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Zuma hits back at critics suggesting his presidency were 'wasted years'

In a thinly veiled swipe, Zuma disputes that his nine years in office were a waste.

Former President Jacob Zuma at Ohlange Institute Rally in Inanda during the January 8th celebrations on 8 January 2018. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Former President Jacob Zuma has hit back at those criticising his legacy, including President Cyril Ramaphosa.

In a thinly veiled swipe, Zuma disputes that his nine years in office were a waste.

He released a statement on his Twitter account on Tuesday afternoon seen as a response to Ramaphosa who was quoted talking about the country’s "nine lost years" at a dinner in Davos.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni also shared similar sentiments at the World Economic Forum last week.

In the statement, Zuma says it is a lie that the past decade has been a complete waste.

He lists a number of things he achieved during his presidency, including improving the HIV treatment programme, increasing life expectancy, creating the National Development Plan, building two universities and of course the ushering in of free tertiary education towards the end of his term in office.

The former president says he does not believe he has betrayed the ANC’s trust and remains proud of his achievements over the last decade.

In an indirect swipe at Ramaphosa, Zuma says: "I never once blamed any predecessor or pointed to any perceived failing of any predecessor when I came to the leadership. I focused on what we would do and achieve in the ANC."

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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