Home South African Political events leading up to Jacob Zuma’s 80th birthday are still on...

Political events leading up to Jacob Zuma’s 80th birthday are still on track

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To show their affirmation of the man they call the father of the radical economic transformation (RET) ideology, the supporters want the memorable day to be marked in with much public fanfare.

Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Theo Jeptha/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

SUPPORTERS of former president Jacob Zuma say the series of events to mark his 80th birthday are still firmly on track.

Zuma was born on April 12, 1942, in Nkandla and he will early next month turn 80.

To show their affirmation of the man they call the father of the radical economic transformation (RET) ideology, the supporters want the memorable day to be marked in with much public fanfare.

Some of the events have already been staged and the grouping behind them is called “My President Group”.

This is the same group that in late December last year, visited Zuma at his home in Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal to thank him for his “nine glorious years”.

At that time, there was a renewed raging debate about Zuma’s legacy after being in power for nine years (2009 to 2018) with some prominent people like former finance Tito Mboweni calling it “nine wasted years” which was marred by corruption and state capture.

However, Mdu Nkambule, the spokesperson of the group of Zuma supporters was unfettered, even telling the media in Nkandla that Zuma’s reign benefited mainly black-owned businesses.

“As black people in this country, we know that was nine glorious years and now it’s the proof as unemployment is going up, which means more people are unemployed,“ Nkambule said then.

It was from there that Nkambule revealed that they were planning future events to celebrate Zuma’s legacy which they are proud of.

MP Baleka Mbete, President Cyril Ramaphosa, former president Jacob Zuma and KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)

Some of the events to celebrate Zuma’s legacy have already started, one being visiting his statue at Groot Marico in the North West province late last month.

This is where Zuma was arrested by the notorious apartheid police in 1963 while he was on his way to exile and sent to Robben Island for 10 years.

On Tuesday Mduduzi Nkambule said their plans were still on track even though he did not divulge the dates and venues of the upcoming ones.

He only divulged that everything would be done in consultation with the Jacob Zuma Foundation whose Zuma is the patron of and it is the guardian of his legacy.

“We are going to support the foundation on their own planned events.

“But we are going to have constant events that we will do in between.

“We don’t want to interfere with the foundation work,” Nkambule said.

Political analyst, Xolani Dube, said it was given that the series of Zuma events would be used as platforms to try to influence the many upcoming elective conferences of the governing party, but it would fail.

“Yes the RET Forces will try that but it won’t work.

“Zuma is a spent force who should be quietly enjoying his retirement, the least his supporters should do is to protect him by telling him to leave politics altogether.

“This thing is going to taint him further as some people don’t want to hear anything about the Zuma and his terrible legacy.”

Political Bureau

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