Cape Town - Secretary-general Ace Magashule said the ANC’s top six leadership of the ANC have agreed to give former president Jacob Zuma space to consult his lawyers on issues he had raised on whether he will appear before the Zondo Commission.
“We left that matter there because he will consult with his lawyers,” Magashule said.
He was briefing the media following a virtual meeting between the ANC top six leaders and Zuma. It lasted seven hours.
The outcomes of the meeting were communicated after earlier reports suggested Zuma snubbed the ANC top six leaders.
“We did not want to keep quiet as if the meeting was secret,” Magashule told the media.
“We were supposed to meet here at Luthuli House today but due to other logistical arrangements, hiccups and glitches, we agreed to meet on Zoom … We had a very wonderful session,” he said.
The meeting came in the wake of Zuma’s refusal to appear before the Zondo commission of inquiry.
The ANC NEC has in February resolved that the officials engage Zuma on his decision to defy the Constitutional Court judgment that he should answer questions and co-operate with the commission.
Magashule said they agreed with Zuma to continuously engage on matters which were in the public space.
“We all agreed that the constitution of the country is an important instrument in the lives of all South Africans. It is also important to understand and respect the bill of rights as enshrined in the constitution.”
He also said Zuma had made an extensive presentation on his decision not to appear before the commission.
“He talked about his rights as enshrined in the constitution and rights of all South Africans. We all agreed there has not been an intention to undermine the constitution of South Africa.”
Zuma, Magashule said, told the ANC Top 6 that he believed he has been subjected to unfair persecution and prosecution over two decades.
He emphasised that as a law abiding citizen that he respected the constitution and that he too was entitled to the basic rights.
“We were all happy about the engagement and we are, all of us, saying we need to ensure we build unity of South Africa, build unity of the country and our structures must unite and build the ANC and country and to respect the constitution and the bill of rights.”
The ANC NEC resolved in February that the officials engage Zuma on his decision to defy the Concourt judgment that he should answer questions and co-operate with the commission
The commission has since made an application to the Constitutional Court wanting the former president jailed for defying two summons.
The application will be heard on March 25 with Zuma having until Monday to file his papers and the Zondo commission file its replying affidavit on March 12.