DURBAN:130414 President Jacob Zuma addressing the crowed at the ANC's rally held at Curriesfountain PICTURE:GCINA NDWALANE

Durban - President Jacob Zuma on Friday assured Indians that they were regarded as blacks.

“The Indian community has never been mere auxiliaries in the struggle for freedom, as may be suggested by some whose sole intention is to divide the black majority for political expediency,” he told a meeting at Mount Edgecombe in Durban.

Zuma said that while there had been progress in correcting “the injustices of the past meted out against Africans, Indians, coloureds and women”, representation of black people in top management positions had only grown from 23.7 percent to 33.2 percent over the last 10 years. “Much more remains to be done,” he said. “The ANC government will, in the next five years, relentlessly pursue these policies to ensure that our economy truly reflects the demographics of our country.”

He called the ruling party the only movement with the commitment and experience to resolve this issue.

In Johannesburg on Friday, Zuma appealed to religious leaders. “Let us pray for peaceful and successful general elections on May 7, a right many sacrificed their lives fighting for,” he said, addressing thousands of Universal Church congregants at Ellis Park Stadium.


As Zuma and his entourage walked into Ellis Park, they welcomed him with applause.

The president sang his trademark song Umshini wam (“bring me my machinegun”) as he approached the stage. The church’s Brazilian bishop, Edir Macedo, asked Zuma to sing his favourite song. Zuma obliged, singing his ANC Mangaung elective congress victory song Yinde lendlela esihambayo (“the road we are travelling in is long”). The congregants sang along with him.

Zuma reminded them about the contribution of religious leaders and freedom stalwarts in the fight against apartheid. In a veiled attack on former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils and his group who this week launched the “Vote No” campaign; Zuma said:

“Let South Africans come out… to vote on May 7, in celebration of this hard-won right.” - Independent on Saturday