“When you beat a dog‚ its owner comes out. The president did that‚ and that is why they are all coming out.”
This is what ANC Women’s League president and Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini had to say on Wednesday in response to all those who had come out to march against Zuma.
Speaking at Zuma’s 75th birthday celebrations in Kliptown‚ Soweto‚ Dlamini said Zuma was facing a revolt because he had tried to rectify those within the party who were out of line.
Dlamini‚ who has also faced criticism after the social grants debacle‚ said the Women’s League would continue to throw its weight behind Zuma.
“As women‚ we said you will lead until the end of your term‚” said Dlamini.
She called on women to protect the ruling party.
Dlamini had nothing but praise for the embattled president‚ saying he had “connected South Africa with his infectious smile.”
“It brings hope‚” Dlamini said of Zuma.
She hailed him for remaining strong‚ even throughout the criticism.
In Pretoria‚ opposition parties had marked Zuma’s birthday by protesting against him‚ calling on him to step down.
But Zuma was undeterred‚ as he danced and sang in celebration.
He said he wasn’t fazed by the opposition‚ stating that they had also attacked former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.
“Mandela named them as ‘Minnie Mouse parties‚’” said Zuma‚ to laughter from the crowd.
“Just ignore them‚” he said.
Zuma said he understood the dynamics of politics and he was in his position for no other reason but to serve the people.
“Being hated is nothing new to me. They were never my pals and will never be‚” Zuma said all of his critics.