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Motlanthe praises 'courageous' Zuma

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has described President Zuma as a courageous and patient leader.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has described President Zuma as a courageous and patient leader.

JOHANNESBURG - As the clock ticks down to Mangaung, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe on Thursday said President Jacob Zuma has the same qualities as the ANC's first leaders.

He delivered an ANC Centenary Lecture in Zuma's honour in Potchefstroom, but the president did not attend as he is out of the country.

The ANC's elective conference kicks off on 16 December.

Motlanthe would have been acutely aware of the political situation he was in and concentrated on his own history with Zuma.

"I got my induction on what to do and how to behave on Robben Island from comrade JZ (Jacob Zuma) at that time."

Motlanthe praised Zuma.

"President Zuma stands on the shoulders of giants who preceded him."

He said Zuma's life is proof that people can rise well above their circumstances.

He said people's lives have improved under Zuma.

"Through his sterling leadership, life expectancy has now been increased to 60 and the twin pandemics of HIV and TB have now been brought under control.".

Motlanthe said this proves Zuma is an example to everyone.

"President Jacob Zuma's life therefore is an example of how positive thinking thrives against all odds."

Meanwhile, the Western Cape, Gauteng and the ANC Youth League have endorsed Motlanthe as their preferred candidate to lead the party.

He has not yet indicated whether he will accept the nomination.

On Thursday, the Democratic Alliance (DA) scored Zuma an F saying he had failed to lead the country.

The opposition cited the Marikana shooting and the Nkandla development.

Zuma is currently upgrading his home at an estimated R200 million.

He maintains there is nothing wrong with the projects and denies claims that taxpayers are footing the bill.

The ANC dismissed the scorecard calling it "mischievous."