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WATCH: Zuma supporters chant “Akabuyi” and take a jab at Zondo, Cele at Nkandla prayer

Published Jun 2, 2022

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Nkandla – The Jacob Zuma solidarity prayer held in Nkandla, northern KwaZulu-Natal, turned into a platform by his supporters to take a dig at ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa and Chief Justice, Raymond Zondo.

Also not spared by the supporters estimated to be around 5 000, was police minister and ANC NEC member, Bheki Cele.

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Zuma, who is reportedly not well, did not attend the prayer meeting, which was held on the open grounds outside his sprawling rural home.

The meeting started five hours later after violent protest action along R66 near eShowe blocked supporters who were coming from areas like Durban, Mandeni and Gingindlovu.

However, the supporters persevered until the road was cleared by the police and emergency services and they were allowed to go through.

Arriving in groups in Nkandla, they chanted political slogans that have to do with the current political climate in the country and internal fights within the ANC.

Among the slogans were ones that made derogatory references to Ramaphosa’s facial appearance and his nose. Ramaphosa also later became a target when a group of supporters started repeatedly chanting “Akabuyi, akabuyi – He is not coming back.”

In return, one of the staunch supporters of Zuma and Zandile Gumede, Lindani Sicwala, who was on the large stage, pitched in front of a big white marquee, loudly echoed them via a microphone and said: “He is not coming.”

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The slogan has in the past few months become a war cry for those who are opposed to Ramaphosa getting a second term as the leader of the ANC.

The slogan has also been used against ANC leaders perceived to support of Ramaphosa’s re-election bid – like Oscar Mabuyane, the chair of the Eastern Cape ANC, and Sihle Zikalala, who chairs the ANC in Zuma’s backyard, KwaZulu-Natal.

It appeared that the supporters, who gathered to show solidarity outside Zuma’s Nkandla home before he surrendered to the police to begin serving his jail term in July last year, have not forgiven Zondo and Cele for the arrest that sparked riots and looting.

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They sang a song asking what Zuma had done to be treated in the way that he was – they believe he is being unfairly targetted by the judiciary and his political detractors.

“Zondo ka Mthiyane what has Zuma done… Cele what has Zuma done?” the supporters who were in ANC regalia and in high spirits sang.

The turning of the prayer meeting into a political platform to fight ANC battles irked, Bishop Vusi Dube of the eThekwini Community Church, who was one of the organisers of the meeting.

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Dube pleaded with those in attendance to behave.

“Let us respect the home of President Zuma, let us conduct the prayer in an orderly manner,” he said.

Among those who attended the meeting was Zikalala, who led a delegation of the provincial executive committee (PEC), which included Super Zuma and Nomagugu Simelane.

Also in attendance was former MEC and the speaker of the eThekwini Municipality, Weziwe Thusi, and Ntando Khuzwayo, the spokesperson for the supporters of Zandile Gumede, and an ANC councillor in eThekwini Municipality.

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