File picture: Former president Jacob Zuma
File picture: Former president Jacob Zuma

KZN ANC ’draws line in the sand’ for Zuma

By Mphathi Nxumalo Time of article published Feb 5, 2021

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DURBAN - The arrest of former South African president Jacob Zuma for failing to appear in front of the Zondo Commission will be the “final straw” and a redline for many ANC members in KwaZulu-Natal.

This comes as tensions are rising about the alleged mistreatment of Zuma as some members start to make moves in fighting back to ensure that the province regains control of a deeply divided ANC.

A senior provincial ANC official who spoke to the Daily News on condition of anonymity said: “If they arrest Jacob Zuma, they must arrest all of us. If there was no lockdown we would have gone to the streets.”

The man said they had support from large parts of the taxi industry already who were willing to offer their services.

He said people were angry, and some provincial executive council members were “shocked” at the treatment of Zuma.

He said this was affecting how the ANC was performing in the province as when Zuma became president, there were a lot of IFP supporters who joined the party because they were “inspired” by Zuma, but things changed when the former president was recalled.

He added they were concerned about how Zuma was being treated by some judges as this was part of a broader agenda against economic transformation in the country.

The comments come as Zuma faces one of the toughest periods in a decades long political career.

Last week, the Constitutional Court ruled Zuma had to appear before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture which is also known as the Zondo Commission.

Zuma said he would defy the ruling and compared the Constitutional Court to apartheid era courts as he felt he was being persecuted.

The commission said it would be laying charges against him. A planned meeting between Zuma and EFF leader Julius Malema has fuelled speculation that there could be a fight back of sorts being planned after Malema approached Zuma for some “tea”.

Another highly placed provincial ANC insider said they had started to mobilise at branch levels to get more support for the president who was being persecuted.

“He has not been found guilty of anything,” he said.

The insider said Zuma had been isolated by the ANC and now ANC members are wanting to support Zuma.

He said the problem with the ANC in KZN was that it was not being proactive – although he did not know what the meeting between Zuma and EFF leader Malema was going to be about, it put the ANC in a bad light when an opposition leader reached out to Zuma when the ANC did not.

“The ANC, through its NEC member Zizi Kodwa, defended De Klerk but not Zuma,” he said.

It was not only Zuma who was being targeted, but his children too.

“You can’t push a person into a corner and not expect him to fight back,” he said.

Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association spokesperson Carl Niehaus said supporting Zuma was the official position of the MKMVA.

“We believe he is being targeted … We will take a very dim view of any arrest of president Zuma,” he said. Niehaus said there were many South Africans who were behind the former president.

In an interview on Newzroom Afrika, secretary-general of the ANC, Ace Magashule, said he would not be drawn into commenting about Zuma being persecuted.

He said Zuma and the ANC needed to be given space to deal with internal ANC matters and that some media houses should not drive the agenda that the constitution was being disrespected. Magashule complained about the lack of economic transformation in the country.

“Can’t you see the destruction of black business, destruction of African companies, can’t you see there is entrenchment of monopoly in South Africa today? Is it not obvious that black people are being excluded in the mainstream economy?”

National chairperson of Radical Economic Transformation Champions Nkosentsha Shezi said they supported him in his rejection of the Constitutional Court decision.

He said they would issue a statement today on how they would react if the president gets arrested as they had been consulting on the matter. Shezi said they supported the meeting between Malema as long as the EFF leader apologised for his previous actions against Zuma.

KZN ANC spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela said the Zuma matter had not been discussed as the NEC was sitting next week where the matter will be discussed.

He said the PEC meeting that was supposed to happen this week has been rescheduled due to a number of high profile KZN ANC members passing away. The meeting was postponed to a later date, he said. Ntombela said he had no comment about the meeting between Malema and Zuma.

Daily News

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