South African President Jacob Zuma seeks to reassure white people

February 21, 2015 12:18 pm

South African President Jacob Zuma says he is not a racist and has
assured white people they should not fear being “chased” out of Nelson
Mandela’s “Rainbow Nation”.
The president also said that a new
law preventing foreign ownership of land in South applied only to
agricultural properties and not to private residences.
Zuma was
reacting to concerns by some white South Africans after he told a rally
of his ruling African National Congress that all ’s troubles
began when the first whites landed more than 300 years ago.

South African President Jacob Zuma, speaks during the opening session inside parliament in on Feb 12. Photo / AP
“South
Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white,” he told
parliament on Thursday, quoting the ANC’s Freedom Charter, which was
adopted during the fight to end the white racist system of apartheid.
Breaking
away from his written speech in response to debate on his State of the
Nation Address last week, he said: “We are a rainbow nation. Nobody will
chase you away.

There should be no fear.”
But, he said, he would never
stop talking about history because South Africa’s children should know
the country’s past to ensure that mistakes were not repeated.
Zuma’s off the cuff remarks won enthusiastic applause from the audience.
It
was a redemption of sorts for the president, who has been under fire
over the past week since security forces were called into parliament to
evict lawmakers who disrupted his annual address by accusing him of
corruption.

South African Economic Freedom Fighters, EFF, disrupt the official opening session inside Parliament as Security personnel, dressed in white shirts, try and stop the violence. Photo / AP
,
, disrupt the official opening session inside Parliament as Security
personnel, dressed in white shirts, try and stop the violence. Photo /
AP
He said the government was committed to freedom of speech
and pledged that the cutting of mobile phone signals in parliament ahead
of his address – a move which infuriated reporters and opposition
lawmakers – would never happen again.
Addressing the uproar in
parliament for the first time, he called for all parties to preserve the
dignity of the national assembly.
Radical lawmakers of the
Economic Freedom Fighters, who led the disruption last Thursday,
remained silent and seated throughout his speech.

Protesters flee water canon fire near parliament in Cape Town ahead of the State Of The Nation Address by South African president Jacob Zuma. Photo / AP
Protesters flee water canon fire near
parliament in Cape Town ahead of the State Of The Nation Address by
South African president Jacob Zuma. Photo / AP
But their leader, Julius Malema, has pledged to confront
Zuma again over alleged corruption when he returns to parliament for
presidential question time on March 11.

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