Zuma's chilling warning: 'They must not provoke me'
State capture is merely 'a dream', and land laws are deliberately skewed against blacks, he adds
A confident former president Jacob Zuma signalled a warning to his detractors on Wednesday evening, two days before his next court appearance for corruption, warning them not to provoke him and describing the term “state capture” as a fabrication.
Zuma told a Congress of SA Students event in Durban: “There are people who like to talk about me, who are provoking me, and I’ve been keeping quiet when I was the president of the country in respect to them ... and not that I didn’t have anything to say.
“I’m now not having responsibilities … and I want to warn them: they must keep quiet, they must discuss their organisation, not me.
“Because I have things to say about their organisation also. I don’t want to ... because I think I know why I was part of the struggle, why I’m part of the leadership.
“They must not provoke me,” Zuma said.He has also lashed out at “state capture”, saying if black people had a sound legal understanding of the state, they would have known state capture did not exist and that it was just a “dream”.
Zuma was speaking to Cosas about free education ahead of his appearance of in the Durban High Court on Friday on corruption charges emanating from the controversial multi-billon-rand arms deal in the late 1990s.
While the former president did not directly speak about his court appearance, he used the platform to warn black people that if they were not fully empowered, they could be arrested on the wrong terms.“I need young people who must ask questions. We can’t say our laws are like the 10 commandments from God. They were made by human beings who live in South Africa. And if we are to correct that peacefully and otherwise, let us look at the laws, including the constitution, by the way.
“It was made by us. We need to look at it to solve the problems. You might end up going to war when you could not have gone to war [and] you could have solved the problems amicably,” he said.
Zuma said education had been used some people as a tool by others to subject others into difficulty.
“What is this thing called the state? They say it’s built on three spheres, legislature nationally, executive and judiciary. That means that is the state. If you are not empowered educationally, you can follow expressions said by people. A person can just say state capture and we say it but it’s wrong because it does not say these spheres have been captured.
“People use political jargon in order to fulfil their own interests. I have asked if the judiciary is captured? Is the parliament captured? Is the executive captured? So far the information I have got is that there are few individuals who were talking with certain people or given each other money, I don’t know. It can’t be the state capture,” said Zuma.He said if black people were empowered with sound legal understanding, “you would have said from the beginning ‘sorry this is a dream, give it another name, if there is an existence of such a thing.’”
“We all speak about it day and night. In other words, you can even go to court and be arrested on the wrong terms because you were not fully empowered, so to speak. People just play with words,” he said.
On the land issue, Zuma said the laws of the country were tilted against land claimants in favour of the landowners.
He said because his family had lodged a massive land claim, he chaired a committee on behalf of his family and had come face to face with challenges faced by other land claimants.“I then took the law and studied it and found that this law is tilted against us. And I asked one of the commissioners who was operating in Pietermaritzburg: ‘Why is this law so biased against us? Who are claiming the land and those who own the land have an easy way of undermining our claims? Who wrote this law?’ I continued to ask. And the commissioner said it was written by the white lawyers,” said Zuma.
He said this was why some land claims had failed because “we were not empowered to write these laws”.
“The legal studies are crucial not just for land only. Even you make a simple agreement, you need a lawyer. You go to court and no matter how much the truth you can tell as an accused, if you don’t have a lawyer, you are in trouble. You make an agreement between companies, you need a lawyer to finalise the agreement,” said Zuma.