Durban - Meshack Radebe, the recently retired deputy speaker of the KZN legislature and a longtime prominent Jacob Zuma supporter, has alleged that the former president is being prosecuted and persecuted by people he appointed to power simply because they want to prove "they are independent of him".
Radebe also alleged there was a bid to ensure Zuma is ruined financially, adding there is a clandestine effort by the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) to make sure a secret letter Zuma's lawyers sought to read in court does not see the light of day. The letter is believed to expose former President Thabo Mbeki and former NPA head advocate Bulelani Ngcuka of "prima facie evidence against Zuma".
He made these allegations to a group of journalists on Friday morning outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court shortly before proceedings inside the court started.
He added: "All these people who are now rising against Zuma, including Mogoeng Mogoeng (the country's Chief Justice), are his people, they want to prove a point that they are not beholden to him and are independent people. Look at Thuli Madonsela. She is now going to be his advisor (not clear he was referring to who). What will happen when you think of her with her scary heart. "
He added he was not afraid to speak his mind as he has retired from active politics and is not accountable to anyone.
"Having just taken early retirement from politics, I am now not afraid of speaking my mind against anyone. I have my own home, cattle and I depend on no one for a living," Radebe said.
Before making the claims, Radebe had said the state's refusal to fund Zuma's legal battles was startling to him as the state had funded apartheid people "who killed us" such as Apartheid chemical warfare medical specialist Dr and General Magnus Malan, the man infamous for the "total strategy" and political killings in Makhutha outside Durban in the mid 80s.
"We paid for Bason, we paid for Malan who killed us. So why is Zuma squeezed? They want to see him walking barefooted, they will not rest until they see him dead. However, they will be surprised because we will start a campaign to raise funds for him," he said. Radebe said they will use the funds raised to buy him a plane.
Radebe is a former KZN MEC for Agriculture, who during his tenure at the department between 2012 and 2014, appointed Zuma's first wife Sizakele MaKhumalo Zuma as the department's ambassador for rural and small holding farming.
The hearing continues and Zuma is expected to address his legion of supporters who are slowly filling up the Freedom Park across the court when the matter adjourns.