President Jacob Zuma is “a hero of the masses” who speaks for voiceless South Africans without access to social media – so says Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen.
Introducing Zuma at the opening of the Traditional Leaders Indaba at Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg on Monday, Des van Rooyen said when the “real history is told, not the distorted history that is peddled today”, Zuma would be remembered for bringing hope to millions of citizens, News24 reported.
“He is the hero of the masses. Those voiceless citizens who do not have access to Twitter and Facebook. We know very well that he is not a friend to monopoly capital; we know very well that he is shaking a lot of things. His leadership has changed the lives of the poorest of the poor,” the minister said.
Van Rooyen’s remarks came hours after Zuma survived yet another motion of no confidence in his leadership at the ANC’s national executive committee at the weekend in Pretoria.
Weekend newspaper reports about leaked e-mail correspondence indicting the extent of the Gupta family’s alleged state capture over Cabinet ministers and parastatal CEOs and board members revealed that the family paid for Van Rooyen’s visit to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2015.
He was appointed to the finance ministry by Zuma on December 9 following his shambolic removal of Nhlanhla Nene from the post, but was later replaced by Pravin Gordhan following market turmoil and calls for the president to step down from opposition parties and civil society organisations.
Gordhan has since been fired in a Cabinet reshuffle in March, also to much public criticism, as allegations of state capture and details about Zuma’s relationship with the Guptas abound.
When Zuma got to the podium at the indaba, he apparently praised Van Rooyen as a hands-on minister who wanted to deliver to citizens.