There were people spending sleepless nights plotting his downfall, President Jacob Zuma told a supportive crowd in his home province on Sunday.
“Kunomshikashika omkhulu kabi, ubona abanye bengalali nje bengikhafula ubusuku nemini,” said Zuma in isiZulu, loosely translated meaning there was a big storm brewing with people spending sleepless nights plotting his demise.
Zuma was addressing more than 10 000 people at a drought relief imbizo at the Melmoth sports grounds in KwaZulu-Natal, where he received a warm welcome.
In his address Zuma also spoke specifically to black South Africans, encouraging them to use their vote to make a change. Zuma said black people were lazy to go out and register to vote, whereas white people went out in large numbers because they knew the power of voting.
This was Zuma’s first public appearance since his televised apology to the nation regarding the handling of security upgrades at his Nkandla homestead.
‘There’s a white man going around talking about me’
The Constitutional Court ruled last week that Zuma flouted the Constitution when he failed to comply with the Public Protector’s remedial action on the upgrades to his Nkandla homestead.
The court also ruled that the National Assembly acted against the Constitution when they chose to set aside Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report.
Zuma on Friday apologised to the nation in a televised address for the way the matter was handled.
Towards the end of his speech, which was in isiZulu, Zuma told the gathering that he had heard that a white man was going around speaking about him. He did not specify who the man was.
“I heard about a white man, I don’t know where he gets off, he too was speaking about me. All of a sudden everyone thinks their opinion matters.”
Zuma earlier reminded his constituency that he had been tasked to be the president of the country.
“A nation is a nation because of its people… While I have been given the task to lead the country, even if you are not a Zuma, regardless of who you are…let me lead you,” said Zuma.
Zuma said he would not be in power for long because he was old.
He also used the opportunity to call for calm and respect saying there was no president who did not wish for peace in his country.