“SA must not be destroyed by anarchists” - Zuma


President Jacob Zuma has taken aim at politicians who he described as “abusing their political rights” by making threats.

Addressing supporters and government officials while delivering his keynote speech at the Giyani Stadium in Limpopo on Wednesday as part of Freedom Day celebrations, Zuma stated that the country must unite against those who incite violence against “the democracy and freedom we fought so hard for”.

“We know that some within our communities believe such violence will make them popular and try to use anarchy to build their political careers,” Zuma said.

“We worked hard to build this country as millions of South Africans. It must not be destroyed by anarchists who have no interest in our well-being”.

Zuma said certain individuals have made their “full-time job” to deny the country its achievements made since 1994, and “to rubbish our country locally and abroad”.

“South Africa is a great success story. We have our challenges, however, the positive attributes of our country far outweigh those challenges,” he said.

“Let us point out the challenges so that we can be able to fix them. But in doing so, let us not lose sight of the achievements that we have all scored, working together, under difficult conditions.

Deviating from his prepared speech, Zuma stated that those no longer wanted in office should humble themselves and “accept if people believe we need change”.

“We must exercise the democratic institutions so that we can have a peaceful democratic state wherein the will of the majority prevails”.

While stopping short of naming any individuals or organisations, it is widely speculated that the comments might have been directed to Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema, who remarked in an interview with Aljazeera last week that the party would not hesitate in removing the government “through the barrel of a gun”.

On Tuesday, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa confirmed it had laid charges of high treason against Malema, describing his utterances as “reckless and shocking”.

“The remarks made by Mr. Malema are a clear incitement to people to commit acts of violence, which is against the laws of the Republic. We call on state authorities to urgently investigate this matter and act against such conduct,” Kodwa said in a statement.