Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, the ANC Youth League said on Friday as the country celebrated Human Rights Day.
“We would be happy if the rights of all can be respected, including the right of President Jacob Zuma to live in a safe dwelling and to execute his duties in a secure environment,” the ANCYL's national convenor Mzwandile Masina said in a statement.
“We remind those who think they are the masters of law to remember that all South Africans are equal before the courts... and all South Africans are innocent from any wrongdoing until found guilty by a court... not a Chapter 9 institution led by a person with a hidden agenda.”
He was referring to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, who this week found that Zuma and his family had improperly benefited from R215 million security upgrades to his Nkandla home. Outstanding work on the property was around R36 million.
Masina accused Madonsela of abusing her office and working with other political parties.
“As we are a generation that remains the future of this country... we would be happy if institutions of our democratic state cannot 1/8sic 3/8 be abused by those who hold office working with opposition parties.”
Masina said the ANCYL continued to honour the spirit of freedom fighters who lost their lives during apartheid.
“We are a generation that was not active yet when most hard-sufferings and gross injustice was administered to our forefathers,” he said.
“Some of us were not even born, but we remain steadfast in their belief that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white.”
The ANC is the only party that respects human rights, he said.
“We call on all those who love this freedom and democracy to once more vote for the ANC on May 7, 2014, as the ANC remains the only safe political party that respects human rights.”
Friday's public holiday, Human Rights Day, commemorates the Sharpeville massacre in 1960, when police shot dead 69 anti-apartheid protesters.