Durban - The ANC's stern order to party members marching to the Durban High Court in support of former president Jacob Zuma not to don party regalia has fallen on deaf ears as hundreds of marchers, clad in the ruling party's unmistakable black, green and gold colours, began their march from the King Dinizulu Park.
Following National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams's decision to go ahead with prosecuting Zuma, the ANC's secretary-general Ace Magashule instructed party structures that ANC colours should not be associated with campaigns to support Zuma when he appears at court.
Although the turnout at the King Dinizulu Park was short of numbers initially expected, supporters were in high spirits, singing songs backing Zuma.
Xolani Seme, an supporter who had travelled from Nongoma to get to King Dinizulu Park on Friday morning, said he was not defying any order as he is an ANC supporter and not a card carrying member.
"I think when the party says its colours should not be worn on this occasion they meant that for card carrying members. I am a voting ANC supporter and I bought this T-shirt and and because I am here to support the former president that's why I am wearing it," Seme said.
Bishop Timothy Bheki Ngcobo, provincial secretary of the National Interfaith Council of South Africa (NICSA) and one of the organisers of the march, said they had come out in support of Zuma because he is a champion of Radical Economic Transformation.
"We support Zuma because he showed us that a black person's interests come first in his life. He showed us that black people should play a meaningful part in the country's economy. As priests we subscribe to the notion of innocent until proven guilty by a court of law, not courts of public opinion.
"What we're seeing here is an unfair trial against Zuma because these same charges brought against had previously been dismissed, but they're suddenly reinstated," Ngcobo said.
Former KZN provincial secretary Super Zuma was also present at the start of the march and said he was there to support Zuma as an individual and as a part of the Zuma family.
"I am also here because of the principle rule of national justice that you're innocent until proven guilty," Zuma said.IOL