Durban – Former president Jacob Zuma’s tell-all autobiography has been launched, and one passage of the book takes a swipe at President Cyril Ramaphosa of whom it is said, with him at the helm, the country has been directionless for the past four years.
The long-awaited autobiography, titled Jacob Zuma Speaks, has been on the cards since Zuma announced plans to write it during the ANC’s 54th national conference in December 2017, and his daughter Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla has described it as the first of many books her father is set to write.
Zuma-Sambudla took to her Twitter page to share a passage of the book focusing on the ANC’s adaptation of the policy of land expropriation without compensation at its 54th national conference at Nasrec in December 2017.
“In the end Zuma’s firmer stance on the land issue culminated in the landmark adoption of the expropriation of land without compensation policy at its 54th national conference in Nasrec, in 2017. But almost four years later, the policy has yet to be implemented,” reads the passage.
It states that while some may argue that this is due to the fact that the legal and public participation processes have been interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Zuma’s position is clear and he believes that Ramaphosa has avoided implementing the land expropriation resolution.
“To this end there have been a number of commissions by the ANC leadership and under Ramaphosa to try and avoid the resolution of the ANC 54th conference, or to water it down.
“With Ramaphosa at the helm for almost four years, South Africa appears directionless, almost lost on critical issues of landlessness, poverty, and inequality,” reads the passage.
In a virtual launch of the book, which took place just two minutes before midnight on Friday, almost reminiscent of Zuma’s famed midnight cabinet reshuffles, Zuma said he felt good that some South Africans who are patriots had felt that it was not fair for those South Africans who think differently to tell the kind of stories that were not true.
“The untruth about the work that we have done really demonstrates that the truth is important in society, for the society to be well informed, to know what has happened because there is no use to create stories because you have a powerful machinery to do so,” Zuma said.
The book’s publishers, Xarra Books, said the work was to tell Zuma’s side of the story after many years of him being cast in a negative light.
“Much has been said about President Jacob Zuma, most of which casts him in a negative light. This is often deliberate. The effect has been to airbrush out (of) history any positive contribution he has made. Jacob Zuma Speaks attempts to provide the necessary historical balance,” wrote the publishers in a flyer advertising the book.
The book documents some of the socio-economic policies, measures and milestones of the Zuma administration, while Zuma’s grasp of the socio-economic challenges facing South Africa, and his commitment to genuine transformation, are amply revealed, the publishers state.
“The book showcases the potency of Jacob Zuma’s ideas and provides crucial reflections on many of South Africa’s current day social and economic challenges. The book is not an attempt to paint former president Zuma in glowing terms, but simply to allow the reader to judge him on actual performance, rather than on fake, often manufactured untruths.
“Significantly Jacob Zuma Speaks comes at a time when the lie of the ‘nine wasted years’ for South Africa under the presidency of Jacob Zuma is increasingly being unmasked,” Xarra Books say.