Durban - The family of former president Jacob Zuma says it fully supports his decision to defy the Constitutional Court's order that he should avail himself to the Zondo commission which is probing allegations of state capture during his presidency.
On the back of the support from his family, some of Zuma’s fervent supporters have come out to back him too.
Speaking to Independent Media on Tuesday, one of Zuma’s sons, Edward, said they are “100% behind this decision”. He added that the decision had nothing to do with his lawyers, but a personal one.
“As a family, we stand behind him regarding this decision. We believe that this decision is long overdue. He should have taken it long ago. If they want to arrest him, they must go ahead, and we will see what will happen,” the son said.
Regarding the same matter, Zuma’s supporters are not only backing his stance, but they also claim to be on the ground mobilising support for the former president.
Nkosentsha Shezi, the KZN chairperson of the RET (Radical Economic Transformation) Forces, said they shared Zuma’s sentiments that the commission, courts and other state institutions are ganging up against him.
He added that they would stand with the former president to the very end.
Ubumbano Lokuthula, another KZN grouping known for supporting Zuma, stopped short of saying it would form a human shield to thwart attempts to arrest him.
The movement’s leader, Dr Andile Hlatshwayo, said they also agree that Zuma was getting a raw deal from the country’s courts and the Zondo commission, hence fully back his stance.
“We will never allow Zuma to be arrested by a judiciary system which itself should be arrested. A judiciary system which is tainted by serious allegations,” he said.
He added that the day the SAPS announces that it was going to arrest Zuma from his home, they would find them there camping.
The stance of the supporters comes as some political parties are already calling on the state to strip Zuma of his perks as a retired president. One of them was Mmusi Maimane, the leader of One Movement SA who said the defiance against the rule of law was a clear indication that he had never held the country’s laws in any regard as he had not defended the constitution of the country as per his oath upon ascending to the highest office in the land.
Maimane said that if Zuma could not subject himself to the laws of the country, he, therefore, should be regarded as unfit to hold the title of the former president.
“All benefits accrued to Mr Zuma must be removed because you can’t say you’re a former president of a republic and then to say the laws that you swore an oath to are now no longer relevant.
“Mr Zuma, if he breaks the law, must be arrested like any other person. It would not be abnormal for a country to have a president who has been arrested, it happened in Brazil, it happens in many different parts of the world,” Maimane said.
Another leader who has called on Zuma to be stripped of his benefits is ActionSA leader, Herman Mashaba.