Former South Africa leader Zuma promises jobs and free education as he launches party manifesto

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Former South African president Jacob Zuma arrives at Orlando stadium in the township of Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa, for the launch of his newly formed uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party’s manifesto on May 18. (AP)

JOHANNESBURG, May 19, (AP): Former South African president Jacob Zuma Saturday lamented the high levels of poverty among black South Africans and promised to create jobs and tackle crime as he launched his new political party’s manifesto ahead of the country’s much anticipated elections.
He told thousands of supporters who gathered at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg that his party would build factories where many people would be employed and provide free education to the country’s youth.
“We want our children to study for free, especially those from poor households because the poverty we have was not created by us. It was created by settlers who took everything, including our land. We’ll take all those things back, make money and educate our children,” he said.
He has also pledged to change the country’s Constitution to restore more powers to traditional leaders, saying their role in society has been reduced by giving more powers to magistrates and judges.
Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe party, known as the MK Party, has emerged as a significant player in South Africa’s upcoming elections after it was launched in December last year.
He is currently involved in a legal battle with the country’s electoral authority, the Independent Electoral Commission. He has appealed against a court judgment which barred him from standing in the election because of his criminal record.
Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison for defying a court order to appear before a judicial commission of inquiry which was probing corruption allegation in government and state-owned companies during his presidential term from 2009 to 2018.

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