Jacob Zuma’s attack on Gwede Mantashe

Jacob Zuma’s attack on Gwede Mantashe

He says all he wanted was to be behind the scenes and help with ‘minor duties’.

President Jacob Zuma has reportedly said he never wanted to be a president but a mere “briefcase carrier” for leaders.

DispatchLIVE reports Zuma told delegates at the Amathole ANC regional conference held in Mpekweni Resort near Port Alfred on Sunday evening that all he ever wanted was to be behind the scenes and help leaders with “minor duties” such as carrying their briefcases.

“I did not want to be president because I knew all these difficulties [that come with the job] … I thought being in the background and assisting leaders by carrying their briefcases, their jackets and the like it would be just fine than to lead because to lead is a difficulty – because you are faced with decisions to take,” Zuma said.

Zuma’s comments were seen as a thinly veiled response to ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, who told a crowd of SACP supporters in January he did not intend on being a “bag carrier” for long.

“We’re not runners of a certain candidate, but leaders of the movement,” Mantashe said. “We have a right to be candidates ourselves. We are not bag carriers of anyone.”

Zuma also said his job was more difficult for him because he had an understanding of the “global balance of forces” that were apparently preventing development in Africa.

He reportedly launched a scathing attack against the west during his address to delegates.

“If you have this knowledge, it becomes even more difficult because you can take decisions that you cannot explain to anyone – because if you explain – it could impact very negatively [on] the organisation itself,” Zuma said.

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