Zuma uses Melmoth visit to reassert his position

The president addressed several thousand people at the launch of a disaster relief fund programme.

President Jacob Zuma during his visit to the drought-hit at uThungulu District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal where he launched a drought relief programme. Picture: GCIS.

DURBAN - President Jacob Zuma used his first public appearance since apologising to the nation for the Nkandla scandal to remind South Africans that he is still the president of the country.

Zuma addressed several thousand people in Melmoth in Kwazulu-Natal yesterday at the launch of a disaster relief fund programme for the drought affecting the country.

Speaking only for about 40 minutes to a large crowd that had gathered at the Melmoth sport ground, Zuma used the opportunity and the occasion to thank those that attended.

Zuma was in a very jovial mood, smiling and waving to the crowd despite the Nkandla saga he currently finds himself embroiled in.

Most of the locals wearing yellow and green T-shirts, brandishing his face, cheered and chanted his name upon his arrival.

Zuma said he was there to address them as president of the republic and not as an ANC leader and called on them to support him as their leader.

The president then also urged the crowd to register this weekend for the local government elections later this year, saying that the black vote was very important.