NKANDLA – Three days before the deadline for former president Jacob Zuma to hand himself over to authorities to start serving his 15 month jail sentence, his supporters cordoned off his Nkandla home and threatened war if force was used to effect the arrest.
At the same time, some among a crowd who had visited the former president’s homestead fired gunshots on Thursday as they started to blockade Zuma’s home.
Independent Media heard multiple gunshots, but journalists on the ground were ordered not to take videos or pictures as the MKMVA members in army regalia, ordered journalists to stop any filming or face their wrath.
However, an Isolezwe reporter on the ground captured one of the incidents and posted the video on social media.
The video can be seen below.
The day started with a convoy procession which included ANC members from the eThekwini (Durban) and the Musa Dladla (Richard’s Bay) region.
After convening at the nearby town of Eshowe, they then proceeded to Nkandla to cordon off Zuma’s home.
A few kilometres before reaching the home of the Zumas, the convoy was joined by jubilant community members.
At the front, while proceeding to the home, was a Zulu regiment battalion carrying sticks, knobkerries and other traditional weapons.
Among the regiments was Inkosi Bhekumuzi Zuma, the traditional leader of the Zuma clan in Nkandla which the former president falls under.
That video can be seen here.
The traditional leader, together with another Zulu warrior whose name could not be immediately established, had guns hanging from their hips.
The regiments sang traditional Zulu songs as they marched towards the Zuma homestead. They sang Wathintu Zuma, udakwe yini - which loosely translates to “Why touch Zuma (Jacob), what has intoxicated you?”
Upon arriving at the home, they were allowed inside and they continued to sing at the entrance of the home and then moved to the open fields by the gates of the home.
Speaker after speaker, from MKMVA, to leaders of the convoy and the church, they vowed that Zuma would never be arrested.
Repeating the words of Zuma’s son Edward, they said authorities would have to go past them before they arrested the former president.
One of those who vowed that Zuma would never be arrested was Lindani Sicwala, the leader of the convoy who is also a known confidant of former eThekwini mayor, Zandile Gumede.
Sicwala said it would be helpful to police officers to fly past them using a helicopter.
“We will be here (in Nkandla) until that day (of arrest) comes, if they want to get inside they will have to use a helicopter to fly past us because they won’t use this entrance while we are here,” Sicwala said.
Bishop Sandile Ndlela, a senior member of the KZN Interfaith, also made a similar statement, adding that Zuma is being politically persecuted and as such, they would fight off any attempts to jail him for 15 months.
Dumisani Cele who called himself a commander of the MKMVA said Zuma should be defended and it would be a shame to the people of KwaZulu-Natal to have the former head of state without them putting up a fight.
“As the MK we are saying this is enough. Enough is enough.
“What is happening to Nxamalala (Zuma) shows that the law in South Africa is not being correctly applied, it does not protect his rights.
“So we are now saying if he is arrested, we will die here.
“That is what we are saying.
“As KwaZulu-Natal MK we are saying if Nxamalala is arrested, we will die here… if something is happening to him, let us die,” Cele said.
Just like the Jacob Zuma Foundation which on Wednesday issued a statement and lambasted the Concourt for the shocking ruling, Ntando Khuzwayo, the spokesperson of the supporters of Zandile Gumede, said instead of applying the law, “they made political statements”.
Zuma’s whereabouts remain unknown.
Bishop Vusi Dube, one of the prominent organisers of his supporters, said their understanding was that he was still consulting with his legal team on the way forward.