POLITICS
06/04/2018 11:08 SAST | Updated 06/04/2018 11:52 SAST

'Blacks Are Now Saying It Is Enough' – What Zuma Told His Supporters

Former president Jacob Zuma in his own words, after proceedings against him in the High Court in Durban began.

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Jacob Zuma gives supporters a thumbs-up as he arrives at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban on April 6, 2018, to appear for a brief preliminary hearing on corruption charges linked to a multibillion-dollar 1990s arms deal.

TRANSLATED TRANSCRIPT OF JACOB ZUMA'S SPEECH** IN DURBAN

Thank you to the master of ceremonies and all your prayers. I wish God gives you strength, so prayers quickly reach him so issues, are quickly resolved. Pastors who are this brave are commendable. You stand for God's truth.

I see other leaders here - premier of the province Willies Mchunu. Women and youth leaders in the province are also here. All of you here I want to personally thank for you and thank you as you did many years ago.

There aren't so many nice things that follow you even if you try to avoid those things.

This case is back because of politics! Opposition parties.

In 2005, I think if my maths is correct, it's been 13 years I last visited the court for the same charges I'm charged (with) today.

I haven't heard that the same charges are laid on a person, dismissed, and then they come back again. With no difference. Further, there were many charges and less of them now. I just don't know who decided which ones should be resurrected.

On the spy tapes - we will challenge whatever decision the court makes - I want these tapes to be heard by the world, so you know that I don't hate people. It's the prosecutors who should've seen that I have no case, they held a grudge against me.

I haven't heard that the same charges are laid on a person, dismissed, and then they come back again. With no difference. Further, there were many charges and less of them now.

This case is back because of politics! Opposition parties. Our democracy is wondrous - they push their opposition not in Parliament but in the courts, where there should be no politics.

Over 10 years, it's them who keep saying "We want this case, we want this case!"

Zuma tapes: it's not about tapes, it's about me. But let's leave that there.

So many things have happened to me as a man. As a man, that happens. When I ask "What's going on?" no one says.

But one day the truth will come out.

But I can't get into details of this case, because it's sub-judice.

Maybe if it does, some will wish it hadn't even begun, and won't wish it to continue. Because lies and plots against the truth... I guess we'll see.

Just today we came, the charges were laid and the case was postponed to June 8, 2018.

I just want to thank you, as you did those many years ago, that you're doing the same now. By our knowledge, if charges are laid against a person, it doesn't mean that person is guilty; instead they are innocent until proven otherwise.

Even people I respect! People who are law experts. They are treating me like a prisoner. Prisoners don't meet with people as today. This means you know the Constitution and the law very well.

So the case must continue, if it will, because there are challenges with this case as you'll see.

Maybe if it does, some will wish it hadn't even begun, and won't wish it to continue. Because lies and plots against the truth... I guess we'll see.

I was MEC when those arms were bought by national government. Maybe it's my spirit that was there. Someone will have to tell me then, what did I do? But let's leave that to the courts.

There's nowhere where the black child does not suffer. No matter where you go, blacks and white people living spaces are different. The burden of a black man is difficult.

Even when they talk about Zuma, they don't talk about allegations, but they call me corrupt.

All I'm trying to say is, it's clear to me rather that politicians and lawmakers, as each person has rights, they think I don't. They say whatever they like. Indeed, as I'm saying, they are lucky that people no longer get beaten.

But that's not worrying because I know people with all sorts of personalities. People aren't the same. But I learnt a lesson that if a person disrespects you, leave them, even if they curse you and call you a dog, laugh and continue on your way because you're not a dog. If you (inaudible) we'll then wonder if you have any dog characteristics.

Even blue-eyed politicians, who know nothing about politics, even say I mustn't campaign on behalf of the ANC.

Blacks are now saying it's enough. As I am going to court, I reiterate poverty must end, radical economic transformation must happen.

There's nowhere where the black child does not suffer. No matter where you go, blacks and white people living spaces are different. The burden of a black man is difficult. When people were made slaves, the majority were Africans.

When Europeans discussed the colonisation of Africans, they only did it on Africans, and not on any other continent. But we fought for freedom, not by mouth only. We were prepared to die for it

The problem now, the one I'm hated and vilified for, is that freedom without economic freedom is not complete.

Blacks are now saying it's enough.

As I am going to court, I reiterate poverty must end, radical economic transformation must happen.

I thank you good people. What you're doing shows that the unity you have is the secret to success. Without this, the enemy will deal with you as he likes.

Thanks again, especially the pastors who are not confused about the direction of the gospel.

** Zuma's speech was translated from Zulu to English as he spoke, and may be incomplete. This article has been edited after publication.