Johannesburg - Scores of amabutho (regiments), politicians and ordinary citizens vowed that they are willing to die rather than endure watching former president Jacob Zuma being arrested.
Zuma has until tomorrow to hand himself over to authorities failing which, he faces arrest.
Mlandeni Mgilija Nhleko, the official leader of the Zulu regiments, the one who led them during the burial of King Goodwill Zwelithini in March this year, is now here.
He is outside the home of Zuma in Nkandla to bring order. Regiments from different parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng were heard singing traditional songs.
While others declined to comment on making their way to Nkandla homestead, the home of Zuma, some were heard saying the imminent arrest of Zuma is a declaration of war.
It is a norm that amabutho react or undertake a task after being instructed by the king, but the amabutho that were marching and making their way to Zuma's homestead said they were not ordered by the king but as a community decided to embark on taking part in supporting the former statesman.
One of the amabutho of KwaNxamalala, Mike Zuma said as part of the community they saw it fit to defend Zuma.
"We are going to respect whatever decision Zuma makes, if he hands himself to the authorities they will be in support of that but if he does not hand himself over to authorities we will support him. We believe that Zuma has been mistreated by the judicial system," said Zuma.
Another Zuma supporter, Lungile Mkhize, said: "I am heartbroken, my heart is sore that authorities want to arrest Zuma. I am here to support him, he does not deserve this at his old age."
Many of the supporters were walking in groups, many of them not wearing masks and not maintaining social distance and flouting other alert level 4 regulations.
There were no police seen around the major road leading to the homestead to enforce lockdown rules or making arrests as gatherings are illegal at this time of the pandemic.
“We are going to fight and willing to die for the president, that is all that I am going to say,” said one Zuma support from ANC’s branch in Mpumalanga.