Durban - Edward Zuma, the most vocal son of former president Jacob Zuma, has thrown down the gauntlet to the authorities and defied Covid-19 regulations that bar social gatherings by urging his fathers’ supporters to ignore them and go to Nkandla to show their support.
Moreover, he said they were in a war mood and the regulations should be ignored, and “we are prepared to die”.
Zuma junior came out late on Wednesday and faced the media that were camped outside Zuma’s Nkandla home, and did not hold back as he said Covid-19 meant nothing to him.
“What do you mean ’what about Covid-19 restrictions’? We know we are in a situation of war here, we can’t be considering Covid-19 situations. If it means we die, we die, we are prepared to die,” he told the media.
He stressed that anyone who wanted to go to Nkandla to support the former head of state was welcomed to pop in at any time.
“This is something that has not been planned. Any person who wants to come is welcome to come at any time,” he said in response to questions on when exactly they expected supporters to arrive to fortify Nkandla.
During the same interview, Edward repeated his assertion that he was going to lay down his life in defence of his father. He said that before the police who could send Zuma senior to jail, they would first have to overcome him.
“Well, they have to kill me first before such a thing (the court ruling) is implemented … Exactly … Exactly … Exactly … Exactly. What I am saying is that whatever decision the law enforcement agencies you know, decide upon, if that drastic decision happens to be taken, then they have to pass by me. Meaning I will lay down my life for (former) president Zuma. They are not going to take him to prison when I am still alive. So they have to kill me first, I insist on that,” he said.
Meanwhile, political parties yesterday welcomed the Constitutional Court judgment sentencing the former head of state to prison for 15 months, saying it was a victory for the rule of law.
The parties said the judgment sent a stern message that no one was above the law, and that all citizens must respect the courts and the law.
The ANC said its national executive committee would meet at the weekend to reflect on the implications and consequences of the judgment.
“We further reaffirm our commitment to upholding the rule of law and fulfilling the aspirations of our constitutional democracy,” said spokesperson Pule Mabe.
The SACP said it wished to stress the supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law, including the principle that no person was above the law.
DA leader John Steenhuisen said the judgment showed that no one was above the law, including Zuma while still enjoying support within his party.
Freedom Front Plus’s Piet Groenewald said the ruling was a true victory for constitutional democracy in South Africa. He added that the judgment sent a loud and clear message that Zuma and everyone else in South Africa should realise that they were not above the law, and that they needed to respect it.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said the judgment was a landmark ruling and was important for the rule of law.
IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said the ruling was a victory for the rule of law, and confirmed the fact that no one was above it.
Good secretary-general Brett Herron said they welcomed and celebrated that the rule of law had been asserted, and that the Constitutional Court confirmed that no person was exempt from this foundation of our democracy.
“The ConCourt has asserted the supremacy of the law over powerful individuals, sending a resounding message that South Africa’s Constitution and its laws cannot be undermined by scandalous attacks or the courting of public support.”
* Video by Sihle Mavuso