WATCH: Zikalala says Zuma in good spirits, passes presidential pardon issue to national government
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Nkandla – Speaking shortly after the end of the private funeral of the late Michael Zuma, former president Jacob Zuma’s younger brother, KwaZulu-Natal Premier and provincial ANC chairperson Sihle Zikalala said Zuma was in good spirits.
Zikalala said this while addressing the media outside the Zuma’s Nkandla home on Thursday afternoon as the media was barred from covering the event after the family pleaded for privacy.
Additionally, Zikalala applauded the Department of Correctional Services for granting Zuma permission to leave his Estcourt prison cell, where he is serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of the Constitutional Court, to go home to bury his brother, saying burying a loved one was very important.
When pressed on the issue of a presidential pardon and how far along that matter was, Zikalala passed the matter on to the national government.
“I think it is better to leave those matters (presidential pardon) to authorities that are eligible to process that.
’’We have made our point here and we have made our submission in terms of engagement, and I think it is better for the authorities such as the minister (of correctional services) and the Presidency,” he said.
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has pleaded with President Cyril Ramaphosa and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola to consider granting Zuma a pardon.
Six days ago (July 16), while visiting Bridge City mall in KwaMashu, north of Durban, Ramaphosa said the issue of a presidential pardon was being given consideration.
“We are giving considerations to all the issues and the proposals that are being put forward to us. Until then, let us leave the matter where it is,” Ramaphosa said.
While in Nkandla, Zikalala was quizzed about the Phoenix unrest in which a number of people were killed. Zikalala said his government condemned the murders, and those behind them should know that no South African should be prevented from going to and living in certain areas because of their race.