Jacob Zuma has reportedly admitted that he was turning a blind eye to those stealing from government.
Addressing an ANC cadres forum in Pietermaritzburg on Friday night, a defiant Zuma said he was not a thief, but knew those who were fleecing state coffers.
Speaking mainly in Zulu, he reportedly said: “It’s like those who steal today – they say Zuma steals while they are the worst thieves.
“If they have found it, it would be over [for me]. Those are the thieves and I know they are stealing. I’m just watching them. I know them,” he said.
He added that all will be revealed “one day” in a book he would write.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane said it was “embarrassing” that a head of state was boasting about failing to act against corrupt activities.
“For president Zuma to hold onto this information for political reasons undermines the fight against corruption and it makes him an accessory to crime,” Maimane said.
This weekend’s rallies in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga come on the eve of a meeting today between the ANC’s national working committee and a delegation from the so-called 101 Veterans, who have called for Zuma’s resignation and a consultative conference to “fix” the ANC.
At the rallies, Zuma took potshots at ANC comrades, opposition parties, and Western powers, accusing them of conspiring against the ANC.
He said he was “not crazy”, and labelled his detractors within the ANC as “witches”.
According to City Press, he hinted that Western powers wanted to destroy the Brics bloc – the five emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – and that they see SA as an easy target in this quest.
“Our enemies buy certain people to be used as zombies… They do not want the ANC because it is doing good for the country. Even Jesus Christ was crucified because he came here to save us,” he reportedly said.
Meanwhile the Economic Freedom Fighters called on Zuma and South African Airways (SAA) board chairwoman Dudu Myeni to report perpetrators immediately or face charges of being aware of corruption and not reporting it themselves.
Last Wednesday, addressing Parliament’s portfolio committee on public enterprises, Myeni had also stated she knew or had knowledge of who was stealing public funds.
EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said: “Our law is very clear that if you are aware of crime you must report it, including corruption.”