Former president Jacob Zuma says he will continue to speak out against injustice even if he has to go to jail.
Zuma held a press conference in Johannesburg on Saturday following a postponement on Friday.
His almost two-hour-long rant touched on a range of issues including his court cases and alleged injustices against him, load shedding, the African National Congress (ANC), President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Zondo Commission and Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
Zuma jail term
Zuma said he had been longing to speak to the media since his incarceration last year.
“While I am relieved about the ending of my sentence, I still am exposed to the injustice visited upon me by the justice system of this country.”
“It is important to remember that the whole society was mobilised against me. Even old people were mobilised against me saying ‘Zuma must go, Zuma must go’.”
ALSO READ: Zuma’s arms deal corruption case: Lawyers given time to decide Judge Koen’s involvement
Chief Justice Raymond Zondo ‘failed’
Zuma said in his view, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo failed in his oath of office.
“That he is now at the helm of the judicial system should be a matter of concern. He was not a neutral judge leading a fact-finding commission, but rather a report of those who have been accused of state capture because of their association with me.”
“The state capture commission had no interest in uncovering how some former leaders, their families and their spouses accumulated their wealth – it was only interested in targeting a few individuals found guilty by the media,” Zuma said.
Zuma said he was wrongly jailed by Zondo.
“Chief Justice Zondo abused the powers of the Constitutional Court by having me sentenced to one year in prison without a trial. My crime was only to refuse to cooperate with an unlawful commission of inquiry.”
Zuma was slapped with a 15-month jail sentence when he was found guilty of contempt by the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) in June 2021.
The former president had failed to comply with the ConCourt’s ruling forcing him to appear before the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture.
Zuma said his administration, while he was in government, ended load shedding.
“In 2015 my government ended load shedding until I left office in 2018. This load shedding was stopped for three years in the time of professionals such as Brian Molefe and Matshela Koko.”
“Eskom was functioning and they were bringing electricity to villages. Eskom is now being surrendered to international commercial interests.
“Load shedding started immediately after certain agreements were concluded with Independent Power Producers and has never stopped since then. Why does the current leadership fail to get a handle on the issues at Eskom,” Zuma said.
‘ANC cannot be blamed for everything’
Zuma said the entire ANC cannot be blamed for a few corrupt individuals.
“Who’s corrupt in the ANC? Those at the top are the most corrupt. The infiltrators and fake revolutionaries are kept in charge even by the media and we have seen them with 30 pieces of silver with our own eyes”
Ramaphosa and Phala Phala
The former ANC president also took a swipe at his successor, President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“Our country’s problems are too big for President Cyril Ramaphosa to be hustling on the side through Phala Phala Farm sales. Cyril Ramaphosa conducting private business while holding a high office of being president of the country is in itself unconstitutional and nothing but corruption. Your president is corrupt.”
“I often wonder what the situation would have been if I was the one accused of having millions of dollars hidden under my mattress. I wonder what would have happened if that allegation came out of my Nkandla house,” Zuma said.
He said South Africans must stand guard against those who seek to divide the country by sponsoring factionalism in the ANC that, he claimed, is intended to permanently fracture the governing party.
“The choices we as citizens make in the next two years will determine our destiny In tackling that task. We need to spare no effort in building the unity of the oppressed poor black masses, especially Africans.”
“As we do all these important things as mentioned above, we have a responsibility to unite all our people, both black and white South Africans. This responsibility is ultimately our final goal to make South Africa a real united rainbow nation,” Zuma concluded.
Read Jacob Zuma’s full address here:
ALSO READ: ‘Zuma can’t be blamed for everything wrong in SA’ – Liebenberg lawyer