Screengrab: Jehran Daniel
Screengrab: Jehran Daniel

LIVE BLOG: National Welcome Prayer Day for Jacob Zuma

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Oct 14, 2021

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Vocal Fees Must Fall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile said on Thursday at the Jacob Zuma prayer event in Durban that the youth of South Africa must rise and fight for the truth.

Khanyile said white people in South Africa are consolidating power with the help of some black leaders.

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The Jacob Zuma welcome rally was partly used by some religious guests for veiled swipes at Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC and country’s president, who is under fire from radical economic transformation (RET) proponents of the governing party.

As the rally got under way in the absence of Zuma, who was apparently advised by his military health services doctor to focus on his “failing health”, religious leaders took turns in affirming that the former head of state was the “chosen one”.

WATCH: Veiled swipes at Cyril Ramaphosa during Jacob Zuma welcome-home rally in Durban

As the crowds of former president Jacob Zuma’s supporters make their way into People's Park in Durban, radical economic transformation (RET) and Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) forces said that they had come to show support for the veteran statesman at the prayer event on Thursday.

Former ANC member Carl Niehaus spoke to the media briefly amid the commotion, saying Zuma went to prison for pushing for RET.

"I am here as a comrade and friend of president Jacob Zuma. He has been treated unfairly. He was given a jail sentence without a proper trial. He has been specifically targeted because he has particular political view which does not gel with the leadership in the ANC.

Suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has rubbished claims by Eastern Cape Premier and ANC provincial chairperson Oscar Mabuyane that Magashule had set the Hawks to pounce on him for political reasons.

Magashule said the claims were baseless as he did not have the powers to instruct the elite crime investigation unit to investigate anyone.

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Supporters of Jacob Zuma stand in prayer with the hands and signs lifted high. Video: Jehran Daniel

Despite the sweltering heat in Durban where the temperature on Thursday morning was hovering at 36ºC , supporters of former president Jacob Zuma braved it to stage a welcome home rally.

The rally was staged to celebrate his release from prison on medical parole early and pray for him to get well as he is battling ill-health.

Video: Jehran Naidoo/IOL Politics

The supporters came from near and afar as some of those Independent Media spotted came from KwaMashu, north of Durban while others came from afar as Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape provinces.

Picture: Theo Jephta/IOL Politics

Dr Andile Hlatshwayo, the chairperson of Ubumbano Lokuthula is amongst those attending the Zuma welcome home rally.

VIDEO: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics

As more supporters of former president Jacob Zuma continues to stream into People’s Park, marshalls are having tough time in managing them. All of them want to be accommodated inside VIP marquees. The temperature in Durban is sweltering at 36 degrees celsius. @IOL @ZANewsFlash #ZumaPrayer

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09:20 Supporters of former president Jacob Zuma have been called on by his foundation to join a prayer meeting at People’s Park in Moses Mabhida Stadium, in Durban today.

Jacob Zuma foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi said in a voice note circulating on social media, that the purpose of the event is to pray for Zuma’s safekeeping during his recent prison sentence and the “dark forces” that lay ahead.

08:37 Hours before the welcome home prayer for Jacob Zuma could start on Thursday, there is already a split as some senior members of the KwaZulu-Natal Interfaith are at loggerheads, making accusations that former president Jacob Zuma’s name is being used for financial gain.

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07:30 The @JGZ_Foundation tweeted this invitation on Thursday morning.

The former president’s attendance at the gathering is not yet assured after an insider in Nkandla said his doctors from the military health services advised him to stay at home and nurse his ill health.

Supporters are forging ahead with a welcome home rally for former president Jacob Zuma in Durban on Thursday, despite the possibility that their ailing hero may follow his doctors’ advice not to attend the event.

Zuma was granted medical parole on September 5, two months into his 15 months sentence for contempt of the Constitutional Court, allowing him to serve the remainder of his sentence at home.

After the medical parole was granted, Zuma’s supporters, who have steadfastly maintained that he should not have been jailed for his defiance of a court order to appear before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into allegations of state capture, started preparing for today’s rally, which is expected to overshadow political parties’ campaigning for the upcoming local government elections.

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