Zuma uses last ANC address to hit out at judiciary, media

Zuma lamented the state the ANC finds itself in, warning that the 105-year-old liberation movement is at a crossroads but put the blame on other forces, telling delegates that he had tried to do his best.

President Jacob Zuma addresses delegates at the ANC's 54th national conference on 16 December 2017. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma used his final address as African National Congress (ANC) leader to hit out at the judiciary, civil society organisations, the media and members of his own parliamentary caucus for the way in which they are holding him and his ministers to account.

Zuma lamented the state the ANC finds itself in, warning that the 105-year-old liberation movement is at a crossroads but put the blame on other forces, telling delegates that he had tried to do his best.

He started speaking after a seven-hour delay caused by conflicts around the registration and credentials of delegates gathered at Nasrec, Soweto to choose a new president and leadership.

On Parliament, where ANC MPs are interrogating allegations of state capture and the looting of public coffers, Zuma suggested their wings should be clipped.

“This new role has to some degree created confusion with the role of opposition parties that seek to discredit government at all costs.”

He slammed the media and singled out some civil society organisations:

“Some NGOs appear to exist merely to fight the ANC and the ANC government. They appear to be well resourced and constantly take government to court to fight political battles.”

On the courts, who have ruled against him and the government, Zuma had this to say.

“Judgments that give an impression that we can disregard the Constitution for political expediency or to solve what we regard as current problems set a dangerous precedent which will make it difficult to govern in future or to make ordinary citizens abide by the Constitution.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)