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By Citizen Reporter


Zuma believes in Malema’s ‘potential, if properly guided’, he says

The former president offered a brief exclusive interview to Steven Motale over the weekend about why he's now on Twitter.

In a YouTube interview with former Sunday Independent editor Steven Motale, former president Jacob Zuma spoke about his recent decision to join social media.

He also unexpectedly praised EFF leader Julius Malema, who is known for having insulted and scorned him for years since Malema was expelled from the ANC.

ALSO READ: Malema welcomes ‘baba’ Zuma on Twitter, but McKenzie suspects a fightback plan

Malema and his party have variously mocked the shape of Zuma’s head, and have called him a criminal, a constitutional delinquent and more.

ALSO READ: The EFF vs Zuma: The insults are mounting

Zuma told Motale, who is now the editor of independent news portal AfricaNews24/7, that the reasons behind the decision to join Twitter in particular had been very simple: “I live among the people. I do everything for the people. I have realised that in the social media … that’s where the people are. And there’s a lot of talk there.

“And I thought it was important. I wanted to come in to join the conversation. These conversations at times said things, even about me, and I’ve not been able to respond.”

Zuma said he could now have the personal platform to respond to people, ask questions, clarify and even correct them if he felt like it. He would also put across his own views.

“Because some of the things that are said about me are a lot of distortions and propaganda.

“Also, I do have views that I think are important for people to know.

“Those who think opposite of me, and those who think with me … to also strengthen their own arguments. But others, to persuade them to stop thinking wrongly.”

Motale made reference to Malema and celebrities such as rapper AKA who had “welcomed you so warmly to Twitter”.

Zuma said he would like to thank them, particularly those who had supported him for a long time.

“There is something interesting with Malema. I don’t think we have disagreed with Malema politically. We have disagreed with other things.

“Malema comes from the ANC; he was the leader of the youth league. I interacted with him a great deal and he knows what I said to him at one point about his potential … which I still believe if it is properly guided, as it was guided in the ANC, there is something that could come out of Malema.

“I’ve always said so. And I believe his welcoming me indicates some of his very positive thinking and understanding. So I’m very happy and I’m thanking everyone.”

Watch the interview below:


(Compiled by Charles Cilliers)

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Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma (JZ) Julius Malema

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