South African president Zuma defends “ANC comes first” statement

South African President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday that there is nothing wrong or untoward in saying the ruling African National Congress (ANC) comes first.


Zuma was responding to an outcry about his comments at an ANC provincial conference on November 8, when he said the ANC took precedence over the country.


In a written reply to a parliamentary question about whether his statement represents his policy position as the president, Zuma said he made the statement at an ANC conference in KwaZulu-Natal Province in his capacity as the ANC president.

Since its founding in 1912, the ANC has been at the forefront of the struggles to defeat apartheid colonialism, and since its election into power in 1994, to liberate South Africans from the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality, Zuma said.

“Like many South Africans, I joined the ANC to contribute to the achievement of its historic mission of building a non-racial, non-sexist, prosperous and democratic society. Given this important role that the ANC has played and still plays in leading this society towards the achievement of these goals, and considering that a large number of citizens have put their faith and hopes on the ANC to lead them to a better life for all, it is important that the work of building the ANC into a stronger organization that can continue to lead society is vigorously pursued,” said Zuma.

“It does not mean I love my country any less. It is in fact because of the love of my country and my commitment to its success that I believe that the ANC should be stronger so that it can lead us to a united and prosperous society,” Zuma said.

Zuma said his statement did not devalue the Constitution in any way, nor does it contradict the Oath of Office which he took when he was sworn in as president.

There is therefore no reason to retract the statement I made or apoplogise for that, Zuma said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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