditional Leaders Indaba that his government was ready to address the issue of land redistribution with traditional leaders as it is the basis of radical economic transformation.
He said SA is facing the challenges of slow economic transformation, regardless of progress made in the past few years, black people are still left behind with regards to the ownership and control of the economy.
However, the President vowed that within the short time before the end of his tenure, he would thoroughly fight the issue of poverty in the country.
“The economic liberation of our people is fundamentally based on land redistribution, ownership and we can’t compromise on this.”
At the same time, Zuma has told traditional leaders that they must work together with government to redistribute land among its rightful owners within the confines of the law.
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Zuma said traditional leaders must appoint attorneys to help communities lodge a land claim. He added that if people continue to sell the land they have repossessed, the country will never be able to break the circle of poverty.
“They should have the right to be assisted by the government to develop the land and make it productive,” the President ended saying.