DURBAN – Edward Zuma, the eldest son of former president Jacob Zuma, said in a statement on Monday that the decision taken by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to pursue a corruption case against his father was a “witch-hunt” and “very suspicious”.
In his statement addressed to “all South Africans and global citizens”, Edward Zuma said he had been taking personal time to try and understand what Zuma had done “to deserve such hatred and treatment from people whom he served and struggled [for], for the freedom we enjoy today”.
Edward said the statement was sent in his personal capacity.
On Friday, NPA head Shaun Abrahams said that he had decided to reinstate charges against Zuma that related to the so-called arms deal, which dates back to the 90s.
The 16 charges include fraud, corruption, money-laundering and racketeering in relation to myriad payments Zuma received from his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik.
But Edward, a staunch supporter of his father, said in his rambling statement that even a child could see that the NPA’s decision was a witch-hunt. He also said that state institutions were being used to “clamp down” on those who spoke out on white monopoly capital (WMC).
“I have concluded that anyone who is accused by the above or [by] WMC, that person will definitely not be treated like a human being or fairly by the powers that be,” he said.
“I know some will say, but the so-called charges emanate from long time ago, I will then respond to say the Battle to tarnish and get rid of Jacob Zuma is more than 20 years, hence he is still being crucified till this day and by the look of things this isn't going to stop anytime soon,” he said.
Edward said his father would continue to champion the plight of the poor in South Africa, irrespective of the outcome of the case.
“Many people have spoken as to how selective our prosecution is and I will not go there as I agree with them, I will, however, challenge South Africans to wake up and smell the coffee before our country is again handed over to the hands of White minority rule who clearly don't see us as equals rather they see us as their mere Butler's, Labourers etc,” he said.
“We will go all out and defend the former President in every way possible,” he said.
Jacob Zuma was and would always be “a revolutionary in pursuit of justice”, according to Edward.
“The Constitution of this country has been tested to the extreme levels throughout his presidency and unfortunately this will happen throughout his life, remember revolutionaries don't retire,” he said.
Edward said that one hundred years from now, historians would be “correctly” reflecting on the life and times of his father and that he would continue to push for land expropriation without compensation and radical economic transformation.
Jacob Zuma was forced to resign on 14 February after the ruling African National Congress decided to recall him as state president.
African News Agency/ANA