Zuma's first term was a success, says Gwede Mantashe
'With all the allegations against Jacob Zuma, he had two terms. As the secretary-general at the time, I regard the first term as successful'
ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe has defended former president Jacob Zuma's first term at the Union Buildings as one that was progressive.
Mantashe was testifying at the Zondo commission on Wednesday.
According to him, a lot can be said about Zuma's scandals but his first term as the head of government yielded positive results. Among those, said Mantashe, was Zuma's splitting of the education department into two - basic education and higher education.
Mantashe says it was also during this time that the ANC caucus in parliament was “robust” and an activist one.
“With all the allegations against Jacob Zuma, he had two terms. As the secretary-general at the time, I regard the first term as successful,” said Mantashe.
“He effected a number of positive changes. One of those was to restructure education, splitting it into two, because it was too huge a department. [Other positives] include introducing the HIV programme in the state, which was very aggressive.
“So he did many things that were positive during that first term. We regarded that term as very active, hence we spoke of an activist parliament. And during that first term, there was no talk of state capture,” he added.
Mantashe's testimony continues.