Former president Jacob Zuma and SACP general-secretary Blade Nzimande. File picture: Matthews Baloyi/ANA

Johannesburg - The SA Communist Party has declared a new war on former president Jacob Zuma, accusing him of being at the heart of a pushback against the ANC leadership and state capture.

The party on Sunday vowed it would defeat Zuma in the same way it had helped oust him from the Union Buildings.

This was as Zuma's supporters prepare for his court appearance in Durban on Friday.

SACP general-secretary Blade Nzimande said attempts to fight back the drive against corruption and state capture must not be underestimated, adding that they were linked to Zuma.

“In many ways former president Zuma is at the heart of this counter-revolutionary fight-back, together with a circle of discredited individuals, many themselves facing the likelihood of criminal prosecution.

"KwaZulu-Natal has become a seed-bed for this counter-revolutionary agenda, but with tentacles spreading to other provinces,” Nzimande said.

Another grouping in the province has announced plans to form a political party as it was aggrieved by the ANC's treatment of Zuma.

Zuma has since distanced himself from the grouping.

Nzimande said it was not enough for Zuma to claim that he was not planning to leave the ANC, arguing that he had to openly denounce groupings that organised in his name.

“Zuma must distance himself very strongly from this. It is not enough for him to say 'I will never leave the ANC' but people are continuing doing things in his name,” he said.

SACP deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila was more scathing, accusing Zuma of trying to destroy the ANC-led alliance, and the ANC of being soft on him.

“The ANC must come out much more clearly in this regard so that they don't just protect him because he is a former leader and he continues to do wrong things via the movement and associating himself with counter-revolutionaries.

“We will never accept to lose another general secretary just because of some sense of respecting alliance processes because the ANC can't discipline former president Zuma and this group that he is working with,” Mapaila said.

The party has expressed concern over KwaZulu-Natal SACP secretary and Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Themba Mthembu’s decision to invite Zuma as a special guest when he delivered his budget vote speech in the provincial legislature.

Mapaila said the SACP did not want to be associated with Zuma and that the party would “fight” him and those around him.

“We can't associate ourselves with someone who wants to destroy the movement and kill not only the party but its leadership.

"He will never succeed in this, and as we have defeated him before when he attempted to sell our country to the highest bidders, even on this one we will never allow him to win,” Mapaila said.

Approached for comment yesterday, Zuma’s spokesperson Vukile Mathabela said he would first study the SACP's utterances.

He had not responded by the time of publication.

When Zuma resigned, he said people should not divide the ANC in his name.

Meanwhile, Zuma’s business friends said they would foot his legal bill if he is unable to afford fees to fight his graft charges.

Zuma will on Friday make his second appearance at the Durban High Court regarding his charges regarding arms deal corruption.

It has been reported that the former statesman was struggling to pay for his legal fees.

National Funeral Practitioners Association of SA secretary Nkosenhle Shezi said the association would find ways to finance Zuma if he experienced financial difficulties.

“Since we love him, if we were to find out that he has financial problems, we would try our best to assist him,” Shezi said.

When the former president appeared in court in April, hundreds of his supporters, displaying the ANC colours, held a night vigil and a march to the court to show support for him.

This was after the party leadership had issued a directive that no party colours should be displayed in public when supporting any ANC member appearing in court.

Another night vigil is planned for Zuma's Friday court appearance.

“The night vigil will be from 6pm on Thursday to 6am on Friday, and there will be a march from King Dinuzulu Park to the high court,” Shezi said.

ANC Youth League provincial spokesperson Mandla Shange said the league would this week outline its programme for supporting Zuma.

“People were not prevented from wearing party regalia if they go to court to support whoever they support,” Shange said.

ANC provincial task team co-ordinator Sihle Zikalala said people would go to court as individuals to support Zuma.

Bishop Vusi Dube, who leads Zuma’s religious support group, said the night vigil would deliver prayers for Zuma.

“We are telling you to be strong as there are comrades who are targeted instead of white people who stole our land,” he said.

The Star