Durban — Former president Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane Zuma, 40, has urged “old people” to voluntarily step aside to make way for the youth to take over the country in next year’s general election.
Speaking exclusively to the Daily News for the first time about his presidential campaign in Durban on Monday, the young Zuma said he had decided to make a run for the country’s presidency and believed the time had come for the youth to take the baton from the old generation, many of whom were caught on camera having an afternoon nap in Parliament.
Zuma said after thinking seriously and consulting many people, he decided to raise his hand and enter the presidential race. He is the first ANC member to announce that he will contest the country’s presidential election as an independent candidate.
He said he does not need permission from anyone “to do the right thing”, not even his father’s permission. It was a question of notifying him and not asking for permission, he said.
On his ANC membership, he said it will be up to the party what it does to him for “doing the right thing”. Electoral changes are expected to come into effect in next year’s general elections, which allow individuals to run for the country’s president without having to join or form political parties.
Under the current Electoral Act, only a party candidate nominated by his party can contest for the presidency. A few years back, the Constitutional Court ruled the current Electoral Act unconstitutional in barring individuals from contesting for the country's presidency.
“We need change and I believe I am the change this country needs now. The time has come for us as youth to take the running of the country into our hands. It is now the time for old people to gracefully leave and let us take the country forward. If they really mean it when they say youth is the future, they must let us decide our destiny by letting us run the country. It is natural that the older you become, the more you lose energy, but strangely politicians believe they can stay in office until they die.”
He said he was disturbed when people discouraged him from contesting the ANC presidency at last year’s conference just because he lacked political credentials.
He said one does not need to have been in exile, imprisoned or have been a liberation soldier to run the country. The country needs business skills rather than political credentials because a good South African president must be able to go all out and woo investors to grow the economy and create jobs.
He said the current crop of government leaders have a lot of political credentials, but the country was collapsing in their hands.
Zuma said if he gets elected he will do away with “useless lekgotlas and izimbizo” and take action since the country’s problems are known. “Tell me, have poor people benefited from being led by people with rich political credentials?”
On ending gender-based violence, he said the government has to play the central role by enacting biting laws, but families and communities are the ones who will eventually end the scourge.
People should stop treating love relationships as the problem between two people, he said, and urged families and neighbours not to hesitate in getting involved and sit the couple down to find out what the problems are.
On job creation and crime, he said he will fight crime by industrialising the country, which will generate more job opportunities.
Zuma's campaign launch coincided with the signing of the Electoral Bill into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa paving the way for individuals to run for president.
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