08/06/2018 12:18 SAST | Updated 08/06/2018 13:03 SAST

'Don't Come For Me, I'm Warning You' – What Zuma Told His Supporters

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

Rogan Ward / Reuters

*Programme starts with prayer and addresses from three religious leaders.


Thanks to the MC, the pastor and all religious leaders here... and all leaders in the ANC — Supra, Van Rooyen, Hlaudi — you didn't see, come out Hlaudi... thank you Motsoeneng.

To you all who are here to support this Zuma boy, thank you.

In truth, this is what happened inside — as we were here a while back and they told us to be back on June 8, we came back indeed. There was another judge today, not the same one as last time.

The prosecutors then said, as was said last time, there are things that need to be paid attention to. Such as, those of us laid charges against, we're challenging that that decision is not right.

For example those of us being charged, we're challenging the main prosecutor about these charges. All the things that previously led to the prosecutors deciding that this case shouldn't go to court — what happened to that route this time around?

That's the route we'll pursue, because we want the law to be served justly.

After that, if they proceed, should they do that, we'll deal with it, then say this case does not deserve to go to the courts, it should be dismissed.

If it does, we'll deal with it as it comes, and we're not scared of facing it. But we want the law to be justly served. We want the law to be respected. Let everyone's right be respected.

Then the judge decided in view of all these things, the case should be postponed to July.

*Crowd erupts — "We're coming back!"*

We'll hear then what happens.

"I'm not guilty until the court says so."

Another important thing that was said was that the case should go back to the Pietermaritzburg High Coourt — where it originally was. One of the reasons for this is the space is smaller here. This is the judge's decision — judges make such decisions.

This means I'll appear in court again.

I do wish though, to you all, from religious leaders and all who took the time to come today and support me — I want to thank you, endlessly, because when charges are normally laid against a person, there's nothing wrong because it's a case that should go to court.

But here, something rare is happening — that a case that was laid long ago, a decade passes, and then the case returns.

In Zulu we say "icala aliboli" (a case never rots), I thought they were just saying that. I saw the proverb coming to life this time. That indeed a case sits and waits for you.

As I said last time, we'll see how far this case goes. They say I'm being charged because I was part of the arms enquiry team, they say I did something sinister then — the courts will clarify and I'll hear from there, you will also be there. I long to hear how I became a part of this, as everything to do with arms deal was done at national level; I was still a provincial leader. I was MEC of economic affairs and tourism, and that has nothing to do with arms.

Mine is to thank you, this gives me strength and hope that South Africans still believe that the law should work accordingly. Your being here brings important eyes — to see whether the law is working as it should.

We'll be together again in Pietermaritzburg...

"Some call me corrupt but they don't say what it is that led them to say that. In fact, some of them — I know in fact that it is them who are corrupt — I could easily let out their secrets."

People are different in life. Some have no problems, others seem to have bad luck. I've since noticed that I'm part of the latter group, because sometimes people just provoke me, without me having done anything to them. I'll be sitting in my house and see a man on television talking about Zuma...and be shocked. Maybe it's my surname that's easy to pronounce — Z-u-m-a.

People say, "I'm not guilty until the court says so."

I don't fear anything. I'll always be here. 2005, 2006 I was also here. Maybe you forget. One judge said this case was like a limping thing that moved from one point to another, it was judge Msimang who said this case is limping. Judge Nicholson said there is no case here, just politics.

It came to a point where prosecutors agreed that indeed, that there was something sinister going on... that some people had it out for me. This is why the case was eventually thrown out.

As I said prior, there was talk about sinister intentions for me. This was tied to Polokwane, they said I must not attend because ANC delegates wanted me to be to be president. There are tapes to prove it, that confirm what Nicholson said.

We don't know what will be said now, but we'll listen because we have to. When charges are laid against you, there's nothing you can do.

We are preparing a case — they say there a lot of witnesses. We don't know. We'll see who they are and what they have to say.

Mine is to thank you. Yesterday I heard, in this cold weather that you persisted, thank you.

Thank you to all the organisers and leaders who were present.

A special thanks to this gentleman of Mahumapelo... *Crowd chants — "Talk, talk"*

We now call each other "former, former"... when he came in, I said: "Join the club." *laughs*

Thank you for coming — and for all those who came, including Van Rooyen.

Remember Van Rooyen? When I elected him into position — white people were like, "Zuma has done well in electing a white person." They were shocked when he was sworn in...

Thank you religious leaders — prayer makes a sick person well. To stand for the truth and for a person's rights... you can't say you stand for people's rights and be selective in who you support.

Another small issue — Cosas. We were talking about free higher education the other day. Last year we took a decision for free higher education; the students wanted to hear how that came about — because this now means education won't only be for people who can afford it. I emphasised to them, that as per the Freedom Charter, there will be free compulsory education. We must not forget the second part, compulsory... if we want to implement this, education must be compulsory.

Why? Us black people were oppressed and not given a chance to education.

Education is important... as a black government we've declared education needs to be free, but we mustn't stop there, it must be compulsory — that is what I told the students... therefore a child who does not go to school would not be doing right by this. So kids can't be loitering around during the day, when they should be in school. And there shouldn't be a child who's not in school, when education is free.

"I want to emphasise this, because I'm tired of just being nice."

This will help protect kids from activities we don't like, for example drugs, etc. A child should be in school. I always say if I could, I'd create a law that makes it criminal for a child not to be in school.

We want an empowered South Africa, whose children will develop this empowered to create jobs, and not just go to school to get a job. It's very important because even if we speak about land... land has potential to provide jobs, but if I haven't been educated I could just look at it, not knowing what to do with it, but if educated, I could know what to do with it. Education is tied to what one can do with land.

Even if we want radical socio-economic transformation, but if we're not educated, this will not be possible. An easy example — we say we want aeroplanes, but what would we do with aeroplanes if we can't operate them? Even if I want it, education is tied to all things important.

Just because not all of us are educated — that was intentional in South Africa. All other nations — education is important, hence the push for education.

If you're black, I was talking to teachers the other day, building a new nation is not a bricks-and-mortar issue, it's about building a person to be better than who they were. If you build a nation, you especially build children.

I pleaded with kids to not study theology (apologies my religious leaders)... I told them to study for things that will teach them to fly an aeroplane... Religious leaders will always be there. I said this so we have a love for subjects that are able to transform a nation.

Don't leave a child to select subjects by themselves. It's good yes, but firstly influence them in their subject selection, even with said difficult subjects. We want them to be able to build aeroplanes, and spacecrafts that will reach space.

The subject of the economy is tough. I heard somewhere that white people took an oath, asking God that money does not stay with black people, but with white people. See if you work, and you get paid, you still spend money not in the township, but in more developed areas. Money mustn't come and go, it must come to stay. You see what banks do - you bank money, your own money and you get charged for services...They love it when you save money, but when you want that money, they ask many questions. I say this so the kids will understand that in building a nation, you need to own certain things, and not have those things owned by other people.

I also told them (Cosas) there's a message I want to pass on to those who like talking about me. I have a problem with them, because I don't bother anyone. I told them to stop talking about me in their organisations, that their agenda must not be about me. Then when they're done they call the media to talk about me. It made sense when I was still president, when I was limited in what I could say because of my position. Now I'm just a citizen, I can say whatever I want to say and no one can say anything.

I want to reiterate this so they stop doing what they are doing. I know things about them that they know about themselves...They mustn't beautify themselves using my name. I will defend myself.

When I defend myself, I'll tell them their stories. So I'm issuing out a warning to all of them. All of them dragged my name in dirt in an incredible way in the past few years. Some call me corrupt but they don't say what it is that led them to say that. In fact, some of them — I know in fact that it is them who are corrupt — I could easily let out their secrets.

But I believe that South Africa needs peace, and nation-building should be everyone's responsibility. I don't believe in provoking people. But no one has a right to ignorantly speak of someone else and spread unfounded accusations.

I am warning them, because it won't be nice... He who is pretending to be holy-holy today — tomorrow people will see and know differently about them, and if they oppose me and call me bluff, let's just say, they'll wait and see.

I want to emphasise this, because I'm tired of just being nice.

I'm a man...I know how to speak for myself, I don't want to be provoked. And because they spoke about me in public, I am warning them in public...

That's the message I wanted to pass. If you know them, tell them this.

This boy of MaMzobe, I do not fear anyone, I am no coward, I know politics, politics is a part of me...if we want to talk politics, we can.

Zuma wants to form a party - he must distance himself - did he even ask me if this is true?

Thank you all — I'm very happy. I love you so much.

*breaks into song*

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