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Zuma: SA’s problems began with Jan van Riebeeck

The president said the arrival of colonialists and Jan van Riebeeck opened the way for racial discrimination.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma on Thursday said that Jan van Riebeeck would always be a historical fact but insisted that South Africa was a rainbow nation for all.

The president was responding to questions and comments raised during the State of the Nation Address (Sona) debate over the past two days.

In January, during the ANC's 103rd birthday bash in Cape Town, he said van Riebeeck's arrival in Cape Town was the beginning of all South Africa's problems.

During his speech Zuma reiterated the fact that South Africa's problems started when colonialists and van Riebeeck arrived because this opened the way for racial discrimination.

"How can you say we told the Afrikaners to go? No, I said the problem began when Jan van Riebeeck came here."

But he said all who live in South Africa belonged in the country.

"We're a rainbow nation and will fight against anyone who would do that because you belong here and there must be no fear at all."

However, he said the black masses should be given land and the means to work it.

Zuma also said the income of white households was six times more than black homes.

The president said the Land Holding Bill applied to agricultural land and not foreigners not wanting to buy homes.