Durban - Those who have left the ANC should come back so their skills could be used by the government, President Jacob Zuma told a packed Interfellowship Church in Wentworth on Wednesday during an election campaign visit.
Zuma said many who left the ANC had great skills but they could not be used by their new parties as these parties were not in government.
“If you have those skills and you are out there, you must come back so you can make a contribution,” he told the large group.
Zuma described the ANC as being like a bus that was moving forward but had dogs barking at it. The dogs were a metaphor for allegations that were intended to stop people voting for the party.
“Dogs don’t bark at a bus that is not moving. What I am saying is, when making your vote, take an informed decision and think clearly,” he said.
Zuma said there were many political parties who said they could do better than the ANC but these parties knew they would not win the elections.
“We have seen parties come and go, like the PAC and Cope, they came and were gone. There are recent ones that I can’t remember. They are very noisy,” he said.
Before leaving the church, a group of pastors prayed over Zuma and for the ANC to win the elections.
Later during a mini-rally at a sports ground near Mariannhill, Zuma reminded hundreds of supporters, of the history of the ANC.
He said he was speaking not only to supporters but journalists too who were also, once, not free.
“Now they just wake up and write about the president. In those days if they did that they would be out in the cold. Journalists and political analysts don’t understand the ANC,” he said.
Zuma told the crowds the media was a business and for them to sell papers they had to talk about the ANC or himself.
“I am not saying don’t buy papers. If they talk about us, they are campaigning for us,” he said
At both gatherings, Zuma emphasised that South Africa would become a prosperous country.
“We are on a long journey to the promised land. A prosperous South Africa,” he said.
At another event in Hammarsdale, Zuma was given a warm welcome during his door-to-door visits and had a large group following him, with many of the hangers-on hoping to shake his hand.
The five families who hosted him in their homes could not stop smiling.
Nonhlanhla Hlengwa looked overwhelmed as she shook Zuma’s hand at her home.
“It is a rare occasion. I am very happy,” she said.
On his arrival at the Hammarsdale Junction Mall, Zuma was given a rousing welcome with another large crowd fighting their way into the mall to follow him as he walked around.