PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma came out guns blazing over the weekend.

Taking aim at his critics within the ANC, Zuma said he had been betrayed by those close to him, just like Jesus Christ.

Zuma addressed about 40 000 followers during a rally in Acornhoek, Mpumalanga on Saturday, urging them to defend the country from being taken over by his enemies. “There are those who hate the ANC. They have been in the movement for so many years, yet they try to weaken it. They form breakaway groups and buy our people to work with them.”

Calls for Zuma to step down have grown after former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s report revealed the president’s relationship with the Gupta family may have caused him to act unethically.

The Guptas allegedly used their ties with the president to appoint government ministers. Zuma said those who broke away to form the Save The ANC group and address party issues in the media were the same people who were putting the movement in danger.

He said the ANC was known to fight corruption.

“We have chased away many members who were proven to be corrupt. We took steps against them,” he said.
Mpumalanga ANC chairman David Mabuza, a known Zuma ally, told the crowd the ANC would rule until Jesus returns. He also assured Zuma the province would remain the home of the ANC.

ANC regional chairman Gillion Mashego said supporters would flock to Gauteng on 8 January for the party’s elective conference.