'I will defend my father with my life,' vows Edward Zuma
Durban - Edward Zuma has vowed to defend his embattled father, former president Jacob Zuma, with his life after a warrant for Zuma Sr's arrest was issued by the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday.
Edward joined a number of his father’s supporters in voicing their anger at the warrant issued by Judge Dhaya Pillay after the former president failed to appear in court for the start of his trial on corruption charges related to the arms deal.
“I will defend him with my life,” Edward said.
On Tuesday, Zuma's legal team presented a sick note in court as proof that Zuma was unable to attend court because he was receiving medical treatment. Judge Pillay rejected the note, which had purportedly been issued by One Military Hospital in Pretoria, raising questions about its authenticity. She summoned Zuma to appear before her in May to explain his absence and ruled that the arrest warrant would be held over until that date.
Criticism of the warrant has gained momentum as the ANC Youth League, Ekurhuleni Metro Mayor Mzwandile Masina, KwaZulu-Natal and Free State ANC structures joined Zuma's followers in expressing their unhappiness.
In a letter posted on social media, Edward said the warrant was "nonsensical" and "unnecessary" because his father would never deliberately evade court.
He also accused former tourism minister Derek Hanekom of having influencing the judge's decision to issue the warrant, saying that he had pictures of Hanekom and Pillay together.
However, he did not make good on his promise to send the picture to Independent Media. Hanekom could not be reached on his cellphone nor did he respond to text messages requesting comment on the matter.