Zuma was locked in meetings with the ANC Working Committee in Luthuli House in Johannesburg.
He was scheduled to attend a rally at Germiston Stadium on the East Rand to address supporters from the ANC Youth League‚ MK Veterans and other party leaders.
The event is believed to have been called to rally support for Zuma who has been under fire since he axed finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas.
Organisers told about 300 supporters that the executive mayor of Ekurhuleni and ANCYL executives would address them.
“The president will join while we are in the programme (sic)‚” an announcer said. But it was Water and Sanitation Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane who ended up being the main speaker. She blasted the ANC’s Integrity Commission for allegedly “leaking” details of a letter written to Luthuli House‚ recommending Zuma should step down.
The fact is‚ said Mokonyane‚ Zuma was still president until his term ended. She said the country had voted for him knowing he was the president of the ANC and had been deployed by the party.
She hit out at international rating agency S&P and its downgrade of South Africa’s economy‚ saying the world should respect the processes which make a government. “The west can’t dictate to us.
“The rand falls. It fell in Apartheid and we will pick it up again now.”
She blasted those who had criticised Zuma and his policies. “Investors are like window shoppers. It’s still the ANC in power. The problems you see now are not a reflection of an unstable ANC‚ you will hear this tomorrow.
“These junk ratings have nothing to do with financial ratings. Its political ratings.”
She welcomed the planned mass march by opposition parties. “We are saying woza Friday. Let people come we are waiting for them. Then we are going to go to parliament next week where will make the motion of no confidence a motion of confidence in Zuma. You can’t not toe the line of the ANC.
“Our struggle is against a minority wanting to dominate and dictate to the majority which we can’t have.”
Gauteng ANCYL chairperson Matome Chiloane also dismissed the downgrading of South Africa’s economy to junk.
“As Gauteng we are happy with Zuma’s actions. Zuma has demonstrated his interest in ensuring the economy is successful.”
He said those who countered and spoke out about Zuma – the SACP and COSATU – had demonstrated that they were the security guards of white monopoly capital.
“They are not about the working class. We cannot trust them.
“We are telling rating agencies that they can keep their junk status. What is this junk status thing? This is not taught in our classrooms. What we are taught is the Freedom Charter.”
Cosas deputy president Khulekani Skosana called for white people to leave South Africa. “Those who arrived in 1652 must leave.”
Organisers kept supporters‚ who they provided with food and cool drinks‚ singing and dancing to gospel music and popular DJs.
As evening fell‚ it was unclear whether Zuma would still attend. Speakers rallied the crowd with shouts of‚ “Viva Zanu-PF. Viva”.
“The next time the EFF wants to disrupt Parliament‚ were are going to disrupt their offices in Braamfontein…. That is what we mean when we say we will fight fire with fire.”
Earlier on Tuesday‚ Zuma‚ speaking in Pretoria at the launch of Africa’s first locally built locomotive at Transnet’s engineering yard‚ said the reshuffle and appointment of Malusi Gigaba as finance minister had “gone off smoothly”.
“We thank Mr Gordhan for the smooth transition.
“I want to assure all South Africans that the economy is critical to us the government.”
Asked about the downgrade and the effect on the economy‚ Zuma giggled before his bodyguards pushed journalists away.