Is Jacob Zuma gaining high-profile supporters?
Johannesburg - Although out of power and having nothing to offer to his supporters in terms of positions that can be used to create a network of patronage, former president Jacob Zuma continues to draw high profile supporters.
And this implies that the so-called members of the club of the wounded as a result of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s rule, is slowly growing and it may eventually take over power.
When Zuma appeared before the Zondo commission early this week, he enjoyed the support of high profile ANC members who have not supported him in the last five court appearances since his recall in February 2018 and this suggests that his faction or support base is growing or quietly regrouping.
KZN-based political analyst, Thabani Khumalo, said the notion that the Zuma grouping was splitting after its defeat at the 2017 Nasrec conference was wrong. According to his analysis, only a few jumped the ship but the majority is still there and the grouping is intact and ready to defend one another with the fear that if one is left vulnerable and attacked, they may be next on the line of people to be dragged to the streets.
“Those guys are still together, fighting, defending themselves, defending their ambitions. In short, they are still a united grouping although a few of them have shifted to be closer to the winning side. The core of that team remains intact because there is a lot to defend and they have no choice,” Khumalo said.
He added that by failing to stand with Zuma it could mean leaving themselves exposed. He said this was not about defending Zuma in order to gain something because he is no longer in power.
Here are the people who showed up to support Zuma.
The mayor of eKurhuleni has always been open about his support for Zuma but he never showed up to support him in court. His appearance to support Zuma at the commission was a major coup for Zuma and his faction.
The former minister of Home Affairs showed up and said he was there just to listen to the testimony by Zuma. Others viewed that as a cautious way of showing support.
Another cautious supporter. Magashule to the commission on behalf of the ANC but his critics think that he was there to support Zuma.
The President of the uMkhonto Wesizwe Military Veterans was missing in action when Zuma spent four days at the Pietermaritzburg high in may to have his corruption charges struck off the roll. He later emerged on the side of the former President at the commission.
People who have always stood with Zuma before the commission’s appearance
Mosebenzi Zwane, Des Van Rooyen, Carl Niehaus and Supra Mahumapelo have always been at Zuma’s side when the former president has appeared in court. Their appearance with him before the commission was a continuation of their long standing support.
People in Zuma’s corner who are now based at Luthuli House
Bathabile Dlamini (as the President of the ANC women's league)