Police must act against Jacob Zuma’s ’private army’ and supporters for breaking lockdown rules, says Cope
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Nkandla - The Congress of the People (Cope) has called on Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole to arrest those who are openly contravening the lockdown regulations and other laws outside the home of former President Jacob Zuma in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.
Scores of people calling themselves Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA), some dangerously armed, have vowed to thwart any attempts to arrest Zuma.
Zuma was this week sentenced to 15 months direct imprisonment for contempt of court by the Constitution Court. This after he defied rulings that he should submit himself to the Zondo commission and answer all questions posed to him during the appearance.
Handing down her historic judgment acting Chief Justice Sisi Khampepe said Zuma had until Sunday to hand himself over to police, either at Nkandla or Johannesburg Central Police station.
Several Zuma supporters and MKMVA members camped outside the residence of the former statesman, throughout this week and they were seen parading and chanting struggle songs while others have publicly fired gunshots which is illegal and can earn one a conviction.
“For years Cope leader Terror Lekota warned the ANC leadership that the existence of MKMVA is illegal and will become a threat within the ANC and that all military forces in the country were disbanded during the Codesa negotiations,” said Cope national spokesperson Dennis Bloem.
Bloem said Lekota was not the only ANC leader who warned the ANC about this private army.
“Retired General Siphiwe Nyanda raised his objection and displeasure with MKMVA and told the ANC leadership that this grouping is a private army of Jacob Zuma. He further warned that this grouping will turn against the ANC one day. Unfortunately, the leadership ignored these warnings.
“What we see happening today is exactly what Lekota and Nyanda warned against. This grouping is now a private army of Zuma, threatening the authority saying that if the police arrest Zuma there will be unrest and instability in the country,” Bloem said.
He added that the ANC must take full responsibility for the ‘thuggery' that is going on at Zuma's residence.
“Zuma has said on many occasions that he will not cooperate with the Zondo Commission and that he can rather go to jail. Now he was given a 15 months prison sentence and his private army is threatening violence.
“Zuma must tell his private army that it is illegal and a serious offence to obstruct the police in the execution of their duty and that the law will take its cause,” Bloem said.
The party said it is disturbing to see that the police are looking on when people openly break the law.
“This unruliness and turmoil within the ANC once again vindicated Lekota. He was correct all the time,” he said.
Meanwhile, as Zuma’s whereabouts continue to be a matter of public speculation and mystery, the team of Presidential Protection Services assigned to guard him was on Saturday morning spotted in one of the luxury hotels in Eshowe, some 70 kilometres away from Nkandla.
Independent Media has learned that they are heading to the Nkandla homestead but Zuma, who has not been seen in public since Tuesday when he was found guilty for contempt of court, was not with them.