Johannesburg – Duduzane Zuma, the son of former president Jacob Zuma, has put an end to months of speculation on whether or not he was entering the terrain of politics.
Zuma, who resides in Dubai, has been actively meeting people in what has looked like a presidential campaign but on Monday he let the nation in on his “plan for the presidency”.
In what he coined a no-holds barred interview with Independent Media at a restaurant in Joburg, Zuma said: “Ask me anything you want.”
Asked if he was officially getting into politics to contest an election, Zuma said: “Yes, definitely. I will be contesting for leadership in 2024. Whatever position the people want me to take, I’ll take. If they say I should be the president, I’ll listen.”
Surrounded by about 12 black and white men who looked like friends, a relaxed-looking Zuma minced no words. “It starts with the economy. We must build it. But we cannot build it if we are divided. To build this economy requires all of us. And that unity must be pioneered by young people. There must be no discussions about youth people without young people. Building this divided country cannot be a black or white project. We must all join hands. Black and white,” he said.
Asked if this was his father’s strategy to regain power, Duduzane said: “I’m not the former president. Questions about him should be directed to him. I’m speaking for myself.
“I want to first address the issues from the youth, black and white. We must all put our shoulders to the wheel. We must own our future. My message starts with young people.”
It’s not clear if Zuma would join a political party, establish his own or contest as an independent candidate.
“For me it’s not about slogans and party names. What is important is that we move from the politics of desperation to the politics of inspiration.
‘’Right now our youth have lost confidence in our democracy. The police shut down bars but they cannot close in on the human trafficking ring. Why are we ignoring the human trafficking surge in this country? The drug cartels run the streets. Law and order is at its lowest, women are killed everyday. It cannot continue this way. It’s time the youth rose to build this country, we are quickly running out of time,” he said.
When asked about his relationship with the Guptas and the money allegedly looted from South Africa, he said: “I no longer do business with the Guptas. My accounts were closed in South Africa, remember. They made it impossible for me to do business in my country. Why are people making it sound like I left South Africa voluntarily when things were great? I had to create my life elsewhere. The looted money you talk about, how much did I loot? Why have the courts not convicted me for this theft? If they know of the looting why don’t they report to the police?”
Causing a bit of a stir in the restaurant, a few young women asked to take pictures with him.
Then he added: “We must resolve our border issues. We must also deal with xenophobia. We have state organs that must see to it that every citizen entering the Republic is documented. Food security is a concern, just like mining, infrastructure and beneficiation, that must be our priority. We can either sleep or we can work. I’m in this to reset, redistribute and rebuild. That’s what I’m about.”