ANC president Jacob Zuma has vowed not to recuse himself as the party’s presidential candidate saying that will be tantamount to pleading guilty to the charges laid against him.
This he said while addressing thousands of ANC supporters outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court after his court appearance on Wednesday. “What has happened to me is that certain people have thrown this dark cloud to me with the aim of demonising me. So if I step aside, a bad precedent will be created. People will know that if you hate somebody, you just throw a dark cloud and it is the end of the story.”
Zuma said President Kgalema Motlanthe was also becoming a victim of people who were out to tarnish his image. “I am not going to step aside simply because I have not been found guilty by any court of law. I respect the Constitution and I understand it,” said Zuma.
Returning to court as president
ANC Youth League president Julius Malema said Zuma would remain the face of the party’s election campaign. “We must undermine these charges. They think that they will stop us at the courts and they will fail. They will be forced to address Zuma as the president when he comes back to court in August. Zuma will be president no matter (what, whether) the NPA wants it or not,” Malema told the crowd.
Earlier, ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe said Zuma’s court case had gone from being prosecution to persecution. “This is not only about Zuma but about the ANC. They want to prevent the ANC president from becoming the president of this country. They want to destroy the head of the [party] because they know that if you destroy the head, you destroy the body.”
The party would then struggle to survive in the long run. “The attack will also spread to all of us. That is the reason why were have appointed our own legal council to represent our interests in the case.”