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Zuma stands by ‘ANC comes first’ comments

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While he loves the ANC, it does not mean he loves his country less, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday.

This was in response to his comments at the KwaZulu-Natal ANC conference earlier this month that the “ANC comes first”.

“South Africa needs a united, strong, cohesive and effective African National Congress,” Zuma said in a statement released on Monday.

“I love the ANC. It does not mean I love my country less. But I know no other life than life in the ANC. The ANC is my life.”


Zuma said the mission of “the oldest liberation movement in the continent has still not been completed”.

“For 103 years the ANC has been engaged in a mission to liberate South Africa first from the yoke of apartheid colonialism, and now from poverty, inequality and unemployment.

“The ANC continues to pursue the mission of building a united, non-sexist, non-racial, democratic and prosperous South Africa, a national democratic society,” he said.

“To this day the ANC remains the only viable tool in the hands of our people that can be used to achieve their total emancipation. The ANC is also continuing its mission of uniting not only its members but all South Africans.”

For the ANC to fulfil its historic role, it “must renew itself and enhance its determination, resolve and tenacity to fight negative tendencies and restore the core values and principles of our movement – unity, selflessness, sacrifice, collective leadership, humility, honesty, discipline, hard work, internal debates, constructive criticism and self-criticism and mutual respect,” Zuma continued.


“In this regard, the ANC must rise to the occasion and lead society and the country in general to a better life. More importantly, the ANC must lead South Africa to economic freedom for the majority especially, and including the youth, women and persons with disability.”

He reiterated that the ANC comes first.

“It must come first to all members so that we can together build an ANC that can and will continue leading this country effectively and ensure that the dividends of peace and freedom are enjoyed by all, especially the poor.

“I shall continue using the ANC as an instrument of making my country a better place to live in for all its people, black and white, men and women, young and old.” News24

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