President Jacob Zuma speaks to crowd at election rally. CREDIT: Ayanda Ndamane

If Jacob Zuma turned into a dictator, he would at least get one thing right – and that’s getting laaities into school.

The president this week says all he needs is six months of absolute rule to solve South Africa’s problems.

“If you just give me six months to be a dictator, things will be straight. Right now, to make a decision you need a resolution, decision, collective, petition. Yoh! It’s a lot of work,” said a laughing Zuma.

He was visiting Marhulana Primary School in Tembisa on Wednesday along with Gauteng Premier David Makhura, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi as part of the Mandela Month celebrations.

Zuma said: “Anyone young found walking in the street would be arrested by the police and asked why he is not at school. If someone doesn’t have a job, I would send them to school by force. They must continue studying because one can never be too old to get an education.”

He encouraged people to study for qualifications that were in demand.

“There are a lot of priests but we want plumbers,” he said.

Zuma, who didn’t finish primary school, said: “I took a decision to educate myself when I realised I had no chance because my father had died. Don’t just listen to the people who say I am not educated and think you can take chances.”